Literacy paves the path to academic success.
67% of third grade students in Kent County’s Title I schools are reading below the state proficiency level. In 2017-18 Mind Meets Music is projected to reach over 5,000 of these students. There are many more children in need, and with your support, Mind Meets Music can reach them.
About Our Curriculum
The program consists of two 30 minute sessions per class each week. Master Teaching Artists lead students in singing songs, reading and writing music, tapping music notes, and playing games to review new skills. The curriculum is based on Kodály Music Methodology, which uses rhythmic concepts to teach syllable sounds, memory, and listening skills.
These skills directly apply to reading and writing, and contribute to later proficiency. The program is designed for students in kindergarten through second grade, key years for brain development. The Mind Meets Music staff is currently working to incorporate the Dalcroze Method, which combines additional physical movement into the program.
Mind Meets Music was started in 2009 by Dr. Monique Salinas, as a project of the Girls Choral Academy. Dr. Salinas saw firsthand that students in Grand Rapids were struggling to read and write, and knew she had to do something. Children who struggle with reading and writing are likely to face difficulties throughout their education, and the organization aims to equip them with the skills needed to succeed. Mind Meets Music became an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2013, and has been expanding services rapidly ever since.
I can see connections sparking in my student’s minds. They are working with syllables and rhyming incorporated into music. I love that the program is teaching them traditional nursery rhymes and songs that we learned as children.
The benefits of having such a well organized program include improved abilities to focus and concentrate, using higher order thinking skills, and learning skills that translate over to reading and increase reading proficiency. I was apprehensive about giving up time with my students but it has proven to be well worth it.
My students look forward to Mind Meets Music every week. They have gone from learning basic songs to being able to write the music notes that accompany those songs. They are learning valuable lessons about listening to directions, thinking about sequences of notes and the movement of beats and rhythm.