Monique Had To
As founder and Executive Director of the Girls Choral Academy (GCA), Monique Salinas, PhD, dedicated her professional life to building girls’ musical abilities, leadership skills, and self-esteem through choral music. Throughout her 16-year tenure with GCA, she positively impacted the lives of thousands of children. During the winter of 2009, she took a group of urban choir members to a performance followed by a pool party donated by a local hotel. To show appreciation for the hotel’s generosity Monique requested they write thank you notes to the hotel manager. Dr. Salinas was deeply affected as every child greatly struggled to complete this simple task. Understanding the lifelong disadvantages resulting from such limited literacy skills at this age, Dr. Salinas felt strongly compelled to do something more to address this serious issue facing these and countless other children. *Photo by Cory Morse, MLive
Mind Meets Music
Dr. Salinas knew from her doctoral studies in music education that research regarding how music could be used to help increase student academic achievement and literacy proficiency had exploded over the previous 20 years. She did her own research at Belmont University in Nashville, TN and James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA and came up with an original curriculum called Mind Meets Music. The Mind Meets Music curriculum is based on two world renowned arts methodologies: Kodály, a Hungarian music education methodology and Dalcroze, a Swiss movement methodology. Mind Meets Music flawlessly combines Kodály and Dalcroze with literacy skills including syntax, phonological awareness, auditory and visual perception, steady beat awareness, and inner voice development.
Wyoming Public School
Dr. Monique Salinas took her idea to Dr. Tom Reeder, superintendent of Wyoming Public Schools. Mind Meets Music became a reality as a Wyoming Public School afterschool program. Starting with just twenty students, that first year was a great success. After that, it grew exponentially and became incorporated into the school day.
In 2013, Mind Meets Music separated from Girls Choral Academy and became established as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
Partnership with the
U.S. Department of Education
In 2014, Mind Meets Music partnered with the United States Department of Education, winning a competitive four year 2 million dollar grant to help increase the program’s scope and efficacy. In doing this, the United Stated Department of Education has endorsed and stood behind the Mind Meets Music program.
WOOD TV8 Connecting with Community
Mind Meets Music was selected as WOOD TV8’s 2016 Connecting with Community Award Recipient on Friday, May 13, 2016! The 2016 award granted Mind Meets Music a public service announcement to air for one year on WOOD TV8 and its sister stations.
Through partnering with the US Department of Education, Mind Meets Music had the benefit of being assessed by national evaluation and statistical organization, WestEd. The initial results were outstanding.
Grand Rapids 100 Women Who Care
Mind Meets Music awarded $10,600 at the fourth Greater Grand Rapids 100 Women Who Care Meeting.
Mind Meets Music
The Mind Meets Music App was developed to create a FREE resource for parents, teachers, and educational institutes to support our children! Dello the Dino takes students through four unique levels ordered by difficulty and differentiated instructional learning.
West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Mind Meets Music awarded 2017 Non-Profit Champion Award at West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2017 Annual Awards Gala!
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Mind Meets Music awarded as a Rising Star at the Grand Rapids Area Chamber’s 2017 Diversity Visionary Awards.
Mind Meets Music selected as one of only ten nonprofits in Grand Rapids to participate in the Kent County Nonprofit Technical Assistance Fund (NPTA) Equity Pilot Program cohort.
It has been a journey of eight years since Monique first approached Dr. Reeder and since that time Mind Meets Music has grown over 25,000%. During the 2017-2018 academic year Mind Meets Music is serving approximately 5,000 students in over 30 schools with 220 classrooms and has served over 10,000 students since its inception.
Students’ Test Scores Soar
Results from national evaluation and statistical organization, WestEd, shows a proficiency improvement rate of 33% in literacy and 52% in math for Mind Meets Music students!