What We Do
“Low-income students who earned few or no arts credits were five times more likely not to graduate from high school than low-income students who earned many arts credits.” -Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education
“My husband and I believe strongly that arts education is essential for building innovative thinkers who will be our nation’s leaders of tomorrow.” -Michelle Obama
The Situation Today
A generation ago, the vast majority of elementary schools in the Bay Area provided full-time music teachers for their students. Today, more than 95% of children attend schools that have been forced to either entirely eliminate or significantly cut in-school music education (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).
Just 17% of public elementary students in the Bay Area receive weekly in-school music education; over one third of this is provided by zSharp...
...and over 89% of zSharp’s students are African-American or Hispanic, while over 92% are socioeconomically disadvantaged.
Consistency » Studies have shown that consistency in early childhood education is extremely important for both psychological and academic development. zSharp provides every child at our schools with at least one music class per week for the entire school year. Our longest-tenured teachers have provided individual students with music education every week for the past seven years from kindergarten through sixth grade.
Integration » Multiple academic studies have confirmed that music education enhances learning abilities in different subject areas. That is why zSharp works closely with the classroom teachers at our schools to provide classes that are completely integrated into the school day and curriculum, complementing other academic activities. For instance, third grade students study quarter notes and half notes in their zSharp classes to support concurrent lessons on fractions.
Excellence » We see music education as more than just a means to an end, which is why we also emphasize excellence in musical performance and proficiency. The fourth graders in the video below were able to perform in four-part harmony on three different instruments after just two years of zSharp classes without any prior music education.