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March 22, 2011 > Why music?

Why music?

Submitted By Carol Zilli

If you agree with Henry James that "the arts make life" and that music is to the mind, heart, and soul as food is to the body, then you must agree that music is essential in people's lives and especially those of children. Then why is music one of the first things cut when a budgetary crisis occurs in schools? Without music education one can only imagine a future where symphony halls are silent, concert seats are vacant, and the workplace is void of the calming and creative effect of background music.

Everyone needs music to function well in life, enjoy the beauty of a melody or be touched by a meaningful lyric. Brain scans show how music integrates both hemispheres and makes important neuron connections especially during the most susceptible times of life during the early elementary school years. Music grows brain cells, raises test scores, and balances a human being for healthy development with the power to heal, inspire, and unify while fostering cognitive development, problem solving and creativity

Music for Minors II (MFMII), a nonprofit music enrichment program, has helped to fill the musical void in local schools since 1988 serving tens of thousands of children. Thanks to the support of Dr. Gary Soren Smith, MFMII's training class, Music 192, was established at Ohlone in 1990 and has been presented every fall ever since by Carol Zilli, Founder and Executive Director of MFMII, with the continued and valued support of Dr. Walt Birkedahl.

Hundreds of dedicated community volunteers from college students to seniors, retired teachers and professional musicians to parent's who love music and children, have been professionally trained by MFMII through Ohlone College for the past 22 years and the Castro Valley Adult School since 2005. Volunteers become music docents who bring music to children weekly in the Tri-City, Castro Valley, Pleasanton, and Dublin areas sharing singing, rhythmic movement and dance, instrumentation, and listening appreciation.

In addition, MFMII sponsors performance opportunities for children on professional stages, community concerts and music workshops. Many of these are performed at the Ohlone Smith Center.

If you love music, children, and want to help MFMII keep music in children's lives and our future, join the fall docent training class at Ohlone, Board of Directors, or become a Friend of MFMII as a donor or sponsor.

Visit the MFMII website: for more information or call (510) 733-1189 to find out more about MFMII's service to the community.

Dance Workshop with Jo'Ann Fread
Tuesday, March 29
7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Niles School Auditorium
37141 2nd St., Fremont

Workshop is free to all MFMII Docents, Classroom Teachers and Principals of MFMII Schools. Non-MFMII Participants: $15.00 fee (includes handouts)

RSVP: (510) 733-1189 or Email

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