Music Now Performances
Funded by the Dean and Margaret Lesher Foundation of Walnut Creek, the MusicNow Series features multicultural, professional-level classical, and jazz performances for children. Supporting educational materials, including professional recordings of the concert, are distributed to children, and child-centered commentary is delivered throughout the performance. Vocal and piano students and faculty are joined by professional instrumentalists as they bring concerts to West Contra Costa County elementary schools.
Children's Concert attendees observe performances, as well as "behind-the-scenes" action. Children are encouraged to ask questions about the pieces, instrumentation, and other topics as they interact with the performers and instruments. Each year, data is collected from student attendees to better understand the impacts of live performance on children. Research has been presented at the Music Association of Community Colleges of California State Convention.
Washington Elementary, "Music and the Brain"
Piloted in 2017-18, the original "Music and the Brain" vision has been expanded to include collegiate training work. This project has the potential to be a model of elementary school and college/university collaboration.
Professor Jennifer Griest, Contra Costa College Master Teacher, trains, directs, and oversees CCC student interns with the "Music and the Brain" curriculum. Student interns work in teams of two with Washington Elementary classes K-3 under classroom teacher supervision each Thursday and Friday throughout the academic year.