News

Please note that until August 2013, zSharp was called
ETM-Bay Area.1

Encore! zSharp Teacher Showcase Fundraiser

March 10, 2017

Encore! zSharp Teacher Showcase Fundraiser

The zSharp staff is hosting a concert to support our in-school music programs! Join us on April 20 at the Betti Ono Gallery in Oakland.

We'll be showing off our musical talents all evening long, while we mix and mingle with YOU- our family, friends, and fans.

Your $45 ticket includes:

  • Performances by zSharp music teachers
  • Hosted beer from Drake’s, Faction, and Lagunitas Brewing
  • Light fare and snacks

Snag raffle tickets for a chance to win great prizes:

  • Wine and spirits
  • Original artwork
  • Weekend getaways
  • Private lessons from our zSharp staff, and more!

RSVP to our Facebook event HERE and visit zsharp.org/donate to purchase your tickets!

zSharp currently reaches over 4,000 children in the West Contra Costra and Oakland Unified School Districts. Your attendance will support in-school music education programming this school year in low-income schools in the East Bay!

Sponsorship packages are available at the $250, $750, and $1500 levels and! Email kkays (at ) zsharp (dot) org for more information.

Meet Kiara and help support kids like her!

December 21, 2016

Meet Kiara and help support kids like her!

Since Kindergarten, Kiara has had consistent weekly music education through zSharp at Peres Elementary School. What does music mean to Kiara? “Music means rhythm and life-- without music, there wouldn’t be any laughter, there wouldn’t be any sound in the world. Everything would be blank, everything would feel like it’s boring.”

She says learning music can be hard sometimes, but she doesn't give up and keeps trying. She'll be moving onto middle school next year and her goals are to work on more challenging piano pieces, learn to play the guitar, and compose her first song. Where does she see herself in 20 years? “When I’m 30, I think I’ll be teaching music to kids and playing piano.”

The efforts of zSharp’s talented and skilled music teachers have a profound impact on lives of students like Kiara at Peres Elementary School. Since 2008 zSharp has created a school culture at Peres that embraces the arts and recognizes music as an integral component of a well-rounded education for all students. This effort shines through Kiara, who has been so inspired by her zSharp music teachers that she would like to be a music teacher herself one day. 

Without zSharp and your support, children like Kiara would not have access to this rich educational experience. Your continued support will ensure that students like Kiara continue to receive high quality music instruction next school year. Please donate today!

#GivingTuesday - Make music a part of every child’s education!

November 29, 2016

#GivingTuesday - Make music a part of every child’s education!

Happy #GivingTuesday! This is the time of year to spread holiday cheer with your charitible giving. This year we've created a fundraiser to make it easier to donate!

Here at zSharp we make music a part of every child's education by placing high quality music teachers in Bay Area schools. Our teachers see every student in the school for the entire school year.

Research shows that music education in schools helps kids develop language and reasoning skills and leads to higher academic outcomes, student engagement, and attendance rates. Not to mention the effects on the development of spatial intelligence, emotional IQ, and prosocial skills.

In honor of #GivingTuesday, the Gates Foundation will match this fundraiser up to $1000! This gives you the chance to double your impact. For just $139 on kid gets a whole year of music class. Please consider donating and sharing our fundraiser today!

Click here to donate!

In Honor of His Brother

April 07, 2015

zSharp would like to extend a special thank you to Edrick Thay for his recent contribution of $100,000 in honor of his brother, Victor, who passed away in 2011. A UC Berkeley alumnus, Victor Thay loved playing piano and singing in choirs and, like his brother Edrick, was concerned about the disappearing funds for music education. A resident of Toronto, Canada, Edrick Thay visited zSharp partner school Peres Elementary in December, where he attended a student concert and met with zSharp teachers and staff. Mr. Thay's gift honors his brother's memory by supporting the Bay Area and music education—two things he treasured most throughout his life.

zSharp Featured in San Jose Mercury News

March 25, 2015

A recent article in the San Jose Mercury News focuses on the role of music education in helping underserved students feel motivated and confident while increasing test scores and attendance rates. "Reading and math scores double over the first five years zSharp is at a given school...[and] attendance rates also leap, by 17 percent when zSharp is in the house." Click HERE to read the full article. 

New Support from ROOF

March 04, 2015

zSharp is proud new recipient of support from the Red Oak Opportunity Foundation (ROOF). Funding from ROOF has helped launch our program at Learning Without Limits. Based in Oakland, Learning Without Limits is a member of the Education for Change public school network, with whom zSharp is building an exciting new partnership.

Is Music the Key to Success?

February 17, 2015

Steven Spielberg. Larry Page. Condoleezza Rice. Alan Greenspan. What do all of these famous people have in common? They, along with many other successful individuals, had serious musical training early in their education. This New York Times op-ed by Joanne Lipman explores the correlation between early childhood music education and high achieving adults. "Music may not make you a genius, or rich, or even a better person. But it helps train you to think differently, to process different points of view—and, most important, to take pleasure in listening."

Looking Back

February 10, 2015

This school year, zSharp reached almost 8,000 students through its 15 East Bay partner schools. A majority of these students come from underprivileged communities, with 58% of the total identifying as Hispanic (68% at our scholarship schools) and 16% as African-American. 88% of the students at our scholarship schools receive free or reduced meal vouchers. We ordered over 1,500 instruments, including 99 tambourines, 115 drums, 263 pairs of rhythm sticks, and almost 700 recorders! 

End-of-Year Events

February 03, 2015

The end of the school year is a busy time at zSharp's partner schools. Eight concerts are planned for late May and early June, as well as four Open Houses. In addition, Montalvin Elementary in Richmond is having an International Day celebration with music and performances showcasing cultures from around the world, including African dancing and Japanese karate. 

The fall term ended with eight performances as well, including concerts for family and friends, sing-a-longs, school-wide assembly performances, and two special Black History month events.

Curwen Hand Signs and the Orff Approach

January 07, 2015

Curwen Hand Signs and the Orff Approach

Have you ever noticed the hand gestures young music students use while singing? Ever wondered what they mean? These are called Curwen Hand Signs and are a common component in zSharp's curriculum. Each hand gesture corresponds to a "solfege" syllable ("do," "re," "mi," etc.), which, in turn, corresponds to a specific note. The gestures help the student internalize the note they are singing and its relation to the musical scale.

Many zSharp teachers also use the Orff Approach—a playful, hands-on method in which all concepts are learned by doing. Singing and mallet percussion (see above) play a large role in the learning, as well as dancing, clapping, and drumming. Kids love this joyful, active approach to learning! 

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1 As of August 2013, zSharp is no longer affiliated with Education Through Music. “Education Through Music”, “ETM”, the claripen logo and ETM keyboard logo are trademarks of Education Through Music, Inc.