Social Justice Through Music
With generous support from California Humanities For All, Foster City Library & local musicians.
Digital Monkey School Foundation and the Foster City Library present Social Justice Through Music, a five-session weekly series. These workshops for middle school and high school musicians offer an opportunity for students to reflect on present-day social justice issues and give it form via individual expression. By the end of the series, young musicians will gain an understanding of the power and capacity of music as a cultural force. Then, they will convey their mastery of musical techniques and perform their own renditions of selections from our curriculum.
PERFORMANCES 07/03, 07/10, 07/17, 07/24, 07/31, 08/04
The public is invited to attend the concert that showcases work by composers who expressed their social justice beliefs through their art, such as Beethoven and Gershwin along with artist from the 60’s, like Bob Dylan, along with modern songwriters who express their political views through music. The workshops also include open discussions with the audience.
About the Program This program will appeal to students of diverse backgrounds who have an interest in social activism, music, and making a difference in their community. This timely and socially relevant curriculum is also a celebration of the pivotal role music has played in inspiring and reflecting social justice movements. We will take students on a guided exploration of the historically symbiotic relationship between music and social justice from the Classical and Romantic periods, and 20th Century genres, such as jazz and musical/tone poems. We will place social justice issues into the context of the time and place from which each emerged. Each week we’ll spotlight a different topic, from analysis of different techniques used in music to convey messages of equality and politics to exploration of different social justice issues.
Opening day of Social Justice Through Music Workshop (July 3, 2018) featured a historical overview of different musical genres and their influences on prominent social justice movements.
Social Justice Through Music workshop featuring live cello performances of the works of Joseph Haydn and Edward Elgar to compliment the discussion about the artists’ roles in social class movement and nationalism.
Singer and songwriter Irina Mynchkin shares her covers of songs by Joan Baez, Neil Young, etc, which influenced many peaceful protest movements, along with her own composition about social unity.
San Francisco hip hop artists La Niebla, Versoul, and Kyla Williams lead an interactive workshop about the five elements of hip hop, featuring their own live music.
Foster City Library hosts our vocational training workshop for young adults who are seeking coaching from our music program. Workshops are taught by an alum of the same program.
The winners of Non Classical Piano Competition at San Mateo County Fair, 2018
DMSF holding annual event of Non Classical Piano Competition at San Mateo County Fair, 2018
Vocational training at the library 2017 Foster City Library hosts our vocational training workshop for young adults who are seeking coaching from our music program. These vocational Workshops by director of Piano School Elena Orduyan are conducted by integrating innovative music technology into the comprehensive and individualized Digital Monkey Piano method. The workshop had been success story:
2017 Community Events
During the Spring Break of 2017 (04/05 - 04/14/17) DMSF together with the San Mateo county
libraries was giving free masterclasses to kids at the local libraries. All together DMSF taught
at nine libraries: San Carlos, Millbrae, Foster City, Belmont, Brisbane, Portola Valley,
Woodside, Half Moon Bay and East Palo Alto. It was an amazing experience to travel, to meet and
interact with kids from all over the Bay Area. And we also got to hang out with awesome
librarians that were excited to see us and made a great effort in organizing and hosting the
events. Shout out to: Bitian Zhang, Darren Heiber, Wan Fwu, Michelle Ng, Erin McGee, Kathryn
(Kat) Wiszowaty, Mohini Dela Pena, Karen Choy and Kenny Gabe Ocana. It was our long time dream
On May 21st, 2017 DMSF had a Game Jam/ Hackathon Event. Event was hosted by the Rocket Fuel Inc. The prize fund came from a donation by Rocket Fuel to Digital Monkey School Foundation. Hackathon was free and open to children ages 7 to 14 and their parents.
Foundation gave out prizes for 7 to 10 and 11 to 14 age groups and participation prizes. All
prizes were vouchers for Digital Monkey School classes. Claire Elkes (13) , Dylan Marquis (12) ,
Lyubov Savva (9) and Ekaterina Yagubyan (8) won first places. Digital Monkey School’s advanced
students Alex Dollard, Aled Jones, Andrew Marks and Ben Selman were volunteering as Event
Counselors to help the young kids at the event. Many thanks to our host and VP of Rocket Fuel
Nick who have also volunteered as an organizer.
Date and time: May 21st from 3:00 pm to 5:30
(Demo 3 - 4 pm, 4 - 4.30 pizza break, 4.30 - 5.30 Lab time)
Address: Rocket Fuel Inc - HQ
2000 Seaport Blvd, Redwood City 4th floor
On June 29th, 2017 DMSF together with Portola Library taught a free summer camp at the Pescadero Elementary School. Pescadero is a small farming and ranching community.
Hard to say who was more excited, the kids or our Digital Monkey School instructors. We
are hoping to return very soon.
This year on 06/11 DMSF has returned to San Mateo County Fair with our
"Intro to Video Game Development" workshop. Thanks to Kelly Torikai for helping to organise this event and Elena Savva for helping out. Our San Mateo County Fair workshops are always a full house each year we have kids returning from previous years.
On October 22nd DMSF hosted at free Halloween event at the Twin Pines Park in Belmont.
Events consisted of facepaint, station arts and crafts station, computer games development station and kinetic games. Kids were very creative modeling out of clay Halloween projects and Halloween inspired computer games.