Welcome to Musically Minded

Musically Minded Academy is a California 501(c)3 non-profit organization’s mission is to build community through performance based music education. We are dedicated to fostering musicians by building a supportive and thriving community, a haven for musicians and music lovers alike. Music is a language and we believe that people must be immersed in an environment with other musicians in it to grow and thrive.

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Our Programs

Musically Minded offers unique music education programs in multiple genres on most instruments designed to help students develop a passion not only for individual instruments but for excellent musicianship. We aim to inspire our students to learn music as a language and communicate and connect with themselves and their communities through the enjoyment of this art form.

The Academy Program

Musically Minded Academy students in a photo collage

The Academy Program allows students to enroll in private or small group weekly lessons online with quarterly hybrid in-person/online performances. We target families and teach multiple genres and instruments. The Academy program has a “People first, Music second” philosophy, breaking classical music training. This philosophy is a crucial driver for student development and success. In order for students to achieve their desired goals, build confidence, and enjoy the study of music, we intentionally position students to find sources of inspiration that enable them to capture a drive and passion for their music making. We constantly ask them what they want to do, and why they want to do it and then help them to discover pathways to achieve their goals. We are always interested in improving our instructional services.

Live Ensemble Classes

A photo collage of youth instrumentalists playing in ensembles and composing

In-person instrumental ensembles for budding through highly skilled musicians. Rooted in practices/repertoire from specific music periods and styles and stemming out to student-selected repertoire from any era. These classes provide well-rounded access to music education. Equal time is devoted to music theory and active music making providing a deeply educational experience for instrumentalists. This program is unique due to the emphasis on both music making and the study of music theory as well as the overlapping times for each group, which allow students to both perform in and play in and actively witness ensembles. This program is under the artistic direction of a local luminary, Ondine Young. Ben Green and Rich Armstrong are also on the instructional staff along with two skilled teaching assistants.  

Uplift Music

OUSD Students playing in orchestras and bands

With Uplift Music, Musically Minded supports Oakland Public School Music (OUSD) Programs. This program aims to disrupt inequities in music instruction for underserved youth in OUSD. We elevate established and burgeoning leaders in music education and performance by growing and deepening educational excellence. This program has four phases and brings comprehensive support currently to Skyline Highschool and Claremont Middle School with additional pilot services for Oakland High and Bret Harte Academy. Each annual school project strives to: BUILD a sense of belonging, with a safe learning environment where music students feel connected and inspired; UPLIFT OUSD music instructors by easing the OUSD Music teachers’ stressors through active support, planning, strategizing, and networking, and empowering their position as role models for their students; and CONNECT participants to the Oakland Arts Community through volunteers, foundation support, and organizational partnerships.

Support Musically Minded

Musically Minded relies on community and foundation support to offer our services and programs. Our Uplift Music program has been historically funded by the California Arts Council, the Bank of Marin, The Bill Graham Foundation, as well as an anonymous family foundation. Pre-pandemic, over 60% of our summer camp students attend with financial aid. We fundraise to provide scholarships, and also provide workforce development in Salesforce for school administrators, many of whom have gone through our program and have found paying jobs in this sector. 

Best Music School in Berkeley

Musically Minded Academy was identified as one of the best music schools in Berkeley by Expertise.com. Their goal is to connect people with the best local experts. They scored Berkeley Music Schools on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to hand-pick a list of the best. And we are proud to announce that Musically Minded Academy is among the top 14 music schools in Berkeley, CA out of 33 schools in the category!
This would not have been possible without your support.

2021 Bronze Seal of Transparency

Our organization earned a 2021 Bronze Seal of Transparency! Now, everyone can learn more about the work our organization does.

2022 Best of Parents Press Award

Musically Minded Academy has been selected as a 2022 Parents Press “Best of” Reader’s Choice awards in the category Classes for Musical Instrument Instruction.

We heartily thank our supporters.




“More people need to know about this great venue! So happy I was able to enjoy a concert there ~ I’ll be back .”

Heather Piazza

“My daughter was in the Frozen performance. She had fun, she sang her heart out to fav songs from Frozen movie, met a diverse group of friends. The director and all staff and family were wonderful and accommodating, and friendly.”

Samantha Hynes