The Academy Program

Musically Minded Academy students in a photo collage

The “Academy Program,” our flagship program, is one of three programs we offer at Musically Minded. This program allows students to enroll in private or small group weekly lessons online or in-person with quarterly hybrid in-person/online performances. We welcome families and teach multiple genres and instruments. This program is for 1:1 up to 1:3 instruction on the same instrument for all students. For students who are not sure which instrument they want to take, or who have never taken any music lessons, we highly recommend starting in our Live Ensembles Program in the Newbie Notes Class. 

NOTE: The “Academy Program” is for private lessons and small groups where students play the same instrument (ie. “Group Piano” or “Group Violin.”) We also offer the Live Ensembles Program (Jazz Band, Orchestra, and Newbie Notes) and the Uplift Program (in specific OUSD Schools).

Musically Minded has a “People first, Music second” philosophy, breaking classical music training. This philosophy is a crucial driver for student development and success. 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 discover pathways to achieve their goals. We are always interested in improving our instructional services. 

Live Ensemble Classes

A collage of 6 photos of students participating in our Live Ensembles. A row of violinists and a flute player, Jazz student horn players, young children playing bells and guitars, a drummer and a bass player and teachers.

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.