Jennifer Russell, Creekside Early Childhood School, School Resource Officer
Mindful Music Moments
HundrED has not validated this innovation
Why did you create this innovation?
We had been working with youth since 2005. The number of students reporting anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation was increasing and impacting younger and younger students. While leading a daily mindfulness/SEL pilot with refugee and immigrant students, we heard the morning announcements and thought "could that be a bandwidth to help all students and staff practice self regulation?"
How does your innovation work in practice?
We partner with performing arts partners (symphonies, operas, new music creators) and/or commission music to create a 38 week+ playlist for use in schools. Each year we curate selections that are calming, interesting and represent diverse musicians and composers. We often focus on themes that relate to regional nuances (aka lifting up Latinx composers for San Diego Symphony partner schools). Then we create daily audio files that include a mindful, creative prompt and a 3 minute piece of music. Each piece of music repeats for 5 days yet the prompts vary to create new/renewed access points to regulation (breath or pulse noticing) or creativity (if this music were a color, what color would it be?)
These audio files are made available via password or integration into existing school portals for ease of use by one "owner" - over the announcements - or by individual teachers/students and parents. We work with the school to determine how they can maximize usage and matching school culture.
How has it been spreading?
We began with a single school pilot in 2016. We now reach more that 300 schools nationally with several playlists. Schools receive the program for free (assuming there is a local sponsor) and at most pay $1000 a year for the content, which is fundable via Title I/Title IV funds and/or other funds designated for SEL and mental and emotional wellbeing. We have never turned down a school that wants the content.
Our growth has been organic and supported by word-of-mouth, by being featured in platforms like Greater Good in Education, and because of our partnerships with performing arts organizations in Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Dallas and more.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
Reach out to us! We will set up a virtual call to learn about your school and how we can best assist you.