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Empowering Youth

Enhancing literacy through music education

Mind Meets Music

The Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation believes that a positive early start in education is essential to the academic future of students and their lifelong success. If a child can’t read proficiently by the end of third grade, they begin to face challenges and rarely catch up with their classmates.

Mind Meets Music works in classrooms with underserved preschool through second grade children to improve their literacy skills by teaching music. This program is designed to enhance general education classes using a curriculum based on music education methodologies that emphasize singing, listening, writing, movement, and creativity. 

Master Teaching Artists facilitate the 30-minute sessions twice per week in the classroom. As students learn to read and write music, key building blocks of reading are incorporated and strengthened. They are introduced to additional tools that will help them be successful throughout their life – critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

Since its inception in 2009, over 10,000 students have participated in Mind Meets Music and achieved an average increase of 24% in their reading proficiency scores. The program reaches 5,000 students annually in 220 classrooms throughout the greater Grand Rapids area.

Working together in small groups teaches teamwork and collaboration.
Mind Meets Music 1
Students participate in multi-sensory learning, such as hand signs for each sound.
Mind Meets Music 2
Writing music helps students learn to identify pitch and rhythm.
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