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AWARDS & RECOGNITION
Bright SpotsAwarded by the White House and U.S. Dept of Education for programs that are helping close the achievement gap & support Latino educational attainment and excellence.
Coming Up Taller AwardAwarded by the President’s Committee on the Arts & Humanities in a White House ceremony by First Lady Michelle Obama, the award is the nation’s highest honor for an arts-based youth program.
Presidential Citizens MedalFor Dr. Margaret Martin, Founder. Awarded by President Barack Obama, the Presidential Citizens Medal is the nation’s second highest civilian honor.
Partners in Educational Excellence AwardAwarded by the Association of California School Administrators for Region XVI for exemplary school-community partnerships that promote effective educational performance, enhanced student achievement and strong community involvement in educational quality.
We know from experience that long-term engagement with music is good for kids. We’re also interested in the science explaining the cognitive benefits of music, which is why we’ve teamed up with researchers at Northwestern University to uncover how Harmony Project changes a child’s brain.
The team from Northwestern found that kids who studied music at Harmony Project become better listeners, which will improve their reading skills as well as their ability to focus in a noisy classroom. According to lead researcher Nina Kraus, music may play a crucial role in closing the academic achievement gap between affluent and low-income children.
The following studies have been used to inform the creation, development, implementation and evaluation of Harmony Project programs:
- Arts and Pro-Social Impact: RAND Corporation
- Self-Determination Theory
- 40 Developmental Assets, Search Institute
- 21st Century Learning Skills
- The Benefits of Music Education: An Overview of Current Neuroscience Research
Harmony Project has partnered with research institutes to produce the following results:
- Kraus N, Strait DL (2015). Emergence of biological markers of musicianship with school-based music instruction. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1337: 163-169.
- Slater J, Skoe E, Strait D, O'Connell S, Thompson E, Kraus N (2015) Music training improves speech-in-noise perception: Longitudinal evidence from a community-based music program. Behavioural Brain Research 291: 244-252.
- Kraus N, Hornickel J, Strait DL, Slater J, Thompson EC. (2014). Engagement in community music classes sparks neuroplasticity and language development in children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Frontiers in Psychology, Cognitive Science. 5(1403). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01403
- Kraus N, Anderson S. (2014). Community-based training shows objective evidence of efficacy. Hearing Journal. 67(11): 46-47.
- Kraus N, Slater J, Thompson E, Hornickel J, Strait DL, Nicol T, White-Schwoch T. (2014). Auditory learning through active engagement with sound: Biological impact of community music lessons in at-risk children. Frontiers Aud Cogn Neurosci. 8(351). doi: 10.3389/fnins.2014.00351.
- Slater J, Strait DL, Skoe E, O’Connell S, Thompson E, Kraus N. (2014). Longitudinal effects of group music instruction on literacy skills in low-income children. PlosOne. 9(11). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113383
- Kraus N, Slater J, Thompson E, Hornickel J, Strait D, Nicol T and White-Schwoch T (2014). Music enrichment programs improve the neural encoding of speech in at-risk children. Journal of Neuroscience. 34(36): 11913-11918
- Skoe E, Krizman J, Kraus N (2013) The impoverished brain: Disparities in maternal education affect the neural response to sound. Journal of Neuroscience 33(44):17221–17231.
- Slater J, Tierney A, Kraus N (2013) At-risk elementary school children with one year of classroom music instruction are better at keeping a beat. PlosOne. 8(10): e77250. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077250.
Myka has overseen Harmony Project expand from 250 to over 3,000 students since joining as Executive Director in 2007. Under her direction, Harmony Project was awarded the Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and launched new initiatives and partnerships with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles City College, and P.S. Arts. She is both a musician and executive.
Natalie has expertise in operations, accounting, planning, and extensive knowledge of both cash and accrual accounting systems. She has been responsible for multi-fund budgets ranging from $5 to $35 million.
Natalie joined Harmony Project in 2010. She is from Southern California and was introduced to the viola at a young age.
Paloma has formed a musical career in both performance and social justice. She began mentoring in public schools in 2006 and soon became Education Associate. In 2008, she joined the staff of Harmony Project.
Paloma has toured as a violinist with bands including Gnarls Barkley, has recorded with Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and can be heard on several film soundtracks.