Museum School Balinese Gamelan Performance

World Music in the Schools is a unique approach to music education. Promoting awareness, skills, confidence, and empathy through hands-on encounters with the diverse performing arts traditions of the world, it provides pre-K–12 schools in the San Diego area with engaging learning options tailored to each school’s needs.

Our program allows you to give your students exposure to a number of broad culture areas, according to your requirements: South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and/or Europe.

World Music in the Schools facilitates cross-cultural learning by bringing highly-skilled teaching artists and ensembles into your school to teach and interact with students.  Programs can be either ongoing (residencies) or single events (assemblies, workshops, special performances).

Our teaching artists are experts in their fields, culture bearers who utilize teaching styles that embody the regions from which their art forms come and the traditions which they uphold.

Conceived and launched in 1999 by the pioneering ethnomusicologist and music educator Robert E. Brown, our program has a history of effective integration with school curricula. Enthusiastic classroom teachers and parents report its transformative impact on the lives and outlook of students. The cross-cultural nature of the programming provides opportunities for students to learn about the world and themselves through performing arts experiences.

This life-enriching program offers your school three options:

Our Residency program offers opportunities for weekly in-school classes, featuring hands-on experience with musical instruments and/or movement.Our Assembly program provides one-time assemblies, workshops, and performances for students. These may include engaging and interactive performances for larger audiences, hands-on instruction for one-time workshops, as well as performances for special school events or celebrations.Our Living Room Learning program offers opportunities for remote learning. With more than a dozen regions to select from, students can learn remotely about a culture’s performing arts traditions with an emphasis on context, language, and focused instruction.

World Music in the Schools is funded in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, and the Peacemakers Fund.

FAQs and Some Fun Facts

More than 10,500 students participate in World Music in the Schools each school year.

Here’s a list of schools that have participated in our World Music in the Schools program since 1999, with those engaged over the last year highlighted in bold.

Upwards of 70% of student participants are in low-income, underserved areas of San Diego, where these high-quality experiences in the performing arts provide vehicles of expression for populations that struggle for a voice.

The Center for World Music staff are all accomplished musicians themselves, specializing in music from diverse regions of the world!

The CWM conducts a Javanese gamelan ensemble at Canyon Crest Academy, the only high school in the United States known to offer Javanese gamelan.