World Music in the Schools facilitates cross-cultural learning opportunities in the performing arts traditions of the world by bringing master artists into San Diego area schools to teach and interact with K-12 students. This unique program provides hands-on performance experience in music and dance from six broad culture areas: South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and Europe.

World Music in the Schools offers life-enriching opportunities for weekly in-school classes and assemblies featuring master artists. Our artist-teachers are culture bearers and experts in their fields. Their teaching styles reflect the cultures from which their art forms come and the traditions which they uphold. Our program has a long history of effective, professional contribution to school curricula. 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.

Music and dancing makes me at peace with the world and at peace with myself.
—Nelson Mandela

World Music in the Schools offers students experiences that help create a broad, global perspective. By exposing students to master artists, students learn about musical and dance traditions from many different cultures. As well as developing self-confidence, this provides opportunities for self-exploration and increased understanding of one’s place in the world.

  • To start a program at your local school, contact Stefanie Schmitz, our schools program director, to discuss the structure of programs, pricing, and available financial aid.

Over the last decade, funding for arts education in the schools has been drastically cut. Like many parents and educators, we are concerned about the effect this lack of exposure to music, dance, and other arts on the development of our young people. Technical ability is important for sure, but so is creativity and imaginative breadth and depth. World Music in the Schools helps to address this serious need.

If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline, and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.
—Shinichi Suzuki

The hands-on study of music is particularly well suited to emotional and cognitive development. Music and dance engage our faculties on numerous levels, using multiple parts of the brain simultaneously to complete and integrate tasks and to enhance memory.

The experiences and illuminations of childhood and early youth become in later life the types, standards, and patterns of all subsequent knowledge and experience.
—Arthur Schopenhauer