The Prelude Music Foundation partners with schools in economically at-risk communities where families often lack the tools and resources to help support their children's cognitive and academic development. Utilizing the research-based music and movement curriculum Music Together®, we support the cognitive, academic, and musical development of children during the most formative years of their lives.
Why we exist
We transform the lives and enhance the education
of children in Houston through the power of music.
What we aim to achieve
We partner with schools in Houston to bring research-based music education to support the development of young children in underserved communities.
How we operate
Believing music is a birthright for all children
Spreading peace, love, and joy
Making a measurable impact
Fostering collaborative relationships
Building inclusive communities
Sparking a thirst for life-long learning
Our dynamic, high-impact program utilizes Music Together®, a research-based music and movement program, to advance the cognitive, academic, and musical development of children at home, in schools, and in communities.
Weekly Music Classes
Each week, one of our early childhood music specialists visit a classroom where they lead students and their teachers in developmentally appropriate musical activities that support children's academic and musical development. These musical activities support learning domains defined by the TEA Texas Pre-K and Kindergarten Guidelines: Social and Emotional Development, Language and Communication, Emergent Literacy, Numeracy, and Physical Development. Our early childhood music specialists interact and bond with the students in a joyful, relaxed atmosphere, supporting the student's musical growth and overall development through active music-making.
An important part of our program is the professional development workshops provided to the classroom teachers each year. Classroom teachers are introduced to the program and shown how to utilize the Music Together curriculum and integrate music into their daily classroom settings. Our goal is to deepen teachers' understanding of how music supports cognitive development, language development, pre-literacy skills, and emerging numeracy. We instruct teachers in research-based approaches for teaching phonemic awareness and other literacy practices and provide them with music-based teaching tools to support numeracy, literacy, and social-emotional development.
We help facilitate parents' engagement in their children's development by providing them with parent education workshops. We've found that when parents and caregivers are given the tools to engage musically with their children, they'll use them—especially when they discover that they are helping their children become confident music-makers and supporting their overall growth. By promoting musical parent-child interactions, we support positive parenting practices that support family bonding and emotional development. Parent education workshops are crucial for increasing family engagement, strengthening the school-home connection, and reinforcing the beneficial impacts of music in the children's lives.
Our Community Partnerships with the Houston Symphony, Apollo Chamber Players, and Mercury Chamber Orchestra provide the students and families with access to some of Houston's leading performing arts organizations. The musicians visit each classroom, bringing their instrument to make music with the students. The musicians are a source of inspiration as they share their passion for music with the students. The year ends with a Family Engagement Concert at each school, led by musicians from our partnering organizations, where children, parents, and teachers are invited to sing and make music with these world-class musicians.
Who We Serve
We currently bring music to over 1,600 pre-kindergarten students in 8 schools in Houston:
We also bring weekly music to foster children and caregivers at Casa de Esperanza de Los Niños. In our partnership with Collaborative for Children and Neuhaus Education Center, each of our organizations is sharing expertise in order to provide the best education to an additional 1,200 students.
Why We Serve
Music Supports All Learning
Music education benefits early learners: infants recognize melodies before they understand words; strong connections exist between rhythm skills and pre-reading abilities in toddlers; song repetition encourages word usage and memorization.
Through studying the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and early childhood learning, Music Together authors Kenneth K. Guilmarten and Lili Levinowitz, Ph.D, created a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on how the brain processes and organizes musical material, how children learn, and how the surrounding environment can support this learning (Hoffman).
Cognitive Development & Problem Solving Skills
Physical Development & Coordination Skills
Language Acquisition &
Preschoolers participating in the Music Together program made significantly greater gains in cognitive, language and physical development than did preschoolers who did not participate in the program.
Music Together program models are designed to support children in achieving basic music competence—the ability to “speak” the language of music. In addition, Music Together activities support children’s development in the following domains:
Music Learning and Development
Language Development and Emergent Literacy
Social and Emotional Development
Cognition and General Knowledge
Physical and Motor Development
Approaches to Learning
Despite the known benefits of music education, music programs do not exist today in most of our preschools and day care centers.
Children of low-income families unable to pay for out-of-school-time lessons, start 1st grade already at a disadvantage due to a limited exposure to experiences that stimulate cognitive, social, physical and educational development.
1 in 8 low-income 8th graders complete a postsecondary credential
40% of third graders were reading at "Meets Grade Level" in 2018
By age 3, children from low-income families hear 30 million fewer words than children from high-income families
47% of students in Harris County were considered "Kindergarten Ready" in 2018
Up to 90% of brain development occurs by age 5