Music Program for First Generation Latinx Youth

Enriching Lives through Music (ELM) provides youth with an immersive music education and resources that inspire and empower them to pursue their dreams.

We believe that access to mastery in the arts is a right not a privilege and that talent is equally distributed but opportunity is not. ELM is committed to addressing this inequity.

ELM began in 2008 when Executive Director, Jane Kramer Ph.D. purchased 15 soprano recorders, identified elementary school children from the Canal neighborhood (an economically vulnerable community) in San Rafael, and committed to teaching the students twice a week. This humble beginning set the stage for what has developed into a vibrant, sustainable school of music that has been changing the lives of children for over 10 years.

Today ELM serves 150+ primarily Latinx children ages 7-18 who live in the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael, an area of socio-economic disadvantage in one of the richest counties in the country. ELM provides an intensive instrumental, orchestral music program 10 hours per week year-round. Unlike peers from wealthier neighborhoods, children who live in the Canal lack access to instrumental music because there are no school based instrumental music programs for elementary school age children in the community. We address the inequitable access to high quality music education by providing a full scholarship to every student in our program for their entire childhood. The only prerequisite for joining ELM is a desire to participate.

There are no other organizations in our community that commit to students with the level of intensity and duration that ELM does.

ELM’s intensive music programming coupled with a focus on academic achievement, family engagement and social/emotional well-being provide students with opportunities to develop discipline, increased self-esteem and leadership skills, all needed to succeed in life.

Funded by Marin, CA (November 2021)