Mind Meets Music
Mind Meets Music’s Founder and Executive Director, Monique Salinas, PhD, has dedicated her professional life to serving vulnerable children. During her tenure as Founder and Executive Director of the Girls Choral Academy, she took a group of urban choir members to a performance followed by a pool party donated by a local hotel. Dr. Salinas was deeply affected as these children struggled writing thank you notes in appreciation. Understanding the lifelong disadvantages resulting from such limited literacy skills at such an early age, Dr. Salinas felt strongly compelled to address this serious issue facing these and countless other children. Monique began independent investigation and research into the connection between music and educational success. The result was a revolutionary curriculum she called Mind Meets Music.
Starting with just 20 students in an afterschool program, Mind Meets Music uses music and purposeful movement as interventions to increase pre-school through second grade literacy and academic achievement. The curriculum is based on a Hungarian music methodology, Kodály, as well as Dalcroze, a Swiss movement methodology.
Since becoming an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in July 2013, Mind Meets Music continues to thrive in the West Michigan area. In 2014, Mind Meets Music partnered with the U. S. Department of Education, winning a competitive four-year grant to help increase the program’s scope and efficacy. In 2015, Mind Meets Music began its kindergarten readiness initiative and currently partners with Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative and Kent County Head Start. In 2016, Mind Meets Music was awarded the WOOD TV8 Connecting with Community Award. Currently, Mind Meets Music is embarking on a Community Enrichment Initiative to further enhance its diversity, equity, and inclusion work within the West Michigan community. In November 2017, Mind Meets Music was awarded as a Rising Star by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber at the 2017 Diversity Visionary Awards. Given the quality of content comprising the program curriculum, as well as its record of success, Mind Meets Music is changing the landscape of early education.