Enriching Lives through Music


ELM is a tuition-free youth music program for primarily first-generation Latinx students from the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael that promotes social change through the ambitious pursuit of musical excellence. While music excellence will always be at the heart of ELM, we recognize the importance of creating additional pillars to support our students’ growth, success, and opportunities. These additional pillars include: Academic Achievement, Social and Emotional Well Being, and Family and Community Engagement. By supporting our students in these three additional areas, we will be in an excellent position to fulfill our promise to our students, the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

Age Groups Served
  • Elementary School
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Parent and Caregiver Engagement
Geographical Area Served
  • City of San Rafael
  • County Marin
  • State of California
Services Offered
  • Academic Support
  • After School Academic and Enrichment
  • College and Career Access and Success
  • Family Engagement
  • Mentoring
  • Music Education
  • Out-of-Classroom Experiences
  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Student and Family well-being
  • Summer programs
  • Tutoring
ELM's core values are: • That the values of inclusiveness, equity, and opportunity extend to our entire ELM community: students, families, teaching artists, staff, and volunteers. • 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. • That participation in collaborative community in which student voice and authentic relationships are valued is key to promoting self-confidence and esteem. • That every child is a valuable member of our ensembles and that our students deserve the best musical training and mentors possible. • That while providing a high quality music education remains our primary activity, we are committed to supporting the social, emotional, and academic well-being of our students. • That providing opportunities for meaningful parental engagement in the ELM community is key to ensuring their children’s long term success and well-being.
While we are primarily a music program, our goals and measures of success extend well beyond musical ones. The four pillars of our work include: Musical Excellence, Social and Emotional Well Being, Parent and Family Engagement, and Academic Success. Our desired outcomes for each pillar of our work are: Music Excellence: We closely monitor each student’s musical growth relative to his/her level and instrument. Some features that we focus on include growth in tone quality and intonation, instrument specific technique (bowing, articulation, hand position); listening skills, ensemble skills, as well as knowledge about musicianship and theory. Social and Emotional: We will assess basic social and emotional skills - including level of participation and engagement, self-regulation and discipline, sense of mastery, self-confidence and self-esteem. Parent Engagement: We measure level and quality of family engagement – an important indicator of student success. Academic Success: We will be measuring growth in 3rd grade literacy/reading skills, 8th grade math skills, and college preparedness (alignment with requirements to graduate from high school prepared to apply to a 4 year college). ELM’s ultimate goal is that students complete the ELM program as musicians, scholars, and leaders who are prepared to thrive and contribute to their community.

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