Luther Burbank Center for the Arts on how children benefit from music and theater

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Did you or someone you love play music or perform in theater as a child?

If so, you know first hand about how music and the performing arts enrich the lives of children. It helps with their education and builds self-esteem.

However, some students, schools and families don’t have the means to participate in high-quality arts programs. For students and teachers in this situation, there are programs in the community that are here to help.


Before we discuss the programs offered, here are just a few of the things we know about the positive impacts of art and music in the classroom. Music, performing arts and visual arts can:

  • Contribute to higher test scores. Researchers are now linking involvement in the arts to better child development and higher student achievement.
  • Help build self-esteem. Participation in the arts allows them to grow their self-confidence, developing poise and learning to overcome anxieties.
  • Help children understand the multicultural world.
  • Help teach self-reliance and collaboration with others in order to reach a goal.

Art in the classroom is of huge importance in a child’s life, and Luther Burbank Center for the Arts is here for the North Bay community to provide all of the resources a school could need to achieve this.

The center’s Education Through the Arts programs are committed to offering teachers and students a variety of programs that support Common Core standards using the arts. The LBC uses the arts to teach core subject matter and enhance understanding and learning. It provides learning experiences that lead to greater academic achievement and the development of self-assurance, creativity and communication skills.

Education Through the Arts provides accessibility for all children, with more than half the students coming from low-to-moderate income families. This program serves Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, Marin and Napa counties.

Studies show the arts encourage creativity, build community, and improve test scores. LBC’s distinguished education programs serve each and every grade level, while tying into curriculum and meeting Common Core Standards.


Music for Schools works directly with schools to loan more than 400 instruments each year to students who could not otherwise afford to play in their school’s band or orchestra program.

School Shows performed at the LBC target grades pre-K to 12 and offer free online resources to prepare students for their trip to the theater. New this year, teachers can extend their field trips to the LBC with the Art Talks program offering free guided tours of the outdoor sculpture garden.

As part of the esteemed Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program, the LBC’s Professional Development: Arts Integration Tools for Teachers offers dynamic workshops throughout the year held at the Sonoma County Office of Education during the school day, helping teachers incorporate the arts into their classroom teaching.


Here are some of the ways LBC’s programs are making a difference in our community:

More than 400 musical instruments are loaned to local students through the Music for Schools library to enable them to participate in their school’s band or orchestra programs each year.

Each summer, 150 low-income youth engage in creative self-expression and forge positive connections with their peers, families and cultural heritage through One City Arts and Mariachi Camps.

Over 15,000 free and reduced-price tickets are issued to low-income students, ensuring that they can attend performances along with the rest of their classmates. For many, it is their first time in a theater.

Dozens of teachers in Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, Napa and Marin counties integrate the arts into their classrooms, strengthening the learning of core subjects like math, science and literature.

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