Mind Over Music

A STEAM Initiative: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math 

Mind Over Music is a professional development model in which teachers are trained to integrate music into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) concepts. Incorporating both live and digital music, teachers will be empowered to deliver content that is academically rigorous, developmentally appropriate and rich in opportunities for students to create, perform and respond in and through music. While Mind Over Music is a teacher-training model, students benefit from experiential hands-on music activities woven into STEAM lessons, increasing opportunities to explore and understand music skills and concepts and how they connect to other content areas. Performance opportunities for students will also be enhanced through concerts with Symphony musicians, classroom-centered music performances and conductor and musician-led master classes. Students, parents and faculty will also be provided with free admission to all Symphony for the Schools concerts and targeted main stage concerts throughout the year.

Mind Over Music in Practice
To learn more about what happens in a Mind Over Music classroom, view a lesson plan. 

Why The Need For Music Integration?
National studies show that music can boost student achievement in all subjects, and yet, according to the Arizona Department of Education’s 2010 Arts Education Census:

  • 50% of Arizona schools have NO budget for arts education curriculum support, the majority of which are located in higher poverty districts;
  • 79% of Arizona schools spend less than $1 per student per YEAR – or less than half a penny per day on the arts; and
  • 134,203 students (or 13% of the student population) attend Arizona schools each day without access to music or visual art.
In light of this data, The Phoenix Symphony made the decision to expand its current educational programming to provide a curriculum-based program that would yield quantitative data supporting the importance of music as a core component of the curriculum. Through Mind Over Music, the Symphony is taking a leadership role in strengthening music education in Arizona schools, establishing the power of music as an effective instructional tool for learning STEAM concepts and investing in rigorous scientific evaluation to provide data for stakeholders, policymakers and the general public documenting the importance of music as a needed and prominent component of the core curriculum.

Goals of Mind Over Music

  • Goal 1:  Increase teacher knowledge, instructional planning and practice and assessment in music and music-integrated strategies to support STEM concepts. 
  • Goal 2:  Impact student achievement across the music and STEM curriculum.
  • Goal 3:  Empower music specialists to maintain the integrity of music content within integrated lessons and units.
  • Goal 4:  Sustain collaboration among teaching faculty, Symphony musicians and education staff to support music integration in the classroom.  

School Partner
ASU Preparatory Academy, a free public charter school managed by University Public Schools and working in affiliation with ASU and Phoenix Elementary School District, was selected to pilot Mind Over Music. With ASU Preparatory Academy’s involvement, the Symphony intends to carefully construct a model that can eventually be replicated in schools across the state. For more infoamation on ASU Prep, please visit their website.

Measurable Results
As a three-year model, Mind Over Music will utilize an independent, external evaluator to implement a quasi-experimental design with internal treatment and control groups.  The program evaluation plan addresses both teacher and student impact, with instruments measuring growth in music knowledge, understanding and retention of STEAM concepts, and teacher process and practice.  

For more information, contact the Education and Community Engagement department at education@phoenixsymphony.org or (602) 452-0470.



The Phoenix Symphony proudly recognizes the title sponsor of Mind Over Music


The Phoenix Symphony wishes to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of Mind Over Music:

  • Ameriprise Financial
  • The Boeing Company
  • Cox Communications
  • Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation
  • J. W. Kieckhefer Foundation
  • Kinder Morgan Foundation
  • Margaret T. Morris Foundation
  • Virginia M. Ullman Foundation