Mandarins Music Academy

Elementary School Music Programs


At the Mandarins, our core belief is that music education contributes greatly to the mental and social development of children. The mission of the Mandarins Music Academy is to “Give the Gift of Music” to as many children as possible in an equitable way.  Music education and performance provide an emotional outlet of expression for the children that are needed more than ever.

The Mandarins Music Academy began in 2016. While many were advocating for music education at the state and federal level, the Mandarins took a more grass roots, entrepreneurial approach. Just start up band programs and help them grow. So we began with one cute little elementary school program with 11 students at Ehrhardt Elementary School in the Elk Grove Unified School District. The program doubled in the number of schools and children served every year… until COVID hit. We are pleased to reach an agreement with Elk Grove Unified School District to support band programs at all 42 elementary schools beginning in 2022. This program is anticipated to provide music education to over 1,100 students (100 times more students than when we began!)

Mandarins Music Academy (MMA) Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Mandarins Music Academy?

A: The Mandarins Music Academy is a program within the Sacramento Mandarins. The program offers instrumental band classes at each of the Elk Grove Unified School Districts 42 elementary schools. This program will provide the students with an introduction to musical performance that they continue on through middle school, high school and beyond.

Q; Who are the Mandarins?

A: The Mandarins of Sacramento is an almost 60 year-old established non-profit organization whose mission is to Transform Lives Through Performing Arts. They achieve their mission through the MMA, Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps and many other programs.

Q: Why should a student participate in the MMA?

A: Numerous studies have shown that students benefit greatly from music education early in their lives. Music students achieve higher test scores, have better attendance, have a social grouping in school, some have even said that music helps to shape the young brain (reference: Einstein).  Not only does music enrich the students’ lives, it also provides great social and academic benefits. And music is fun!

Q: Is there a cost to participate in the MMA?

A: There is no cost to parents for participating in the MMA. EGUSD will cover all tuition costs. The only possible cost is if the student loses or damages the instrument. Then the parents will be responsible for repair or replacement of the instrument.

Q: How do we apply for the MMA?

A: A very simple application is online here.

Q: How many students are allowed from each school?

A: Each school has an allotment of students that can participate in the program. The class size will range from 25 to 35 students per school.

Q: What instruments can be played in the band program

A: Flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion kit (xylophone and drum pad).

Q: Who will provide the instruments?

A: Flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and percussion kits will be provided for students by the MMA.  The only instrument that we cannot provide is alto saxophone because of the high cost.  Students are welcome to learn saxophone but will need to rent or buy the instrument on their own. Our instruments are provided by KHS maker of Jupiter, Mapex and Majestic instruments.  We want to make sure students have high quality instruments to ensure that practice is efficient and fun!

Q: The student is a beginner to music and doesn’t know which instrument to choose. How can we select an instrument

A: The selection of an instrument is a personal choice for the student and depends a lot on what kind of sounds the student enjoys listening to. There is a great video introduction here that can help the students understand and hear the different instruments.

Q: Who are the teachers?

A: The MMA Music Directors are all expert musicians who have a love for music. They are all trained through the Mandarins Music Academy and are employees of the Mandarins. They have all undergone fingerprint background verification, TB testing and have been trained in harassment prevention and mandatory reporting.

Q: What COVID precautions will be taken?

A: The MMA will adhere to the COVID requirements of EGUSD. At the present time that means that instruments will be required to have bell covers. All MMA Music Directors will either be fully vaccinated or will have negative COVID test results once per week.

Q: Where will the MMA band classes take place?

A: The MMA band classes will be held at the school facility. Typically the class will meet in the multipurpose room, library or vacant classroom.

Q: When are the classes held?

A: The classes will be held twice per week either before or after their regular school day.

Q: Will there be any concerts?

A: Yes, we anticipate one concert per semester (approximately December and May). The concerts are free and open to family members and friends.  Make sure you applaud and take the kids for ice cream afterward!

Q: What facilities are needed for the band classes?

A: The class will need access to a multipurpose room, library or vacant classroom.  There will also be a need for a storage closet to hold the music stands and any instruments that the students choose not to take home.

Q: Will the students have homework?

A: Yes! Individual practice at home is highly encouraged. Rehearsal time is very limited in class. Students will excel through practice on their own.

Q: If I have more questions, whom should I contact?

A: Please email us at

Every student receives a Mandarins Music Academy t-shirt that they can wear for rehearsals or as a performance uniform.

The class is taught by a Mandarins Music Academy Music Director. They are responsible for teaching two one-hour sessions per week either before or after school. The Music Director is supported by our Music Advisors. These MA’s have an average of 30 years experience teaching in the classroom. They provide feedback and coaching on how the music directors can increase their effectiveness in the classroom.

MMA Music Director Positions Available

The Mandarins Music Academy is actively recruiting Music Directors to teach these elementary school programs. We are seeking music educators and musicians who are interested in a rewarding job giving the gift of music to the next generation of musicians.

View / download the flyer here.

Apply online with the MMA Music Director Application Form here.

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