East Bay Community Music Project

Music Is Community!

About

The East Bay Community Music Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, promotes community through music-making for people of all ages, cultural backgrounds, abilities, and economic status. We believe that music- making is as intrinsic to the human experience as language, preparing food and nurturing children. With this in mind we create and facilitate events, gatherings and classes that empower individuals and groups to make music that expresses their feelings, challenges their bodies and minds and engages them with their community.

East Bay Community Music Project events are a chance to make music with your peers, your elders, the youth of your community, experienced musicians and those that will learn from you. We make music with our bodies, our voices, with instruments that you bring with you and instruments that are on-site. Familiar sing-alongs and poetry created on-the-spot, just for the occasion. Activities are facilitated by experienced teachers and by members of the community who are inspired to share. There is a road map, and also lots of room for spontaneity, improvisation, and the unexpected. Not a music class, but there is an educational element for those that want to learn. The emphasis is on mutuality, the community bonds that grow from collective music-making, and fun.

The East Bay Community Music Project welcomes your participation in planning events, leading musical activities, fundraising, promotion, and community-building. Get involved!

Ryk Groetchen, director

Ryk Groetchen is a multi-instrumentalist (voice, flute, guitar, bass), composer and lifelong music lover. He has always had a strong desire to contribute in some way to musical culture. His performance experience includes rock bands, free improvisation ensembles, jazz big-band, vocal ensembles and multi-media/spoken word performance groups. He has participated in a variety of community art- and music-making activities with young children, middle- and high-school students and adults.

Ryk is a perpetual student, committed to continuing his own music and movement education while sharing his understanding and his learning process with the community. In January 2004, Ryk was awarded Certification Level I by the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, NJ., having demonstrated outstanding achievement in teaching, musicianship, program philosophy and parent education. He has completed Orff Schulwerk Certification Levels I and II. He has been teaching early childhood music classes with East Bay Music Together since 2002. He started the East Bay Community Music Project in 2012.

Erika Englund, creative team

Erika Englund has worked in public education for the past 14 years as an elementary and middle school classroom teacher. Currently she is a transitional kindergarten teacher in the English/Spanish Two-Way-Immersion program at LeConte Elementary School in Berkeley. She has been making music and singing since receiving a guitar at age 19 and has studied many forms of dance including Latin, Tango, and West African. She frequently composes and records bilingual music for children and loves singing and making music with her students and her family. Erika lives in Berkeley with her husband and children. Erika has served on the EBCMP board since 2014.

Molly Skuse, creative team

Molly Skuse is the Owner/Director of Berkeley Urban Garden School, a progressive preschool/arts enrichment program in Berkeley. She has worked as a faculty member at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley and, prior to moving to the Bay Area, was a long time faculty member at Church Street School for Music and Art in NYC. An accomplished vocalist and composer, Molly has performed throughout the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions. She has presented concerts of her own compositions with grant support from Meet the Composer and is a two time recipient of Brooklyn Arts Council regrant awards. Her compositions and arrangements have been recorded on numerous independent releases and she has been commissioned to compose for dance and theater. Regional appearances have included Fox Little Theater, La Pena Cultural Center, The Jazzschool, and San Jose Jazz Festival among others.