BRAVO Education & Community Programs


The Ojai Music Festival’s BRAVO Music Education Program enriches the lives and learning of the children in the Ojai Valley through the gift of music.

For over 30 years, BRAVO has been enhancing the existing public school music curriculum by offering interdisciplinary music lessons. Our goal is to help make music an integral, enjoyable, and exciting part of the everyday learning process while providing critical music education opportunities for Ojai Valley students.

BRAVO believes that a robust music education is vitally important for all students. Through BRAVO programs, students learn the fundamentals of music making, engage in creative problem solving, develop teamwork skills, and discover how music relates to their other core curriculum, especially language arts, history, geography, and math. The BRAVO program enriches students’ foundational skills for academic and personal success.

At the core of the BRAVO program is its artist residencies. These multi-unit programs encourage musicians and teachers to work cooperatively to promote meaningful learning through reinforcement and mentoring. Artists residencies include:

This series of workshops conducted by musician and BRAVO! coordinator Andy Radford focuses on basic concepts of music such as pitch and instrument tone, and how these concepts apply to everyday life.

Chumash Culture

Local Chumash tribal elder Julie Tumamait shares the history of the Native American population that lived in the Ojai Valley through music, story and movement.

Flutes Across The World
In this residency music program, each student makes and learns to play two traditional style flutes – one to keep and one to give away to a child in need. John Zeretzke, creator of this United Nations Award-winning program, takes the flutes on a humanitarian mission to conflict-ridden countries of the world. Geography, history, music, language arts, and the study of other cultures are all part of this international program, started here in Ojai and with the Ojai Music Festival. For more information, please visit the Flutes Across The World Website >>

Musicians Meeting Musicians
Professional area musicians teach skills clinics for junior high and high school musicians, imparting musical techniques as well as career advice and mentoring.

Ojai Creates Opera
This new residency brings mezzo-soprano Rebecca Comerford, formerly of the Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York and the Memphis Opera, to explore the operatic art form with fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students. Students will become familiar with opera and collaborate to create a performance of their own, encouraging interdisciplinary learning opportunities for classical music to be explored through history, foreign language, drama, philosophy, and performance practices.

Rhythm and Songs Around The World
Conducted by world-renowned percussionist and music therapist Judith Piazza, this interactive program teaches students folk songs and rhythms from throughout history and the world. During these one-hour workshops, students sing, dance and play percussion instruments, participating in collaborative music making and learning valuable teamwork skills.

Education Through Music (ETM) integrates vocal music lessons with critical thinking games to teach the fundamentals of pitch and rhythm. Through weekly music workshops, ETM improves students’ pattern recognition, social skills, and teamwork abilities. ETM is offered to every K-3 student in the Ojai Valley, including selected special-needs classes. The program ensures that young students continue to have access to music education by replacing the once-standard music classes that have since disappeared from public school curricula.

BRAVO’s Music Van brings instruments from all orchestral families to third grade classrooms throughout Ojai and two Ventura schools for hands-on demonstrations and exploration. Staffed by dedicated Festival volunteers and Women’s Committee members, the Music Van is timed to grant students the opportunity to try instruments before signing up for the district band program. The Music Van is made possible by the Santa Barbara Symphony Music Education Center.

Every year, the IMAGINE concert introduces young students to peer and professional musicians, and to give musicians of different ages the opportunity to make music together.

BRAVO’s new Upbeat program brings music education to an additional segment of the Ojai Community – residents of continuing care and assisted living facilities. Through these interactive percussion workshops, BRAVO! gives residents the opportunity to take part in collaborative music making and musical expression, encouraging physical movement and exercise of motor skills.

The Festival’s BRAVO music education program is made possible by many generous donors and welcomes your support. For more information on BRAVO, please contact the Festival office at 805 646 2094 or

Special thanks to the CA Arts Council for their support of BRAVO!’s Artist Residencies





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