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Jon's School of Music

December 13, 2012

Jon's School of MusicFrom time to time we feature music programs for very young children. One school to consider is Jon’s School of Music (, which you can find more about through the Berkeley Parent’s Network. Classes are held in Berkeley and in San Francisco. Berkeley has 97 students; San Francsico, 20. Kids as young as 10 months have been enrolled, but most start at one. Older classes for ages 5-7 are available.

Jon Merker is the director/teacher. He was a UC Berkeley music major. Has been in the business for 17 years, first with a franchise called Music Time, which stopped in 2003. Merker has been on his own for the last 9 years. “I’m fun and silly, and entertaining,” he told us. “But at the same time I take music very seriously. My goal is always to open up music worlds and to encourage a child’s music brain. I also teach absolute pitch.”

Children have the opportunity to write music as well as work with all kinds of high quality instruments, including keyboards to understand the basics of scales. Eight kids to a class. The one requirement is that parents be willing to go along with an Oral Exploration Policy, which is to discourage putting fingers in the mouth and otherwise spreading germs and conceivably damaging instruments.

Class prices range from $17 for little kids to $20 for older. Call Jon for more information: (415) 971 – 5435. Or email: [email protected] San Francisco Location: 4150 Balboa at 43rd; Berkeley Location: 1790 Shattuck Ave. (between Delaware and Francisco).

Mark MacNamara, a writer and journalist based in Asheville, North Carolina, has written for such publications as NautilusSalonThe Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Vanity Fair. From time to time, his pieces in San Francisco Classical Voice also appear in  Noteworthy examples include a piece about Philip Glass’s dream to build a cultural center on the Pacific Coast; a profile of sound composer Pamela Z and an essay on the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. MacNamara recently won several awards in the 2018 Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards presented by the San Francisco Press Club.  His website is