In Harmony Music: The Beat Goes On

Benicia’s In Harmony Music goes above and beyond to create more opportunities for students.

In Harmony Music provides local youth music programs for children aged 0-8, with parent or guardian participation highly encouraged—it’s a family affair! Since the business has been around since 2003, founder Justine Chadly has accumulated some dedicated participants. After several longtime students surpassed the target age demographic and still wanted to continue on, she’s gotten creative in order to keep their journeys going.

“These 3 stuck with us, and they’re almost 10 now,” Chadly says.

They didn’t want to go, so we started doing more and more with them. We’ve been doing a private ukulele class and they’re just so advanced; they’re just rocking it; really loving it. They’ll perform with us at the Lucca Beer Garden sometimes. And I thought, ‘how sweet would it be to be featured on our next round of albums?’”

Chadly and partner Tom Foote record their own albums every season. Their most recent creation, which dropped on March 29th, incorporates these older students. 

“There’s something so sweet about their voices,” Chadly says. “In various countries, it’s this treasured asset to have children’s music passed down generation to generation sung by children. Kids respond to kids’ voices. Everyone’s really enjoying the experience so far.”

The five songs, which include familiar titles like Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Frere Jaques, are what Chadly would describe as classics with a modern, present-day twist. “These versions support mental health along with social and emotional learning,” she says. “There’s purpose behind recording these songs.”

Not only have these songs been played by existing fans of In Harmony Music, but they’re being used in school settings far and wide, too. 

“Tom has a lot of East Coast schools that he works for,” says Chadly. “We’re sending them to some of the teachers to use. The songs have very approachable harmony parts, which makes it easy for teachers who don’t necessarily feel confident teaching music.”

As students continue to “age out,” they can rest assured that Chadly will continue to have a special place for them on these albums.

“We’ll definitely be including more and more of our students as they become age-appropriate,” she shares. “It’s just the most joyful part of what we do. It’s so important and fun to highlight their voices, energy, and hearts.”

Going even further to include kids and families of all ages, Chadly has arranged a day at the ballpark to showcase more voices for baseball and local music fans alike—and I don’t mean at Fitzgerald Field.

On Thursday, June 27th, In Harmony Music will be performing the National Anthem at AT&T Park’s San Francisco Giants vs. Chicago Cubs game.

As In Harmony Music has several locations around the Bay Area other than Benicia, a few hundred families are expected to perform—though tons of familiar faces will be coming from our small town.

“Many, if not most, are from Benicia,” Chadly says. “We have a studio in San Francisco, but there’s something about Benicia. We’re community oriented and bonded and tight. It’s really interesting to see. The teachers are going to be there, some of my alum in middle school and high school will be there to sing with the kids, and of course some of the parents of the kids, too. There’s something really sweet about it.”

Continuing in that thread of community, Chadly’s In Harmony Foundation covers music programs for those who have experienced tragic loss. She was inspired to do so after losing her own son tragically to gun violence in 2018. This time around, a child who has benefitted from the program will perform as part of the Giants game group.

“There’s been 2-3 benicia teens unfortunately that have been murdered in the last couple of years,” she shares. “Another Benicia family had an older son who was murdered and he was a huge San Francisco Giants fan. His younger brother is in our classes and music is part of his and his family’s healing journey. Their participation has been funded by the In Harmony Foundation. For him to be able to sing on the field—since his brother who was the biggest Giants fan is no longer here—is huge.”

If you’d like to access In Harmony Music’s CDs, they’re streaming on all platforms like Spotify and iTunes.

You can learn more and access links to their songs at inharmonymusic.com. Furthermore, the baseball event is a fundraiser with $3 of every ticket purchased going toward In Harmony Foundation. Find the link to purchase your tickets and have this monetary donation count at inharmonymusic.com/giantsgame.html.