Social Emotional Learning & Music


  • School Climate Matters

    The integration of Social and Emotional Skills lays the foundation of a positive school's climate.

    The Astronauts Improves School Climate

    For Students, Teachers, Administrators, Mental Health Support Staff, and Parents

    Through Social Emotional Learning Train-the-Trainer program and paradigm shift, The Astronauts SEL program helps school communities to become vibrant and fertile for deep learning to take place. Contact Martín Blank today to set up an initial meeting.

    Schindler, 2016

    School Climate determines API

    (Academic Performance Index)

    The Alliance for the Study of School Climate (ASSC) claims that "the quality of the climate appears to be the single most predictive factor in any school’s capacity to promote student achievement."


    Beyond increasing student achievement, a positive school climate creates:

    • Higher morale among students and teachers
    • Reduced student drop out
    • Reduced Violence
    • Better relations with community
    • Increased institutional pride
  • Program Elements


    The Astronauts SEL program reaches all stakeholders in a school community: students, teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents; it is implemented with a comprehensive, unified strategy that utilizes current resources to create a cultural shift that can be assimilated intuitively into learning environments that are ready to take the next step.


    Student SEL Sessions

    Classes receive training in Social Emotional Skills.

    Sessions are based on the 5 core competencies outlined by the Collaborative for Academic and Social Emotional Learning (CASEL). Program cycles can be 12, 18, or 24 weeks, depending on school needs and program availability. Also available in two languages, sessions include CASEL's 5 core competencies:

    • Self-Awareness
    • Self-Management
    • Social Awareness
    • Relationship Skills
    • Responsible Decision Making
    • Creative Expression

    Train-the-Trainer Classroom Mindfulness Integration

    Teachers Trained to Lead 5-10 minute daily mindfulness practice means program is sustainable.

    Research shows that daily integration of a mindfulness routine in a classroom yields positive results for student behavior, learning, and class climate. The Astronauts create a sustainable, scalable program, owned by teachers and administrators to facilitate independence and cultural shift.

    Schoolwide Assemblies

    Supported by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation

    "Music is an excellent way to convey SEL through cultural enrichment. The Astronauts program brings professional musicians to schools to teach children and adults about the power of music and Social Emotional Learning. Assemblies can be held in English, Spanish, or both.


    Parent Courses

    Parent Involvement correlates with school climate and academic performance and success measures.

    The Astronauts program involves parents as primary members of the school community by offering courses for parents to learn the same SEL techniques their children are learning, to build closer relationship with the school staff, and to reduce stress. Available in Spanish, English, or both. Flyer.

    After School and Summer Programs

    Applying Social Emotional Skills Outside the Classroom

    The Astronauts offer programs to empower students in real life scenarios, outside of the class, in ways that can hone their interpersonal skills. After school programs are offered as part of a school's fabric. They provide a fun, safe space for students to learn to proactively handle life stressors in experiential ways. Summer camps are field-trip based (everyday a new trip) are a way for students to apply SEL principles while exploring and serving their communities, connecting with nature, imbibing culture, and making new friends.

  • Program Outcomes

    Based on Pre and Post Student, Teacher, and Administrator Assessments, the Astronauts SEL Program Implementation has many benefits. Here are 3

    Improved Behavior

    and Mental Health

    Results Matter

    In Collaboration with Stanford BeWell Program, The Astronauts assesses student mental health measures using BYI-2 before and after the program, including anger, anxiety, depression, disruptive behavior, and self-concept. Among other improvements, 93% of students report increased focus and energy after Astronauts program implementation.

    Improved Academic


    SEL Improves Academics

    When students feel safe and secure, not stressed and anxious, the parts of their brain responsible for executive functioning are most active. In a 2011 meta-study of over 271,000 students, SEL Programs showed to increase API by 11 percentile points. The Astronauts uses evidence based strategies presented in these program to achieve results that are at or above these levels of outcomes.

    Decreased Teacher Burnout

    SEL lets teachers do what they're best at: teach.

    The Astronauts SEL program measures teacher burnout before and after program implementation to assess its impact on teacher wellbeing, and as a consequence improving the quality of education for the students.

  • Astro-stats

    When EQ (emotional intelligence) goes Viral.


    Students taught by Lead Astronauts Instructor.


    teachers trained to date.

    90% of students

    show or report improved focus, energy, and emotional intelligence from techniques learned.


    Funding raised to bring SEL and Music Programs to Title 1 Schools.

  • The Astronauts

    Martin Blank

    Founder and Executive Director

    With a degree from UC Berkeley in Education and Sociology, a former 4th-grade teacher and professional musician and certified 200H yoga teacher, Martín Blank founded The Astronauts SEL Program with educators in mind. He has implemented and taught Social Emotional Learning (SEL), breathing and meditation programs for over 13,000 students, administrators, and teachers across North America. His work in teaching breathing and meditation to high-stress schools has been featured on PBS Nova's 2016 The Future of Schools. Martín enjoys sailing, laughing, and playing music. He lives in Redwood City, California.

    Fred Luskin, Ph.D.

    Research and Content Advisor

    Frederic Luskin, Ph.D. is the author of the best selling Forgive for Good and Forgive for Love and one of the world's leading researchers and teachers on the subject of forgiveness. He is the director of the Stanford Forgiveness Projects, a series of research projects that have validated his forgiveness methods. He is a Lecturer in Wellness at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Department Chair of Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He lives in Redwood City, California.

    Shani Robins, Ph.D.

    Director of Impact

    Shani Robins, Ph.D. pioneered the field of Wisdom Therapy TM in 1998. He is a licensed Psychologist and the founder and director of the Wisdom Therapy Institute. He is an instructor at Stanford University Medical School’s Health Improvement and BeWell Programs and the Director of Clinical Training at Sofia University (Institute of Trans-personal Psychology).He has published and has given numerous clinical workshops, on cognition, emotions, stress reduction, relationships, workplace effectiveness, coping, & emotional intelligence. Dr. Robins is excited to bring his expertise in Emotional Intelligence assessment to The Astronauts SEL Program.

    Jacob Savage

    Community Service Programs Coordinator

    Jacob Savage, founder of CONCRN, a 911-alternative emergency response organization that brings community compassionate response to mental health crises in San Francisco, is an professional Trumpeter. An integral member of various Bay Area bands, he brings his joy for youth to the schools, Jacob combines his passions for empathy and community building and music in Astronauts assemblies and community service programs. When he is not playing in assemblies, Jacob can be heard playing at many music clubs in SFBA, busking on the street, or dispatching emergency compassionate response volunteers.

    Daniel Lopez

    Relevance Consultant

    Daniel Lopez, 5th grader, brings to The Astronauts everything that makes it exciting. An Astronauts student in 4th grade, he struggled a lot with self-management and behavior in school. It was not uncommon for Daniel to be sent to the office by his teachers. After his participation in The Astronauts program, Daniel became a "Breathing Ambassador" and quickly moved up to his current role of Director of Relevance, making our programs fun and engaging for kids of all backgrounds.

  • Now Is the Time

    Times are changing. Get ahead of the curve by implementing "soft skills" training into your school's top priorities.

    World Economic Forum

    Jack Ma, Alibaba

    Jack Ma explains that knowledge-based education is a thing of the past, and is now being replaced by advancements in technology. The time has come, he says, for us to embrace 21st century skills like creativity, art, music, teamwork, and caring for each other.

  • What Educators and Parents Are Saying


    Redwood City, CA


    "The Astronauts bring an original approach to needed school and student support. The Astronauts and Hawes share the conviction that the Social Emotional needs of a child must be met before he/she can succeed in school, and indeed in life."



    Redwood City School District


    San Jose, CA


    "I would have students sent to my office for behavior referrals daily. After [Martín] worked with students, the referrals I received in third, fourth, and fifth grade reduced on average to once a week. Suspensions were also dramatically reduced from 11 in the prior year, to 7 during the year he worked at our school. I am extremely grateful for the tools he has taught our students because they are now able to use this free tool to calm themselves when needed." -



    San Jose, CA


    Palo Alto, CA


    "Mr. Blank has impressed me not only through his passion for teaching students and teachers to manage their emotions and stress levels, but to improve their lives through important socio-emotional skills acquisition."


    Professor of Psychology

    Stanford University



    Redwood City, CA


    "Mr. Blank has inspired a passion for learning, and most importantly, has helped students mature by teaching them important life skills like managing their stress and emotions."


    Signed by 29 parents from Redwood City School District

  • Our Curriculum

    The Astronauts curriculum is aligned with CASEL (Collaborative for Academic and Social Emotional Learning) 5 core competencies, and includes yoga, meditation, mindfulness, music education, social emotional skill development, and role-playing as its pedagogical delivery format. Its implementation can be customized to fit the needs of the multitude of communities it exists to serve.

    Partners & Support

    Silicon Valley Community Foundation

    Donor Circle for the Arts


    EQ Schools

    YCS - Youth Community Service

    Stanford BeWell Program

    California Jazz Conservatory

    Sequoia Health Care District

    Summit Public Schools


    The Astronauts SEL program serves

    schools in the greater

    San Francisco Bay Area.


    Mailing Address:

    The Astronauts

    1199 Johnson St

    Redwood City, CA 94061

    About Us

    The Astronauts SEL Program is a project of The Astronauts Organization, a nonprofit founded in 2010 to bring music to underserved communities. Since then, through a partnership with The California Jazz Conservatory and The Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The Astronauts Org. has provided 750 hours of volunteer musical performances to over 5,000 underserved individuals in the Bay Area. Visit www.theastronauts.org to learn more.

  • Connect With Us

    To learn more about how to bring The Astronauts SEL programs to your learning environment, please get in touch with us.


    We'd love to hear from you!