News & Announcements

16 Sep 2016

A message from Chad Cooper, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music’s new Executive Director

Dear BKCM Students, Families, and Community Members,

Have you ever found something so wonderful you wanted to shout about it from the rafters? Well, that’s what’s happening for me. Every day at BKCM brings discoveries of the remarkable reach and impact of this organization.

After serving two years on BKCM’s Board of Trustees, including one as Treasurer, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve joined this incredible organization as Executive Director.

I live in this neighborhood, have two young kids who take classes here, and am a student here, myself. My new role with BKCM brings together many things I hold dear – my community, the Conservatory, and my own life-changing experiences with music.

At the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music we are proud to accompany students on their musical journeys, and I personally feel honored to be a part of that experience with you.

So let’s get started!

A few observations about BKCM, and an invitation.
Reading time: Approximately 2.5 minutes 🙂

1. I bet there’s a lot you’d be surprised to learn about BKCM.

I thought I had a pretty good handle on the great things that go on here. Not even close. Let’s just say that this is not the kind of information that ought to be kept secret. For example:

  • BKCM provides music instruction and therapy to more than 7,000 kids, many of whom live in poverty or have special needs and would otherwise have no access to music programming.
  • Through our Music Partners and Music Therapy programs, BKCM provides music instruction and therapy in more than 60 public schools, youth, community and senior centers around NYC.
  • Our Community Music School offers more than 25 group classes and chamber groups and was recognized by Time Out this year as “one of the top six institutions for taking music lessons in New York City.”
  • BKCM’s renowned Suzuki program is now in its 10th year and has expanded to include violin, piano, guitar, cello and bass.
  • You could spend your whole musical life growing and learning with the BKCM, from infancy and childhood through the span of adulthood and retirement. In fact, we have six month olds in our early childhood programs and a Music Therapy participant who’s 104.
  • BKCM sponsors over 200 performances, concerts, and recitals every year, 75% of which are free!

2. Our staff of nearly 200 music instructors, music therapists, program directors, and administrators are talented and devoted beyond words.

Still, I’ll try a few: passionate, dedicated, embracing, innovative, renowned, up-and-coming, empathetic, experienced. They are performers, storytellers, enablers, nurturers, and guides. Every day this organization challenges itself to expand its reach to more schools in more neighborhoods — to touch and transform more lives through music education. Our staff and faculty give life to this mission through their tireless commitment to and love of music education.

3. New things are happening here.

If you haven’t visited recently, come by! You’ll notice a few changes. Some are of the nuts and bolts variety — light fixtures fixed! Others are heartwarming — pictures of your kids now adorn the walls.

Our building is a work in progress, to be sure. We invite you to bring your imagination, your talent, your creative ideas, and your generously donated in-kind professional goods and services 🙂 to infuse new life into it. We want our building to reflect the creativity that percolates here and in the community that we are so lucky to call home.

4. Our students grow… and change the world.

When I mention the BKCM, people often regale me with stories of how they and their kids took classes here. Naturally, I am curious to know how people’s experiences have been, and what they are doing now. Here’s a sample of what our alums do:

  • They grow in self-confidence
  • They go to high schools of the performing arts
  • They go to college
  • They develop skills for lifelong success like focus, creativity, empathy and emotional resilience
  • They learn ways of self-expression that allow them to form new connections with people
  • They compose music scores
  • They start their own music schools
  • They continue the tradition of music education with their own children

5. Music education is a journey.

Each journey differs by the individual. Music education has enriched my life in countless ways, and I intend to continue that journey at the BKCM: As I mentioned, I’m an employee, a parent and student here myself (Guitar Legends group class and Beginning Piano private class).

Finally, my invitation to you:

Whether you’ve been deeply involved in BKCM or wondered what happens inside that building at 7th Ave & Lincoln Place, we invite you to come in. Come in and see what’s going on. Stop by any time. Come introduce yourself to me. Let’s figure something out together.


Chad Cooper