Music Partners

What is Music Partners?

5,400 students

20 Schools

8 Youth Centers

3 Senior Centers

Music Partners was created in 1988 in response to a critical need in the community — the rising number of New York City public schools offering no music instruction. It now serves 5,400 students off-site at 19 schools, 8 youth centers, and 3 senior centers in Brooklyn and Queens, making this program one of the Conservatory’s most successful initiatives and the largest off-site music program of any community school in New York City.

Music Partners brings weekly, intensive music instruction to students who otherwise would not have music as part of their day. Music Partners programs include recorder ensemble, music and movement, choir, string ensemble, and band. In recent years, the program has expanded to include teacher training, both to provide professional development to current Department of Education music teachers and to help develop new teachers and address the severe shortage of music teachers in the New York City public schools.




Pre-K through 2nd Grade

Explore the joy and variety of musical expression in these classes designed specifically for pre-K through 2nd Grade, based on the Orff Approach to music and movement and folk traditions from around the world. Children learn to work together and learn to work as an ensemble by singing songs, dancing and acting out stories. Students play games that develop rhythmic skills and group coordination, making rhythms with their bodies, playing a variety of percussion instruments, and improvising together.




Recorder Ensemble

For children ages 8 and up. During these classes, students learn the art of recorder playing along with related musical concepts, including staff notation, rhythm and note values, scales, and technique. Students also learn about ensemble playing using their individual strengths to benefit the larger group. Meaningful social and individual development are provided through the study of music, with students experiencing a sense of accomplishment through their ability to play an instrument as well as the aesthetic joy of appreciating music at a sophisticated level.








Students choose among the flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and percussion. Throughout the year, students learn note reading rhythmic skills, posture, breath support, ensemble, and style. Beginning students are separated into individual instrumental groups while they achieve a basic proficiency on their instrument. Later in the year, students form the larger concert band in preparation for the year-end performance.


String Orchestra

For ages 9 and up. Students learn the fundamentals of violin, viola, cello or bass technique, work on rhythm and note reading skills, and develop a sense of intonation, tone control, ensemble, and teamwork. Students perform at school assemblies and in “Strolling String” ensembles, and may participate in the District-wide FiddleFest sponsored and produced by the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.



Students sing, learning breath support, articulation, good vocal habits, part singing, and ensemble skills. Repertoire may include popular, jazz, and classical music.


West African Drumming

Students learn traditional West African rhythms on the Djembe and the Songba drums, as well as basic hand rhythms, drum etiquette, technique, form, and style.

Short Term Residencies and Coaching

“What is Jazz?”
A Lecture & Concert Series

Many times in an effort to teach about jazz, the educator forgets to point out how relevant it is to our culture and to other styles and genres. This unique program gives students a chance to learn about jazz from the artist’s viewpoint. Artists share why they’ve taken certain paths in their lives and who inspired them to do so. They play during the lectures as well. After sharing their expertise with the students, the artists perform together, playing jazz classics.

Proposed Lectures:
  • “Why Jazz? What makes it important?”
  • “From Armstrong Until Now: The Trumpet’s role in jazz.”
  • “Bird Lives: The Saxophone’s role in jazz.”
  • “J.J. and Beyond: The Trombone’s role in jazz.”
  • “Ella, Sass, and Lady Day: Jazz from the singer’s perspective.”
  • “Christian, Montgomery, and Benson: Guitarists in jazz.”
  • “Mingus, Chambers, and Carter: the Bass in jazz”
  • “Chano to Airto: Percussion Masters in jazz.”
  • “Clark, Roach, and Jones: The role of the drum set in jazz.”


This is for High School and Middle School musician students on all instruments. Professional musicians from the Conservatory’s staff will work with your students for as many sessions as you need, providing expert advice in technique, repertoire, practicing tips, and improvisation.

Concerts and Assemblies

Our interactive programs include…

String Quartet
Jazz Band
Wind Quintet
Percussion Ensemble

Prices start at $500 per assembly.

Orff Training Seminar/Workshops

For Classroom Teachers and Music Specialists

A series of four workshops designed for music teachers and classroom teachers working with groups of children Pre-K through 3rd Grade, are presented each season. The Music Partners programs offers these workshops as an outlet for educators in this field who are looking for additional resources and peer support.

Sharing of Songs and materials
Strategies for classroom management

For further information contact Music Partners Director Dorothy Savitch at 718.622.3300 x 221.