Music Education and Community Engagement
Music Education Programs
Our Musical Connections program teaches the youngest students in New York City public elementary schools to compose music and explore their creative potential. The program is based on the belief that composing is a fundamental way to understand music and the most tangible way to demonstrate that understanding. Near the end of each residency, professional musicians perform students’ “works-in-progress” for families, teachers, fellow students, and administrators. Students also attend our L.O.S. KIDS concerts to connect their in-class work to live concert performances.
L.O.S. is unique in focusing on composing in the early grades and including every student in a grade. We work in underserved neighborhoods where our partner schools offer little or no music instruction other than Musical Connections. This year, 2,000 students, 2,200 parents, and 90 teachers across New York City are partnered in the program.
Live in Concert!
Live In Concert! provides tickets free-of-charge to students and families for weekend performances and invites public schools, publicly funded daycare centers, and social services agencies to weekday dress rehearsals and weekend performances of L.O.S. concerts. Discovery Guides are provided to aid teachers and program leaders in preparing students with a goal of enhancing their concert experience. Participation in this program often leads to a stronger partnership over time, with schools showing interest in our Musical Connections program, and other public community engagement programs.
In the last year, L.O.S. reached 25,000 people in the broader New York City community through workshops based on the Musical Connections model at public libraries, public housing facilities, senior centers, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. L.O.S. also develops deeper connections with our community partners through after-school programs at public schools; by distributing free tickets to students, families, and educators from culturally underserved public schools, publicly-funded day care centers, and social service organizations; and by providing pre-concert educational activities and pre- and post-concert Discovery Guides to create lasting educational impact.
"I cannot express how grandfamilies feel about attending The Little Orchestra Society concerts. It provides an opportunity that the families would not have been able to afford... The children enjoy seeing and hearing something new and different. The grandparents mentioned that the children would often request lessons on how to play the piano, violin, trumpet or any other musical instruments featured in the concert."
- NYC Department for the Aging, Grandparent Resource Center
The Little Orchestra Society's programs are supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council and Council Members Costa Constantinides, Laurie Cumbo, Mark Levine and Ritchie Torres; the Brooklyn Delegation of the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the generous support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State legislature; and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Little Orchestra Society's music education and community engagement programs receive support from The ASCAP Foundation, Con Edison's "Power of Giving" program, The D'Addario Foundation, and The Walt Disney Company.