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Music Education at The Little Orchestra Society


Musical Connections: The School Partnership Program (MC) is the premier music education program at The Little Orchestra Society. Students in NYC public elementary schools work collaboratively and learn to compose their own music, which is performed by professional musicians. Teachers and parents are included in the program, and all aspects are creativity and execution are connected to our live productions in the concert hall.


MC is unique in three distinct ways: the program 1) works with the youngest students, ages 4-11 years old, 2) includes entire classrooms and whole grades of students—including G&T and special needs, and 3) uses composition as a hands-on, engaging, and representative way to learn about music.


Researcher Steven Holochwost said: “Experiences students have early in life…can be good predictors of their success in future years. MC has proven to promote positive aspects of a student’s emotional character, self-concept (self-esteem), self-efficacy (problem solving), attitudes toward school, and peer relations.”


Live in Concert! (LiC) invites students, parents, and young people from the Tri-state area to attend L.O.S. concerts, free-of-charge. Although L.O.S. tickets are available to the public for purchase, the cost of admission can be a barrier for some families who wish to attend. L.O.S. focuses on under-served communities, school partners, and public service organizations to identify populations who would like to attend. We make tickets available on a rolling basis so that families can experience live music together throughout the year. 

LiC is a great way for L.O.S. to form new partnerships with schools and elected officials who might be interested in deeper music education and other program offerings. LiC connects with our vision to make L.O.S. “An Orchestra for all New Yorkers.”


New Voices Celebration (NV) is a free concert series being premiered during the spring and summer of 2022 at locations in all five boroughs of NYC. NV unites all aspects of L.O.S. work by honoring new music composed by musicians along a spectrum of experience and background, with performances taking place in communities where strong partnerships are thriving. NV invites students in our school programs to have their music performed for public audiences, along with pieces by emerging and professional composers, too!


NV includes a thematic presentation of music for small ensembles, along with elements to enhance audience engagement, like dancers, electronics, and artistic works, and more.


This series is dedicated to the legacy of the late Joanne Bernstein-Cohen, and her vision on innovative music programs for young people.

"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.