ABOUT THE PROGRAM
Harmony Program Mission
The Harmony Program provides daily after-school music lessons to children from economically disadvantaged communities. Harmony's unique model taps the city's college- and graduate-level music students as teachers, training them to develop the talents of young people who would not ordinarily be exposed to music education.
The Harmony Program provides its teachers with professional development opportunities, first-hand teaching experience, and hourly stipends for their services. At the same time, Harmony provides participating New York City school children with musical instruments, daily after-school music classes, and cultural events…all free of charge.
The Harmony Program and El Sistema
The Harmony Program is inspired by Venezuela's National System of Youth and Children's Orchestras, known as "El Sistema." Committed to improving society through music, El Sistema has gained international acclaim for the breadth of its reach, the quality of its musicians, and the power of its positive influence on the young lives it touches.
In the spirit of El Sistema, the Harmony Program emphasizes the influence of music-making on social development, encourages learning through ensemble playing, fosters a supportive community for program participants and families, and requires of all involved a high degree of commitment to daily music study.
Harmony Program Model
The Harmony Program addresses a shortage of both well-trained music teachers and music education opportunities for economically disadvantaged children. To address this scarcity, Harmony recruits college students from music performance and music education programs and trains them to teach instrumental music in nearby public schools.
Harmony Program instructors are undergraduates, graduate students, and recent alumni of departments of music performance and music education. In order to be selected to participate in the program, they are asked to complete a program application outlining their musical backgrounds and achievements and describing their interest in teaching. They are required to provide three references and attend a personal interview with the Harmony Program before final selections are made.
Participating teachers receive professional development training, classroom observation, formal evaluation, hands-on classroom teaching experience and hourly stipends for their teaching services.
If you are interested in teaching with the Harmony Program,
please complete and submit an online application.
Harmony Program students are elementary students at local public schools in need of instrumental music instruction. Interested children are required to complete program applications that ask children to compose a brief essay on their interest in music and ask parents to discuss their interest in the program and how they will support their children’s musical education. Additionally, children submit evaluation forms completed by their teachers and attend a mandatory instrument demonstration/orientation event.
Participating children receive daily music lessons, musical instruments, books, supplies, and cultural activities, entirely
free of charge.