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The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music transforms and enriches the lives of those who are underserved through music education and music therapy. We accomplish this goal by providing music education programs in schools, community centers, and through collaboration with other organizations. Skills that are developed through understanding and making music are essential to the educational process; and to the growth and well-being of the individual. Using music as a therapeutic tool, we help people with emotional, developmental and physical disabilities improve their lives. BCM is committed to this work because everyone needs music in their lives to realize their potential and therefore benefit society. We believe that music has the power to build community and transform lives.


Originally founded in 1897 as a formal conservatory serving 200 students, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (BCM) has since transformed into a “community music school,” and now serves 15,000 individuals through music instruction, music therapy, and community concerts throughout Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. BCM provides three programs: 1) Music Partners Program; 2) Music Therapy Program; and 3) On-Site Music Programs.

Music Partners

Music Partners was established in 1988 in response to a critical need in the community – the rising number of New York City public schools offering no music instruction. Because of the recent economic downturn, many schools in New York City have again been forced to cut arts education from their budgets. Because schools continue to cut arts programs, a growing body of research has begun to demonstrate that students who do not receive arts instruction, particularly those in economically challenged urban environments, are less likely to excel in other subjects or develop critical cognitive, behavioral and social skills. BCM’s Music Partners outreach program works directly with 30 schools, Head Start programs and senior centers offering subsidized, comprehensive, and sequential music instruction at no cost to nearly 4,500 individuals in Brooklyn and Queens. Programming includes band, strings, chorus, world drumming and percussion, recorder, early childhood music and movement, and tailored programming such as guitar.

Music Therapy Program

As one of the largest providers of music therapy in New York City and the only nonprofit provider in Brooklyn, BCM currently serves approximately 850 children and adults with special needs at 17 partnering schools, foster care agencies and community-based organizations in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. The aim of BCM’s Music Therapy Program is to clinically address the developmental, social, emotional, psychological, and musical goals of individuals with special needs through active music making with an experienced, trained, licensed and credentialed music therapist. Without our program, the majority of the individuals with whom we work would not receive any type of music therapy service.

On-Site Music Programs
Through BCM’s Onsite Division, instruction is offered through more than 70 courses to 1,100 individuals through private and group sessions in every major instrument, e.g. piano, strings, voice, winds, brass, and percussion within specific genres -- e.g. jazz, classical, contemporary, world music -- and specific pedagogies. BCM has expanded its curriculum over the past two years. New courses include Group Guitar Instruction, World Drumming for youth, Songwriting for teens, and much more. Instruction is provided at the BCM’s main facility – a 5,600 sq. ft. historic, landmark, Victorian mansion nestled in the heart of Park Slope, Brooklyn. A core tenet of BCM’s mission is to serve everyone, and we provide 200 scholarships annually to talented students in need.

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