Through the Acorn app we’re able to support businesses that make our communities thrive. Everyday we learn more about our activities and how they enrich the wellbeing of children and families. Today, we're learning about musical classes and performance from Brooklyn Music School.
1. Please tell us a little about yourself and the music school
Name - Piruz Partow
Speciality - Community Performing Arts Education
When the business was started - 1909
Where you are based - Downtown Brooklyn
2. What motivated you to start providing music lessons and performance opportunities to kids?
The Brooklyn Music School (BMS) was founded in 1909 by European Immigrants who considered performance and music appreciation to be an essential part of life. They founded the Brooklyn Music School out of a desire to bring high quality music and performance to a broader audience of "new Americans".
In 1926, one of the Brooklyn Music School’s trustees said: "If we are to have a useful community life and an understanding of our foreign born neighbors, there must be an opportunity for the expression of these aspirations. There must be a place where such expression can be given in the musical and dramatic life of each group".
I’ve spent over a decade as a teaching artist. When I was offered the opportunity to become the Executive Director of the Brooklyn Music School, I reflected on relevance of a Community Music School in the 21st century - where people can take lessons via skype, download lessons via their computer, and have teachers come to their home.
The Brooklyn Music School continues to be relevant in the 21st Century because of the unique environment that it offers. Community coming together at the Brooklyn Music School over music and the performing arts is one of the things that makes Brooklyn and New York City so special. The environment is crucial in providing the holistic exchange between teacher and student, student and teacher, and performer and audience, which no machine or technology can replicate.
When developing children and adults alike, the ability to perform is an integral in being a human being whether it’s speaking in front of your class, to your peers, or being able to do your job; having that ability to focus and relax while doing music is a key component of developing one’s performance abilities.
3. Tell us about a favorite moment when teaching
I have too many favorite moments to count! As a teacher, and now as an administrator, my favorite moments are when students come back as adults - not because they have to, but because they want to, and they want to see how the school’s doing and because they cherished their time here. For example, a young man who studied piano with us for several years as a child is now a police officer at the local precinct came back to say hello just the other week.
4. You say the study of music has enhancing effects for a number of other skills, what are these?
First of all - there is so much math in music, so any quantitative skill a student has will be enhanced by studying music. Studying music also develops one’s listening skills, which is invaluable in many different ways. Music also requires students to develop discipline and concentration - there is no getting around it with music.
To perform music well - one must cultivate the right combination being relaxed yet confident when performing. Performance also helps develop people’s leadership and communication skills. Our students are offered free ensemble classes with their private tuition, this is important because it gives them the opportunity and environment to develop their teamwork and leadership skills in order for the group to succeed as a unit, just like a team sport.
5. Do you have any new projects or exciting things we should know about?
We are currently working on developing and expanding our early childhood music and movement programming, which we plan to launch in Fall 2018. We also are going to “return to our roots,” and begin offering music therapy classes.
BMS offered a variety of music therapy classes in the first half of the 20th century, and we are excited to create a new, music thearpy department for the 21st century. We also are continuing to expand our Musical Theater programming. We also are going to begin offering more courses in music technology in our outreach program and our after school program at BMS, as well.
6. Here's how you can find out more...
Find Brooklyn Music School and thousands of other classes, workshops and fun days out on Acorn today via this link. Available for iOS, Android & web.