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UpBeat NYC's mission is to build equity, opportunity, and community through free music education and ensemble performance and to bring about positive change in the lives of South Bronx children and youth.


Inclusion: All programming is free of charge and open to children of all abilities. UpBeat believes that all children are innately musical and have a right to high quality, long-term music education. We actively seek to recruit those often excluded due to economic and social barriers.

Joy: We aim to preserve and nurture children’s natural exuberance for music. Along the road to disciplined mastery of technique and interpretation, there is always a very human need to joyfully express. A famous American composer’s father once advised, “Don't pay too much attention to the sounds -- for if you do, you may miss the music.”[1]

Cooperation: UpBeat participants learn to collaborate in a variety of roles - as learners, teammates, peer teachers and leaders. From the earliest stages of study, students participate in small and large ensembles where the highest goal is to create beauty through musical understanding and agreement.

Aspiration: Duke Ellington said, “A goal is a dream with a finish line.” The pursuit of musical excellence is made up of countless, small steps, each very achievable and rewarding goals in and of themselves. We encourage our students to dream big and take small steps. As they become accustomed to a gradual yet constant process of learning, they experience and internalize a resolve which can be employed to shape all aspects of their lives.

[1] Source: "Charles Ives' Memos," ed. John Kirkpatrick (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1972, 131-133.Copyright 1972 the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.