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UpBeat NYC Programs

UpBeat’s year-round classes are offered in three yearly sessions. Each session offers a Pre-Orchestra Program for children ages 5-7 years old and an Orchestra Program for ages 8 and up. All classes and instruments are provided free of charge.

All children participate in frequent performances as ensemble members and soloists. Concerts and special events are held at our program site in Mott Haven and throughout New York City.

The programs are designed to provide participants with high-quality musical training spanning their early childhood and teenage years. While some participants may go on to become professional musicians, that is not our program's primary purpose. Above and beyond musical achievement, UpBeat's principal objective is to promote children's cognitive, emotional and social development.

Pre-Orchestra Program (ages 5 - 7)

Through singing, dance and games, children learn and perform repertoire that nurtures and develops their natural musical abilities. The fundamental concepts of melody and rhythm, as well as reading and writing notation, are sequentially introduced through a fun and child-accessible curriculum based on the methods of Kodaly.

Our Pre-Orchestra children participate in preparatory activities for instrumental performance including the paper orchestra. This lays the foundation for eventual study in the Orchestra Program.

Orchestra Program (ages 8 and up)

Students enrolled in the orchestra program receive instruction on a string, woodwind, brass or percussion instrument three or more days per week. Classes include private lessons, group lessons and ensemble rehearsals.

Group Lessons – Not all musical progress is achieved in the isolation of a practice room. Studying instrumental performance in a group allows children to experience music within a context of friends and fun. Working alongside peers, students learn that making mistakes is a necessary part of everyone’s learning process. Through repetition and polish of technical exercises and repertoire as well as a focus on expressive interpretation, participants become confident musical soloists and ensemble players.

Private Lessons – Each child’s abilities and their motivations to learn are personal and unique. Our teachers understand this and approach the private lesson as an opportunity to develop strengths, address weaknesses and promote an overall attitude of patience and persistence. Private lessons allow time for children to develop at their own pace and set achievable personal goals.

Ensemble Rehearsals – The experience of playing in a large ensemble is one of the great joys of music. Interchangeably playing roles of both leaders and supporters, our young musicians discover the value of their voices to both shine and embrace. The skills and sensitivities learned in private and group lessons are combined with those of their peers across the orchestra to interpret repertoire from many cultures and genres.