Free Lessons for Kids?

How It Works

To succeed, every musician needs three elements: passion, hard work, and opportunity. Due to difficult circumstances, countless families are unable to afford the high cost of private music lessons which are essential for any aspiring classical musician. This project locates dedicated families with a child interested in music and offers them the opportunity to take private music lessons.

A pillar of the project is the element of service that students in turn provide to their community. By giving back in the form of recitals to social groups such as the elderly and homeless, students and their families become active owners of the project.

OMP offers students full tuition scholarships. High quality instruments are provided if needed.

Parental involvement

Opportunity means to be offered the financial means to pursue a goal. It also means having the support of a student’s surrounding individuals. These individuals include teachers, mentors and friends, and especially the family. No amount of resources can replace a supportive family environment. This is the reason for the project’s emphasis on parental involvement when selecting participants. Practicing with the child, attending lessons and concerts, motivating, and simply sharing the joy of music, can create a strong family bond that will help the child succeed in music and countless other aspects of their lives.


Some Logistics

  • Students receive weekly private lessons on violin, viola or cello, chamber music and orchestral training.
  • Students are selected based on an interview with the parents and a trial lesson/ informal interview with the student.
  • Age limit is flexible but the traditional beginning age group is usually between 5-8 year olds
  • Regular “service concert” opportunities for students
  • Students and their families are given access to free concerts around New York City.
  • Parents have access to an education series led by professional musicians, and other invited guests.
  • The program is most beneficial when parents practice with their child, and attend all lessons and concerts.
  • Students must practice regularly and exhibit a strong desire to learn music to maintain their place in the program.
  • Meetings will be held with participants to ascertain if the program is a positive experience.
  • The project is generously supported by the Robert Sherman McGraw-Hill Award for Music Education and Community Outreach, The Juilliard School Jonathan Mandrigano Entrepreneurship Grant, the D’Addario Foundation, the Virtu Foundation, the UCNYC, Rent my Instrument, and MACROBLU.