During the COVID-19 health crisis, staying at home has been a necessity and a privilege for many New Yorkers. Considering that working and studying from home might be the new normal for many citizens, we talked with Piruz Partow, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Music School, about how to be focused during confinement and how the organization is adapting to circumstances that are so challenging for so many cultural organizations. The school is located in Fort Greene and you can watch their videos at nyxt.nyc/brooklynmusicschool.
How did Brooklyn Music School come to exist?
Brooklyn Music School was founded by immigrants in 1909, for whom the performance and appreciation of music was an essential part of life. They wished to bring high-quality music education and performance to a broader audience of new Americans.
How does the school work in terms of its structure and programs?
BMS is a community arts organization and founding member of the National Guild of Community Art Schools. Our offerings include Group Classes and Private Lessons for all ages in a wide range of musical subjects, affordable After School programming, Ensembles that create an opportunity for our students to connect, an outreach programs that serves public, independent, and charter schools, and many events and productions that provide valuable performance opportunity.
How is Brooklyn Music School adapting to the current public health situation?
BMS has taken this time as an opportunity to embrace the capabilities of technology to connect with our community like never before by launching BMS Online, a portal to Online Classes and Private Lessons with our incredible BMS faculty and curriculum. We are continuing to develop and expand our online offerings to offer as robust of a course catalog as possible in these times.
We’re keeping our community engaged! We are thrilled to be presenting “QuaranTUNES,” an online concert series that showcases both our students and faculty. Creating performance opportunities for our students is a core aspect of our teaching philosophy and something that sets us apart from the competition. In addition, we’ve ramped up our social media content so that we remain engaged with our families and friends.
Could you share some tips about how to take lessons and practice from home?
Building good habits is an essential tool for getting the most out of your practice sessions. When practicing at home, it is important that your environment is free from distractions, allowing you to truly focus on learning and growing. This includes putting away cell phones and even tidying up the space around you to clear your mind. Another good practice habit is to maintain consistency with the place and time that you choose to practice. Using technology to your advantage can be a powerful practice tool! Record yourself to be able to reference your progress, share it with others, and assess how you can improve!
How does the Brooklyn Music School work in order to provide accessible and affordable music education?
BMS is committed to improving the accessibility of high-quality music education by offering affordable programming, Financial Aid with a nonintrusive application process, and our Music Mentor Program that gives our students hands-on experience in addition to access to our programming. Additionally, our Outreach Program provides no-cost programming to thousands of families!
Do you have any additional or advanced classes where students work with uncommon instruments or rhythms?
Our Outreach Programming includes the Borough Beats series which takes music and instruments from around the world into classrooms. We offer Private Lessons in a wide range of instruments. Some interesting examples include the Harp, Accordion, Oboe, Bassoon, Organ, Sitar, Persian Setar, Dumbek, and many more!
Would you like to add anything additional?
If you are interested in learning more about BMS and connecting with us, please visit our site or follow us on social media!
Subscribe to the NYXT newsletter
Learn about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and new organizations looking for your help.