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Music in Schools Initiative

In keeping with the Yale School of Music’s commitment to cultural leadership and service to society, the Music in Schools Initiative was established in 2007 to explore how music can be used as a means of social change in the city of New Haven and beyond.

Programs in New Haven

In partnership with New Haven Public Schools, our local activities are the practical core of the Initiative. They enhance music opportunities for New Haven students and music educators, while simultaneously preparing our international body of graduate students to be teaching artists. Our teaching artists complement the work of full-time certified music educators during school hours, while also offering opportunities for students to participate in intensive supplementary programs. All activities are centered around the core principles of mentorship—a close personal relationship between instructor and student based on mutual learning—and active music-making— creating, performing, and responding to music.

Visiting Faculty Member in Community Engagement

The Initiative supports a visiting professor with a focus on music education in the broadest sense. Since 2007, the School has invited distinguished educators to join the faculty to create coursework related to community engagement and social change.

Symposium on Music in Schools

The biennial Symposium brings together leaders to discuss the role of music education in our communities. Previous symposia have focused on strategic partnerships, the role of music in school reform, and the integration of music in general education. Each symposium has also celebrated exceptional public school teachers with the presentation of the Yale Distinguished Music Educators Awards. The 2017 Symposium embarked on a new direction, gathering a coalition to create the Declaration on Equity in Music for City Students, this national call to action.


The Music in Schools Initiative is made possible by an endowment established by the Yale College Class of 1957, an endowment established by Mr. & Mrs. Lester Morse (Yale College ’51), and the generosity of The Alfred & Jane Ross Foundation.