About

An adorable young boy grasps his oversized headphones with one hand as he smiles with joy while he plays piano.

Mission

Music and the Brain brings music literacy curriculum and classroom keyboard instruction to schools with underserved students, helping them build cognitive and fine motor skills to succeed academically and in life.

Music and the Brain is a program of non-profit Building for the Arts NY, Inc.

Benefits

MUSIC LITERACY

Music and the Brain students learn to read music notation from lesson one as they develop piano skills.  Recent neurological research is proving that studying music is deeply connected to language acquisition and literacy aptitude.  Independent research involving Music and the Brain students revealed increased vocabulary and verbal sequencing abilities.

FOCUS, ATTENTION, and FINE MOTOR SKILLS

Music and the Brain teachers overwhelmingly report that their students’ ability to focus and their attention skills are improved as well as their fine motor skills as they participate in lessons.  This impacts learning across subjects.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

Music and the Brain students develop critical life skills such as perseverance, determination and grit.  The structure of Music and the Brain gives students achievable benchmarks, allowing them to face challenges and celebrate their successes.

SCHOOL COMMUNITIES

Investing in music teachers is central to Music and the Brain, providing ongoing training and year-round support, a complete music curriculum, and a classroom keyboard lab.  Music and the Brain builds on the existing talent within the school’s personnel to get stronger results for more students during the school day.

Scalable Model

By building on the school’s existing staff and schedule, Music and the Brain is an incredibly cost-effective model for delivering cognitive and academic skills, particularly in students who most need the help.  Schools provide the teacher – Music and the Brain provides the system, the training and the tools, which can be used for years and years to come at a cost of less than $20/student.

A young girl concentrates on her sheet music as she practices piano independently.

Our Communities

 

New York City


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West Side Montessori The Reece School


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Mott Haven Academy


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Philadelphia

Charles W. Henry School

Cook Wissahickon Elementary

Andrew Hamilton Elementary

Penn Alexander Elementary

Gilbert Spruance Elementary

Bridesburg School

Overbrook Educational Center

Academy at Palumbo High School

H.B. Hackett Elementary

Roberto Clemente School

Bache Martin School

Chester A. Arthur School

Girard Academic Music Program

Gompers Elementary

E.M. Stanton School

Feltonville School

C.C.A. Baldi Middle School

George Washington High School

Southwark School

William M. Meredith

Francis E. Williard Elementary

Northeast High School

Thurgood Marshall School

Philadelphia High School for Girls

Fox Chase School

Nebinger School

Overbrook Elementary

Samuel Powell School

Edwin Forrest School

Caskey Torah Academy

Miami

Miami Springs Elementary

Frances S. Tucker Elementary

Earlington Heights Elementary

Bonita Springs Charter

Fulford Elementary

Dr. Carlos Finlay Elementary

North Miami Elementary

South Miami Heights Elementary

Perrine Academy

Myrtle Grove Academy

Louisiana

New Orleans

Bethune Elementary

Arabi Elementary

Davies Elementary

Gauthier Elementary

Smith Elementary

Lacoste Elementary

Arlene Meraux Elementary

Encore Academy

Sylvaine Williams College Prep

Akili Academy of New Orleans

Louise S. McGehee School

Fifth Ward Elementary

LaPlace

East St. John Elementary

Emily C. Watkins Elementary

John L. Ory Communications Magnet School

Lake Ponchartrain Elementary

LaPlace Elementary

West St. John Elementary

Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy School

Ferguson, MO

Airport Elementary

Central Elementary

Combs Elementary

Commons Lane Elementary

Halls Ferry Elementary

Johnson Wabash Elementary

Lee Hamilton Elementary

Parker Road Elementary

Robinwood Elementary

Walnut Grove Elementary

Cool Valley Elementary

Duchesne Elementary

Holman Elementary

Wedgewood Elementary

Griffith Elementary

Vogt Elementary

Bermuda Elementary

New Jersey

Newark

Sussex Avenue Renew School

Harriet Tubman School

B.R.I.C.K. Peshine School

Spencer Miller School

Rafael Hernandez School

B.R.I.C.K. Avon School

Lafayette School

Quitman St. School

Chancellor Avenue Elementary

Moonachie

Robert L. Craig Elementary

New York State

Long Island

Theodore Roosevelt School

Vernon School

Briarcliff Elementary

South Street School

Tuttle Avenue School

Mount Vernon

Graham Elementary

California

Kings Beach Parent’s Co-Op

Washington Elementary

Colorado

Manatou Springs Elementary

Monarch Classical School of the Arts

Indiana

Butler Elementary School

Riverdale Elementary School

Maryland

Calvert School/Skillful Sounds

Missouri

Hope Leadership Academy

Monroe Elementary, St. Louis

Texas

Sam Rayburn Elementary, McAllen

Washington

Endeavor Intermediate School, Milton

Toledo Elementary School

Kansas

Clearwater Elementary West

North Carolina

Shamrock Gardens Elementary, Charlotte

History

Inspired by a 1996 Newsweek cover story by Sharon Begley entitled “Your Child’s Brain,” Building for the Arts’ (formerly 42nd St. Development Corp.) founding President, Fred Papert envisioned Music and the Brain as a way to deliver many of the benefits of private piano instruction to the public school curriculum in underserved communities.  Lisha Lercari, a career music teacher was the founding Director of Music and the Brain. Music and the Brain provides classroom piano/keyboard labs to give music educators tools to introduce repertoire to full classes while incorporating singing, movement and music theory. 

Music and the Brain lessons teach students to read and analyze the language of music through diverse repertoire which allows for cross-curricular instruction.   The curriculum and program introduces students to folk, classical, world, rock, pop and jazz music.  Music and the Brain provides the ideal and most complete experience for children: academic rigor, fun music, commitment to practice and the rewards of perseverance.