In New York, a city full of creative energy that fuels innovation and opportunities, music (and music education) is an important source of inspiration, strengthening social bonds, and serving as a universal language that builds unity between communities. Music is an essential tool for self-expression, supporting the healthy mental and emotional development of our youth.
Unfortunately, lack of funding in schools and other public programs have resulted in the disappearance of music from educational curriculums and has limited our youth’s exposure to experiencing music in live formats. This eliminates significant opportunities for exposure to new experiences, the development of nascent tastes and the ability to hone the talents of future artists.
Additionally, attending live music experiences is often not feasible due to high ticket costs, access to locations or a simple lack of awareness. As a result, they seldom escape their “musical bubbles“ formed by the limited set of music discoverable through their immediate environment, including the rigid recommendation algorithms of streaming services.
“Listen To New York“ is a live experience, bringing quality performances of music and other arts like spoken word directly to underserved youth, within an intimate venue. Participants get to listen to singer-songwriters, beatboxers, poets, and other artists in an up close and personal setting, interact with these performers and ask them questions, and talk about their own stories, including their artistic pursuits and aspirations.
We invite children/teens to actively work with the artists before each event. Every artist leads a “mini-mentorship” in which they take a child under their musical wings for a limited time and collaborate on a piece that they will then perform at the actual event. The mentorship could entail composing a song, writing a poem, preparing a spoken word piece/rap, or even playing a musical instrument of choice.
The day of the event, each artist performs a small set for the attendees, then calls the child they’ve worked with onto the stage. They’ll either perform their piece together, or the student will go solo, depending on the artistic concept in question and their level of comfort and confidence.
We seek to support our future artists of New York by ensuring they can be witnesses to – and participants in – successful creative processes and cultural exchanges that push their creative boundaries. We want every participant to emerge from the program inspired and motivated to keep exploring their artistic interests through other avenues.
Our mission at “Listen to New York” is to ensure children can experience music beyond their existing tastes and cultural backgrounds. We believe that by piquing their interest through the mentorship programs and live performances, we’ll open their eyes to new ideas while helping them build self-confidence and become more creative.
In New York, a city full of creative energy that fuels innovation and opportunities, music (and music education) is an important source of inspiration, strengthening social bonds, and serving as a universal language that builds…