Music Haven empowers and connects young people through exceptional tuition-free music education, mentoring, and performance by our resident musicians in the heart of New Haven, giving all kids a chance to play.
Inspired by Community MusicWorks in Providence, R.I., and Bill Strickland’s Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh, P.A., Yale School of Music graduate Tina Lee Hadari founded Music Haven in 2006 in collaboration with generous individual donors in the New Haven region, a small Board of Directors, and the Vinca Quartet.
2006 Music Haven incorporated as a 501c3 organization
2007: First Music Haven students enroll, approximately 20 students - some of those young musicians are still with Music Haven today!
2009: The Arts Council of Greater New Haven presented Music Haven with a “Groundbreakers” award
2011 - 2015
2015: Music Haven was named a Champion in Action by Citizen’s Bank
2015 - 2016: Music Haven marks first major programming expansion with the introduction of Music101, an intensive 10-hour-per-week program
2016: Music Haven introduces new collaboration with IRIS to bring workshops and then violin lessons to new refugee children
Since our initial group of 20 students first began playing nearly a decade ago, Music Haven has grown to serve more than 80 students and their families, and has deepened and expanded programming, including workshops and performances throughout the region, and new initiatives to support our kids as they prepare for college.
Music Haven was awarded an Artworks grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, as well as an Arts and Community Impact grant from the Connecticut Office for the Arts.
Since our initial group of
20 students first began playing nearly a decade ago, Music Haven has grown to
serve more than 80 students and their families, and has deepened and expanded
programming, including workshops and performances throughout the region, and
new initiatives to support our kids as they prepare for college. Some of the
kids who started with us as 6 and 7 year olds a decade ago are getting ready to
graduate from high school!
What we provide for our students, free of cost:
1) Partners/sponsors who are interested in financially supporting our organization through unrestricted gifts and by underwriting / sponsoring our performances (HSQ concerts, community concerts, the String Quartet Truck, Student Recitals and Performance Parties).
2) A new space. Our current space is slated for demolition. We are currently in the process of identifying possible new locations.
3) Transportation for our students
Music Haven aims to upset stereotypes, broaden futures, and disrupt structures of unequal access, all while making beautiful music and building a supportive and thriving arts-based community for young people and musicians. Our professional musicians-in-residence provide free after-school educational programming, one-on-one and group lessons, and free instruments to students from the city’s highest poverty (“Promise Zone”) neighborhoods. The Haven String Quartet—our resident ensemble—gives concerts and workshops throughout New Haven and across the region.
Our programming is unique in that our resident musicians invest in sustained and deep teacher/mentor relationships with our students to provide experiences in the arts as building blocks for creating community. As one of our long-time students explains, “Music Haven is an amazing organization that has helped so many kids find their talent and really express themselves. It is also somewhere where you don’t just find friends, you find a second family. In Music Haven, you feel safe and are allowed to be yourself. I am so proud to be in Music Haven.”
Music Haven aims to provide New Haven youth with opportunities that show them the world has much to offer them, and that they have much to offer the world.
Founded in 2006 by professional violinist Tina Lee Hadari who wanted to challenge the notion of what it meant to be a professional string quartet. A decade later, Music Haven has a staff of 5 full-time professional resident musicians and 4 support staff, and serves thousands of families every year through workshops, free concerts, and other innovative music education programming and performances throughout the region. Our “String Quartet Truck” has become a favorite element of New Haven’s annual International Festival of Arts & Ideas, bringing beautiful music on a flat-bed truck to neighborhoods in every corner of the city.
Of our original 20 students, half are still with us, and our longitudinal program is designed to stick with students through high school graduation. Our first senior will graduate in 2017. We anticipate more than a dozen graduates each year with the class of 2021 and beyond. Our resident ensemble, the Haven String Quartet continues to teach and mentor more than 80 students from New Haven’s “Promise Zone” neighborhoods, as well as provide world class performances throughout the region. A new collaboration with IRIS, funded through an Arts and Community Impact grant from the Connecticut Office for the Arts, has allowed us to expand our program to reach new refugee students in a weekly violin class. Through community collaborations and social action projects, our resident musicians and our students build community and social connection throughout New Haven and beyond.
Music Haven's children live in New Haven's inner city and Yale's backyard, but until ten years ago these kids had little opportunity to participate in the community's nourishing music and arts environment.
The founders were inspired to utilize the superb musicians of the Haven String Quartet to provide free string instruments and instrumental lessons for nine hours of private and ensemble instruction for each child every week. The quartet's musicians possess a rare combination of artistry and dedication to their students.
From a handful of young music makers, we've grown to eighty curious, irrepressible students whose shared experience with their ever-encouraging teachers is producing both self confident individuals and an open-minded, mutually responsive and responsible community of peers. Support is contagious!
Last year, Colin Benn, resident violist and volunteers began Music 101, involving both traditional instruments and new; additional ensembles, music theory, conducting, movement for relaxation and further performing opportunities.
In recognition of their desire to reciprocate community support, Music Haven's students continue to perform at The VA Hospital, Smilow Cancer Center, nursing homes, libraries and museums -just about everywhere in our town.
As a board member and particularly as a volunteer in Music 101, I've experienced a reprise of that lovely if fleeting experience of engagement, as with my own children. -a kind of cross-pollination.
Music Haven profoundly appreciates the financial support of a considerable community of friends as well as foundations. In 2015-16, Citizen's Bank designated Music Haven: "A Champion in Action for Strengthening Communities through Youth Empowerment", along with a $35,000.00 award. The National Endowment for the Arts has given funding grants to Music Haven for six consecutive years and has recognized us five years running as one of the Top Fifty After-School programs in the nation.
We and our families are passionate about our commitment to providing a stable, consistent and stimulating environment in which children can participate, flourish, and in turn, contribute.
members of the Haven String Quartet provide tuition-free individual lessons and
group classes in violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, improvisation, chamber
music, musicianship, and orchestra. Through weekly instruction, teachers strive
to empower their students with valuable tools to expand opportunities for
discipline, creativity, self-expression, teamwork, and perseverance, while
developing the long-term mentoring relationships that are Music Haven’s
approach to building community. The program, including musical instruments, is completely free for participants and is open to youth who reside in the promise zone neighborhoods of New Haven. Each child is selected on a first-come, first-serve basis and is encouraged to continue through high school, once enrolled. The lessons take place at four different sites: Music Haven’s office, Wexler-Grant Community School in the Dixwell neighborhood, John C. Daniels School in the Hill neighborhood, and Fair Haven School in Fair Haven. Music Haven students participate in one-on-one weekly lessons with one of our professional, conservatory-trained Resident Musicians. Lessons range from 30 minutes for our youngest students to an hour for the oldest and most advanced students. Each student is part of that teacher’s “Studio” and stays with that teachers over the years. Students attend monthly Studio Classes and perform twice per year in Studio Recitals. All Music
Haven students participate in group classes, designed to supplement their
experience in one-on-one lessons and provide the opportunity to learn and play
music together, preparing the for more advanced ensemble experiences such as
our student chamber groups and Harmony in Action, our youth chamber orchestra. In the 2016-2017 programming year, Music Haven also launched a new collaboration with IRIS, supported by a grant from the Connecticut Office for the Arts, to provide weekly group instruction on violin to new refugees in IRIS’s after school program.
Music Haven’s musicians live, work, learn, and play in New Haven, Connecticut. From student recitals and Haven String Quartet performances in public library branches, to instrument “Petting Zoos” throughout the community, Music Haven makes music part of the fabric of New Haven neighborhoods. Community Concerts: The Haven String Quartet, adjunct Resident Musicians, and young musicians enjoy performing in all corners of New Haven, bringing diverse people together in traditional and nontraditional New Haven venues. Student Recitals and Performances: Through student recitals and twice-annual Performance Parties, our young musicians make a positive contribution through their community by sharing music with others. Student recitals have been performed in the following venues: Ronald McDonald House, Life Haven, 180 Center, Casa Otoñal, Jewish Home for the Aged, Veterans Affairs Hospital, New Haven Free Public Library branches, IRIS
The Haven String Quartet (HSQ) performs in-school assembly or classroom programs to bring the excitement of live performance to school audiences. All the quartet’s programs combine performance, demonstration and participation elements. Music Haven’s teaching artists weave interactive learning opportunities and educational substance into 45-minute performances.
Each workshop introduces the string instrument family and explores concepts of teamwork, communication, and problem-solving methods. Workshops often also include illustrations of non-verbal communication within the quartet and explorations of emotions, textures, and imagery inspired by music. Through a combination of interactive activities, story-telling, and music, the HSQ connects musical ideas with academic, social, and cultural learning concepts.
Examples of educational residency workshops include:
The Haven String Quartet can customize a workshop, concert, or a workshop/concert package to meet the needs of your school or program. They play everything from Bach and Haydn to Duke Ellington and Michael Jackson. Our musicians can work with student-string ensembles, present in-class, curriculum connected workshops relating to concert programs, or present in-school interactive concert with student discussion and participation.
Prices vary based on length and content, but most programs cost between $1200 and $1600 a day for a concert and workshop. The Haven String Quartet can work with you to find a package that fits within your school or organization's budget. Multi-day residencies are also available.
All revenues generated through concerts and workshops support programming at Music Haven.
serves 16 new students each year, providing up to 10 hours per week of
high-quality instruction from Senior Resident Musician Colin Benn, as well as
professional instruction on percussion, guitar, and bass from part-time Music
Haven faculty. Music101 predominantly serves students at Wexler Grant Community
School between 3rd and 7th grade. Students are taught not only traditional string methods, but also a variety of other instruments and music styles, including jazz, rock, blues, and reggae, and complete research-based learning projects, developing literacy skills through their passion for music. At the completion of the programming year, Music101 students are eligible to “audition” for Music Haven’s longitudinal lessons programming, and are admitted based on a demonstration of commitment, effort, and passion for studying music.
Harmony in Action is Music Haven’s youth chamber orchestra. Approximately 30 students ranging in age from 11 to 17 participate in Harmony in Action, playing as many as 10 concerts per year, including community performances in soup kitchens, at the VA Hospital, and in neighborhood organizations and festivals. Students are admitted based on ability and age. Harmony in Action rehearses at our Whalley Ave. office on Fridays after school until 5:30pm.
Music Haven has a growing number of student trios, quartets, and quintets, which predominantly feature our more advanced/older students, although quartet members have ranged in from 8 to 17. Each group is coached by one of our Resident Musicians, and performs in a variety of concerts throughout the year, while also undertaking community service projects, such as leading concerts/workshops at the Ronald McDonald House, playing for students at LEAP, or raising funds to support access to education for young girls in India through our “Play it Forward” projects. “PLAY IT FORWARD” PROJECTS: Music Lanterns, HIA social action projects
In conjunction with the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, the Haven String Quartet hits the road annually in June on the String Quartet Truck (SQT) to bring music to the streets of New Haven. Each year, the SQT brings as many as 15 free concerts to sites throughout the city, providing access to world-class live performance to an estimated 2500 people each year.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Music Haven’s budget growth between the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years reflects its first transition in leadership from a founding ED to new leadership and an across-the-board increase in staff salaries to bring them in line with the cost of living in New Haven and the credentials / experience required for Resident Musician staff (all hold Masters’ degrees and are experienced professional musicians). This decision was made with not only the understanding that the most important resource Music Haven has is our outstanding staff, who are exceptionally hard to replace, but also out of a commitment to one of the central elements of our model and our mission: long-term mentoring of our students. They come to us as young as 6 and stay though high school graduation. As much as possible, we want the teachers to stay with them, building teaching and mentoring relationships over the long term. It is also crucial that our Resident Musicians are able to devote as much of their teaching time and attention as possible to our Music Haven students. The latter requires that we ensure a salary that does not require them to take large numbers of private students or additional jobs just to make ends meet. We believe investment in staff is key to long-term success and sustainability, and we have been successful at increasing our grant revenue and donor base to support this new phase of maturity for our organization.
Our newest challenge is supporting our significantly increased occupancy costs as we move to a new space for the first time in nearly a decade, in response to both program growth and neighborhood redevelopment plans that will soon replace our low-rent space with a market-rate mixed-use development. We anticipate moving to a new home in the summer of 2017, and have planned long-term for this financial transition by restructuring and combining support staff positions such that we can sustain an occupancy budget line more in-line with sector and neighborhood norms (was previously less than 3% of operating budget).
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