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We, the Society of the Third Street Music School Settlement, believe that a knowledge and appreciation of music and the arts is fundamental to the development of each individual and that the arts provide unique opportunities for cultural exchange and community understanding. Thus we affirm that:
It is the mission of the School to provide quality education in music and the arts, primarily to children of the Lower East Side, in an environment that nurtures achievement and creativity and offers to all who attend, regardless of artistic ability or economic circumstances, the opportunity to pursue their own personal development and enrich the quality of their lives.
Third Street Music School Settlement, the nation's oldest community music school, was founded in 1894 by Emilie Wagner, who believed that music could provide hope and inspiration to the impoverished immigrants of New York's Lower East Side.
Today, more than a century later, Third Street serves more than 5,000 students each year both at the School and through its School & Community Partnerships Program in public schools and community sites, where it reaches a sizeable immigrant population and hundreds of children who lack affordable options for quality training in the arts. A generous program of need-based financial aid, merit-based scholarships and program subsidies benefits three-quarters of all students served.
Third Street is dedicated to providing quality arts instruction to young people who might otherwise never learn to sing, play an instrument or perform before an audience. The School is also widely recognized as a training center for serious music students. In an environment that honors achievement, creativity and personal growth, Third Street nurtures the aspirations of all students, regardless of their artistic ability or economic circumstances, while inspiring a lifelong love of the arts, no matter their eventual career path. Each student is carefully matched to a member of the School's talented, dedicated faculty.
Third Street offers weekly after-school and Saturday music instruction (group and individual) in most instruments and voice, along with theory, composition, ensemble and performance activities. To complement musical instruction, the School also offers classes in ballet, hip-hop and tap dance. In addition to after-school and Saturday programs, Third Street offers a range of early childhood arts activities, including a licensed preschool program. The School also provides music instruction to adults of all ages and levels, and presents more than 200 free, public concerts and recitals by students, faculty and guest artists every year.
Third Street is much more than an educational institution. It is a true community in which students find a welcoming second home, learn to work in harmony, and form close, lasting friendships.
- Laura Gravino
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