Music and the Brain brings a music literacy curriculum, whole-class keyboard instruction, and ongoing professional development to schools in under-resourced communities. We empower music educators and ensure equity for all learners, helping students build skills to succeed academically and in life. Music and the Brain is a program of non-profit Building for the Arts NY, Inc.
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.
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.