UpBeat NYC

Arts Recipients - 2011

Liza Austria & Richard Miller, Founding Directors

UpBeat NYC provides free, year-round music education to residents of New York City's most low-income communities. Inspired by the philosophy of the Venezuelan music system "El Sistema," UpBeat believes in music’s power to transform lives, build community, and create positive social change.

Studying individually as well as in group settings, participants learn the fundamentals of musical literacy and instrumental performance.  All students perform as soloists and in ensembles for their peers and community. Ensemble playing allows students to experience the joys and challenges of large scale music-making with every success depending on the hard work and cooperation of each member. UpBeat’s ensembles create opportunities for members to engage one another as interdependent thinkers and artists.

UpBeat NYC is currently focusing its efforts in the South Bronx community of Mott Haven where its classes and ensembles for children, youth, and adults meet twice weekly.


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