"Youth who develop creativity can think creatively about their futures."


Music Haven's Educational Programs

Music Haven provides a rigorous program of one-on-one lessons and mentoring, group classes, ensembles, concert trips, workshops, and more--all 100% free for all of our students. No auditions are necessary. Enrollment is limited to students living in New Haven's "Promise Zone" (low-income) neighborhoods. All programming is taught by our professional, conservatory-trained resident musicians (members of the Haven String Quartet), each of whom teaches and mentors a studio of 15-20 students from 1st grade through high school graduation. Students perform in multiple recitals and concerts throughout the year, and some have the opportunity to perform on stage at professional concerts of the Haven String Quartet. See our calendar of events for details!

Want to find out how to enroll? Click here.

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One-on-One Lessons

About One-on-One Lessons

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 one 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, fostering not only a strong mentoring relationship between student and teacher, but also a long-term relationship with the whole family.  Students attend monthly Studio Classes and perform twice per year in Studio Recitals, which provide not only opportunities for performance and demonstrating progress in the one-on-one lessons, but also a chance to come together as a community and support and celebrate all of our young musicians. 



Group Classes

About Group Classes

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. Group classes range in size from 4 to 15 students, depending on age, ability level, and class focus. Group classes integrate basic instruction in music theory into level-appropriate group instruction and coaching. All group classes are taught by our Resident Musicians, providing opportunities for our students to work and build mentoring relationships with not only their primary teacher, but also our other outstanding teachers.

Music Theory

Every Friday, Music Haven students participate in Music Theory class to expand their understanding of music and how to interpret it when reading sheet music.

Although they all play different instruments, students can connect with each other and see how everything comes together in the world of music! 

Music Bridge

Music Bridge is a beginner violin class for refugee students, which began as a collaboration with IRIS in 2015 to present workshops and concerts to recent refugees, and expanded the following year into a weekly group class with support from the Connecticut Office for the Arts.  This year Music Bridge is made possible by a grant from the International Association of New Haven and serves more than a dozen students ranging in age from 7 to 14. To hear more about Music Bridge, check out this WNPR story that ran on nationally in the summer of 2017. 


Discovery Orchestra


The primary focus of Discovery Orchestra is on mastering the fundamentals of violin playing.  They will play selections of music from The Suzuki Method, as well as Bela Bartok, fiddle tunes, Jazz, Soul and improvisation. 

The goal of the class is to prepare students to enter into the community of music haven not only as strong instrumentalists, but as well rounded, intelligent and articulate musicians.

Harmony in Action

Harmony in Action is Music Haven’s youth chamber orchestra. Approximately 26 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 Erector Sqaure office on Fridays after school until 5:30pm. 



Student Ensembles

About Student Ensembles


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. 



Bow-Dacious is a student quartet led by Resident Musician, Annalisa Boerner. They represent five of Music Haven's advanced students, ages twelve to eighteen. During the 2016-2017 season, the group studied and performed David Stone's String Quartet no. 1. They also presented this work on the Haven String Quartet's Chamber Series to an audience of over 100, as well as in warmly-received community performance at Chapel Haven. The group meets every week for rehearsals and coachings, and many of its members spent their last summers at prestigious chamber music camps.

Music Lanterns

The Music Lanterns consists of six Music Haven students who have been working hard to make a difference in the community. They have been working to raise money to provide girls in india with an education and have even been featured on CT Style! They are led by Senior Resident Musician, Yaira Matyakubova. 

Phat Orangez

The "Phat Orangez," a collection of 4 of Music Haven's most senior and most advanced students, has been playing together as a quartet for 5 years. The quartet has worked on repertoire such as Borodin's Quartet No. 2, Shostakovich Quartet No. 1 in C Major, and Mendelssohn's Quartet in D Major, Op. 44, No. 1, and has shared the stage with their teachers, the Haven String Quartet. In addition to rehearsing each week of the school year, each member of the Phat Orangez also mentors younger students through Music Haven's "Practice Buddy" program. This quartet is led by Resident Musician Philip Boulanger. 

Music Haven Makes me happy. Simply so. Music Haven is the highlight of my week. I look forward to next year!
— Robert, violist

L I S T E N   B E L O W

I feel like I learned something. I like making new friends and playing in concerts in different places.
— Jane, violinist