Enrollment for the fall season opens August 2024

Now in its fourth year, Brooklyn Porch Music provides free intensive mentorship with professional musicians, poetry composition workshops, large group ensemble rehearsals, and performances in multi-generational community concerts.  Participants develop skills as creative artists and learn how to build community through music. They are empowered through songwriting and performances alongside mentors and peers in underutilized public spaces. The program serves the racially, ethnically, and economically diverse neighborhoods of Flatbush and Kensington, and we prioritize youth from Title I schools who wouldn’t otherwise have access to music education. We firmly believe there is a need for music in public and accessible spaces (as well as musical education for children) that carries beyond the pandemic to contemporary life, as an essential tool to communicate and heal through ongoing modern crises and challenges

Our Approach

New York’s magic is its potential for true inclusivity, an ideal we can realize through the imagination of a collective community identity. The grassroots Porch Music School functions as a pilot program for communities to develop this collective identity, using music and language to share the personal stories and dreams of youth and participating artists.

With a focus on creativity, storytelling, collective improvisation, and music composition, the program encourages students to think independently and try new forms of expression. Youth write songs and stories about their neighborhood and perform them alongside their mentors and peers in underutilized public spaces – subway stations, plazas, laundromats, etc.

Our curriculum provides a foundation in improvisation, music literacy, and aural training, preparing students with the skills necessary to be professional, creative musicians.

While the program focuses on jazz and pop music, it also incorporates material that is culturally relevant to the participating youth and mentors. We learn and perform music from Pakistani films, Argentinian folk songs, Arabic melodies, and Afro-Caribbean drum patterns.

Through intensive one-on-one mentorship with local professional musicians, original composition workshops, large group ensemble rehearsals and performances in interactive multi-generational community concerts, youth participants develop their skills as creative artists and explore the role of music in community building.

Our goal is to empower youth in our community with innovative, no-cost programming that uses music, poetry and song to facilitate creative expression and community building. 

Student Commitment

Sunday afternoons: Each student has a 45-minute lesson with a professional musician in their instrument of choice.

Tuesday evenings: Students taking private lessons come together to put what they’re learning into practice. 

Thursdays (optional) : All interested students meet with a poet and write poetry and songs to be taught during private lessons, practiced at ensemble and performed at the program’s public performances. Students are also given opportunities to perform their original pieces not shared with the group at select neighborhood events. 

Scroll to Top