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Music for Social Change

UCMP has been providing access to low-cost orchestral music education in Hudson County since 2012. A pioneer of the El Sistema movement in the Garden State, we believe that all children deserve to have access to high-quality music and arts education that is affordable and transformative.

Modeled after Venezuela’s world-renowned El Sistema program, UCMP provides children & and youth from PreK-12th grade an after-school program that builds skills and character. Orchestra performances, field trips and parent involvement round out the experience of discipline, cooperation and fun learning.

All young people need an opportunity to reach their full potential!

group orchestra music

Music is a universal language that connects us and brings us together. Now, more than ever, underserved youth in our country need programs like UCMP that provide access to music, arts and life skills for the future. In underserved communities, there is even a greater need for after-school programs that cultivate creativity, self-esteem and ongoing learning – especially during these uncertain and changing times. Join us in our vision to change lives through music! 

How it Works

UCMP uses the orchestra model, in which group achievement is balanced with individualized attention. Orchestras and ensembles act as a model society where an atmosphere of competition between individuals is replaced by shared struggle.

Through low-cost, intensive orchestral music instruction – along with regular performance – children & youth experience a disciplined, cooperative and fun learning environment that builds life skills and community. All UCMP students are given free instruments and 24 hours of low-cost monthly instruction. There are three orchestra levels from PreK – 12th grade and electives in composition, music theory, voice and visual arts as an additional expression. Field Trips, Parent Workshops, Visiting Artists & Mentors and regular concerts of the UCMP Children & Youth Orchestras and Chorus in NY/NJ round out the program for a full experience.

Why this Approach?

Learning music engages young minds in deep and lasting ways. The discipline of practice, combined with the cooperative needs of playing in a group teaches personal and social-emotional skills in tangible ways. UCMP inspires academic excellence, self-expression and success that youth in our programs will carry their whole lives. On a larger scale, music can make social change by bringing together diverse cultures who listen and collaborate for a shared experience.

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