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UCMP’s after school program is unique because we’re committed to instilling in Hudson County’s children fundamental life skills as teamwork, responsibility, discipline, cooperative learning, self-esteem, self-expression, and creativity – all crucial to developing them into productive future members of our communities.

Using the orchestral model, UCMP’s primary focus is to be a daily, creative haven of joy, and fun that builds every child’s self-esteem and sense of value. We are one big musical family!

ucmp after schoolprogram

UCMP students in our after school program

Register in 2 easy steps:

  1. Download and fill out our registration form here

  2. Email it to or fax to 866-644-5542


Once you have submitted your form, UCMP requires all applicants to pay a non-refundable $30 registration fee.

Register now

Thanks for submitting!

Children selected for our afterschool program will be able to participate in the following ways:


(Children ages 3-5, one to two times per week)

Preschool children ages three to five are first introduced to UCMP through our three-four-month “Paper Orchestra” session, a training program where students and their parents physically create their own instruments out of cardboard. This first step gives children a sense of ownership over their music education, helps them acquire basic musicianship skills, develop an appreciation for their instrument, and instills a sense of their orchestra as community. At the end of this three-month session, children perform in a recital.. Graduating from the Paper Orchestra, all students transition to music lessons with real instruments


(Children 6-17, minimum of two times per week)

Instrumental group lessons is how children learn to play their instrument according to their level. Each student is expected to practice and attendance is mandatory.



(Children 6-17, once a week)


In addition to group lessons, UCMP has weekly orchestra rehearsals for students who are ready to join. Depending on your child’s musical ability, he or she will be placed in one of our orchestras.

UCMP offers three orchestra levels:

  • Beginner

  • Intermediate

  • Advanced

UCMP is enhanced by electives in:

  • Composition

  • Chamber Music

  • Band (non-string instruments)

  • Music theory

  • Visual Arts



According to El Sistema’s learning philosophy, a núcleo is a local grassroots program where children and youth learn to play music together. Staff, teachers, parents and students strive to serve as role models and mentors for each other. Discipline is relaxed, but enforced.



Attendance is mandatory. Absences are only allowed due to sickness or family related issues. A doctor’s note is required for missing a class.



UCMP parents are an integral part of our success. Parents must comply with UCMP’s rules and regularly volunteer during program hours and or events. Teachers and staff spend time working with students’ parents, arrange meetings when deemed necessary and teachers instruct parents on how best to support their child’s practice schedule at home and instrument care by giving feedback and encouragement.



UCMP hires exceptional music educators who are professional musicians trained by El Sistema’s methodology experts. Our instructors clearly understand UCMP’s social and musical mission and are able to nurture both the individual child and the musician at the same time. Besides guiding students in group lessons, orchestra rehearsal and performances, UCMP teachers also provide individual attention to each student and serve as mentors.



UCMP’s young musicians are introduced to internationally-renowned classical composers, such as Beethoven and Tchaikowsky, through our  curriculum. But students are also taught popular music and introduced to Latin American composers and folk musicians in order to instill pride in their native cultures.



Teachers and students alike are invested in both personal and community success, creating a place where children feel safe and yet challenged to achieve their best.



Students at UCMP perform as often as possible to reduce performance stress, increase self-confidence, and allow playing for others to become a natural part of their musical life. UCMP students frequently watch their fellow classmates perform, allowing them to both model and be inspired by their peers’ accomplishments. UCMP generally holds over 12 NY/NJ area concerts during our ten-month program year, including local concerts for families, friends and the community.


"All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up."


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