At the Harmony Program, music changes lives every day. Through collective music making, children from underserved communities explore new avenues and realize their full potential. Our specially trained teachers guide students from beginner group instruction to orchestral performance, building life skills and community from a shared love of music.
Learn more about how you can play your part.
We partner with schools and community centers to create intensive after-school programs that teach children to read music, play orchestral instruments, and perform in ensembles. Our instruction follows an established curriculum, and we regularly assess and evaluate all of our programs to ensure high-quality learning experiences for all.
Learn more about our partnerships.
The Harmony Program began as a pilot program in the New York City Mayor’s Office in 2003 and was incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization the following year. In 2008, Harmony established an institutional partnership with the City University of New York, and was re-launched in its current model with an emphasis on intensive instruction, ensemble performance, and teacher training.
The Harmony Program was founded by Anne Fitzgibbon, who studied and worked with Venezuela’s national youth orchestra system, El Sistema, on a year-long Fulbright Fellowship. We’ve adapted the model and philosophy of El Sistema to the unique needs of our communities, and every day we create supportive environments for learning, instill life skills through music making, and encourage cooperation and responsibility through ensemble training.
Since 2008, we have collaborated with neighborhood schools, community-based organizations, cultural institutions, and universities. These partnerships continue to strengthen our capacity to deliver instrumental music education to children who might not otherwise discover the joy and many benefits of making music.
Our institutional partnership with the City University of New York provides us with essential in-kind administrative support that allows us to do more for the students, teachers, and communities we serve.
Who We Are
Our students are in elementary and middle school and begin the Harmony Program with little to no prior experience studying music. Each student receives a free instrument, comprehensive instruction, books, supplies, and tickets to concerts and cultural events throughout New York City.
Learn more about our students.
Our teachers are students and alumni of music performance and music education programs. We provide our teachers with pre-service training, ongoing professional development, and a curriculum to guide their instruction. In addition to classroom experience and training, our teachers receive competitive hourly stipends for their work.
Learn more about our teachers.
The vision of a better world made possible through music continues to guide our work, inform our mission, and shape the experiences of our students, teachers, and staff.
Anne Fitzgibbon is founder and Executive Director of the Harmony Program. Prior to founding the Harmony Program, Ms. Fitzgibbon worked for five years as a policy advisor in the Mayoral administrations… Read More ›
Anne Fitzgibbon is founder and Executive Director of the Harmony Program. Prior to founding the Harmony Program, Ms. Fitzgibbon worked for five years as a policy advisor in the Mayoral administrations of Michael R. Bloomberg and Rudolph W. Giuliani, focusing principally on social services, youth programs, and education.
Ms. Fitzgibbon holds a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. She graduated from Barnard College and studied clarinet at the Juilliard School.
In 2007-2008, Ms. Fitzgibbon was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work with the Venezuelan National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras (“El Sistema”).
Director of Education
Paula is a passionate educator who has taught K-12 general music, chorus, and percussion ensemble, most recently in the Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. She has experience with diverse… Read More ›
Paula is a passionate educator who has taught K-12 general music, chorus, and percussion ensemble, most recently in the Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. She has experience with diverse methods of instruction, such as Kodaly and Dalcroze, and she is certified in Orff Schulwerk. A graduate of George Mason University, Paula earned her B.M. in Music Education, summa cum laude, and is a certified music educator. Paula recently completed her Master’s degree in Music Education and is currently studying Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Baruch College.
In addition to her work at the Harmony Program, Paula also maintains a piano studio for private instruction and sings with the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus.
Sarah Halford comes to the Harmony Program after working on program development for the Music and Art Peace Academy (MAPA), a project backed by the United Nations. Her background is in…Read More ›
Sarah Halford comes to the Harmony Program after working on program development for the Music and Art Peace Academy (MAPA), a project backed by the United Nations. Her background is in Art for Social Change initiatives, including theatre, writing, and voice. She is trained in acting, classical voice, vocal production and speech, and music theory.
Sarah graduated with high honors from the New School University, where she studied Theatre and Politics. In addition to her work at the Harmony Program, she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Sociology and Applied Arts at New York University.
Jessica Zweig comes to the Harmony Program from Washington, DC where she worked as a freelance clarinetist, maintained a large private clarinet studio, taught kindergarten and 1st grade music, and was…Read More ›
Jessica Zweig comes to the Harmony Program from Washington, DC where she worked as a freelance clarinetist, maintained a large private clarinet studio, taught kindergarten and 1st grade music, and was the Artistic Director of All Points West Chamber Music Collective. She is passionate about music education and orchestra playing as a way to build more perfect communities.
Most recently, Jessica completed a nine month community organizing fellowship which trains the next generation of social justice change makers. Jessica earned her Bachelors and Master of Music in Clarinet Performance from the University of Maryland, School of Music.
Strategy and Development Consultant
Yasmine Falk has worked to build capacity at non-profits across New York for over a decade. She began her career in fundraising at the acclaimed Public Theater and later served as the Director… Read More ›
Yasmine Falk has worked to build capacity at non-profits across New York for over a decade. She began her career in fundraising at the acclaimed Public Theater and later served as the Director of Development for The Film Society of Lincoln Center, a constituent organization of one of the world’s foremost performing arts institutions.
Since founding the consulting firm Advance NYC in 2011, she has partnered with a variety of non-profit organizations, including Pilobolus Dance Theater, ArtsConnection, The Harmony Program, Labyrinth Theater Company, A.R.T./New York, Room to Grow, and The New York Academy of Art among many others. Prior to discovering her passion for nonprofit management, Ms. Falk studied classical voice at New York University.
Our Board of Directors
Play Your Part
Our students and teachers make a tremendous commitment to learning music, but it’s your commitment as a Harmony Program supporter that makes it possible. Donate today and help change lives through music.
BE IN THE KNOW
Sign up for email updates and stay informed of concerts, events, and opportunities to join us in expanding access to music education.
Apply To Teach
If you’re passionate about making a difference through music, we want to hear from you. Apply to teach with the Harmony Program and share your talents while developing new skills.
Want to get involved? Whether you’re an educator, community partner, parent, or friend, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us to learn more, share ideas, or just say hello.