musiConnects is a non-profit organization created to establish and support educational and artistic residencies, in the Greater Boston area, based on chamber music. The common goal of the musiConnects community is to bring together people from a variety of backgrounds to meet and communicate through a shared language of music. Music allows us to learn about one another and make connections that transcend our differences.
Founded in 2007 by Betsy Hinkle, musiConnects uses chamber music as a vehicle for social change by bringing people together from a variety of backgrounds to communicate through the shared language of music. Inspired by the model of Community Music Works in Providence, RI, her vision was to place members of professional string quartets in residence in low-income Boston neighborhoods as teachers and performers. musiConnects’ founding string quartet was the Boston Public Quartet, which started teaching violin, viola and cello as well as chamber music at the Chittick School in the Mattapan neighborhood of Boston, at no cost to students. In 2011, musiConnects expanded the program to the Sumner School in Boston’s Roslindale neighborhood, and created a second string quartet – the Sumner Quartet – to teach in the Sumner program.
In 2016, musiConnects became accessible to more BPS children by moving its residencies to the Lena Park and Mildred Avenue Community Centers. These residencies allow musiConnects programs to be offered to Boston Public School students beyond just the attendees of Chittick and Sumner elementary schools and allow students to continue with the program beyond 5th grade.
musiConnects started a Roslindale Community Program in 2010, through which students who do not attend either the Chittick or the Sumner Schools could take individual lessons on violin, viola and cello. There is a modest tuition for Community Program lessons, and families pay on a sliding scale. No child is turned away for financial reasons. In 2011 the Roslindale Community Program expanded to include Chamber Kids, in which young musicians from different backgrounds come together to learn and perform in small ensembles. Since 2007, musiConnects’ enrollment has increased from 9 to 100.
Why music education?
"A Musical Fix for American Schools: Research shows that music training boosts IQ, focus and persistence."
(Joanne Lipman, The Wall Street Journal, Oct 2014)
"This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain On Music."
(Cory Turner, All Things Considered, NPR, Sept 2014)
"Music Makes You a Better Reader, Says Neuroscience." (Kayt Sukel, GOOD Magazine, Feb 2015)