musiConnects is a non-profit organization created to model and teach self-expression, peer leadership, and community development through the transformative power of chamber music.
musiConnects was founded in 2007 on a unique residency model - based on the example of Community MusicWorks in Providence, RI - in which professional musical activity is conceived as a means for building socially just, equitable, and vibrant communities.
Now in its 15th season, musiConnects encompasses two thriving educational initiatives -- the Residency Program, offered in partnership with schools & community centers in Mattapan; and the Roslindale Community Program, based at the musiConnects studio in Roslindale Village -- and a full season of accessible live performances. Its mission is carried out by a dedicated team of Resident Musicians and affiliated faculty, and an engaged community of parents, supporters, and volunteers.
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, Betsy's 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, cello, and chamber music - free of charge - at the Chittick School in Mattapan. In 2011, musiConnects expanded the program to the Sumner School in Boston’s Roslindale neighborhood, and created a second string quartet – the Sumner Quartet. Today, musiConnects' staff of six Resident Musicians - including founding members of both quartets - brings transformative musical experiences to the neighborhoods in which they live & work.
In 2016-17, the musiConnects Residency Program became accessible to more students by widening its circle of community collaborators to include four partner sites: Boston Public Schools' Mattahunt Elementary, BCYF Mattahunt Community Center, Lena Park Community Development Corporation, and KIPP Academy Boston. In a typical year, the Residency Program encompasses a busy week of activity at these four partner sites, engaging 40-50 young people from Mattapan and surrounding neighborhoods of Boston with private lessons, small group classes, ensembles, workshops, and more.
In 2010, increasing interest from our neighbors in Roslindale & Jamaica Plain led musiConnects to open the Roslindale Community Program (RCP), an affordable, sliding-scale private lesson program modeled on the same principles as our Residency Program. As of 2020-21, RCP serves a wide-range of students, from four-year old beginners to lifelong learners & adult amateur musicians.
In the News
"Bringing classical music to underserved kids, one "petting zoo" at a time."
(Zoë Madonna, The Boston Globe, April 2017)
"Commencement 2017 - How Betsy Hinkle Found Her Quartet (And Her Purpose)"
(New England Conservatory, May 2017)
“Black belt string quartet wows library”
(Hometown Weekly, November 2019)
See & Hear