musiConnects is a non-profit organization created to foster youth development and community connection through the craft of string playing. Our accessible, imaginative education and performance programs build lasting relationships between professional musicians, students, and residents in the Boston neighborhoods of Roslindale and Mattapan.
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 17th season, musiConnects encompasses a thriving education program - offering sliding-scale or free private lessons, group/chamber music classes, and performance opportunities to 60 students at our Roslindale Village studio and school partners throughout Mattapan - and a full season of accessible live performances. Its mission is carried out by a dedicated team of Resident Musicians, faculty, and an engaged community of parents, supporters, and volunteers.
Founded in 2007 by Betsy Hinkle, musiConnects began as a project investigating 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 Resident Musicians 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 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.
In 2023, musiConnects combined the Residency and Roslindale Community programs into one joint endeavor, offering sliding-scale or tuition-free private lessons, group/chamber music classes, and performance opportunities to approximately 60 students.
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