Why I give and why you should, too.

Music Haven students live in New Haven’s inner city (the “Promise Zone” Neighborhoods), in Yale’s backyard, but until 10 years ago, these kids had little opportunity to participate in the community’s nourishing music and arts environment.

In 2005, our founders were inspired to utilize the superb musicians of the Haven String Quartet to provide free string instruments and instrumental lessons for nine hours of private and ensemble instruction for each child every week. The quartet’s musicians possess a rare combination of artistry and dedication to their students.

From a handful of young music makers, we’ve grown to 80 curious, irrepressible students whose shared experience with their ever-encouraging teachers is producing both self-confident individuals and an open-minded, mutually responsive and responsible community of peers. Support is contagious!

In 2015, Resident Musician Colin Benn began the Music 101 program, involving both traditional instruments and new; additional ensembles, music theory, conducting, movement for relaxation and further performing opportunities, with the help of guest teaching artists and volunteers (such as myself, teaching piano).

In recognition of their desire to reciprocate community support, Music Haven’s students continue to perform in community venuessuch as West Haven’s VA Healthcare, Yale’s Smilow Cancer Hospital, nursing homes, libraries, museums — just about everywhere in town.

As a board member, and particularly as a volunteer in Music 101, I’ve experienced a reprise of that lovely — if fleeting —  experience of engagement, as with my own children: a kind of cross-pollination.

Music Haven profoundly appreciates the financial support of a considerable community of friends as well as foundations. In 2015, Citizen’s Bank designated Music Haven: “A Champion in Action for Strengthening Communities through Youth Empowerment,” along with a $35,000.00 award. The National Endowment for the Arts has given funding grants to Music Haven for five consecutive years and has recognized us two years running as one of the Top 50 After-School programs in the nation.

We and our families are passionate about our commitment to providing a stable, consistent and stimulating environment in which children can participate, flourish, and in turn, contribute.

Music Haven’s ability to serve our community depends on funding.

Please help. Give what you can. Ask your friends and families to get involved. Consider volunteering. We need each other to flourish.

Thank you,

Bryna Scherr
Board Member and Volunteer


Interested in becoming or Board Member or volunteer?