Creative Aging Directory - Brooklyn Conservatory of Music

Program Title
Prospect Hills and Park Slope Senior Center Choirs
Program Summary

The choirs of the Prospect Hills and Park Slope senior centers in New York City enable participants to meet new people, learn and improve their musical skills, find creative outlets, and share their music with others, as well as improve their mental and physical health, overall mood, and sense of wellbeing. The choral programs both run for 30-40 weeks each year, and participants come together to rehearse and practice on a weekly basis for 75-90 minutes (depending on the location). There is ample opportunity for choir members to participate in performances throughout the community, with four to six outside engagements each year. The choral programs are both led by professional teaching artists.

Program Background and History

The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music launched both choirs in 2001. This organization was founded in 1897 as a formal conservatory serving 200 students. It has since been transformed into a “community music school” and now serves 15,000 individuals through music instruction, music therapy, and community concerts throughout Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.

The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music currently conducts three core programs. The Music Partners Program works directly with 30 schools, Head Start programs, and senior centers, offering subsidized, comprehensive, and sequential music instruction at no cost to nearly 4,200 individuals in Brooklyn and Queens. The Music Therapy Program currently serves approximately 850 children and adults with special needs at 17 partnering schools, foster care agencies, and community-based organizations to clinically address their needs and goals through active music-making. The Onsite Music Programs offer instruction through more than 70 courses to 1,100 individuals through private and group sessions in every major instrument within specific genres and pedagogies.

In 2001, the Prospect Hill Senior Center reached out to the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music while searching for a choir director as it prepared to launch a choral program. From that initial interaction, a strong partnership has grown that has enabled the choir to flourish. This program is a key asset in the conservatory mission to provide high-quality music programming to all members of the community. The choral program at the Park Slope Senior Center was launched in a similar manner.

Program-Specific Research and Key Findings
Program-Specific Assessment and Evaluation

The Prospect Hills and Park Slope choirs are both evaluated by Brooklyn Conservatory of Music staff on an ongoing basis through the use of interviews, attendance numbers, and individual assessments.

Advice for Other Organizations Conducting Similar Programs

Try to encourage ownership of the program by the choir members.

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Prospect Hill Choir

Arts Discipline
Kinds of Creative Engagement/Program Focus
Presenting a Performance, Attending a Performance, Participate in a Class, Participate in an Ensemble
Kinds of Creative Engagement/Program Focus Other
Interdisciplinary Connections
Creative engagement
Target Audience
Active Adults, Frail Older Adults, People with Alzheimer's Disease / Dementia
Adaptive Program Design
Adaptive Program Design Other
Program Setting
Aging Organization (e.g. Senior Center)
Program Service Area / Geography
Program Service Area / Geography Other

Prospect Hills and Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York