Opportunity Music Project

Opportunity Music Project was founded by Jessica Garand, while she was a student at the Juilliard school, and began in April 2011 with seven students. The program has since grown each year, and now serves a community of 100 students from all boroughs of New York City and New Jersey, offering a full range of educational programing. Opportunity Music Project provides the largest number of completely tuition-free private music lessons to New York City’s residents, and offers partial scholarships to many families. Opportunity Music Project values collaborations and has most recently been selected to participate in an ongoing study led by Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth at the University of Pennsylvania. Students have also traveled to and performed at the Harvard Graduate School of Education alongside the DuBois Orchestra at Harvard Square.


The mission of Opportunity Music Project is to create a community where all children, regardless of economic background, can pursue their passion for music and gain the valuable personal and collaborative skills associated with the rigors of learning an instrument.

Program Summary

Opportunity Music Project is a comprehensive music education program committed to high standards and a supportive community environment. The curriculum includes private music lessons, orchestral training, theory, mentoring trips, parent education, summer camp, performances, studio classes, evaluations, and community service opportunities to students ages 5 through 18. Instruction is offered on string instruments including violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Faculty are Juilliard-trained artists, and dedicated performing musicians and educators from the greater New York City area.

Program Philosophy

The love for music is paramount to each student’s musical journey. The requirements and skills outlined in this document, and taught by our faculty, serve only to enable the young musician to achieve proficiency to further enhance and express their love for music. Once equipped with proficiency in musical expression, the student is poised to become a leader in sharing the transformative social power of music in their communities and in the world.

To learn more about Opportunity Music Project, please visit OpportunityMusicProject.org