Opus Ithaca School of Music is a non-profit music school located in the lower level of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, at the corner of Court and Aurora Streets in downtown Ithaca, NY.  

Opus Ithaca strives to create a positive environment for students of all ages and abilities to study and appreciate great music. We believe communities are strengthened through music, and we want to provide quality music education for all those who wish to learn.

Founded in 1923, the Fort Smith Symphony is one of the most outstanding orchestras in the State of Arkansas and enjoys wide regional support and consistently sold out concerts. The orchestra includes over 100 professional musicians traveling from Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, and New York, as well as Arkansas for rehearsals and concerts.

The orchestra is governed by a 24-member Board of Directors and has a full-time staff of four. Under Music Director and Conductor John Jeter, the Symphony organization has grown in quality and outreach opportunities. The 2018-2019 season is John Jeter’s twenty-second season as Music Director and Conductor.

The orchestra consistently receives regional, national, and international recognition for artistic achievements and its award-winning educational programs. As an example, the orchestra’s three CD/downloads on the internationally-acclaimed Naxos label, comprise the first ever complete cycle of recorded symphonies of William Grant Still.

The Symphony is currently recording the first-ever, complete symphonies of native Arkansan Florence Price for Naxos.


The Department of Music at Cornell provides opportunities for the study, creation, and performance of music under the guidance of a distinguished faculty within the broader framework of a B.A. degree in the College of Arts & Sciences, or as part of a degree in another college. In addition to the music major, a minor in music is offered. The Department of Music is renowned for research and scholarship in music, represented by three graduate programs: musicology (Ph.D.), composition (D.M.A), and critical keyboard studies (D.M.A).

Founded in 1980 by Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Bert Phillips and Steinway pianist Toby Blumenthal, Luzerne Music Center aims to provide world-class music instruction for passionate young people in a summer camp environment regardless of their financial circumstance. Musicians ages 9 to 18 come from all over the world to train at LMC's campus located in the foothills of New York’s Adirondack Park.

Since inception, LMC has maintained strong relations with musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York City Ballet. Both Junior and Senior session students regularly visit the Saratoga Performing Arts Center to enjoy world-class performances by these ensembles, among others. Each August, LMC invites several Philadelphia Orchestra musicians to campus for a one-week residency, which includes a side-by-side orchestral reading, masterclasses, and sectionals.

The Ithaca New Music Collective is a group of musicians in Ithaca, NY dedicated to performing works written by composers from Ithaca College, Cornell University, and the Ithaca community.

The Collective strives to help community members discover the wealth of newly composed music created right in Ithaca. With the help of local bars, they are able to share this music in a casual atmosphere that inspires conversation and collaboration.

“Nothing compares to my Burkart Elite. My Burkart Elite with the M2 14K headjoint combination allows me to play with core tone that resonates through out all registers. I can play with a variety of tone colors and feel confident when I need to use an edgy tone or an entrancing liquid tone. Quite simply, my Burkart Elite helps me be the teacher and performer that I want to be every day.”

More than fifty years ago, Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki realized the implications of the fact that children the world over learn to speak their native language with ease. He began to apply the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music, and called his method the mother-tongue approach. The ideas of parent responsibility, loving encouragement, constant repetition, etc., are some of the special features of the Suzuki approach.

As when a child learns to talk, parents are involved in the musical learning of their child. They attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. One parent often learns to play before the child, so that s/he understands what the child is expected to do. Parents work with the teacher to create an enjoyable learning environment.

The early years are crucial for developing mental processes and muscle coordination. Listening to music should begin at birth; formal training may begin at age three or four, but it is never too late to begin.

Children learn words after hearing them spoken hundreds of times by others. Listening to music every day is important, especially listening to pieces in the Suzuki repertoire so the child knows them immediately.

Constant repetition is essential in learning to play an instrument. Children do not learn a word or piece of music and then discard it. They add it to their vocabulary or repertoire, gradually using it in new and more sophisticated ways.

As with language, the child’s effort to learn an instrument should be met with sincere praise and encouragement. Each child learns at his/her own rate, building on small steps so that each one can be mastered. Children are also encouraged to support each other’s efforts, fostering an attitude of generosity and cooperation.

In addition to private lessons, children participate in regular group lessons and performance at which they learn from and are motivated by each other.

Children do not practice exercises to learn to talk, but use language for its natural purpose of communication and self-expression. Pieces in the Suzuki repertoire are designed to present technical problems to be learned in the context of the music rather than through dry technical exercises.

Children learn to read after their ability to talk has been well established. in the same way, children should develop basic technical competence on their instruments before being taught to read music.

The School of Music at Ithaca College is a place for all types of musicians to learn and grow—from specialists and artists fluent in multiple instruments and forms of music to professionals whose creative lives lead them elsewhere. Regardless of your major, you will become a teacher and creator in one way or another as you continue to explore and enjoy music as a central part of your life.