The Clinton Hill Music School has been serving its neighboring communities since it’s inception in 2012. We provide an outlet for both children and adults to express themselves and the opportunity for them to follow their own musical curiosities. In three short years, CHMS has become a large community of enthusiastic music students ranging from 2-year-olds to adults. Founder, Marty Isenberg, has watched countless students overcome personal hurdles to give stirring performances in recitals and master classes and even go on to be accepted into competitive music programs such as LaGuardia High School and the Chamber Music Conference of the East.
Every student is unique and learns in different ways. Having studied with so many great masters of music, movement, and pedagogy, we have gained a vast pool of knowledge and resources. Our approach to teaching is not locked in to any specific method. We draw from our training and experiences to discover what inspires each student.
A Note from Marty
As a firm believer in the power of music to help people transcend and transform their lives, it has always been my mission to be both a great performer as well as an educator and advocate for music. This year I was saddened to learn that the arts high school I attended was in danger of losing it’s funding. I wrote this letter on behalf of my alma mater, which shares some personal details of my history with music.
To the Education Appropriations Committee
My name is Marty Isenberg and I am a graduate of E.C.A. class of 2004. The experiences I shared at the Educational Center for the Arts are some of my fondest memories. The program and community was a well-needed respite for me from my troubled high school years. To draw an analogy, visiting the ECA campus was a little like sneaking into college. The other students were intelligent, passionate and diverse (unlike my local high school). The teachers were REAL artists, sharing their knowledge and their passions in exciting ways.
E.C.A may not have been unique in that it offered music and arts classes. I was very fortunate that my High School did have a music program. Our band director was a kind and generous man. He gave any student who was interested free music lessons after school, which I took full advantage of and will never forget that kindness. But there was a limit to what I could learn from him. My mentor at ECA was Jeff Fuller. He is a bass player who’s had an astonishing career as a jazz musician. I remember being in his classes, observing how focused and excited he was about music and how he always seemed just a little bit tired, the way artists who devote their life’s to creating art can be from working non-traditional hours. The way I am now. It was inspiring to me. It grounded me and gave me purpose. To have teachers who had been to the ‘mountain top’, Who set the bar high for us, and believed in us, that is something that may be missing from public education. So many of the teachers at ECA are just gems of the Connecticut arts community, and I’d love for them to get the credit they deserve.
I’ve never forgotten the way music mentors have influenced my life, which is why I co-founded my own music school in Brooklyn operating on the principles of generosity and inspired teaching. I’ve had the opportunity to fulfill my dream of becoming a professional musician, subbing on Broadway stages and performing all over the world. I am quite certain none of this would be possible without the Educational Center for The Arts and I hope that it will continue to help teenagers in the years to come.