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Ellis partners with New England Conservatory for pre-k music learning



An exciting new pilot program between Ellis Early Learning and the New England Conservatory (NEC) to increase access and opportunity within early music education is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2023.

Mayor Wu held a press conference to announce the partnership in the Ellis Early Learning gym on December 19,2022

The initiative, announced by Mayor Michelle Wu at a press conference at Ellis Early Learning in December 2022, will be funded by a $14.5 million grant secured by NEC. It marks a significant expansion of resources to provide early music experiences vital to cognitive and academic development.


The program will include:

  • Regular, developmentally-appropriate music education classes through NEC Prep that establish a strong foundation in music for young learners

  • Access to instruments

  • NEC Prep faculty and staff support foster the program, including a new early childhood director and professional training for faculty working with students.

“Music can be key in a child’s intellectual development, but also in their social and emotional development by helping their sense of identity and connection,” said the conservatory’s president Andrea Kalyn. The partnership will expand offerings for Pre-K through early elementary school students and increase scholarships to NEC Prep by 150%.


Research has shown that music builds strong connections between rhythm skills and pre-reading abilities in toddlers and enhances fine motor skills, or the ability to use small, acute muscle movements to write, use a computer, and perform other physical tasks.


“Ellis Early Learning is thrilled and deeply grateful to be part of this exciting program with the City of Boston and the New England Conservatory,” said Lauren Cook, CEO of Ellis Early Learning. “This extraordinary music partnership will bring high-quality, developmentally appropriate, consistent music programming to our City’s youngest learners.”


NEC has extensive experience developing high-quality musical programming for musically interested students. NEC Preparatory School (NEC Prep) provides more than 1,600 students across New England, from beginners to advanced young musicians, with lessons, classes, and ensembles every week. It is one of the largest preparatory programs of its kind in the nation.

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