School Partnerships

DCYOP partners with schools to support in and out-of-school time orchestra programs including the Children’s Orchestra and PreOrchestra Project. Through partnership, these programs are offered at no cost to participating students.

Children’s Orchestra

The Children’s Orchestra is an after school string orchestra program that aims to enhance DC Public School students’ interest in learning and improve their academic and social skills through quality, accessible and intensive classical music education. The Children’s Orchestra is inspired by El Sistema, Venezuela’s national youth orchestra and choir program that uses music as an agent for social change.

The Children’s Orchestra is currently housed at Garrison Elementary (ward 2) and Turner Elementary (ward 8) and is free for all students. Student musicians attend orchestra rehearsals and group lessons for six hours each week after school. Working together in an ensemble, students learn valuable social skills such as confidence, compromise and mutual respect.

Importantly, students also learn that through discipline, rigor, and focus, they are able to achieve success. In time, the students will learn to transfer these skills to other areas of their school experience.


PreOrchestra Project

With the support of the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation through the League of American Orchestras, this past spring, DCYOP partnered with DC Public Schools (DCPS) and the Batuta Foundation to develop an early childhood pre-orchestra curriculum that enhances the social and emotional development of children ages 3-5 while preparing them to learn a musical instrument. The curriculum was piloted in Maury (ward 6) and Patterson Elementary Schools (ward 8) in May 2015 and will be expanded to more students beginning fall 2015.


For more information on our school partnerships, please email