Acclaimed violinist Ezinma, whose seamless fusion of hip-hop and classical music has made her a viral sensation, will launch a new foundation Friday in Harlem to children to classical music.
Meredith Ezinma Ramsay — known affectionately as “Classical Bae” — has performed with headliners such as Beyoncé, Yo-Yo Ma, SZA, Kendrick Lamar, and Joshua Bell.
Now the acclaimed recording artist and educator’s new foundation, Strings By Heart, aims to bring more diversity, access, and inclusion to the classical music world through music education.
She will kick off the new mission this Friday with a tour of Harlem public schools.
Ezinma, who has been covered by the New York Times, People, Essence, Elle, Strings Magazine and by BBC News, wrote the score for the 2018 documentary The Times of Bill Cunningham the beloved, late New York Times photographer and worked on the score for the blockbuster Black Panther.
Yet her ascent to the heights of the classical music world was not an easy one.
“I remember the isolation I felt like the only Black person in the orchestra, at times discouraged by my teachers from pursuing my dreams,” said the Lincoln, Nebraska, native, and NYC’s New School Mannes School of Music graduate. “Yet the statistics are clear that music education plays a vital role in helping children and young adults get on the path to achieve their goals, improve self-esteem, and more. Children from every background and community deserve the chance to experience the joy of classical music and feel that they belong in that world. And what better genre than hip-hop to segue young minds into classical music’s vast potential?”
Black and Latino’s musicians are historically underrepresented in classical orchestras, making up less than 4 percent of orchestra members, according to Strad Magazine.
Music education develops discipline, leadership, better focus, and improved grades in addition to fostering a sense of community — skills that last a lifetime.
To kick off the initiative, on Friday Ezinma will tour three Harlem elementary and middle schools: P.S. 197 John B Russwurm, P.S. 133 Fred R Moore, and Isaac Newton Middle School for Math and Science.
There she will perform interactive demonstrations to encourage students to apply for Strings By Heart’s music education program.
The organization will “equip,” “educate” and “empower” students by providing private and group lessons, access to instruments and premier cultural events, and a community-driven approach.
During these sessions, students will be encouraged to try out instruments, engage in listening activities, and get excited about learning something new while developing a rapport with other students.
Shar Music will be the exclusive supplier of instruments to Strings By Heart.
For more information about Strings by Heart, visit https://ezinma.com/stringsbyheart.
Strings by Heart
Strings by Heart is a 501(c)(3) that believes that quality music education should be accessible to every child.
The foundation’s mission is to connect children from underserved communities to classical music in order to help them develop the disciplinary, as well as collaborative and leadership skills needed to pursue and fulfill their dreams.
To learn more about the program, please visit https://ezinma.com/stringsbyheart.
Ezinma is a classical recording artist, violinist, educator and philanthropist who discovered the violin at the age of four.
Since then, she has participated in orchestras, string quartets and music festivals, and served as a private instructor.
Ezinma created Strings by Heart in order to bring more diversity, access and inclusion into the classical music world. Learn more about her at https://www.ezinma.com/.
Photo credit: 1-2) Ezinma.