Success Academy Students Perform In Summer Music Institute Concert In Harlem

school1Nearly 60 Success Academy middle school students performed in a special concert for the New York City community on Friday after an intensive week of study at the renowned Diller-Quaile School of Music.

Students from Success Academy middle schools in Harlem and the Bronx were selected based on teacher recommendations and received full scholarships to attend the Diller-Quaile Summer Music Institute. Through a week of daily instruction on their chosen instrument, combined with classes and ensemble experiences — which foster the development of musicianship, creative thinking, collaboration, community, and a mindful approach to study — students gained a set of skills and knowledge that has prepared them for ongoing music education and training.


“It was really fun, I made a lot of friends and I learned that I love percussion. Percussion helps me meditate and feel calm. I like that you need to cooperate with other people to make the music,” said Shaniya Ashby, a sixth grader at Success Academy Harlem North West.

“Diller-Quaile was really great. They learnedso much in such a short time. Music is important because it helps kids learn to focus,” said Diana Penn, a Success Academy Harlem North Central parent with a daughter in the program.

“This week, I had three different groups of guitarists and none of them had played before. We set really high expectations for them, but they were up for a challenge,” said Thomas Flippin, a guitar instructor at Diller-Quaile and professional guitarist. “Today, they played with good technique, good posture, and they pulled off amazing results. Music teaches you to work as a team and overcome obstacles. The only way we were able to make this music was by working as a team. There were times when the kids were frustrated, but they learned how to overcome problems and be persistent.”


“Each day of the Institute the students arrived eager to learn. They were absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to begin the study of an instrument,” said Kathy Yiannoudes, Director of Instrumental & Vocal Programs and the Summer Music Institute at The Diller-Quaile School of Music. “It was evident throughout the week that active participation in music-making inspires new ways of thinking, and requires focus, attentive listening, and perseverance. The closing concert was beautiful, joyful, and memorable for students, faculty, and families,” said Kirsten Morgan, Executive Director at The Diller-Quaile School of Music.

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Success Academy students who attended the Institute had the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to enroll in a comprehensive music program at Diller-Quaile in the 2016-2017 school year.

For more information about Success Academy, go to and

To learn more about The Diller-Quaile School of Music, visit

Photo credit: George Kerrigan

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