About Berklee City Music


Berklee City Music® is a nonprofit education outreach program that leverages the power of contemporary music to empower youth from underserved communities to develop musically, academically, socially, and emotionally. Participating students receive valuable guidance and support from positive mentors—including dedicated instructors—and are exposed to unique experiences that can be a positive influence in their lives, all at little cost to their families.

Thanks to funds raised at the annual Encore Gala, City Music students have the opportunity to receive scholarships to participate in the Aspire: Five-Week Music Performance Intensive program, with select students going on to obtain full-tuition scholarships to Berklee College of Music.

City Music helps young people flourish as students, musicians, and—perhaps most importantly—confident and well-rounded individuals who are ready to shape the world. Whether students decide to pursue a career in music or another field, they receive benefits that last a lifetime.

Berklee City Music’s Current Impact

  • 62,000 students reached each year through 46 partner organizations in the Berklee City Music Network®

  • 2,047 student recipients of City Music Summer Scholarships to date

  • 281 student recipients of City Music College Scholarships to date, and 32 of whom currently attend Berklee


“This was the one place I finally felt accepted by everyone in the community. The feeling of being able to express myself through my art is amazing and I don’t want to let go of it.”
— Yanina Johnson, Berklee City Music College scholar

Students and parents discuss City Music’s impact on their lives:

Meet Some City Music Students

  • City Music Boston student George Clark is a junior in high school who doubles as President and CEO of his self-made record label. 

  • High School Academy student Sarah Coelho attended the Five-Week Summer Performance Program for the third year in a row thanks to the City Music Scholarship.
  • Berklee City Music High School Academy student Aidan Gallegos reflects on taking a semester off from City Music to concentrate on his academic pursuits.

  • "It didn’t really hit me until I was a freshman how much City Music prepared me for Berklee."

  • "Berklee City Music has changed my life as a musician. It helped me grow and become confident in myself as well as meet wonderful people who have the same amount of passion for music as I do."

  • Aaron Johnson is an alto saxophone and piano player who recently graduated from Milton Academy. He reflects on his time at Berklee City Music Boston.

  • "The City Music Mentoring Program is an opportunity to have awesome teachers, to learn and improve my instrument, to observe what college life will be like, and to make new friends who also love music."

  • Berklee City Music College Scholar Henry Oyekanmi discusses his time at Berklee and how he was able to graduate a year early.

  • “Because of Berklee City Music, I’ve gained confidence and ability through the amazing opportunity that the network has given me. I feel more empowered and fortunate to learn and be able to perfect my craft at City Music.”
  • "I joined City Music only a year ago, yet it’s changed and shaped my life in so many ways."

  • “Berklee City Music is a place of amazing experiences, people, and learning.”
  • “Because of Berklee City Music, I can play, learn, and share music with people my age and have opportunities I wouldn't come across if I wasn't in the program.”