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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Joy of Music Program, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Performing Arts Schools

Mission: At the heart of JOMP’s mission “to enrich lives and foster community through accessible music education and performance” is our extraordinary Financial Aid Program, which makes it possible for students in need of assistance to study with our outstanding faculty ~ 32% of our students receive partial to full financial aid.

Results: Over $2 million in Financial Aid has been awarded to over 1,000 students since our inception. Students whose families could not afford to pay for lessons and classes are now making music as adults, some are music teachers and professional classical, jazz, pop and orchestral musicians. $135,661 in financial aid was awarded in FY2018. The goal for FY2019 is $145,000.

Target demographics: All ages

Direct beneficiaries per year: 600

Geographic areas served: Central Massachusetts

Programs: A nonprofit community music school founded in 1986, Joy of Music (JOMP) offers private instrumental and voice lessons, an exciting choice of classes, highly regarded classical and jazz ensembles programs, and a vibrant Youth Sinfonietta and Youth Orchestra. Children, teens and adults at all levels of ability experience a musical community that is supportive, non-competitive and inspiring. JOMP contributes richly to Worcester’s cultural vitality through outreach programs, student community performances, faculty performances in the Worcester Public Schools and our Faculty Concert Series. The new 200-seat Joseph & Jordan Shapiro Concert Hall, located inside the Joy of Music Program's facility on Gorham Street, is a major upgrade to the program’s former performance space. The carefully detailed architectural and acoustical features and extremely low background sound in the space provides an excellent environment for both performers and listeners.

Community Stories

72 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Hermes B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The philosophy of the Joy of Music Program makes the kids love music and develop their artistic creativity.

The quality of the faculty is not only outstanding in terms of musical knowledge, but they use also empathy with the students in their pedagogy. As well the staff is very professional, respectful and sweet :) ... I'm impressed how much great activities they can present per year with just a few personnel.

I have interacted with some universities and schools in different countries and the commitment, passion, and vision of Mrs. Wendy and Mr. Rich are totally out of the chart. The joy for music they feel comes directly from their hearts with limitless and unconditional love, contagious to every one that surround them.

Specifically for my family, we are very very very thankful for all the donors that make possible the the scholarship and financial aid program. The talent of my son, Max, for drums had a tremendous boost thanks to the dedication of his tutor Mike. Without this scholarship wouldn't be possible take advantage of his effort; as well with Mrs. Nan in the children's chorus.

JOMP is a community valid to present as paradigm to be emulated in all states and abroad.

Eternal gratitude to all the team, Stacy, Sue, Anne, etc, that makes JOMP a second family!

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an extraordinary community music school JOMP is! I have been sending my child to JOMP for the past 9 years for private instrument instruction as well as for various ensemble activities ranging from small scale string ensembles to full sized orchestra. What makes this music school so special is the vision and philosophy of Wendy and Rich on which the school is based, and the way in which they realize their ideals. Over the years I have seen their ideals being implemented through their very careful selection of wonderful teachers, through the way in which they organize and structure various ensemble groups, through their very generous financial aid programs, and through their many fund-raising efforts. As the result, what Wendy and Rich created in JOMP is not just a successful music school but rather an incredible community of students, teachers, parents and donors sharing the joy of music, and bonded though the joy of music. Without this special nurturing environment and the generous financial aid provided by JOMP, my child would not be the musician she is today.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had an amazing experience here participating in the jazz ensembles and the orchestra. The private lessons that I had here were also outstanding and boosted my playing tremendously.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We raised our daughters on a very limited income, and the girls did not have television, cell phones or video games. But they did have music lessons, thanks to JOMP's generous financial aid. Between them, the girls took part in JOMP for more than 12 years, and every year we were offered financial aid. Both girls studied with wonderful, talented teachers, and were given chances to perform regularly. Our older girl eventually chose sports over music. But her younger sister blossomed playing the violin, I think particularly because of the opportunities JOMP offers to students, at a very young age, to join string ensembles. Our daughter loved playing with other musicians, and her participation in JOMSE and then JYO spanned 10 years, and most years she also played in a JOMP chamber group. She has gone on now to study violin in a college music program, but looks forward to returning as an alum to play with JYO in the annual Gala.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is my daughter’s third year as a JOMP student. My husband and I have no background in music, so it is a *joy* to have faculty and staff provide such a rich learning and performing environment for her that is also welcoming to us. It’s a wonderful family!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am turning 65 next month and may be the oldest or one of the older students at Joy of Music Program. I have been studying saxophone with Vlad Vaskevich for the past two years. I have also become involved with ensemble work with Rich Ardizzone. The experience has been very enriching. The quality of instruction has been top notch. I feel very challenged by the work and am often made to stretch my comfort zone to enhance my learning.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Joy of Music Program is truly a gem. My son was plodding along with a very nice but uninspiring music teacher. We got a recommendation for a saxophone teacher at JOMP, and it *completely* changed my son's experience. Having an outstanding teacher who loves what he does - it made all of the difference. My son is now deeply engaging with music - loving it and having fun. Many thanks to Wendy, Rich, and all of the JOMP staff and teachers for making this possible.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When I moved to Worcester in 1983, I served on the Worcester Cultural Commission. I was impressed when I read about JOMP then. I remain impressed today. My daughter has been a student at JOMP for the past four years. The cello training she receives is extraordinary, the environment is warm and welcoming, the opportunities to perform in the JOMP-a-thon are great. The encouragement JOMP gives students to perform outside of the school under the vigilance of their mentors is an addition strength. I think the founders, Wendy and Rich, are gifts to our community. This organization, with its lengthy track record, is a wonderful nonprofit organization, totally deserving of this award.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Joy of Music Program has been integral to my three children's music education. They each were able to explore a variety of instruments in a supportive, fun environment surrounded by dedicated adults who have devoted their lives to music and sharing that gift with the next generation. Whether it was starting out with Music and Movement or ORFF classes, or doing private lessons with recorder, violin, guitar or piano, we have had nothing but excellent experiences at The Joy of Music Program. It really is a lovely community where we look forward to seeing friends each week and we especially appreciate the friendly staff and the love and dedication that Rich and Wendy pour into their work, ensuring that music education is available to everyone.

Karla19

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Such a warm and welcoming environment! Programs for every level and ability.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been attending Joy of Music for 2 years. He loves taking lessons there and being a member of their Symphonetta. The staff at JOMP has created a caring, stress free environment that fosters a love of music and participation in their students. The teachers are unbelievably talented and are able to teach their knowledge and develop their student's musical skills. As a result, the students are encourages and able to showcase what they have learned. Regardless of the level of musical knowledge a child has, JOMP embraces them and celebrates their abilities.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a student at the Joy of Music Program, I had the opportunity to further myself musically through the faculty, performing opportunities, connections I made while learning. Without the Joy of Music Program, I most likely would not be at the level I am at now without this learning opportunity. While at the program, I learned to be a member of a jazz ensemble, improvise, and compose. These important skills have carried over to college where I now study as a Jazz Studies Major. I have found that my skills seem to exceed those of my classmates and be on par with the class above me. The Joy of Music Program unique teaching approach has helped myself and countless others foster their love for music as a career or hobby that will last a lifetime.

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an incredible COMMUNITY music school centrally located right here in Worcester, MA extremely easy to get to with quick access to nearby highways making our TWICE a week commute from Leominster very doable. Our son, Ryan, has been playing the sax since 5th grade while taking private lessons locally in Leominster. His musical abilities quickly flourished and we began our search in 7th grade for advanced musical studies for him. It truly was a blessing to personally visit with JOMP and see for ourselves all that the Joy of Music Program has to offer -- a musical door truly opened that day for Ryan and for our family!

Being hopeful to find a good fit for Ryan, we couldn't believe all that JOMP has to offer - 1:1 with amazingly talented, exceptional professional music teachers who possess such passion, dedication and patience, with a knowledgeable, friendly staff who all truly care about each of their students with such genuine warmth and compassion!

We feel very much like a family at JOMP connected by our joy for music. Ryan thoroughly looks forward to his weekly sax lessons & Jazz Ensemble with his instructor Tucker Antell and the time Ryan and Tucker share together collaborating is TRULY PRICELESS! Tucker is such an incredibly talented professional musician and his personal demeanor and outstanding teaching abilities exceed our high expectations. Ryan leaves his Jazz lessons feeling refreshed and engerized with such enthusiasm for his music. This speaks volumes to us and Ryan's musical knowledge and abilities have grown significantly in just 2 years since joining JOMP.

Tucker Antell is a fine example of the many very talented and professional music instructors that make this exceptional music school - OUTSTANDING!

After two exceptional years with JOMP, we recently contemplated our ability to afford to continue Ryan's music instruction knowing he would soon be attending private high school this Fall. JOMP made us quickly realize that with Ryan's strong musical talent, along with his hard work and dedication to his musical journey, he should indeed continue and JOMP graciously awarded Ryan with a financial aid package allowing us to continue making affordable monthly payments while Ryan continues to study under such incredible mentors.

We are excited and very grateful to be part of this remarkable music school and with the recent expansive beautiful auditorium, all of the music performances will be even more extraordinary for all to enjoy!

It's a true pleasure to be part of JOMP and to share and encourage anyone who may be musically interested, at any music level, to learn more about this outstanding community music school. We highly recommend a visit, meet the staff, and personally see this impressive school for yourself -- you will be very glad you did!

Check out their website: www.jomp.org

elizabeth05

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

JOMP is where I credit the vast majority of my high school musical training that prepared me for college, graduate school, and a career as a professional saxophonist. If it were not for this amazing program, the arts community of central Massachusetts would be at a serious loss.

As far as the comment about this place being a "rip-off", I couldn't disagree more. Tuition at JOMP serves to pay the outstanding teachers who are at the top of the field, the staff (who, after ten years, still recognize and hug me and my family), and to give scholarships to hard-working students who are eager to learn. I happily drove 20-30 minutes each way, paid the tuition, and still donate to their scholarship fund because, if it were not for this organization, there would be far less artists and music lovers in the world.

Previous Stories
6

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Joy of Music Program is truly a remarkable organization. Rich, Wendy, and their staff are incredibly kind, dedicated, and are genuinely invested in their students and teachers. For two years I took lessons and was involved in chamber ensembles, even though the drive is 30 minutes each way. If it were not for JOMP, I would not be the musician I am today, and I'm so grateful that I was able to work with such wonderful, inspiring people.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love JOMP. I went to JOMPathon January 29th 2011. The atmosphere was happy and warm. I knew I would learn music here. I started taking trumpet lessons from Jerry Sabatini in February 2011. This has been so rewarding and has enriched my life. You feel very comfortable and at home in JOMP. It is a wonderful place to come and learn music from some of the best teachers and performers in New England. I also volunteer and attend most events put on by JOMP.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

JOMP was a huge part of my childhood, and I cannot say enough good things about them. They offer an incredible music program, and what really sets them apart is their focus on collaboration and individual growth as a musician, rather than competition between students. Their financial aid program makes them accessible to students from all backgrounds, and at all levels of musicianship (not just child prodigies and superstars -- if a kid needs financial aid for her first recorder class, she can get it). When I was a student, I benefited from their financial aid program, and in their last year, they gave out over $110,000 in financial aid. I am so glad to be able to support this amazing organization.

1

Client Served

Rating: 1

They're all about the the $$$$. Give them more...$ and they will like you.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Joy of Music is an accurate name for this program. As a music teacher myself, I wanted the best for my sons' music lessons! When my oldest started at JOMP, he was an anxious adolescent. After a few lessons, his observation was "Mom, there's something wrong with this place. Everyone is always smiling!" I told him that it was because the program was all about the "JOY of music"! Rich and Wendy Ardizzone's commitment to the program and their tireless hours and enthusiasm for what they do does trickle down to the staff and teachers. I taught at another community music school from the day it opened until it closed only a few years later. The school I taught at was less successful because it lacked the dedication and vision that is so obvious from the directors and board members at JOMP. Every teacher I have encountered at JOMP loves what they do and it shows - the students feel it, and know success because of it.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My kids have gone to Jomp. I started sax lessons as an adult at Jomp. My daughter's week is not complete without her orchestra practice at Jomp. My week is not complete without my Jazz ensemble at Jomp. The instructers are unbelievable and supporting. A GEM IN WORCESTER!!

1

Former staff

Rating: 5

I was a teacher at JOMP for 10 years and found the school a refreshing change from the other competitive, high-pressure inistitutions at which I teach. The environment at JOMP is nurturing, supportive, and the student body truly cares about making fine music together. The faculty is top-notch; but even though they have come from some of the most competitive schools in the country (and world), they treat their students with kindness and respect while encouraging them to challenge themselves and strive for excellence.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

JOMP has been a blessing in my son's life. As a parent I knew I wanted my child to be involved in a music program as I had grown up with music and had attended college as a music major myself. My son started music and movement classes at five and has been there ever since. Now a senior in high school my son studies with Rich Ardizzone who is patient, kind and interested in his life, not just giving him a trombone lesson. His dedication is indicative of the commitment I see in the staff at JOMP. I have also been fortunate to receive financial aid from JOMP. Their interest never seems to be in profit, but from enriching the lives of their students and the community through music.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Joy of Music Program for 14 years as a parent of a student, a beginning adult student, and a board member. I have the greatest respect for this organization. JOMP is truly a community music school accessible to all regardless of age, income and ability through JOMP's outreach, student and faculty performances, and the financial aid program. The school is run with great care and dedication. It matches teacher to student and selects teachers based not only on their talent but on their ability to nurture, encourage and adapt to each student's needs. Central Massachusetts is fortunate to have this wonderful school that not only develops great musicians but also teaches the love of music.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2001 we were in search of a saxophone instructor for my son, an aspiring young musician. JOMP was recommended to us. My son took private saxophone and jazz instruction at JOMP throughout his entire high school career, working primarily with Jim Allard and Jerry Sabatini. He enjoyed working with these and many of the other talented instructors at JOMP. During that time my son was selected to play in the MMEA Sr. Central District Jazz band twice, in his sophomore and senior years of high school. He went on to major in music in college and during the summer months has partipated in JOMP's alumni programs. JOMP is a very well run music school with excellent and inspiring instructors and outstanding program leadership. We continue to support JOMP every year with their Annual Fund, used to provide music instruction scholarships. I highly recommend JOMP and support and admire their service to community.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

JOMP has been a huge part of my life for the past 10 years. I've never experienced another community that offers such support, individual attention, and love. JOMP reaches out to everybody and lets them know they're valued.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been teaching guitar at JOMP for the past few years and I appreciate more and more the fine work that Wendy and Rich do in running the school, and in their personal relations with the faculty and the community. As a teacher I feel I am respected, and carefully considered by the directors, staff, and other teachers, and have made some of the most satisfying connections with students in my 30 odd years of teaching.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a board member for about 10 years. Wendy Ardizzone had a wonderful vision which is reflected in the school's mission. She and Rich are extraordinarily talented and energetic musicians and administrators which has resulted in them fulfilling that mission for many years now under challenging financial constraints. Worcester is very lucky to have the school.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been involved with JOMP since I was five or six years old -- first through music and movement, then chorus, then private piano and flute lessons and various ensembles. I can honestly say that very few things were more central to my growth than JOMP was. The chamber orchestra, especially, was a great thing for me throughout high school - it was a privilege to be able to play fantastic repertoire at Mechanics Hall twice a year. I think what sets JOMP apart from other music programs is the faculty... there's a ridiculously high concentration of teachers who are really exceptional musicians and people who care so much about imparting their love of music to their students.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have two children who are study at JOMP, my son studies clarinet for about 4 years, my daughter started to take cello lessons last September. My children love their teachers, they leanred so much in such short period. This is such a nice program to teach music, and both of them made great progress. I also have been impressed by other students every time attending their recitals. I feel so fortunate to have a great music school in our community

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a student at the Joy of Music Program for over 5 years now. I have taken private violin lessons, and have been a member of the Joy of Music Chamber Orchestra, as well as many different string ensembles. I have loved every minute of my time there. I love the fact that JOMP is such a welcoming community of musicians. I will be graduating from high school this year but look forward to coming back to JOMP as an alumni! I hope to major in violin performance or music theory/compostition in college.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization. I'm an adult who studied classical music as a young person. After 30 years away from playing music, I decided to pick it up again by taking jazz lessons. The school welcomed me with open arms, and for the last three years, any evening I spend playing music there during a lesson or ensemble is truly the best night of my week. The instructors not only play at the highest professional levels, they pass on their own joy of music with expertise and patience. It's wonderful to see this kind of learning experience available to both young and old. Great facility, great staff, great community music school.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a high school junior, and I have been at the Joy of Music Program since I was 4 years old. I’ve done a number of groups and private lessons over the years, and I must say that I’ve had nothing but positive experiences. Part of this has to do with the fact that JOMP always hires the most spectacular faculty around. I have had the privilege of working with faculty on both the jazz wing and the classical wing of the school, and whatever the genre of music, the instruction is always first-rate. Another thing that makes the school so great is the warm, inviting atmosphere that director Wendy Ardizzone and associate director Rich Ardizzone have created at JOMP’s home in Worcester. The whole experience is one that is supporting and encouraging, no matter what a player’s skill level may be. I highly recommend the Joy of Music Program for anybody who wants a positive, uplifting experience.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I learned of JOMP when our children were very young. They took early childhood music classes at a different community music school but when it came time to begin violin lessons, that school did not have a female teacher which was our daughter's preference. We turned to JOMP and were pleased at the array of choices in scheduling and faculty. Our three daughters have been taking lessons at JOMP for the past 6 years under the instruction of the same teacher. We have been most appreciative of and delighted by the services JOMP provides. They have been unerring in their level of professionality in both administration and music instruction. We have always felt welcome there and find JOMP to be a very important part of our family's experience.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is my first year teaching piano at JOMP, and I have been very impressed with the overall professionalism of all the staff, and faculty. JOMP has a very friendly, and welcoming environment to everyone. It's great that students have a place to go in the community to learn, grow, and develop their musical talents.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've had children attend the school, have served on the board, and have taken lessons (group jazz improvisation) and so have seen all aspects of JOMP has it has grown from a couple of classes in a church basement to a full-blown community music schools that purchased its own building and serves about 500 students. JOMP is a top-notch community music school that provides excellent music instruction capitalizing on students' natural curioities and talents to lead them along whatever musical path they choose to take. The fact that many JOMP graduates have gone on to careers in music is a testament to the quality of instruction; but an equal testament is the sheer number who wind up making music a part of their life. The administrators, Wendy and Rich Ardizzone, take great care in assisting students in the choice of teachers and ensembles, and they have assembled a faculty that is simpatico with their goal of making music a natural part of childrens' lives. The commitment to financial aid -- about $100,000 annually for a school with a budget of around $700,000 -- speaks of JOMP's commitment to all sectors of the community. This school is a cultural gem that deserves support.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our children have both gone to JOMP since they were 3 and took Music and Movement with Wendy, then recorder classes and various instrument classes. We've loved the philosophy at the school that music is an integral part of everyone's life, and that supports both the young people who are clearly on a path to professional music and those who enjoy playing at a different but still important level of skill.