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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 $1.6 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. $140,780 in financial aid was awarded in FY2016. The goal for FY2017 is $147,000.

Target demographics: All ages

Direct beneficiaries per year: 530

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

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


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.


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.


Board Member

Rating: 5

The Joy of Music Program provides outstanding music education and creates community for people of all ages who love music. I've been a Board member off and on for many years, and I see first-hand the perseverance, effort, talent and administrative acumen demonstrated by the Directors and staff that keep the school going. I am so grateful to them for their commitment which sustains the school on a daily basis. The musicianship and sheer love of music among the students at JOMP is truly inspiring. The faculty are consistently excellent, passionate, and compassionate with their students: it is no wonder the students thrive and grow both musically and personally during their time at JOMP. I feel that JOMP is a national treasure that deserves the support and admiration of everyone who believes in the power of music to transform and improve our lives.


Board Member

Rating: 5

I have known The Joy of Music Program by reputation in the community for the 20 years of it's existence. If you wanted the very best music learning experience for yourself or your children, it has been the place to go. Although I haven't had the chance to enjoy it's music classes yet (still hoping), a love of music brought me to serve on it's board this past year.