Music Education Program

Public schools desperately lack enrichment programs that provide students with outlets to express themselves creatively. The Dominican Republic is one of the most musical cultures in the world, yet very few organized music programs are available, especially to children from poor families. Without enrichment programs to keep children motivated, many choose to disengage or dropout.

Our Solution

Children that participate in band and ensemble music programs are seven times more likely to graduate from high school. In addition, developing the skill of playing a musical instrument instills confidence and a sense of responsibility. The DREAM Music Education Program is based on the simple belief that music can change lives, providing a solid foundation for at-risk children and youth to develop their creative talents, strengthen their cognitive abilities, and improve their educational experience. Our program was the first of its kind in the region, beginning with a small group of dedicated local volunteers in 2008, this professional music program now exposes 350 youth ages 3-18 to a structured music curriculum that complements DREAM’s high quality early childhood and primary education programs. The core curriculum is enriched by various partnerships, which coordinate local volunteers and visiting artists to offer additional classes and workshops in traditional Dominican bachata music, rock, jazz and other creative genres. In addition, these partnerships, such as FEDUJAZZ/The Dominican Jazz Festival, Wimbash and other international musicians, offer our students the chance to play with many different musicians and expose them to new sounds, performances and musical experiences.  Individual direct instruction, instrumentation practice, group classes, and public performances are highlights of the DREAM Music Education Program.

Our Impact

The Music Education Program fosters social development, encourages personal growth and artistic development, and strengthens values among at-risk children and youth.

Our Objectives

  • Students receive artistic stimulation through basic music education, developing their musical appreciation in a group setting (Music Education).
  • Students receive basic education in Dominican musical traditions, participating in diverse workshops and research projects that promote the musical identity of Dominican culture (iASO Bachata School, Studies in Dominican Music)

Our Programs

DREAM Music Education

The basic music education program reaches all students enrolled in the Montessori early childhood education and Young Stars at-risk youth programs at the Doña Flora and Benjamin Rabinovitch Education Center in Cabarete. Starting at a young age, children are exposed to the power of music through group music classes, music demonstrations, instrument practice, and engaging workshops. The Music Program Coordinator works directly with classroom teachers to integrate music instruction throughout the weekly class schedule, planning classes that respond to the musical interests and developmental levels of each group. Local volunteers are key in delivering these fun, interactive music classes and workshops.

iASO Bachata School @ DREAM (Studies in Dominican Music)

Bachata is the principal music of the Dominican Republic, and one of the most popular styles in Latin America. Until DREAM, iASO Records, and Benjamin de Menil launched the Bachata School in January of 2013, there were no formal programs for teaching bachata music in the Dominican Republic or anywhere in the world. This program recognizes the need to formally cultivate talent for bachata performance, while also celebrating a music form central to Dominican culture and identity. In this program, students receive one hour of semi-private musical instruction every day and are assigned their own instrument, which they can take home for practice. Students understand and play traditional Dominican musical instruments and are encouraged to perform for their fellow students and the local community. The program aims to graduate professional musicians who will help preserve and advance the Dominican Republic’s indigenous music, while also encouraging female students to broaden the traditionally male domain of bachata performance.