We are educators, mentors, working musicians.

Since 1998 we have been supporting school readiness, building leadership, reinforcing family connections, and instilling confidence, awareness, and artistry. We do this by providing community-based opportunities for young people to learn and to play music together.


Our Mission

We bring children together in teams of music learners and makers, to develop their minds, imagination, and community.

The impact the music program is having on our students is immeasurable! My students who would usually sit quietly began taking on more leadership and became vocal during group assignments. Students that occasionally struggled to focus have shown strict discipline and detail when completing tasks in class.
— April Reid, Fourth Grade Teacher at Grant Elementary

What We believe

  • that building musicianship also builds great students and citizens.
  • that our role is to provide resources and to remove barriers.
  • that teachers, families, and music lovers all have vital parts to play in supporting young musicians.
  • that respect and responsibility are a cycle, building itself as it revolves.
  • that leaders show their strength when they support others.
  • that striving for excellence together is as important as achieving it.
  • that we have more to offer as a team when we look and speak differently from each other.
  • that our children are our community's greatest asset.

our programs

Trenton Music Makers Orchestra

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El Sistema is a game-changer for urban communities, providing opportunities for young people to participate in music making at a level that was previously out of reach. It originated 40 years ago in Venezuela, and it now serves hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan youth and more than a million children around the world.  Participation in El Sistema programs has been shown to reduce gang participation, improve graduation rates, and provide a sense of purpose to young people. As its founder says, it is “social justice through music.” Read on!

music for the very young

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Music for the Very Young: Music, Movement and Literacy, our early-childhood music and movement program, was created just two years into our founding. Its mission is to serve Trenton’s pre-K children, their teachers and families, not only by creating joyful and interesting first musical experiences for the children, but by weaving music and movement into the fabric of the preschool day. Read on!

trenton makes - WORDS!

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Trenton Makes - WORDS! is a free vocabulary program that helps to prepare children aged 0-5 for kindergarten. Sessions support engagement between children and their parents/caregivers through themes based on cultural traditions, science, music and art. All programs encourage families to use fun, easy learning activities in their everyday lives. Read on!


and for the latest news

Read the most recent edition of our news flash, The e-String, right here.