Get Classical in School

GetClassical – Next generation

As the founder of Rhapsody in School in Germany, I salute Ilona Oltuski’s efforts to build a similar platform, akin to our motivation, in the New York Metropolitan Area. Our charismatic performers feel compelled to convey the positive message of classical music and spark youngsters’ passion, with personal encounters in the classroom. As the founder and curator of GetClassical, Ilona Oltuski shares our vision, aiming to connect the performer with the young generation. I sincerely welcome Ilona’s initiative and hope to personally partake in some of her planned events in support of this goal, in New York.

Lars Vogt, pianist, conductor and founder of Rhapsody in School in Germany.


As a composer and manager at Naxos of America, I applaud Ilona Oltuski and her efforts to bring classical music to the genre’s future audience. Music education is central to what we do each and every day, and many arts organizations pay only a glancing acknowledgement of its importance. New York may boast a lot of wonderful things, but age-appropriate learning modules for the enjoyment of classical music – how it works, who are its practitioners – are largely missing from all but the largest cultural institutions. And those who might benefit the most from it are those in the greatest need, especially as New York becomes less affordable for so many. To paraphrase Stravinsky, children shouldn’t be taught to respect music; they should be taught to love it.

Sean Hickey

Composer, Senior Vice-President, Naxos of America, Inc.





‎”The Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with Ilona Oltuski’s initiative GetClassical In School, as we share that mission of bringing Classical music and Classical Culture to youth, especially to those who, through no fault of their own, do not have the means to access this beautiful treasuretrove that belongs to all mankind. We look forward to the opportunity of working with Ilona to bringing more Classical musicians to schools through classroom and concert presentations, so that many more young people can share in the joy of Classical music!”.

GetClassical In School : MISSION

Why Classical Music in Schools is more than a passion project

Classical music has been broadly recognized as one of the efficient means to address the most chronic ailments that plague modern society, yet has not been sufficiently integrated into our system’s educational structures.

There are unexpected dimensions for profound emotional and intellectual involvement that are within immediate grasp of children, who learn to play a musical instrument and sing, or just become attentive listeners while they partake in a musical experience. Communal interaction within performances, attending concerts or partaking in an onstage production, develop creative thinking and stimulate kids’ social faculties and support positive self-awareness, regardless of their background.

The widely renowned socializing impact of direct involvement with music performance, applying El Sistema principals, have provided measurable means to evaluate the power of music “recruitment” and music’s many applications as a healing agent and stimulant of brain activity has long been recognized within mainstream research. Classical culture embraces respectful behavior towards the older generation, the performer and the mentor, as well as socialization among musical partners and listeners. It allows youngster to discern her/his capacity for individual choices, strengths and accomplishments in a unique, comprehensive and intrinsic way.

Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Besides stimulation for beauty and harmony, the arts improve socialization, by stimulating motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork.

A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the arts, argues that the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience ( both visual and acoustically) do more than sweeten an individual’s life – according to the report, they “can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing, “ creating the foundation to forge social bonds and community cohesion.

In the USA, it is common practice to enrich communities by forging partnerships with cultural resources to infuse the schools with sustainable programs.

We at GetClassical in School believe, every student should have the chance to experience the splendor of classical music, regardless whether the school can afford to implement an academic music curriculum or the school is able to offer some music programs, often deemed “uncool” by the bullies of popular culture. We bring performers to both public and private schools in the greater New York City and Metropolitan area.

The key to have an impact and to create a meaningful connection, hinges on the presentation of these musical encounters. Inspired by the widely successful German initiative Rhapsody in School, GetClassical’s initiative builds on a personal encounter with an accomplished artist, who can spark excitement and curiosity in the classroom. To build on the momentum of this personal introduction, we invite the students to the concert hall. This allows for further bonding with the performer and his/her talent outside of the school environment, and create an experience of the full scope of classical music culture.

This is an initiative by active performers, the ultimate driving force of classical music, in liaison with GetClassical in School. We provide a network of artists that volunteer their visit in the school. Our sponsors recognize the importance of the artists that enthusiastically share their talent and facilitate the vital exchange between students and performers through the classroom experience and the performers’ concert in town. Please help us provide significant encounters – one artist at a time – sustaining the artform and its impact on our humanity.

The purpose of education has many aspects; we prepare our kids for their future jobs, and we prepare them to be citizens. But, just as importantly, we also must teach them to be human beings, who can enjoy the deeper forms of beauty.

The encounter in the classroom:

Our musicians believe that a personal encounter in the classroom will spark enthusiasm for classical music, and that sharing their talent with the students will initiate curiosity to learn more about it.

These encounters are not formal concerts, and they are not academic music lessons either.

The artists, who are all experienced in teaching their instruments as well, are there to create an inspirational exploration, introducing the beauty of their instrument and their talent through a direct, interactive session with the students. They aim to involve the kids in a direct listening experience, and to explore that experience together further.

What is it all about – why does music move you, how does a musician achieve that with his/her instrumental skill, when is a performance successful…how can you understand the bigger context, how would you go about expressing some of the moods, heard in that piece…. How did this musician pick his/her career? What lead them to choose their instrument? What inspired them along their way? How do you become a professional concert artist? These are some questions, answered for the kids. These are some of the questions addressed in the highly engaging, interactive sessions.

Age appropriate presentations are geared to involve youngsters’ grades 5-8, and 9-12; involving subjects of music appreciation and experience. We also offer some special musical programs geared for younger kids grade 2-4. The youngsters are motivated to get into a conversation about the music and can ask questions about the musician, a career in music and the everyday aspects of an artist’s life.

All our artists are trained to perform on the highest level, many have built their careers not only as performing artists but cultural ambassadors, bringing their own, personal flavor to the universal language of music, and teach students privately or partake in teaching seminars. Some even have created their own music festivals and training grounds for young musicians, all over the world.

We look forward to share our passion for classical music with you in our next classroom encounter and to engage in a productive dialogue.