Hoff-Barthelson Music School’s mission is to inspire and develop each student’s potential through excellence in music education with a commitment to creativity, collaboration, and community.

Our vision is to enrich lives and create community through music.

Virginia Hoff and Joyce Barthelson believed that the joy of music and the skills to perform it should be available to everyone. When these two gifted musicians founded Hoff-Barthelson Music School in 1944, they established a legacy that has touched the lives of many thousands: a warm, friendly music school dedicated to the highest standards of education, performance, and community service.

hoff-barthelson music school founders virginia hoff and joyce barthelson
Founders Virginia Hoff and Joyce Barthelson

Today, their commitment to creativity, collaboration, and community continues to permeate the School. Students of all ages, aptitudes, and levels of interest—from casual learners to students preparing to pursue careers in music, from 6-month-olds in our Early Childhood Programs to recent retirees returning to music making after decades devoted to pursuing careers and raising children—all enjoy these benefits:

  • A supportive, joyful learning environment. We inspire students to develop their full creative potential, pursuing their love of music with peers, faculty, friends, and family.

  • A focus on the whole person. Developing musical skill, understanding, and appreciation goes hand in hand with nurturing valuable learning and life skills. Problem-solving abilities, self-confidence, peer relationships, focus and organization, teamwork, leadership, and more grow stronger when learning and performing music with others.

  • Exceptional teaching. Our faculty members—drawn from New York’s most experienced and talented teachers and performers—excel at meeting individual needs, developing artistic and human potential, and inspiring achievement for students of all levels of ability.

  • A multifaceted curriculum. Our comprehensive, sequential approach deepens and accelerates musical development through individualized private instruction; classroom instruction in music theory, composition and improvisation; regular performance opportunities, including recitals, workshops, performance festivals, and master classes with visiting artists; and ongoing assessment of student progress.

Today, as one of Westchester County’s largest cultural institutions, we serve more than 800 students through our campus in Scarsdale and reach hundreds more at Blythedale Children’s Hospital and West COP Head Start Centers throughout the county.

A nonprofit organization, the School was chartered by the State of New York in 1958 is governed by a dedicated Board of Trustees, and supported by an active volunteer organization, The Friends.

Tuition revenue covers 79% of annual operating expenses; financial contribution from HBMS families and other individuals, foundation grants, and government contracts account for the remaining 21%.

Much of this support is earmarked for our financial aid program, which provides more than $175,000 a year in assistance to scores of students who otherwise would not be able to attend.

Understanding the importance of giving back—and mindful of music’s power to bring people together and create community—students and faculty share their music via frequent performances at nursing homes, senior centers, and public events ranging from Scarsdale’s Halloween Parade and annual Tree Lighting Ceremony to the White Plains Jazz Festival, and more.

As a community music school, Hoff-Barthelson is open to everyone and we welcome your interest and involvement!