By Joe Salas and Katie Lee
At the six-way intersection of 7th Avenue South, Bleecker Street, and Barrow Street, many changes have been unfolding this summer, some more subtle than others. Seemingly endless jackhammering from the installation of fiber optic service, of-fering to dramatically transform the neighborhood’s telecommunications system, has dominated the area for most of the sea-son. However, down sleepy Barrow Street, a refreshing transformation has taken hold at the Greenwich House Music School (GHMS).
It began earlier this summer. In July, the GHMS partnered with Greenwich House’s Children’s Safety Project, whose mission is to help children overcome the trauma of abuse. Thanks to a grant from veteran GHMS student and former therapist Benice Brilliant, the GHMS became home to a two-week music and art therapy workshop. Through music and art, children were provided outlets to express their emotions, reconcile feelings resulting from past trauma, and create a new identity with which to move towards a brighter future.
This programmatic expansion was not the only transformation happening at the GHMS. In August, physical repairs were begun to stabilize and modernize the twin row houses, built in 1851, that the GHMS calls home. The GHMS closed for a month as scaffolding rose. Behind the scaffolding, the entire facade was remortared. Inside, more upgrades were underway including a deep cleaning, new signage and, most excitingly, new air conditioners which will allow a greater use of the building year-round.
“This work follows up on earlier electrical work we completed in the spring. And I know it might not be the most exciting,” GHMS Director Rachel Black said, “but by investing in the Music School’s infrastructure, we’re letting the community know that we plan on being a musical refugte for the Village for another 100 years.”
When the scaffolding comes down in September, a refreshed GHMS will celebrate with an old classic: the Annual Open House. The free afternoon of family fun is a GHMS tradition. Featuring arts and crafts, fun and games, drum circle, and a performance by Matt Singer of The Big Littles, the Annual Open House is a chance for new and returning families to become familiar with the revitalized century-old institution, meet other parents and students, and sign up for programs.
This year’s Greenwich House Music School’s Annual Open House will be held on Wednesday, September 27th from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m for more information, visit the website.
Greenwich House Music School Reveals Lesser-Known But Most Important Offering: Transformation
By Joe Salas and Katie Lee