“A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland," Harmony, a nine year old, sang.
Spirits are high and music is flowing here on the Lower East Side.
“I like it and it’s nice," one child smiled.
“I really like the songs that we sing,” Nikita, a student, said.
These little ones are part of the Christmas Carolers group at the Third Street Music School Settlement.
“It’s very warm and I think a lot of people like to come here," Harmony explained.
“We are the longest running community music school in the country,” Valerie Lewis, executive director, said. "One of our beliefs at Third Street is that arts and arts education play a critical role in the development of an individual as well a community.”
And this community is rockin' year-round, offering classes in everything from dance to violin to flute to rock band, which is where we caught up with longtime student Siena Sherer.
“I very much feel like I’m a product of this music school," Sherer said. "I’ve spent a lot of time here learning.”
The 17 year-old has tried her hand at art, ballet and choir. But the guitar is where her heart and soul is.
“I’ve always taken guitar lessons here, which taught me obviously how to play guitar but I think also how to learn a new thing which is something I think kids don’t always get just by going to school,” she explained.
Sherer has performed in top-notch venues like Carnegie Hall, all with the help of Third Street.
“What was going through your mind?" I asked her about that performance. "That I could just die right there, I looked down and I was like ooh!” she laughed.
This place also grows talented classical performers like the advanced Piano Trio, which is just incredible.
“I started playing when I was seven years old,” Josue Nunez, pianist, said. "I felt really excited to play because I was like the first person in my family to have this talent.”
"I’m always surrounded by my friends, people who are like family to me," Olivia D'Amato, violinist, said. "I mean everybody here is just so supportive."
“I’ve learned a lot of social skills here," Henry Anderson, cellist, explained. "How to play with other people, work with other people, to cooperate and how to take advice humbly.”
They along with the rest of the students now have two new spaces to show off their stuff as well as a recording studio coming early next year.
“What would you tell people your age about this place?" I asked Star, one of the child carolers, "That if you want to have fun you should go here,” she replied.
“The teachers are very nice here,” Naima, another caroler, said.
“It’s really nice and that they would have fun here," Harmony smiled.
Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi