Pipeline of Learning

Musical Encounter

For more than 40 years, the Musical Encounter program has introduced music and dance to young students from our partner elementary schools. Each year, nearly 7,000 K–5 children experience performances by Colburn Community School students which are facilitated by our master teaching artists.

As a pathway to deepen engagement with these students, each February we invite over 2,000 fourth graders from our partner schools to attend a special performance in Zipper Hall called Musical Encounter Interactive. These shows are collaboratively written and produced by Conservatory students who work with a professional script writer, actor, and drama coach to create a theatrical interactive performance for fourth grade students.

Summer Encounter

Summer Encounter is the Colburn School’s annual multidisciplinary arts immersion camp for rising fifth grade students from our local Title I partner schools. For two weeks, 60 campers take intensive classes in voice, guitar, keyboard, percussion, recorder, drama, spoken word poetry, and dance, while collaboratively creating and producing a full theatrical performance which they debut at the end of the camp.

Students who excel during Summer Encounter and express interest in furthering their performing arts education may be eligible for scholarships to continue their studies at Colburn until they graduate from high school.


Central to the Colburn School’s commitment to providing equitable access to excellence, Jumpstart is an immersive after-school music training program in the Community School of Performing Arts designed to serve students at the intersection of need and merit from our local Title I schools and community partners. Jumpstart equips students with the knowledge and resources they need to become thriving artists by offering 100% scholarship-supported access to the highest quality music education. Multiple points of entry are strategically established throughout the program to start students at the right time with the right support.

Jumpstart students receive instruments and materials at no cost and participate in weekly classes led by distinguished Colburn faculty and Conservatory Teaching Fellows. The Jumpstart program directly addresses the lack of arts education within public schools and serves as a pathway for students to acquire skills linked to both personal and academic success through music.

Admission to the Jumpstart program is by recommendation from a partner school, internal faculty member, or community partner.

Community School Access Fund and Herbert Zipper Scholars

Young cellist in a lesson with a cello faculty member
The Access Fund provides need-based scholarships to students of the Community School of Performing Arts, which offers over 120 classes for students ranging in age from seven months old to adult studies. Through the generous support of more than 250 individual donors, the Access Fund is able to support over 280 students through financial aid awards and Herbert Zipper Scholarships each year.

Founded in 2013, the Herbert Zipper Scholars program offers highly motivated students with financial need the opportunity to receive comprehensive music education at no cost. The Herbert Zipper Scholars program is comprised of Community School students, some of which include former Jumpstart and Summer Encounter participants, who receive full tuition each year to cover a variety of classes, including music theory, private lessons, and ensemble participation, among many other academic and performance opportunities.

To learn more about how to support our students, please contact the Philanthropy Office at philanthropy@colburnschool.edu or 213-621-4512.