Important School Updates and Online Learning at Bloomingdale!

An evening of music to benefit BSM's Scholarship Fund

Details For: Important School Updates and Online Learning at Bloomingdale!

March 3, 2019


Broadway Presbyterian Church
601 West 114th Street & Broadway

Honoring Burton Kassell, Board Member

Dear Bloomingdale families,

We know these are strange and unfamiliar times and that most of us are getting accustomed to a temporary change in our day to day lives. In this time of uncertainty, one thing you can be certain of is that Bloomingdale School of Music is still hard at work serving you, our community. While we wish we could be meeting in person in our beloved brownstone, we understand the severity of the current health crisis and are happy to be able to continue working and building community with all of you- even remotely!

To ensure consistent learning as required through this challenging time, we are conducting private lessons, modified group classes, and ensembles remotely via online platforms for the majority of our students. We are working towards having this be an option for ALL students soon. If you have not done so already, please take a minute to connect with your faculty member to set up video lessons during this school closure. 

Our staff is now set up remotely and working with faculty, both individually to address specific needs for their studios, and also through a series of webinar meetings, where we came together for training and to share ideas and best practices to help us navigate this transition. 

Here is what some of our staff and faculty are reporting back from just a few short days of virtual teaching:

  • Students who continue to meet for regular music lessons report maintaining a sense of normalcy during this crisis and their class time serves as a structured and educational activity for students while they’re adjusting to a new schedule at home
  • Meeting regularly with faculty allows students and families to see a familiar face and chat with someone who knows and cares about them
  • Some students, especially younger students, are finding that virtual lessons enable them to really listen, focus, and stay engaged during the entire lesson with the help of a parent- thank you parents!
  • Students are finding more time to practice their instruments and are looking forward to their lessons and classes even more!


We are so glad to be able to hear some of your success stories with this new endeavor for Bloomingdale- please keep sharing your experiences with us! (Send emails to, or connect via social media below.) In a few days, we will email out a document of resources, tips, and tricks our faculty have shared with us to help ensure smooth virtual meetings and positive experiences just like these. 

Starting on Monday and throughout next week, our registration staff will be reaching out to each family to check in on how this transition is going and ways we can assist you during this time. 

Now, more than ever, our Family Data Project is essential to complete, confirming the best way to reach out to our families and stay connected. If you have not sent your forms back – please reach out to Marianela Torres, to submit your copy electronically. We are extending the entry for the raffle prize of BSM Swag to March 31st.

Registration staff are available 7 days a week to attend to and support families and can best be reached by email at during the following hours:

Monday: 11 am to 9 pm

Tuesday: 11 am to 9 pm

Wednesday: 11 am to 9 pm

Thursday: 11 am to 9 pm

Friday: 11 am to 9 pm

Saturday: 9 am to 5 pm

Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm


We are keeping a close eye on new information from local (Dept of Health & Mental Hygiene, Dept of Education, Dept of Cultural Affairs), state (NY State), and national organizations (CDC) on when we are able to re-open and will keep you updated as soon as possible. Until we are able to open, we highly encourage students to continue their classes online. Not only are we incredibly invested in your music education and wish to offer consistent teaching, but we also want to support our faculty members so that we don’t enter the later months of this semester with a backlog of makeup lessons. 

We thank you all so much for your flexibility during this time and remain ever grateful to our wonderful faculty for really working with us in this quick transition. Know that even though we may be apart for now, we are still your center for community music and are here for you!

If you have stories from your times at home, please share them with us. Also, don’t forget to connect to our social media pages so that we can see what your #BSMathome learning looks like and that we can stay connected with you during this time.


All the best,

Lohengrin Velasquez

Director of Student Services

Tonight's Featured Performers

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Honoring Our Longest Serving Board Member

Burton Kassell first moved to the Upper West Side in 1962.

The longest serving member of Bloomingdale School of Music’s board of directors, Burton Kassell first moved to the Upper West Side in 1962. Born in Brooklyn, and a graduate of Baruch School of Business class of 1958, he began a career in sales and later ventured in to real estate. He is the chief executive officer of the Palidrome Corporation which he founded in 1974 as a multifamily residential owner, developer and manager. Kassell fondly remembers the neighborhood in the 1960’s saying, “In warm weather you would hear a lot of music because windows would be open and people would be singing or playing the piano…”

It was a lucky happenstance that one day in the 1960s he noticed a double line of very young children holding hands walking from their public school (where they had no music program) to Bloomingdale School of Music. It was this sight that so moved him to discover David Greer and the work of Bloomingdale resulting in a contribution of $1,000. His support of BSM then and now is fueled by his love for children, his belief in the transformational power of music education, and the desire to ensure access to high quality music education for all who seek it. 

To Kassell, a music education is part of being a well rounded person, as essential as reading or looking at art. His belief in the importance and value of BSM extends to his own family, with both children and grandchildren having attended the school.

This Event Owes Great Thanks to Henry Rinehart

British born Henry Rinehart has enjoyed a formidable career as a successful restaurateur and accomplished actor. Henry attended the famous School of Performing Arts while living on New York City’s Upper West Side not far from where he would go on to create his eponymous restaurant, HENRY’s. 

Henry believes that restaurants are fundamental to the civic fabric of any community. Together the strains of art, performance and hospitality were the foundation of his two decade long fine dining success.

Henry is very excited to join the Bloomingdale community for the Notes from 108th Street celebration of Burton Kassell. “Burton was a long-time guest at HENRY’s and a treasured member of the Upper West Side community.”

Other SPonsors for This Event

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A Few Last Notes

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