Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute


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Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute

The Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute has been a powerful stimulus to music on Staten Island since its inception. Current and former faculty members and students are active in the cultural life of the community. They teach in Staten Island schools and colleges and they are performers and conductors for ensembles and orchestras locally and throughout the New York City area.


Elzbieta Seeley, Director of the Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute, 718.475.5263

               Download our 2017-2018 Brochure

Upcoming Events › Music Institute

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Recorder Ensemble for Adults

July 20 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 3:30pm on Friday, repeating indefinitely

Musicians of all levels get together and enjoy playing multi-part music on an instrument that is easy to learn. Those who play compatible instruments or sing are also welcomed.

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Fri 20

Recorder Ensemble for Adults

July 20 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm


  • History

Music instruction at the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island began in the late 1950s in affiliation with the Bronx House School of Music. In 1970, the Music Institute of the JCC was founded by its co-directors, Dorothy Delson Kuhn and Bertha R. Mandel, as an autonomous music school. The school received its current name, The Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute, in 1994.

  • Mission

The mission of the Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute is to provide, in a community music school setting at the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island, exceptionally fine instruction in the performance, understanding and appreciation of music, particularly but not exclusively, to schoolchildren.

  • General Information

The Music Institute is a non-profit and non-sectarian music school. It is the only member school of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts on Staten Island. As a Guild School, the Music Institute provides high quality instruction at affordable rates to all who seek it, regardless of age, income or ethnic origin. Programs of instruction are available for students of all ages, from early childhood to adult, and at every level, from beginner to advanced. The faculty is composed of highly qualified professional musicians with extensive teaching and performing experience. They attain fine results with students in a non-competitive environment. Music Institute students learn in an atmosphere conducive to personal and musical growth. While students gain intensive training on their chosen instrument in individual lessons, they can supplement this training with classes in musicianship and theory, and ensemble playing. Frequent student-faculty recitals provide an incentive for progress and an opportunity for students to share their accomplishments with their families, friends and other students. At these recitals, students are able to hear their peers and teachers play.



Scheduled Lessons and Classes – Students must make every effort to be on time for all classes and lessons. In deference to subsequent students and classes, all lessons/classes will end at the scheduled time. Absence – All lessons must be paid for whether taken or missed. There is no refund of tuition for the student’s absence nor are the teachers obligated to make up a lesson missed by student. Lessons cancelled due to faculty absence or building closure due to poor weather conditions will be rescheduled. Withdrawals and Refund – Written notice of withdrawal must be submitted to the Director of the Music Institute before any student will be considered for a refund. The date on which the written withdrawal notice is postmarked, not the last day of attendance, is considered as the official date of withdrawal. Tuition refunds will be considered based on number of lessons given up to the date of official withdrawal including student absences. No refunds are given after the fifth lesson; however, a JCC credit will be considered. Scholarship students will forfeit scholarship money if they discontinue lessons for any reason during the year. A $25 administration fee will be charged for any withdrawal, refund or credit.


Parents must accept responsibility for their children when they are not in class to insure their child’s safety. Children should not be left unattended before or after the assigned lesson time. Parents are asked to assist in assuring that siblings do not disturb the lessons and classes while waiting.


These are held monthly throughout the program year. Student participation is determined by the teacher. Students and guests are expected to stay for the entire recital and maintain appropriate behavior for the duration. Excessive or loud talking, walking around, or leaving the room while another student is performing is disrespectful and strictly prohibited. An intermission will be scheduled for any recital expected to last longer than 75 minutes.


The Music Institute reserves the right to discontinue any student who falls behind in payments, is frequently absent or tardy, or for other reasons at the discretion of the Director.


Music instruction may be arranged, through consultation with the Director, for the child or adult with special needs. PHOTOGRAPHS &


Photographs and videos of music students are often taken during lessons or recitals to be used for publicity purposes (flyers, bulletins, ads).

Help bring music into someones life

  • Friends of the Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute

The Music Institute has a long tradition of offering fine faculty performances to the public. An annual contribution of $36 helps ensure that these performances will continue. To become a Friend, contact the Music Institute or send your contribution to the JCC, Attention: Ela. 12MU301

  • The Scholarship Program

A substantial scholarship program enables many students to receive financial help towards their musical studies at the Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute. The Foundation for the Music Institute was established in 1978 to insure the continuity of this program. Auditions for scholarships are held in late spring and during the summer.
Scholarships are awarded on the basis of musical experience, ability and financial need. Students who are entering grades 6 through 12, and who have had some previous training on their instrument, are eligible to audition for a scholarship. Younger students of exceptional ability, with some previous training and a teacher recommendation, are also eligible.

  • Foundation for the Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute

The mission of the Foundation for the Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute is to provide funds for essential music school expenses that tuition income does not cover, enabling the school to maintain high standards of community service. The primary function of the Foundation is to finance scholarships for talented and needy schoolchildren. Funds may also be allocated for special programs for music students, music faculty and music administrators and for the repairs or purchase of instruments, equipment and other instructional materials.

If you would like to make a contribution to the Music Institute Foundation please make your check to: The Foundation for the Music Institute of the JCC. Mail it to: Joan and Alan Bernikow JCC, 1466 Manor Rd., Staten Island, NY 10314, Attn: Ela Seeley

You may also contribute to or fund a specific scholarship in memory of someone  or establish a scholarship in someone’s honor. Please call Ela Seeley, 718.475.5263.


30, 45 or 60 minutes

Enrollment is for 30 weekly lessons from October through June. A special provision is made for late registrants. Lessons are offered at both the Joan and Alan Bernikow JCC and Avis/South Shore JCC.

Private lessons are available in:
• Piano • Guitar • Violin • Cello • Voice • Flute • Oboe
• Saxophone • Trumpet • Recorder • Clarinet
• French horn • Trombone • Tuba • Drums

  • Musicianship-Theory Classes

provide enrichment through instruction in theory, ear training, musical forms, music history and general music appreciation. This class is included with private lesson tuition. Participation is highly recommended.
For those not enrolled in Music Institute private lessons, a special arrangement may be made.

  • Student-Faculty Recitals

Student-Faculty recitals are held monthly, free of charge. Piano accompaniments are provided by faculty members. In addition to student presentations, Music Institute faculty will be featured. Students improve performance skills, learn concert decorum and more. All students are urged to perform in at least one recital during the school year. Students receiving scholarships are required to participate
in at least one recital. Recital dates and time TBA.

  • Examination Preparation

The Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute offers preparation for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and New York State School Music Association exams.

For Membership Inquiries Please Contact:
Membership Services 718.475.5223 

Select JCC facilities are available to all organizations, groups and individuals for life cycle events, meetings and celebrations. Call 718.475.5261 for information.