Emerson Program

Emerson Program

Music con Brio is an immersive, inclusive, community-based after-school music program housed at Emerson Elementary School in Madison, Wisconsin. Registration in Music con Brio is open to all Madison area students in 1st – 4th grade. Once enrolled in the program, our students may continue through high school graduation. However, many of our students “graduate” out of the program early to join the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO), MadFiddle, or their school orchestras.


We currently offer instruction in violin, cello and piano. Students choose one primary instrument to begin, and may choose to add a secondary instrument starting in their second year. All of our students participate in partner lessons and group classes every week throughout the school year and during an optional 4-week summer program. We also offer special summer programming such as a Fiddle Intensive in partnership with the Sugar Maple Music Festival, Summer Workshop Series events, and supplemental summer classes like DIY Instruments and Composer Spotlights.

We offer holistic music instruction throughout the academic year, teaching technical skills, rhythm, note-reading, ear training, music theory, diverse musical styles and genres, ensemble playing, and even some composition and improvisation. We also teach valuable problem-solving skills, performance skills, discipline, and focus. Our curriculum is designed to teach not only the specifics of playing an instrument, but also the skills necessary to learn anything new.

Music con Brio provides a variety of performance opportunities each year, including our Community Concert Series, our First Year Student Showcase, our annual Spring Solo Recitals, and our Summer Workshop Series. We’ve opened for concerts at the Wisconsin Union Theater and Overture Center, and performed at the Barrymore Theater, the Majestic Theater, and many other venues all over Madison. In fact, our students regularly perform with professional musicians in professional venues, giving them invaluable musical background and building their confidence to try new musical endeavors of their own.


Tuition is charged on a sliding scale, and individual payment plans are available. No one is turned away due to financial need! Also, instruments are provided on loan free of charge to all students who need them for the duration of their enrollment in the program.

Tuition is charged on a sliding scale. No one is turned away due to financial need!

Find out more about how to enroll here.