In 1975-76, John Balamos was awarded a grant by the prestigious grant by the Rockefeller Foundation to explore new concepts for teaching music with emphasis on creativity.

A CREATIVE SENSE OF MUSIC was the outcome of the research completed at the Manhattan School of Music. Research findings were presented at Carnegie Hall with an open invitation to music teachers all over the country.


“One of the most worthwhile educational concepts I have encountered”
Aldo Parisot, Professor of Music, Yale University

“In my opinion, this is a unique undertaking. I believe that nothing remotely like it has ever been attempted before.”
Lehman Engel, Composer, Conductor and Author,
Director Musical Theatre Workshop, Broadcast Music, Inc.

“The work of Mr. Balamos is one of the first I have encountered that breaks the ritual of the past, but far more importantly, succeeds in its stated aims. The results are extremely impressive. An unexpected freedom has replaced a dogmatic approach - with startling music-making as the end result. I was astonished to witness the complete freedom of musical thought that the process engendered”
Harold Farberman, Conductor and Music Director,
Oakland Symphony Orchestra

“Unique and Refreshing!”
David Simon, Dean, Manhattan School of Music

“Simply Stunning!”
Dr. Robert Abramson, Chairman, Music Theory Department, Manhattan School of Music

“I shall be glad to add my good word, whenever the opportunity arises.”
Vincent Persichetti, Professor of Music, Chairman, Composition Department,
The Julliard School

“What you have managed to do is to synthesize into written materials, the practice of some of the most creative teachers. It is rather a wonder that it has not been done before.”
Warren H. Yost, National Program Director, Young Audiences, Inc.

“Truly Original”
Justine Shir-cliff, Professor of Music, Manhattan School of Music

“I think the end product will be something exciting and invaluable to the educational world.”
Broadus Erle, Professor of Music, Yale University

“It’s A Hell of An Idea”
Dr. Robert Pace, Professor of Music, Teachers College, Columbia University

“There is no question that whoever uses this material will experience a tremendous amount of musical growth. There is nothing like it that I know of.”
Saul Feldstein, Vice President, Alfred Educational Publishers, Inc.

“A significant contribution to the field of music education.”
Emil H. Serposs, Professor of Music, Brooklyn College

“Stimulating and educationally sound.”
Dr. Mary B. Lenom, Director Preparatory Division, Manhattan School of Music

“I cannot get my feelings of excitement into words. This can open up vistas of outer space to anyone interested in learning what music really is. It could potentially shake the foundations of how we learn what music is.”
Ken Stuart, Executive Editor, Schirmer Books Division, MacMillan Publishing Company, Inc.

For his last 25 years, John Balamos incorporated learnings from Creative Sense of Music at his second home, The 92nd Street Y in New York City. There his classroom became his playground.

He developed music appreciation and theory programs that crossed lines and age barriers. Choral groups for 80 year olds. Beginning piano improvisation for 90 year olds. Beginning tap dancing for seniors. Innovative nursery school music programs.

He helped people connect to the music that was already inside of them, waiting to emerge.
Barriers were removed and new frontiers forged in how music could be taught and enjoyed. His goal was simple, to instill confidence in his students; knowing full well that the confidence learned in the “safe” zone of the music classroom, would over time, transition to confidence in life.

lenox Hill Winter 2011 Prime Times March 2011

For more information about CREATIVE SENSE OF MUSIC,
email gcasciato@comcast.net or call (630) 248-2484.