BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Judith G. Wharton Music Center in Berkeley Heights is less like a music school and more like a music community.
The spacious center, located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights, is the epicenter of performing arts, where students of all ages can learn to play instruments, perform on stage, even record professional demos. Classes range from instrumentals to music theory, musical theater, drama and dance. There are groups for children with special needs, voice lessons, even Beginner Hip Hop, Advanced Cabaret, and Songwriting.
Just walking down the hall is to be gently flooded with all things musical. Each room offers a way for students to learn and practice music – full-sized pianos, portable keyboards, music stands, equipment. Even the walls are dotted with framed album covers that span artists and genres from Ella Fitzgerald to the Beatles.
More than a school where students tote instruments to and from lessons, Judith G. Wharton is the largest independent community music center in New Jersey. They offer a range of musical genres including classical, rock, jazz, and blues, and serve students in Berkeley Heights, Summit, New Providence, Chatham, Long Hill, Warren, Basking Ridge, Watchung, Westfield, Scotch Plains, Morristown, Short Hills, Livingston, and other surrounding communities.
WMC faculty hail from among the top music schools and conservatories worldwide and nurture and encourage their students by sharing their love of music. With more than 60 instructors, many of whom perform professionally, WMC’s faculty have studied at leading music conservatories such as Manhattan School of Music, The Boston Conservatory, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Mason Gross School of the Arts, The Juilliard School, St. Petersburg Conservatory, and Odessa State Conservatory.
Enhancing the sense of community and individual aspirations of its students, WMC’s specially designed facility features 21 studios and classrooms and a large performance hall for recitals, concerts, and performances.
Located on a quiet street in Berkeley Heights across from the Berkeley Heights Community Pool, the one-story building of more than 11,000 square feet includes an audio recording studio, a library and study room, a comfortable waiting room, and ample parking. Two of the classrooms are especially equipped for young children. The building also houses a dance studio and a vocal studio and is handicapped accessible.
WMC is also a part of the bigger community. Since opening its doors, the center has provided music education and performances to socio-economically challenged communities. Two of the center’s longest-running programs provide music education to young children at Morristown’s Neighborhood House and Jefferson Park Day Care Center in Elizabeth. Other outreach programs are provided to children at Children’s Specialized Hospital, Chancellor Avenue Elementary School in Irvington, and Summit Youth Center.
In addition, free and low-cost concerts are given by WMC at senior centers, assisted living residences, and libraries in addition to WMC’s own Performance Hall. WMC also provides off-site music programs to schools including The Academy of Our Lady of Peace in New Providence and Franklin Elementary School in Summit.
For more information on Judith G. Wharton Music Center, visit www.WhartonMusicCenter.org.