Peter DiGennaro, Director of Education
Describe your role at TBMS: Ultimately, my role as Director of Education at Turtle Bay is to ensure the natural, healthy growth and learning processes of our amazing educational community with informed oversight and collective input. This community, of course, includes student and employee participants, as well as partnerships with neighbors, professional artists, service organizations, and businesses in New York City and beyond. Charged with supervising and supporting our amazing faculty and program staff, I provide leadership and strategic direction for all tuition bearing lessons and classes (with the exception of the Pre-School), as well as Community Partnerships and Engagement. Ultimately, I am responsible for maintaining Turtle Bay’s clear and dedicated educational vision centered around access, inclusion, and excellence for all. Given my personal and professional mission, I am committed to ensuring and demonstrating these guiding principles as living values in active celebration of the past, present, and future Turtle Bay community.
Why is music important to you? I firmly believe, for many reasons, that art-making is a basic human instinct – that is, unstoppable. Based in and through soundmusic appears as both before and beyond language. Even as it involves language, it may recast the very meaning of language, itself. As a result, whether alone or in a group, while simultaneously making and receiving music, we have the opportunity to return our attention to the wonder and life of the full moment through music, listening to what is resonating against us, within us, and around us. Then we can palpably and graciously receive the true relationship of what is at hand, within ourselves and in community, ready to contribute another note – even a silent note – to the relationship. And then another. And another. And so on.
What is your background? Before being given the privilege of working at Turtle Bay, I was a professional musician (keyboards) for 20 years, often working in dance, theater, and film. As the founder of the Rock Program (NMS Rocks!, NMS Summer Rocks!) at the Neighborhood Music School, I developed student-centered programming for personal, cultural, and social consciousness through original student work. Originally self-taught, highlighting the practice of learning hownto learn, while honoring the original and generative creative voices of individuals and communities, as well as the value of good guidance in support of that process, remains a persistent passion of mine.
I received my bachelors from Bentley University (Management, Communications) in 1992, and my Masters Degree from NYU’s Arts Politics program in 2015 with a Concentration in International Human Rights, Collective Leadership, and Peace Education. My research interests center around personal and social psychologies of Power and Identity.