Our Mission

Enriching the lives of youth and Building Community through classical music

Attending Lyra was one of the most inspirational, transformative, and exciting experiences I have ever had.
— Ella, cello student

The Lyra Music Festival and Workshop was founded in 2010 by New York based pianists and educators Mary Prescott and Akiko Sasaki with a vision of enhancing the lives of young musicians and enriching communities through classical music. Co-directed by Akiko Sasaki and Rachel Odo, Lyra Music continues to grow and develop, flourishing in its summer home at Smith College in Northampton, MA.

The Lyra summer workshop is a three-week conservatory-style program for classical pianists and string players ages 9-18. These talented young musicians live, work and play together, alongside an outstanding faculty and staff dedicated to creating a nurturing, supportive environment for musical and personal growth through the study of classical solo and chamber ensemble repertoire.  Lyra’s Summer Music Festival runs in tandem with the workshop. Internationally-recognized musicians work with Lyra’s students in masterclasses and perform in solo concert events, all open to the public. Lyra’s students hone their performance skills through weekly, free, community outreach concerts and a final gala student concert celebrating the culmination of their weeks of hard work, dedication and commitment . Every component of the Lyra summer music program is designed to work synergistically towards the goals of training Lyra’s young musicians, building community through world-class concerts and free-outreach, inspiring and nurturing tomorrow’s musicians and music audiences today.

During the year, Lyra continues to give students and the community opportunities to come together through classical music with the Lyra Music Youth Competition, held annually in New York City, and through group concert outings and special performance opportunities. Lyra faculty also performs outreach and fundraising concerts throughout the New England area to build support for Lyra’s Scholarship/Financial Aid Program and all of Lyra’s activities.  


Lyra Music is a 501c3 non-profit organization grateful to a community of dedicated supporters whose generosity helps Lyra thrive. Join us!