About MUSE Academy
MUSE Academy was founded by the Brooklyn Music School and was Chartered by the Board of Regents of of the University of the State of New York as an independent grade school in July of 2018.
MUSE Academy is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and eligible for tax deductible donations.
We seek to develop the full potential of every child as lifelong learners, expressive artists, and active citizens in his or her community.
At MUSE we work with a dynamic and diverse community, seeking to develop the full potential of all children as avid lifelong learners, expressive artists, and engaged citizens. Intense early involvement with music, movement, art, and performance have a profoundly positive impact on cognitive and social development and are central to the MUSE educational curriculum. As part of the Brooklyn Music School, MUSE Academy strives to maintain its diverse student body, and make exceptional, arts-intensive education accessible to a wide range of families in our community.
MUSE Board of Trustees
MUSE Academy is managed by the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Music School and dedicated to providing exceptional humanist education with a strong focus on music, dance, and the performing arts.
Chair, MUSE Academy
As Chair of the Board of MUSE Academy, Crocker Coulson is delighted with the Founding Team of exceptional educators and artists that have joined MUSE Academy and works closely with the Board to make sure that the school operates in a manner consistent with our commitment to diversity and access in arts education. Crocker played a key role in founding MUSE Academy, including hiring of the leadership, and overseeing the development of the curriculum, brand, business plan, and philosophy of the school from inception.
MR. DREW BERNSTEIN
Drew Bernstein is recognized as one of the leading authorities on accounting practices and financial due diligence for cross-border transactions with Chinese and developing market companies. He co-leads Marcum's China practice, Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk (Marcum BP), and has helped the firm to become a top-three auditor of Chinese companies listed on the U.S. markets.
Drew's industry experience encompasses the technology, retail, manufacturing, hospitality, pharmaceutical, professional practices, and real estate sectors, and he has worked with clients across the United States, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Drew co-founded Bernstein & Pinchuk LLP in 1983. Prior to that, he worked at a predecessor firm of Grant Thornton LLP and graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Accounting.
Drew has a strong interest in making the performing arts accessible to everyone regardless of age, income, previous experience or professional aspirations and believes in the benefits of BMS's mission and programming to building a stronger New York City for the future.
MR. PETER BORDES
Peter is a lifetime entrepreneur, mentor, and advisor, who is obsessed with the infinite realm of possibility in the digital transformation of the world through digital media/marketing, big data, machine learning, cybersecurity & blockchain. Peter is currently the Chairman & Founder oneQube, the leading digital Audience Management Platform [AMP] to build, manage and market to digital audiences. Prior to oneQube Mr. Bordes was a founder, CEO & Chairman of MediaTrust the leading real-time performance marketing exchange. During his tenure as CEO the company was the 9th fastest growing company in the United State in 2009, and he was a founding member and Chairman of the Performance Marketing Association.Mr. Bordes spent much of his career in banking and venture capital and was a founder of Mason Cabot investment bank, which specialized in early stage media and technology financing. Active angel investor and entrepreneur mentor. Ranked in the top 100 most influential angel investors in the United States and social media. Member of the Thiel Foundation 20 Under 20 Mentor Program. Peter is also the founder of Trajectory Capital and TruVest real estate.
MR. MARK BRAITHWAITE, D.D.S., M.A.
Mark is the Chief, Dental and Oral Medicine, VA Connecticut Healthcare specializes in periodontology and implant dentistry for the Department of Veteran Affairs.
He has held numerous positions in public service and private practice within the dental profession, including service at Harlem Hospital, Loyola University of Chicago Medical Center and Cardinal Bernadin Cancer Center and as Chief of Dental and Oral Medicine for the Department of Veteran Affairs, Connecticut Healthcare System. He has received grant funding for post-doctoral research in cellular and molecular biology, to study oncology and periodontal disease in oral health. Mark is also an alumnus of the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
Mark has had a lifelong interest in jazz music and its history, having been a disc jockey for jazz programming at WKCR FM radio in New York City while attending Columbia University. He is currently studying saxophone at BMS and contributing his jazz muse as a senior member of the BMS Jazz Orchestra.
MR. JOHN FLORES
John Flores is a Managing Director in the Consumer and Retail team at RBC Capital Markets, where he is responsible for structuring and underwriting debt financing transactions and providing corporate banking relationship coverage for private and public corporations. Prior to RBC, John was a Vice President at GE Capital, where he managed debt restructurings for corporate bank loans. John began his career at JPMorgan, where he served as an Associate in the Chemicals Group and in Latin America M&A. John received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Biological Sciences from Santa Clara University and an MBA from the University of Texas McCombs Business School.
As a New York transplant, John is excited to get involved on a community level and believes strongly in the mission of BMS - bringing music and arts education to everyone regardless of their background and resources.
MS. SHELBY GREEN
Shelby Green is a professor of Law at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in White Plains, N.Y. Shelby is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. She teaches and writes in the areas of property, real estate transactions, housing and historic preservation. Her most recent publication, with co-author Professor Nicholas A. Robinson, is Historic Preservation, Law and Culture (2018). She is vice-chair of the Legal Education Group of the Real Property Trust and Estate Section of the American Bar Association, editor of the Keeping Current-Property column in Probate & Property magazine, and an organizer, occasional presenter and regular moderator for the monthly webinar, Professors’ Corner, offered by the same section. Shelby serves on the Board of Directors of the Jay Heritage Center, which manages the John Jay Estate, a National Historic Landmark in Rye, N.Y. She started piano lessons as an adult and is still learning.
MS. BETH HADDOCK
Beth Haddock, Managing Partner of Warburton Advisors, is committed to delivering sustainable governance and compliance services to boards, CEOs and compliance management at leading multinational corporations, technology companies, and impact investing firms. Ms. Haddock draws on more than two decades in the trenches, and as CCO, at some of the world’s leading financial services companies; most notably, AXA, Brown Brothers Harriman and Guggenheim. Ms. Haddock is the author of Triple Bottom-line Compliance: How to Deliver Protection, Productivity and Impact and she hosts the podcast “What’s Ethical.” Ms. Haddock also enjoys teaching as an adjunct professor and speaking in the U.S. and Abroad on ethics and compliance. As a BMS Trustee, she’s furthering her dedication to education, her passion for music and a rich tradition of serving the Brooklyn Community. www.warburtonadvisers.com and www.bethhaddock.com.
MR. ZACH KOUWE
Zach Kouwe is a Senior Vice President at Dukas Linden Public Relations (DLPR), where he co-heads the agency’s asset management practice and provides strategic communications counsel to financial and professional services firms. He joined DLPR in 2011 after nearly a decade as a journalist, most recently for The New York Times and the New York Post. He has also written for the Denver Post, The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones and Institutional Investor.
Zach lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter. All three are music lovers and attend concerts and performances around the country including an annual trip to the Newport Folk Festival.
He holds a B.S. in Economics from Hamilton College and an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Zach also serves on the board of the New York Financial Writers Association.
MS. WINDY LAWRENCE
Windy is the General Counsel of AXA Insurance Company, where she is responsible for overseeing all legal and compliance issues for AXA. Prior to this, she served as Chief Compliance Officer, Lead Director and Associate General Counsel at AXA Distributors LLC and Social Media Compliance Associate General Counsel at AXA Equitable and held several other roles there, after beginning her career at the law firm of Hughes, Hubbard, & Reed, LLP. Windy obtained her BA from Wellesley College in Political Philosophy and got her JD at Duke University School of Law. A resident of Brooklyn, she is passionate about creating educational opportunities for young people and building a stronger community.
MS. SASHA LAZARD
A classically trained opera singer, Sasha is internationally acclaimed for her pristine and richly expressive soprano and her visionary artistry. Sasha has become an in-demand artist across borders and creative communities, and has enjoyed success lending a downtown glamorous edge to upscale fashion and luxury brands and events worldwide including live performance campaigns for Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Carolina Herrera, Salvatore Ferragamo, Max Mara and Maserati, benefit galas at the Whitney Museum, New York Public Library and Four Seasons, and birthday events for Michael Bloomberg, Queen Latifah and Vikram Chatwal. Sasha also launched the performance space at New York City’s Top of The Standard with Andre Balazs and has performed there on many occasions. As a recording artist, Sasha has released several albums that have spawned songs appearing on the Billboard charts for both the dance music and classical crossover genres. In addition to her music career, Sasha remains active in other expressive guises. As the founder of The Myth of Red Creative Salon series, Sasha modeled an exclusive creative performing arts ensemble upon the old world European salon concept.
MR. BRIAN POPE
Brian Pope has more than 20 years of experience as an investment banker providing advice and capital to companies in media, entertainment and technology. Currently a Managing Director at RBC Capital Markets, Brian has also worked at JPMorgan and Macquarie Group. Brian received his B.S. in Finance from NYU - Stern.
Brian believes strongly in the far-reaching benefits of music education and is excited to give back to the community through Brooklyn Music School - bringing music and arts education to everyone regardless of their background and resources.
MR. PHIL RUTHERFORD
Phil is a Development Project Manager at Two Trees, a leading, privately-held development firm in Brooklyn and has helped realize numerous projects, including the Domino Sugar Refinery Project along the Williamsburg riverfront. He has spent his entire career involved with architecture, real estate, construction and development and has been involved in projects ranging from NYC based non-profits/cultural arts organizations, corporate / institutional real estate holders to the US Capitol Visitors Center.
Artistic and musical endeavors have always been a part of Phil’s life, from drawing, photography, painting and music and he is grateful to help BMS expand its mission of transforming lives through music and arts education as it moves through an exciting chapter of growth. Phil has received a Masters in Real Estate Development from Columbia University, a Masters in Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture, and a Bachelors of Arts in English from Grinnell College.
MS. ELIZABETH (BETSY) SCHMIDT
Betsey is the Global Head of Centers of Excellence and VP of Studios NYC HQ for The Whittle School and Studio. Born in Washington, D.C., Betsey has lived in New York for most of her life and has taught at every grade level from elementary school through graduate school. She earned her B.A. from Wesleyan University, where she now serves as a trustee, and her Ph.D. in American literature from New York University. Most recently, Betsey worked for seven years for Ascend Public Charter Schools in Brooklyn, which serves some of the lowest-income neighborhoods in New York. As chief curriculum and innovation officer at Ascend, she helped the network scale from 3 schools to 10—educating over 4,000 students—and led the development of an inquiry-based, liberal arts K-12 curriculum that helped Ascend close the racial achievement gap in New York State. Betsey speaks French and reads Italian, and at Whittle she leads the Global Centers of Excellence initiative and works on both the Educational Design and the Studios teams.
MR. AVERY SEAVEY
Avery is a managing member of Blue Sea Development Company, LLC, which focuses on the development of affordable housing throughout the five boroughs, and a managing member of Dalton Management Company, LLC, which manages approximately two thousand affordable and market rate apartments in the five boroughs. Avery holds a law degree from the NYU School of Law, an MSc. from the London School of Economics and a B.A. from Yale University.
Avery has lived in Manhattan long enough to remember when the New York Post was a reputable newspaper, and has learned that Brooklyn is not as far away as he once thought.
MS. HADAS SHAHAR
Hadas is Senior Program Manager at Google Cloud. Prior to joining Google, she was a consultant and Ernst and Young and a software developer for SAP.
Hadas graduated magna cum laude in Accounting and Computer Science from Tel Aviv University and holds an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Hadas started playing the piano as kid and continue to do so until today. She enjoy many different kinds of music, theatre and art. She believes that music and learning music can be used in many different ways and is excited to give back to the community through Brooklyn Music School.
MR. CHUCK SWARTZ
Chuck is an Associate at Rothschild & Co. A life-long music enthusiast, Chuck studied guitar and drums at Tulane University, while pursuing a degree in Finance and Business Administration. Chuck believes discovering new music to be his most rewarding pastime. He is honored to be a part of the Brooklyn Music School, helping others to realize the far-reaching benefits of music education.
MS. JORDAN TAMAGNI
Jordan Tamagni is a seasoned strategic communications consultant with 25 years of experience advising public figures, elected officials, corporations and non-profit organizations. She most recently served as Chief of Editorial at UNICEF, where she developed strategic messaging and content, including the UNICEF Strategic Plan, the UNICEF Global Brand Strategy, and the organization’s flagship publications and media materials, among other responsibilities. She previously served at the NYC Fund for Public Schools as Chief of Staff to Caroline Kennedy, who led the citywide effort to increase private sector fundraising for public schools; at Time Warner as Senior Director for Communications, where her duties included serving as then-CEO/Chairman Steve Case’s senior speechwriter, as well as advising and assisting the company’s charitable foundation; and in the White House Administration of President Clinton, where she held the role of Special Assistant to the President and senior Presidential Speechwriter. A lapsed attorney and former Sparer Public Interest Law Fellow at Brooklyn Law School, she is a graduate and former trustee of Antioch College, a learning institution founded in 1852, whose first President, Horace Mann, laid the foundation for a storied legacy of civic participation and the pursuit of social justice. Jordan lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Michael Schlein, and their two sons, who are the sixth generation of their family to live the Borough.
MR. JEFFREY TANNENBAUM
Jeff is the President of Tanner Bolt & Nut Corp. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees of BMS since 2006 and while serving as President was responsible for overseeing a financial turnaround that preserved the future of this century old institution.
Jeff obtained his B.A. in Economics from NYU and then went on to get an Executive MBA from NYU's Stern School.