Associated Music Teachers League

Our History

New York City, 1925:  Sergei Rachmaninoff and George Gershwin are at their pianos composing while Irving Berlin’s Music Box Revue was closing on 45th St; Jazz was the exciting new sound emanating from stylish uptown venues and Victor Talking Machines is releasing the first ever “electric recording” – piano pieces by Chopin and Schubert.

It seems appropriate that in the same year The Great Gatsby was depicting social decline, Aaron Ornstein founded the Associated Music Teacher’s League. It seems appropriate that it is against the background of the roaring twenties that Aaron Ornstein founded the Associated Music Teacher’s League.  Ornstein believed that an association of professional instructors was needed in order to establish standards of excellence in musicianship and to ensure that high-quality music appreciation would flourish. Early AMTL patrons included the Damrosch brothers, Hollis Dann of New York University, Thomas EdisonDimitri Mitropoulos, and the Steinway Company, which continues to be a leading benefactor to this very day.

Today’s AMTL counts scores of musicians and teachers among its membership, who volunteer their time and contribute resources to continue the mission chartered nearly a century ago. Having organized a multitude of well-received events such as the Young Musicians Concert, which was held annually at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall from 1935 to 2017, the AMTL keeps working on the evolvement of its activities into the new era. Within this framework, the AMTL nowadays sponsors students and hosts numerous performances throughout the year, including the Winter Musicales at the Choral Recital Hall at Queens College, the Mid-Season Musicales concerts at Christ & Stephen’s Church in Manhattan, the Honors Concert at Steinway Hall, as well as our annual New York Young Performers Prize Competition, among many others.

Presenters also include many renowned musicians, such as Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Gyorgy Sandor, Ned Rorem, Arnold Steinhardt, Seymour Bernstein, Martin Canin, Ann Schein, Cecile Licad, and Jerome Lowenthal.

Find out how you can become part of our rich heritage: BECOME A MEMBER or BECOME A SUPPORTER.