Music Ascension

Pete Kalvert

Founder & Director

“inspired, open, driven”


A consummate singer/songwriter, teaching artist, and music producer, Pete Kalvert has proven himself to be a galvanizing force for music education as the Founder & Director of Music Ascension. Founded in 1999 upon the belief that our children’s voices deserve to be heard, Music Ascension has produced over 75 full length CDs featuring the lyrics, music, and artwork of thousands of children throughout the United States and was awarded by the New Jersey Department of Education an Innovations in Special Education Award for 2016. The amazing creative output of young people which Pete has helped to cultivate, and its significant impact, was the focus of multiple TEDx talks Pete was invited to present including TEDx Beacon Street in November of 2015. http://tiny.cc/PeteKalvertTEDx


Kalvert’s work in education began as a NYC public school music teacher at PS 186 in Queens, NY. He designed and facilitated music residency programs for one of the oldest Arts-in-Education organizations in NYC, ArtsConnection. Kalvert went on to establish Music Ascension’s first program with Project Morry, a not-for-profit youth development organization serving students from the Bronx, NY and Bridgeport, CT. His work has greatly impacted the Special Needs community for more than a decade with year round music programs in fully accredited New Jersey schools of Special Education. Kalvert has also designed and overseen music programs at some of the most highly regarded residential summer camps in the nation from the Bay Area of California to Maine.


With the success of his work with students, he was asked to expand his reach into the professional arena. Kalvert was asked to design and provide Professional Development trainings at conferences sponsored by ASAH (an organization serving the NJ Special Needs community), the Newark Public Schools Arts Office, the West Orange Central School District, Chapel Hill Academy, Orange and Essex County Child Study Teams, The FedCap School and has served on discussion panels at the American Camp Association’s Tri-State Conference. Pete has also served as a grant reviewer for the Newark Arts Council. His work with Music Ascension has been featured on WBAI’s Wake Up Call, WFUV’s Cityscapes, and was the subject of a documentary film titled Morry’s Song produced by Left Unsaid Films.


A graduate of Brown University, Pete continued to study music at SUNY Purchase, SUNY New Paltz, and New York University. Kalvert is a dually Certified Teacher of Music and Teacher of Social Studies by the State of New Jersey. He is a Certified Pro-Tools Operator and worked at Blue Monster Studios in Brooklyn, NY specializing in recording traditional West African music.


Lane Gardner

Director of Programs


Lane Gardner is deeply passionate about using the Arts as tools to enhance academic curriculum and support individual learning styles. Lane serves as an Arts Curriculum and Program Developer and as a teaching artist in several Special Needs schools. She develops programs to foster self-esteem, cultivate positive character development, instill solid musical and theatrical skills and serve as therapeutic tools for the Special Needs community. Lane teaches in-class music, instrumental and vocal lessons, serves as chorus and drama program director, in addition to teaching songwriting and recording where students write and record an original album every year. Lane’s experience and expertise in Arts Education spans over 20 years, contributing to innovative arts organizations prior to her work with Music Ascension at The Metropolitan Opera Guild as well as The Conservatory of Performing Arts.


Lane attended both Baldwin-Wallace College and University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she graduated with a degree in Classical Vocal Performance.

Overview of Music Ascension: Founded in 1999 with the belief our children’s voices deserve to be heard, Music Ascension is a teaching artist collective that places songwriters & music producers into classrooms & summer camps across the United States. Utilizing contemporary music technology, our innovative programming in songwriting, music production, audio-engineering, instrumental performance, chorus, & classroom music offers young people the chance to feel their creativity fuel their learning.


Our work engages & enhances the creative voices of our youth and serves as a galvanizing force in the community. With decades-long partnerships with schools, non-profit youth development organizations, youth centers, and summer camps, we have helped transform students, faculties, and communities in deeply meaningful and sustainable ways.


What makes Music Ascension unique and necessary? “Our children have a lot to say… we can help them say it. Music Ascension has produced over 75 full length CDs featuring the lyrics, music, and artwork of thousands of children throughout the United States and was awarded by the New Jersey School Board Association an Innovations in Special Education Award for 2016. The amazing creative output of young people which we have helped to cultivate, and its significant impact, was the focus of multiple TEDx talks Music Ascension Founder & Director Pete Kalvert was invited to present including TEDx Beacon Street in November of 2015: http://tiny.cc/PeteKalvertTEDx. So often our young people are told what to do, what to say, what to think. In our programs its the exact opposite.”


Services provided by Music Ascension: In-School as well as After School Teaching Artist Residency Programs in: SONGWRITING & RECORDING MUSIC PRODUCTION BEAT PRODUCTION INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMANCE STAGE CREW / TECHNICAL THEATER DRUM CIRCLE FACILITATION SPOKEN WORD / LYRICAL FLOW VOCAL WORKSHOPS & CHORUS

Music Ascension provides the following PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENTS: Bringing Technology-Based Songwriting and Hands On Music to Your School GIVING VOICE: Writing and Recording Music to Inspire Creativity at School ! Music Technology For Teachers: Concepts & Techniques for Recording & Producing Music with Your Students Building Partnerships in Your School Through Music and The Arts Musical Ideas and Activities for the Classroom Teacher Utilizing Drum Circles to Enhance Student Focus and Build Community



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Arts Ed Newark is made possible by the generous support of: Turrell Fund, The Prudential Foundation, The Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, 

The Victoria Foundation, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation,

and The National Endowment for the Arts

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