The Kaufman Music Center on the Upper West Side has put 10 brass instruments in 10 New York City kids' hands since the fall. They are 10 kids who have always wanted to learn how to play an instrument but, because of the cost, may not have otherwise had a chance.

The music center is a nonprofit that helps children of all ages learn music, from kindergarten through 12th grade. But the reality is learning an instrument is expensive.

What You Need To Know

  • Learning a musical instrument can cost $10,000 a year, according to the executive director of the Kaufman Music Center

  • Cost has been a barrier to allowing more kids to learn music

  • The music center launched a pilot program to pay for all expenses for 10 kids to pick up and learn a brass instrument for the first time

New York City schools report they spent $550 million last year on the arts, an increase of $124 million from the year before. But it still does not meet the needs for kids who want to learn music and the cost to pay for after-school programs, according to Kate Sheeran, the executive director at the music center.

“We’re constantly looking for new ways to get kids playing instruments,” she said, talking about the launch of the Pathways Program.

It gives children between 8 and 13 years old a chance to pick up a brass instrument for the first time to learn it — with all expenses paid for. That includes the instrument, weekly private lessons and the transportation to and from them.

“I know that learning music and learning an instrument at a high level changes someone’s life,” Sheeran said.

Brielle Cohen is an 8-year-old with big dreams. She wants to be a professional musician, but that's not all.

"And a neurosurgeon," she told NY1.

She already knows how to play the piano, but her family jumped at the opportunity to learn the trumpet through the Pathways Program.

It saved Cohen's family thousands of dollars to allow her to be the third generation in her family to play the trumpet.

And the program is in its infancy. Next year, the center plans on giving another group of kids the same opportunity — and the original 10, like Cohen, will continue their musical journey all the same.

The Kaufman Music Center is taking applicants until early spring.