Clarice Assad


For over a decade, Clarice Assad has been using music as a tool to empower youth to achieve greater means of self-expression. through residencies with symphony orchestras and grants from American and Brazilian institutions.

For more information, explore the programs below.


Explore some of our programs, current and past residencies. 

Songwriter Idol

A program that encourages young people to write, record, and perform music and lyrics about current critical situations. 


An award-winning class on spontaneous music creation, theater, and improvisation, open to musicians, actors, dancers, and non-musicians of all experience levels. More Info

Musical Recipes

This program explores music making through specific components (ingredients) that people can use to create and understand the theory behind it.


Do What’s In Your Heart is a 32-minute documentary chronicling 2022 triple Grammy-nominee Clarice Assad’s Artist in Residence project at ACG, through which she co-created a musical work with more than 50 students from around the city. The short film includes a performance of that work by students, as well as a performance by guitarist Jorge Caballero with the Miró String Quartet, performing Assad’s reimagination of the same work for their ensemble.

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Songwriter Idol is a program that encourages young people to write, record, and perform music and lyrics about current critical situations. The program provides an outlet for creativity and self-expression while raising awareness about important issues. Participants can share their perspectives on a wide range of topics, from social injustice to environmental protection. In addition to promoting creativity and critical thinking, the program also provides valuable experience in songwriting and performing. Through Songwriter Idol, young people can develop their musical skills and knowledge while making a difference in the world.

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Clarice Assad & Percussionist/Composer Robert Dillon

Musical Recipes

Can Music Be Made of Ingredients?​

The answer is a resounding yes! Anything and everything can be used as a musical ingredient to create all kinds of musical ideas and expressions. After all,  music is food for the soul. While some may argue that there are only a few essential ingredients needed for music, such as rhythm and melody, the truth is that creativity is the key ingredient. This program explores music making through specific components (frameworks) that people can use to create and understand the theory behind it. 

Music Notation

We humans are constantly trying to explain life and make sense of the world around us by communicating our ideas. In music, we look for patterns and rely on the magical world of numbers and symbols to share these thoughts.

Give me an example of an ingredient?

An ingredient can be the tempo indication of a piece. For example, let us imagine that it is in 4/4 time signature. and Quarter note equals 90. This simple concept can be the beginning of a recipe.

Simple Concepts

We begin with simple concepts, which we will call 'ingredients.' We then discuss and illustrate them with short examples. As we add more ingredients and start to cook these musical ideas, the once short musical excerpts become a whole piece of music, which we perform at the end.

An evolving language

Like spoken and written language, music notation is constantly evolving and it takes time to master. We often are left with more questions than answers. So this is why we created this program.

Happening Now

The Mosaic Project

A unique collaborative music experience that brings together people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures to create music.

More About The Mosaic

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Clarice Assad with high school students from Girls, Inc.  creating  an original, collaborative composition. The students began by analyzing Sojourner Truth’s 

Ain’t I a Woman” speech from the 1851 Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio. They discussed how society’s perception of women has changed throughout history and how it influences girls’ lives today. Together, they worked to construct the foundation of their new piece with inspiring lyrics, compelling spoken word, and beautiful melodies, culminating on a performance in June, 2019 with the Albany Symphony’s Dog of Desire ensemble as part of the American Music Festival.

Clarice’s skills as composer, singer, pianist, and improviser have enabled her to collaborate with Boston musicians of many ages and backgrounds. Clarice, joined by percussionist Keita Ogawa led workshops at three separate youth programs. At Camp Harbor View, they have made glorious music with singer David Fuller and the young campers of his Music Club. At ZUMIX in East Boston, they have jammed with young students and with faculty members Sissy Castrogiovanni and Jenny Shulman, under the care and guidance of ZUMIX Co-Founder and Executive Director Madeleine Steczynski.