There’s fun for families, too, at . . .
Music Together’s International Headquarters in the Princeton Area
There was a time when, in a fit of ambitious glee, someone hung a map of the whole United States in the office of the fledgling Music Together company, even though a few pins in the New York/New Jersey area were all that were required to signify the extent of its independently licensed centers. Today the company is forced to use little dots—now on a map of the entire world—since the number of pins necessary would give the unfortunate impression of having impaled a porcupine to the wall!
Such growth made it impossible to manage both a thriving teaching center and a burgeoning international business from the same offices, with each competing for dwindling space. So, in November 2006, Music Together established its international headquarters in the picturesque town of Hopewell, NJ, 20 minutes from the original office space in downtown Princeton. The Witherspoon Street location has been retained as the home of the company’s R&D site, the Music Together Princeton Lab School, where hundreds of Princeton families attend class each semester.
Keeping the “family feel” at the new Music Together building at 225 Pennington-Hopewell Road was an important theme during several years of careful planning. The building, once the home of Charlie’s Brother restaurant, went through extensive, painstaking renovation to become a stunning, yet cordial, home for Music Together employees, teachers, trainees, and families attending classes.
The cathedral-ceilinged entryway opens into a large and stylishly-appointed lobby. The lovely new classroom adjoins this lobby and is often filled with strains of the “Hello Song,” music play-alongs, and children’s dancing, as everyone enjoys their roomy new environment. And, there is plenty of free parking right out front!
The building also features a large community room, equipped with a gorgeous grand piano. This room accommodates Music Together events, such as holiday family music parties and teacher trainings, while also being rentable by other organizations for workshops or performances. It’s a welcoming room with a stone wall and wood trusses, giving it a lodge-like feel. The vaulted ceiling and large windows make the room feel more spacious than its 150-person capacity.
Something Music Together is particularly proud of is the new building’s geothermal heating and cooling system. This energy-efficient system uses deep underground wells to transfer heat to the ground in summer and extract heat from the ground in winter. “If I have to look out the window and see a paved parking lot,” says Kenneth K. Guilmartin, founder/director of Music Together, “it makes me feel good to know there’s something going on underneath it that helps the environment.” Ken is also pleased with the building’s overall relationship to its natural environment. Whether outside in the courtyard spaces near the entrance, or inside taking in the view from the windows, families can linger and enjoy the trees and plantings shimmering in the day’s changing light.