127 user 78 critic

Music of the Heart (1999)

Story of a schoolteacher's struggle to teach violin to inner-city Harlem kids.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Dinhofer ...
Lexi at 5
Nick at 7
Robert Ari ...
Brian Turner
Taxi Driver
Principal Janet Williams
Dennis Rausch
Barbara Gonzalez ...
Janet's Secretary
DeSean at 11
Victoria Gómez ...
Lucy at 10 (as Victoria Gomez)
Bongo Kid
Justin 'DJ' Spaulding ...
Naeem Adisa at 9 (as Justin Spaulding)
Zoe Sternbach-Taubman ...
Guadalupe at 9


The true story of a young teacher who fights against the board of education in her bid to teach underprivileged kids in a Harlem school the beauty of music through the violin. In her struggle she loses everything as the system comes down on her with all their might but her determination for the kids happiness helps her to battle back with wonderfully inspirational results. Written by Kryp <capthowdee@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She gave them a gift they could never imagine. They gave the system a fight it would never forget.


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

29 October 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

50 Violins  »

Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,653,281 (USA) (29 October 1999)


$14,849,583 (USA) (14 January 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Was originally entitled "50 Violins". See more »


In one of the classroom scenes early in the movie, Streep is shown wearing boots; when the camera comes back to her later in the same scene, she's wearing shoes instead. See more »


Roberta Guaspari: This beautiful concert that you've just heard could be the very last concert for the East Harlem Violin Program. The board of education and the district attorney think that music isn't important. But they are wrong! And they're gonna get a *big* fight!
[thunderous applause]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Please support arts and music education. See more »


Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Why Do Good Directors Go Bad? (2016) See more »


The Bridge
Performed by M.C. Shan (as MC Shan)
Written by M.C. Shan (as Shawn Moltke) and Marley Marl (as Marlon Williams)
Courtesy of Songs of Marl and Third Power Enterprise Inc.
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User Reviews

My clothes are soaking in sappiness
12 November 2000 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

The acting jobs are good. But how Streep got an Oscar nod for this, I will never know. I've seen this movie before. It's been done many times. I never knew how many cliches can be in one film until I saw this. And since I really didn't like Streep's role, it is kind of hard to get into the movie. And it clearly copied from a better film called, "Mr. Holland's Opus." Wes Craven although not a bad horror film director, should never be allowed to direct or have anything to do with a real dramatic film. "Music of the Heart" also seems to drag about 40 minutes too long. It is a heart warming, everything is okay movie. You know everything will work out, because you saw this this movie before only under a different name. 5 out of 10

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