Program Overview

Community Music School provides opportunities for children and teens with limited financial resources to receive one-on-one music instruction in orchestral instruments, voice, piano, percussion or guitar.

Thanks to generous donations from supporters like you, we provide affordable lessons, plus instruments and music books for the students to use free of charge while they are enrolled.

Flute Lesson 2b

Our program uses private study and limited enrollment in order to:

  • promote individual progression
  • provide one-on-one mentorship
  • nurture relationships with students and their families

CMS maintains a rigorous student-teacher-parent partnership to ensure success. Weekly, private music lessons are just one component of the learning process that is enhanced by recitals, master classes, concerts, ensembles and an interactive online learning laboratory with the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Programming currently includes:

  • 30 weeks of private music instruction during the school year
  • Four ensembles
  • Recitals for students, including an annual Honors Recital for advanced students
  • Master classes and juries
  • Intensive workshops in various topics

Areas of Instruction

A broad selection of instruments and musical styles is offered to match the individual interests of our students and to celebrate the diversity within our culture. We offer lessons in:

  • Brass
  • Guitar, Contemporary and Classical
  • Fundamentals of Music
  • Music Composition
  • Percussion, Contemporary and Classical
  • Piano
  • Strings
  • Woodwinds
  • Voice

Lessonphotos3 225

Students of middle school age and above may elect to add ensemble study to their private instruction. Teamwork, responsibility and communication skills are honed while performing in these groups, which include:

  • Jazz Ensemble
  • David L. Marzetti Memorial Percussion Ensemble
  • Rock Band
  • Vocal Ensemble

Student Expectations

CMS students are expected to meet participation standards, including weekly attendance, home practice and a commitment to progressing in their musical ability.

Each student performs in one school recital each year and advanced students may audition for a coveted spot in the annual honors recital. Students are also selected to perform in the community, challenging their skills, elevating their confidence and learning to give back to the community that supports their music education.

A points system for concert attendance encourages students to develop an appreciation for multiple genres of music and cultural arts. Partnerships with local arts organizations provide complimentary tickets for our students and families.

Students often remain in the CMS program for several years with some studying more than one instrument. Our students exemplify the research connecting music education with academic achievement, consistently placing on the honor roll at their Wake County schools. Over 90% of recent CMS graduating seniors attend four-year universities. Career paths have included the health sciences, education and law.

Learn more about enrolling in our program