The People's Music School is the only completely FREE music school serving Chicago metropolitan area children. Music inspires young minds to reach beyond the boundaries of their world. It offers limitless possibilities for creativity, achievement, and growth - socially, emotionally, and intellectually. We invite you to explore the myriad of ways The People's Music School provides access to music in our community.
We operate with a lean staff; faculty members who are professionally trained and actively performing across Chicago, the country, and the world; and the equivalent of 20 full-time jobs through family volunteer hours - a full-community effort to support our students! Our end goal is lasting impact for our students.
The Uptown Academy
The People's Music School considers our Uptown Academy our learning lab. Our largest and founding site, the Uptown Academy provides sequential music education to youth between the ages of 5 and 18. Led by professionally-trained faculty, students receive intensive music education at for at least four hours each week in our four core areas of music instruction: music theory, group instruction, individual instruction, and performance ensembles. Read more about our Uptown Academy here.
The People's Music School provides free music education to students immersed in an intense rehearsal schedule two to five days a week at community sites, resulting in rapid skill acquisition and comprehension. The first program, established in 2008 at Albany Park's Hibbard Elementary School, was modeled after the El-Sistema philosophy of instruction, using intense immersion in an orchestral setting. Success at our Albany Park site has grown to 140 students participating in three full Youth Orchestras. In 2014, a second Community Program was launched in Evanston in partnership with Family Focus. In the winter of 2015-2016, Community Programs were launched with students at the Gary Comer Youth Center in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood, and at Lara Elementary in the Back of the Yards Neighborhood. Read more about our Community Programs here.