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Community Music Center of Boston Offering Online Lessons


Contact: Sarah Spinella, Chief Advancement Officer, sspinella@cmcb.org

Community Music Center of Boston Offering Online Lessons

Boston-area music school offers free trial lessons in April; registering new students in May

For over a century, the Community Music Center of Boston (CMCB) has committed itself to providing equitable access to music education and arts experiences. CMCB first launched online music lessons in March for its current students and partners in an effort to keep the community safe. It is expanding these offerings to the public in May, with free trial lessons April 20-25.

Online lessons are an additional access point for students. Says Executive Director Lecolion Washington, “Equitable access is an important part of our mission and is something we think about daily. We are excited to launch online lessons for all, making us more accessible and able to reach students directly in their homes.”

To date, 85% of CMCB’s current students are participating in online lessons or have consented to online lessons. And 40% of schools in which CMCB provides music programming are engaging online.

Says Director of In-House Programs Michael DePasquale, “This was first meant as an opportunity to support current students hoping to continue instruction but who couldn’t make it into our space. Then we began getting inquiries from new students looking to dust off their ukulele, or finally pick up the piano.”

Faculty say the move online has allowed their students to continue to engage in programming and connect with their community in an age of extreme social distancing. “During this time of extreme social distancing, the opportunity to connect with a person outside of your home is so important. Our faculty tell us these lessons are an important part of their student’s week,” says Executive Director Lecolion Washington.

Says Board President Martin Thomson, “These are extremely challenging times for us all. What I can tell you is we are an organization 110 years strong, and it is through the commitment and strength of our people that we will continue to thrive. I am comforted by the dedication shown by our thoughtful group of staff, faculty, teaching artists, music therapists, and board and corporation members, who are committed to serving our students, clients, parents, guardians and caregivers with a compassion that is consistent with the community spirit of CMCB.”

Private lessons are available for students of all ages and levels. Voice, piano, violin, ukulele, guitar, flute, and more. Early Childhood classes are also available. For a full list of current offerings, visit www.cmcb.org.

Free trial lessons April 20-25. Sign Up For Trial Lesson Here.

Registration opens May 4 at cmcb.org.

For more information about CMCB Online Lessons:
Visit CMCB’s Website: CMCB Goes Online
Press Photos: CMCB Press Photos
Sign Up for More Information: Online Lesson Interest Form
Recent press: Boston Globe | When music lessons move to Zoom: ‘There have been some surprising benefits

About CMCB: Founded in 1910, CMCB is the product of two historic settlement schools that merged in 1968. Designed to serve the immigrant community of severe financial need that inhabited Boston’s South End in the early part of the 20th century, this spirit of service has always been central to its 110-year legacy. In the 1950’s, CMCB provided special “musical treatment” to soldiers suffering “shell shock”—what we now know as Music Therapy and PTSD. In 1978, at the height of Boston’s school desegregation crisis, CMCB launched its landmark School Outreach Program, with partnerships to provide music in urban public schools as funding was being pulled out. In 2020, as the world shut down due to a world-wide pandemic, CMCB launched online lessons and classes for its current students to continue their instruction as the city enforced social distancing measures. In May 2020, they will open registration of these lessons and classes to the public.

CMCB Today: Voted “Boston Family Favorite” in 2019, CMCB is proud to be among the leaders in conversations on youth development through arts education and equitable access to music education. CMCB serves over 4,000 individuals each week, the vast majority of whom are BPS students. CMCB is an anchor institution in Boston, and the past years have seen a particularly decisive turn toward national acclaim for its work. Thanks to an award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, CMCB is featured as one of 5 cohort members, along with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, New England Conservatory, and Project Step, in the Boston Bridge to Equity and Achievement in Music (“BEAM”), a groundbreaking initiative designed to foster greater representation of musicians of color in classical music.

CMCB Programs and Services: The primary delivery of our services happens through five areas:

  1. School Outreach Program: Partnerships with 14 schools to provide school-day instruction
  2. Satellite Program: Partnering with schools or community centers for after-school instruction
  3. In-house Instruction: lessons, ensembles, and group classes at our South End headquarters
  4. Music Therapy: clinical services for individuals with special needs and disabilities
  5. SummerMUSIC & ARTS: opportunities in music, arts, and leadership training each July

Instructional focus and program offerings include:

  • General music classes, Private and group music lessons in 25+ instruments, voice, composition, and theory
  • Performing ensembles for all skill levels, ages and genres
  • Intensive Study Project, an accelerated curriculum for grades 7-12
  • Early childhood programs, with engaging group classes for ages 5 months to 6 years old
  • Supportive opportunities for emerging musicians, including our annual Young Composers Festival, Performathon, Lapin Competition, and the free John Kleshinski concert series

Bio of Executive Director, Lecolion Washington: Mr. Washington has established himself as a leader for the next generation of arts entrepreneurs and has been a staunch advocate for the relevance of music as an agent for social change. Prior to beginning his tenure at CMCB, Mr. Washington was the Co­-Founder/Executive Director of the PRIZM Ensemble in Memphis, an organization whose mission is to build a diverse community through chamber music education, youth development, and performance. In 2018, he was named one of Musical America’s “Professionals of the Year”, and served as a lead panelist at the Chamber Music America conference following a keynote address by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In 2020 he was the Chair of the Chamber Music America conference and currently serves as its Treasurer. He is also an accomplished bassoonist, with an over 20 year musical career as a college professor, arts administrator, and concert bassoonist who most recently performed on the 2019 Lion King soundtrack. Washington received a M.M. from Manhattan School of Music and a B.M. from University of Texas at Austin.

For more information about CMCB Online Lessons:
Visit CMCB’s Website: CMCB Goes Online
Press Photos: CMCB Press Photos
Sign Up for More Information: Online Lesson Interest Form
Recent press: Boston Globe | When music lessons move to Zoom: ‘There have been some surprising benefits