Since 1999, La Jolla Music Society’s Community Music Center (CMC) in San Diego’s Logan Heights neighborhood has given hundreds of children their first experience in music making. Each year, over 100 students from between twenty and forty area schools are given free music instruction in an area where most families are not able to afford lessons.
Instruction in music literacy, technique and instrument care begins at the fourth grade level and is typically a two year program, following which the students are prepared to excel in middle school band or orchestra programs. The Community Music Center employs a paid, part-time staff which includes a director, seven instructors and two clerical staff. The CMC offers group instruction in piano, violin, woodwinds, brass, voice, guitar, and percussion. Classes meet three times each week for thirty weeks, following the academic schedule of the host campus, Memorial Preparatory Academy.
The program provides each student an instrument which they use for practice at home and in the classroom. This allows students to develop discipline through structured practice and the responsibility necessary to care for their instruments. At the end of two years of successful participation and meeting goals for attendance and musical progression, the students are given the instruments to keep for further study.
The Community Music Center offers benefits beyond musical instruction. Children develop and display remarkable self-confidence during semi-annual recitals in front of parents, friends, and school district administrators, as well as supporters of La Jolla Music Society. In a time with few constructive outlets for youth, CMC students spend their after-school hours in a safe and positive environment, learning to practice patience and grit while developing a life-long skill.
As an additional learning opportunity, CMC students are invited to attend La Jolla Music Society Orchestra Series concerts at no cost, an experience that continues to inspire long after the final note.
CMC students are encouraged to continue studying music through our partnership with the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory. Students from CMC accepted into SDYS ensembles are given a one-year, full-tuition scholarship.
For more information about La Jolla Music Society’s Education Programs, please contact Allison Boles, Education Manager, at 858.459.3724 or ABoles@LJMS.org.