Community Music Center makes high-quality music accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities, regardless of financial means.
What We Do
The mission of the Community Music Center (CMC) is to make high-quality music accessible to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, regardless of financial means. Through afterschool and outreach programs, private lessons and free classes, workshops, and community performances, students of all ages, genders, ethnicities, religions, and economic levels find enriched creative lives. CMC served 2,783 students in fiscal 2018, ages one to 97.
CMC was founded in 1921 under the direction of Gertrude Field, who came to San Francisco in 1912 from the Mannes School of Music in New York. Miss Field was a former nurse, violin teacher and settlement house worker. The students in CMC's earliest days were neighborhood children, mostly recent immigrants, who not only learned music at CMC but came together there with their families around music, forming community in their new home country.
CMC's mission of accessibility drives every aspect of its work. Our tuition assistance program is one of the most generous of any community music school in the nation, awarding over $2 million to more than half our students through free programs, scholarships, sliding-scale tuition, and work-study. All are taught by a highly skilled and experienced 130-member teaching faculty, which includes noted professional artists, Grammy Award-winning performers, and nationally recognized teachers. CMC has 10 full-time and 4 part-time staff and a 20-member Board of Directors. All have a passionate commitment to community arts and the benefits they can bring to the families, schools, and neighborhoods of San Francisco.