Over the past 30 years, Community Music School (CMS) has grown into one of the leading providers of music education and arts programming in the Connecticut Valley-Shore region. CMS is located in Centerbrook, CT (a village of Essex) and annually serves over 500 students from 29 surrounding communities throughout Middlesex, New London, and New Haven counties.
We offer a dynamic and constantly evolving program that includes private and group class instruction in twenty-six instruments and voice, the award-winning Kindermusik® early childhood program, performing ensembles, music therapy services, and musical theater. Activities take place on a semester basis and most students begin studying at CMS while in grades K-6 and continue throughout their high school years. In addition, we present live musical performances for the enjoyment of the community at large. The School owns and occupies 6,000 square feet of space in two buildings in the Spencer’s Corner professional complex, furnishing 16 studios. Our newest program is KATE'S CAMP FOR KIDS!, a comprehensive summer arts day camp launched in partnership with the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center.
Our mission is to provide a full range of the finest possible instruction and musical opportunities to persons of all ages and abilities, to increase appreciation of music and to encourage a sense of joy in learning and performing, thus enriching the life of the community.
Tuition assistance is provided through a Scholarship Fund that receives annual contributions from individual donors, foundations, and local businesses. The program staff is comprised of faculty with music degrees from some of the finest university and conservancy programs in the country. CMS partners with presenting organizations, such as Musical Masterworks and Essex Winter Series to offer special guest artist-led workshops and master classes each semester. In addition, we provide collaborative programs at area libraries, nursery schools, senior centers, and assisted living communities.