Community Music School (CMS) Lehigh Valley & Berks is a non-profit charitable organization which provides the inspiration and opportunity for anyone in our diverse community to achieve excellence in music education and appreciate the transformative power of music.
CMS employs over 30 professional musicians who provide high-quality private and group instruction to students of all ages and in nearly every instrument and voice, as well as extensive, tuition-free outreach programs that bring music to students in under-served, high-poverty schools. Our faculty is sensitive to each student’s individual musical abilities, needs, and pace of learning. All students have numerous opportunities to perform once they are ready to do so, including in-house recitals, community arts festivals, and private events. We strive to not only nurture budding musicians, but allow all children access to the life-long benefits of music study – increased concentration, persistence of practice, responsibility of caring for their instrument, and performing with others.
In the fall of 2018, CMS moved its Allentown operations to historic 1544 Hamilton Street, the former Lehigh Valley Club. The renovated space offers 12 lesson rooms of varying sizes, a unique parent lounge, early childhood room, music library, administrative offices, and a 150-seat recital hall. Lessons are also offered in Center Valley at Penn State Lehigh Valley and in Bethlehem at Moravian Academy, as well as through affiliate teachers in Reading at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts.
Private music lessons are offered during the after-school/evening hours Monday-Friday. Lessons are weekly and run for a standard semester (18 weeks, fall & spring), and through the summer. A 30-minute lesson is $33 per lesson and there is a $45 family annual registration. We offer numerous performance opportunities, as well as scholarships for dedicated students. New students are welcome to enroll anytime and financial aid is available.
Instruments taught include: Bass, Cello, Clarinet, Composition, Euphonium, Flute, French Horn, Guitar, Harmonica, Keyboard, Oboe, Percussion, Piano, Recorder, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba, Ukulele, Viola, Violin, Voice. For students from low-income families who cannot afford to rent or purchase an instrument, CMS has an in-house collection of donated instruments available for loan or for a low monthly rental fee.
Group classes & ensembles include: Kindermusik (ages 0-3), Kids Choir (ages 6-11), Modern Band (middle & high school), CMS Big Band (audition only, all ages)
To learn more visit www.cmslv.org or email [email protected]
We strive to not only nurture budding musicians, but allow all children access to the life-long benefits of music study – increased concentration, persistence of practice, responsibility of caring for their instrument, and performing with others.
I would like to give thanks to Mrs. Carole for always being a great teacher, never giving up on me when I said "I can't play this song, it's too hard." She always had faith in me and told me to never give up even it took me months to remember or learn how to play… thank you so much for this experience and I hope others will be a part of it too.
CMS has given me an immense amount of performance opportunities, making my passion and love for music more powerful than I could have ever imagined. CMS made such a big impact on my life and career decisions; without a school like this, I may have never continued with music as my career path or performed as much as I have in the past couple years that I've been here. Without CMS, I wouldn't have met so many amazing people that I now call my family. This family has helped me exceed my goals and made going to my dream college (for flute performance & music business) a real possibility.
I like CMS because the teachers are extremely relatable and helpful with many aspects of lessons. Everyone is very nice and I love being involved with the organization! CMS also gives me the chance to play in groups, which I love, and there are also many opportunities for performances. CMS has made all these things affordable for my family.
New students are welcome to enroll anytime. The first lesson – the “interview” lesson – is designed to benchmark the current level of the student and develop a plan to reach the student’s goals. To schedule an interview lesson, please contact the main office at 610-435-7725, [email protected], or complete the contact form online at cmslv.org. The interview lesson is $33 for 30 minutes and must be paid in full at the time of scheduling, even if you intend to apply for financial aid. After the interview, the office will contact you to ensure you wish to continue with that teacher/day/time and to set up a payment plan.
All of our teachers have at least a Bachelor’s Degree in music education or performance, or equivalent experience. Many also have Master’s Degrees and Doctoral Degrees. They are all passionate about teaching and performing. All teachers and staff have state and federal clearances. Visit our website http://cmslv.org/faculty.aspx for a complete list of faculty, photos, and bios.
30-minute lessons... $594 per semester, 18 lessons @ $33 per lesson
45-minute lessons... $882 per semester, 18 lessons @ $49 per lesson
60-minute lesson... $1,170 per semester, 18 lessons @ $65 per lesson
1-hour class... $12 per class
$216 per semester, 18 classes
1.5 hour class... $18 per class
$324 per semester, 18 classes
Annual Family Registration Fee
Private Lessons... $45
Group Class only... $20
$75 per private 60-minute session
CMS was founded in Allentown, PA in 1981 by Martha Maletz, Jean Fox, Beatrice Allen, Marilyn Pinschmidt, and Judith Moyer, who were leading music teachers in the community. Their goal was to provide access to high-quality music education, especially for disadvantaged urban youth; they committed to teach “the talented, the hobbyist, the musically curious, the disabled and the disadvantaged.” The mission of Community Music School, the founders determined, was “to provide the finest music education to all children, regardless of sex, race, religion, eth-nic origin, or the ability to pay.”
Initially located in the basement education wing of St. John’s Lutheran Church on S. Fifth St., CMS launched instruction in piano and voice in 1982. In 2004, CMS moved operations from the Church to our current headquarters in the Fowler Education Wing on the second floor of Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown.
In August 2015, CMS acquired the assets of the former Community School of Music and the Arts (CSMA) in Reading. CSMA was founded in 1956 by Werner Von Trapp and Peter LaManna. The mission of CSMA was very closely aligned with that of CMS - - to operate as a nonprofit educational institution for teaching, making music and other fine arts known throughout the community. Mr. Von Trapp was part of the Trapp Family Singers, made famous by the renowned movie, The Sound of Music. For nearly 40 years, Mr. Cedric Elmer served as CSMA’s Managing Director until his retirement in 2013. In 2015, the CSMA Board completed a strategic review of the organization and determined that the best path forward would be for CSMA to merge with a larger music school. The CMS and CSMA Boards approved the merger in June 2015, and CMS Reading launched in August 2015.
In the fall of 2018, CMS moved its Allentown operations to historic 1544 Hamilton Street, the former Lehigh Valley Club. The renovated space offers 12 lesson rooms of varying sizes, a unique parent lounge, early childhood room, music library, administrative offices, a 150-seat recital hall, and free parking.
The mission of CMS is to provide everyone with access to a quality music education. While the majority of CMS students are ages 5-18, a growing number of adults and retirees are rediscovering the joy of music. Students benefit most from on-going weekly lessons, but we also offer coaching sessions for those students whose goals are more specific, such as preparing a piece for audition in a school musical. Music therapy is also available by request.
We believe that performance is an important part of becoming a well-rounded musician and encourage students of all abilities to participate. CMS offers all students numerous opportunities to perform, once they are ready to do so. These opportunities include both in-house recitals as well as performances in the community. To participate in a recital, students should discuss the opportunity with their teacher. All CMS recitals are free & open to the public! Visit our website for a complete list of recitals and events: http://cmslv.org/recitals.aspx.
All teachers have slightly different teaching styles. It’s best to be upfront with the teacher about you or your child’s goals so you can work together to reach them. Are you just playing for fun or studying to audition for a college music program? CMS offers interview lessons ($33 each 30-minute lesson) and you may interview with as many different teachers as you like to find one that fits best for you.
Please visit: http://cmslv.org/cms_guide_to_quality_music_education.aspx
What are your goals? Do you love to sing and want to learn how to get the full potential out of your voice? Do you just want to learn what all those funny dots and lines mean? Learning to play an instrument is a commitment. Do you have time to devote to practicing regularly?
For parents looking to get their young children started, while the maturity level varies from child to child, most children age 5 or older have an adequate attention span for a 30-minute lesson. CMS recommends piano or violin for beginners, because these instruments give access to the full range of the musical scale, allowing the student to develop a solid foundation for future musical development. This allows students to learn to read notes on both the treble and bass clefs and to develop hand/eye coordination.
Please visit: http://cmslv.org/frequently_asked_questions.aspx
Accompaniment Lessons Acoustic Guitar Lessons Arrangement And Composition Lessons Audition Prep Lessons Bass Guitar Lessons Cello Lessons Broadway Singing Lessons Blues Guitar Lessons Clarinet Lessons Classical Guitar Lessons Classical Piano Lessons Classical Voice Lessons Composition Lessons Drum Lessons Flute Lessons French Horn Lessons Guitar Lessons Hand Drums Lessons Harmonica Lessons Jazz Voice Classes