SHERWOOD COMMUNITY MUSIC SCHOOL

A destination for high quality music instruction since 1894

1312 South Michigan Ave.

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HISTORY

Founded by William Hall Sherwood as the Sherwood Music School, the Conservatory officially opened its doors to students in 1895. From the 1920s, the Conservatory was a college of music offering professional degrees in performance to students from around the world. In 1986, challenged by the scarcity of quality music education opportunities in the Chicago metropolitan area — especially for children and teenagers as budget cuts impacted music programs in the public schools — Sherwood implemented a dynamic change of mission. The collegiate programs were phased out and Sherwood Conservatory emerged as a community-focused institution, committed to meeting the diverse music education needs of Chicago’s urban population. The mission change was accompanied by a major expansion of educational programs, staff and volunteers to serve a new constituency. Recognizing the compatibility of missions and desire to serve the culturally rich and diverse Chicago community, Sherwood merged with Columbia College Chicago in July 2007.

In 2017, the school became a part of the college's newly-formed division of Continuing and Community Education. The Sherwood building is the college's primary site for children's music programs, including Suzuki, and Individual Music Instruction for all ages. The location also houses the administrative offices of Continuing and Community Education, and it's Student Services team.

ABOUT THE FOUNDER OF SHERWOOD

William Hall Sherwood is acknowledged as America’s first native-born piano virtuoso.  A protégé of the great pianist, composer, and teacher Franz Liszt, William Hall Sherwood (1854-1911) was the nation’s most celebrated pianist and teacher at the turn of the last century.  Sherwood was also the first performer of stature who came forth with the belief that every American child deserved a music education, and the first to publicly advocate for scholarship support of music students. He was one of the first Americans to take music to the people, loading up his grand piano on the back of a horse-drawn wagon and performing concerts in towns all over the prairie and burgeoning west.  One of his great legacies was the 160-volume Sherwood Piano Course, the first standardized text for teaching and learning piano.


PROGRAMS OFFERED AT THE SHERWOOD LOCATION

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EARLY CHILDHOOD MUSIC

Very young children learn best in a playful and informal learning environment. Our engaging teaching artists infuse that belief into every program, emphasizing a safe and nurturing place where children are free to explore and play. From sampling sousaphone to practicing balance in dance, our early childhood classes will capture your child’s imagination and help set them on their creative way.

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CHILDREN'S MUSIC PROGRAMS

Here, young creatives shape their talent through diverse classes that provide the opportunity to explore Piano, Guitar, Voice, and Percussion. All programs are taught by instructors with deep experience in teaching the arts and media to children and teens. Absolutely no application or audition is required to register, and everyone is welcome to participate.

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SUZUKI MUSIC INSTRUCTION

The world-reknown Suzuki Method stems from the fundamental principal that Every Child Can Learn. Just as every child learns his own language, every child can learn to play an instrument. This approach means that parents and caregivers are an integral part of each lesson and form part of the Suzuki Lesson Triangle, serving as the at-home teacher in addition to the group and private lessons taught by Columbia instructors. 

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INDIVIDUAL MUSIC INSTRUCTION

Individual music instruction enables students ages 4 and up to learn technique and repertoire that is best suited to their particular needs. Individual lessons follow an open enrollment policy, new enrollments in individual lessons are accepted at anytime throughout the year.