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Community Outreach


New Young Guitarists Program

James R. Doolittle School and VanderCook College of Music collaborate to Host Free Guitar LessonsDoolittle2

James R. Doolittle School is hosting a new outreach program offering free after-school guitar classes to interested 5th through 8th grade students. The New Young Guitarists Program, provided by VanderCook College of Music, has run for 15 weeks at the Chicago elementary school's south side location. The program was featured on NBC5 News Chicago. Click here to view the clip.

The New Young Guitarists Program is providing Doolittle students with their first opportunity to learn an instrument at the school. Plans are underway to expand the program to additional schools in the Bronzeville and Bridgeport neighborhoods, and to start an ongoing guitar ensemble combining students from all the schools involved.

"It's so incredible," said Doolittle principal Lori Lennix. "The kids are very excited and have really taken to it." The program came about through a collaboration between VanderCook president Dr. Charles Menghini and Doolittle Principal For a Day Kathy Posner.

Dr. Julie Goldberg, guitar professor at VanderCook, leads the program. Goldberg received her doctorate in guitar performance from Northwestern University and directs the Chicago Community Classical Guitar Ensemble.

"This program offers children an entryway into the world of music by providing a hands-on learning opportunity at a crucial time in their development," explained Goldberg.

The D'Addario Music Foundation and the Hal Leonard Corporation have generously supported the New Young Guitarists Program and made its implementation possible. In addition to the New Young Guitarists Program, VanderCook also hosts a weekly Community Drum Circle and offers individual music lessons through its Community Music Program.

For more information or to volunteer your support for this program, contact Dr. Julie Goldberg at For updates on this music program and others like it, please sign up for our e-mail newsletter.


Outreach Programs at VanderCook

The New Young Guitarists Program
Community Drum Circles at VanderCook College of Music
Community Music Program
Community Guitar Ensemble


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Toot N' DoodleToot_N_Doodle

In collaboration with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, VanderCook College of Music participates annually in Toot N' Doodle. Elementary students have the opportunity to hear, touch and play musical instruments from the woodwind, brass, percussion, and string families.


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Community Music Program


The Community Music Program offers music instruction in a nurturing environment of excellence and creativity.


We offer private lessons to children and adults alike in piano, guitar, voice, all orchestral instruments, as well as jazz techniques at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Personalized learning environments are tailored for each individual student.

Tuition for 8 lessons of 30 minutes each.
$200 - regular instructors. $320 - college faculty instructors

Community Music Program private lessons are taught on a weekly basis at VanderCook College of Music on the Illinois Institute of Technology Campus. Instruction will be provided by upper division and graduate music majors who study at VanderCook College of Music. Instructors are recommended by the applied faculty and are appointed to teach in the Community Music Program.

Scheduling of lessons is arranged directly between the instructor and pupil. Instructors will contact students by phone to schedule their lesson time.

Your instructor will call you to introduce him/herself, and welcome you to the VanderCook College of Music Community Music Program and ask a few questions about your past experience and your expectations.

Once you have booked your lessons the next step is to sign the student agreement. The student agreement is a standard service agreement that describes lesson policies. Signing of the agreement ensures that all new students understand our business policies and procedures as they are documented.

All lessons are paid for in advance. All payments must be made by the 25th of the month preceding the next month/quarter. For example, a monthly student will pay for June’s lessons on May 25.

Lesson payments can be made via major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover) or check.

The Community Music Program does not provide instructional materials, music or instruments. Community Music Program students should seek the advice of their instructor before purchasing any materials or music.

VanderCook College Music Faculy and Staff


To register for Community Music Program courses and ensembles, call (312) 225-6288.

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Community Guitar Ensemble

Community Guitar Ensemble

The Chicago Community Classical Guitar Ensemble was formed in 1997 by Ensemble Director and VCM faculty, Dr. Julie Goldberg. The ensemble consists of guitarists from all walks of life. Most have professions outside of music; some are full-time students; and a few are professional musicians and teachers. All share a love for the instrument and enjoy the challenges and rewards of working together in an ensemble.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining The Chicago Community Classical Guitar Ensemble, please call (312) 225-6288 or e-mail Dr. Julie Goldberg directly at

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VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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