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VanderCook College of Music

Community Music Program

Information about the Community Music Program

The Community Music Program offers three different options for community members of all ages and levels of experience participate in music instruction: 1) the Community Mariachi Ensemble, 2) Individual Instrument Lessons, and 3) the Community Guitar Ensemble.

Community Mariachi Ensemble

This group meets on Monday evenings at VanderCook College of Music.  Students who participate will study guitar, violin, trumpet, guitarron, and vihuela in a warm and welcoming environment.  Weekly rehearsals will occur throughout the school year.  Students will have opportunities to learn and perform alongside professional mariachi groups.   This entire program is offered at the incredibly low cost of $49 per semester, because we believe every child should have the opportunity to learn to play an instrument and be part of an ensemble, regardless of financial means or family circumstances.  Need-based scholarships are available.

Register online now for the Mariachi Ensemble

Individual Instrument Lessons: Tuition for 8 lessons of 30 minutes each:
$200 – student instructors
$320 – college faculty instructors

Register online now!

Contact our Program Director
Dr. Leah Schuman

phone: 312.225.6288 ext: 271
email[email protected]

Lesson Scheduling

Scheduling of lessons is arranged directly between the you and the instructor. Instructors will contact students by phone to introduce themselves, welcome you to the Community Music Program, ask a few questions about your past experience and your expectations, and schedule lesson times.

Once your lessons are scheduled, 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 following month/quarter. For example, a monthly student will pay for June’s lessons by May 25.

Instruments & Materials

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.

Current Community Music Program Students

Payment Information

Lesson payments can be made via major credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover) or PayPal via our online payment portal.

Community Music Program Payment Portal

Community Guitar Ensemble

Join CCGE for the 2022/23 Season! The group will meet at VanderCook College of Music, 3125 S. Federal St. Chicago, 60616, Tuesdays, 7:00-9:00 p.m., beginning September 13, through our final concert on Dec. 4.

The Chicago Community Classical Guitar Ensemble, was formed in 1997 by Ensemble Director and VCM faculty, Dr. Julie Goldberg. In addition to presenting concerts at VanderCook, CCCGE has performed at the Mid American Guitar Ensemble Festivals, Plymouth Place, Union Ridge Middle School, Hines Veterans Hospital, Chicago Public Schools, Washington Jayne Smith Home, Saint Mary of the Woods Concert Series, Three Crowns Park, Tinley Park Landmark Church Concert Series, Elmhurst Art Museum, Peoples Music School, Chicago Classical Guitar Society, Saint Xavier and North Park Universities, and Bethlehem Lutheran Artist Series in Dekalb, Il.

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 CCCGE, contact Dr. Julie Goldberg, Director directly at [email protected].

The CCGE is supported in part by VanderCook College of Music, and is honored to be part of the VanderCook College of Music Outreach Program.

guitar ensemble

The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

© 2022 VanderCook College of Music. All Rights Reserved.
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