One City offers free music lessons, rehearsals and instruments to students from local elementary schools and neighborhoods.  Students in grades 5 - 8 can join One City Jazz, which pays tribute to Chicago’s jazz roots by offering saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion (drums), bass and piano.  Students in grades Kindergarten - 5 can join One City Strings, where they will learn to play the violin using the Suzuki method, which focuses on parent involvement in the child's learning.


When children have access to quality music instruction, the positive impact can be life-changing. VanderCook’s One City program helps to make sure all children have access to high-quality musical instruments and outstanding music education. 

One City runs for 10-15 weeks each fall and spring. Any student who completes the program through 8th grade will keep and own the instrument to play in high school and beyond.

Who Can Attend? 
One City Jazz welcomes 5th through 8th graders who have above-average grades with good school attendance and punctuality.  One City Strings welcomes students in Kindergarten through 5th grade whose parents are able to attend weekly Suzuki parent education sessions. One City Guitar welcomes students in 5th through 8th grade who are interested in playing guitar and motivated to practice.

Saturday mornings, 10:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.  See schedule below.
One City Guitar meets Tuesday afternoons 4:30 p.m. - 5:20p.m.

VanderCook College of Music, 3140 S. Federal St., Chicago

Who are the Teachers?
VanderCook professors and college music education majors.


For questions or additional information,
please contact Dr. Leah Schuman
at 312.788.1171 or



VanderCook College of Music is thrilled to announce that our 
One City outreach program recently received a CityArts grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.




The mission of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is to enrich Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. To support this overarching mission, the Cultural Grants Program’s goal is simple: to serve as a catalyst to foster a robust, healthy arts community where artists, nonprofit arts and culture organizations and creative industries thrive. In 2020, DCASE will provide more than $2.7 million annually in direct funding for Chicago’s arts community through its Cultural Grants Program. Designed to reach artists, creatives, and nonprofit arts and culture organizations across Chicago, DCASE Cultural Grants provide operating funds and project support for nonprofits and project specific funding for individual artists.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288