Lindsay wants to be part of the solution to the challenges that Chicago faces...She wants kids of different races to learn to make music together in order to learn about beauty, to learn about excellence, and to learn about each other.
— Patrick Kearney, Facilitator for Teacher Leadership in the Johnston Community Schools

Our vision

Chicago Arts and Music Project envisions a world where music brings communities together, keeps children safe, and provides a collaborative and creative environment of musical excellence.

Our Mission

Chicago Arts and Music Project exists to provide free El Sistema orchestral training in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood.

OUR Values

  • Community - In an effort to support under-resourced learning environments, we aim to create an atmosphere of creativity and radical inclusion for students of all ethnicities, beliefs, identities, and abilities.

  • Musical Excellence - Our highly qualified instructors instill in our students a sense of dedication, perseverance, and ambition through an intense schedule of orchestral rehearsal, private lessons, and performances. Students develop their own unique, diverse musical voices through performance and composition, and are given tools to measure their growth against their past achievements.

  • Social Development - Our students learn how to communicate peacefully with one another, offer and receive constructive criticism, and pass on their knowledge to less experienced students.

  • Social Activism - Taking our students' lead, we empower our young people to become active leaders within East Garfield Park, using music as a tool to engage the community, drawing their attention to community issues and effecting positive change.

our structure

  • Sectional rehearsals are held Monday through Thursday each week for two hours in the evening. Sectionals are divided into string or wind instrumentation. Each group has two sectionals (Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday).

  • On Fridays, the groups join together for a two-hour full orchestra rehearsal to rehearse the skills learned during sectionals.

  • Every member of the Chicago Arts and Music Project receives a free weekly 30-minute private lesson on the weekend. This time is reserved for specific technical issues that are unable to be addressed in a large group setting.

  • The Chicago Arts and Music Project performs one concert each term for a total of two concerts each school year. They also stage a recital in the spring for students to have the opportunity to perform solos or chamber music with their friends.