We're not just teaching music.


The People’s Music School is the largest completely free music school serving Chicago metropolitan area children.

We set high expectations for all students. We deliver a rigorous curriculum that demands musical excellence and personal commitment. And we root all of this in a strong culture of whole-child support.


High Quality Instruction

We provide intensive, outcomes-driven, free music instruction (average 3 hours per student per week), with 250,000-plus learning hours delivered per year.

different instruments
ensembles of diverse music genres
performance opportunities per student this year

Our Four Instructional Pillars

Under the guidance of our dedicated teaching artists, all students embark on our sequential curriculum grounded in four instructional pillars:

Lessons build strong work ethic and accountability. 

Ensembles build teamwork and listening skills.

Music theory trains students to think critically and apply new tools for creative self-expression.

Performance introduces the real-time aspect of overcoming anxiety and helps students develop the confidence and bravery necessary to present in front of an audience.


Community Service

It costs about $3,500 per year per student to provide a free musical education. To meet this need, we ask students and families to participate in service opportunities that enable us to keep our programs running smoothly and ensure successful day-to-day operations. 


More than Music

We’re one of the rare organizations that provides free high-quality, intensive music education to underserved students. Our students demonstrably grow emotionally, socially, and intellectually as a result of their experience with our school, and we rigorously track our student outcomes. Our teaching artists are professionally trained by experienced pedagogues, and we focus on attracting, motivating, and retaining exceptional music teachers.

"[The People's Music School] is a catalyst for improved self-esteem and academic success. The students are getting accepted into top high schools. It's cool, and their peers look up to them."
Scott Ahlman
CPS Principal


Our Teaching Artists

Our students are learning from the best, with 60+ professionally trained, inspiring, committed paid teaching artists teaching lessons, conducting ensembles, and transforming lives at TPMS.


Our Staff

We’re committed to bringing equitable music education to Chicago students and inspired by those we serve. Learn about our staff and what motivates us to provide free music education.


Our Board

The People’s Music School Board of Directors transforms lives by advocating for tuition-free music education and investing in Chicago’s future. Our Associate Board brings together young adults looking to make change in the world of music education. Learn more about our Boards by clicking below. 

Give the gift of music today by donating to The People’s Music School.