Rita Simo, visionary founder of the People’s Music School, has died. ‘Rita always strove for justice.’
Chicago Tribune | September 23, 2020
“It will never go away, what she built. She just said, ‘I’m going to build this beautiful thing and it’s going to be messy and it’s not always going to be pretty, but it’s going to be magical.’ And it was.” – Lilly Torres, Associate Director of Community at The People’s Music School
Read the Chicago Tribune’s beautiful tribute to Dr. Rita Simó in full.
Chicago Sun-Times | September 23, 2020
“Rita was a defining force — a pioneer of social justice and equity who never stopped fighting for what our children deserve. Rita epitomized the love, truth and power of music.” – People’s Music School President Jennifer Kim Matsuzawa
Read more about our fearless founder and her legacy.
Chicago Sun-Times | September 18, 2020
The works created by the Green Star Movement for Uplift Community High School and the People’s Music School aim to reflect and beautify the community.
Learn how the mosaic at our Uptown Academy site reflects our history and culture.
Chicago Sun-Times | October 9, 2019
“The People’s Music School’s average student retention is seven years. Families commit to their children. They serve predominantly children of color. Their high-school graduation rate is 100 percent. That’s a successful outcome.” – Bronzeville Classical School Principal Nicole Spicer
Read about how our Greater South Side Band is growing!
Chicago Ideas | August 27, 2019
“You’ve never heard anything like this before. And that’s what the People’s Music School is counting on.”
Watch our students transform a classical piece into a classic hit!
People’s Music School Bringing Free Music Classes To South Side Kids With New Location In Bronzeville
Block Club | August 6, 2019
With its south side program doubling in size this year, the school is moving to Bronzeville Classical while it searches for a permanent South Side home.
Read more about our new home on the south side!
WGN | June 1, 2019
WGN and four other news networks captured our 2019 Performapaloozathon event and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s visit with our students. Watch the full clip here.
Block Club | May 30, 2019
The school serves nearly 850 students from over 50 ZIP codes across Chicago and Performapaloozathon is the culminating event of the year. Every student gets a chance to perform on stage.
Check out the article to learn about our biggest community event of the year!
At People’s Music School, parents clean toilets, repair leaks, work security — all for a shot at a world-class education for their kids
Chicago Tribune | May 28, 2019
“It’s the college cheating scandal flipped on its head: Parents going to great lengths to access a world-class education for their children, only here it’s done with integrity and grace, with an eye toward the greater good.”
Read the full article to learn more about what all our amazing TPMS parents and families do.
ABC7 | May 18, 2019
The People’s Music School’s President and Artistic Director, Jennifer Kim Matsuzawa, talks with Judy Hsu about the power of music, the legacy of immigrant parents, and why Chicago is full of potential.
Watch the full installment of this Emmy-winning series!
La iniciativa que brinda educación musical gratuita a pequeños en Chicago (Free Music Education for Children Across Chicago)
Univision| May 7, 2019
Lilly Torres, Associate Director of Student, Family + Alumni Engagement, talks with Diana Perez of Primera Hora about The People’s Music School’s mission and combined South Side Spring Concert at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts.
Watch the full clip!
Crain’s | May 18, 2018
TPMS President and Artistic Director Jennifer Kim Matsuzawa helped TPMS reach more students and brought the school out of a deficit in 2015 into an operating surplus on a $1.5 million budget in 2017.
Check out the article to learn about how she accomplished this and plans to serve 1,000 students by 2020!
WCIU, The U | May 18, 2018
TPMS Program Manager Josh deVries joins George Blaise on 26 N. Halsted to discuss ways in which The People’s Music School serves 700 students throughout Chicago, and how we empower our students to raise their voices.
Watch the full interview to learn more about the diverse programming at TPMS.
WBBM News Radio | May 17, 2018
‘Transforming lives through music,’ is the motto of The People’s Music School. WBBM New Radio honors TPMS as one of 50 newsmakers making a difference in 2018, WBBM Newsradio’s 50th anniversary.
Read the article here to learn more about the school’s roots and how we are making a difference in our students’ lives.
WGN Radio | May 7, 2018
In this audio interview, Tracy Sefl and Carolyn Sybesma, Director of Community Programs and Strategic Initiatives for The People’s Music School join Justin Kaufman of WGN Radio to discuss our mission and annual gala.
Listen to the full interview to learn more about the four TPMS programs around the city of Chicago.
Make It Better | April 25, 2018
In The People’s Music School’s Annual Gala on May 11, TPMS honored innovators and community leaders who have helped propel us forward in recent years, and celebrated TPMS’s ability impact students’ lives.
Check out the full article to find out more about Let It Shine, the 2018 Gala!
Voyage Chicago | April 11, 2018
In this interview, Voyage Chicago discusses how TPMS has grown since its beginnings in 1976 with just $625 and a donated piano, to serving almost 700 students with tuition-free music education in 2018.
Read the full interview to learn about our story, mission, and how to support our work and students!
Michelle Obama Calls Chance the Rapper ‘My Baby Brother,’ Lin-Manuel Miranda Ignites Rap Battle & More From The Obama Foundation Summit
Billboard Magazine | November 3, 2017
TPMS students opened the first-ever Obama Foundation Summit, sharing the stage with Common, Lin Manuel Miranda, Barack and Michelle Obama, and Chance the Rapper.
Read on to find out more about our performance at the Obama Foundation Summit!
Billboard Magazine | November 10, 2017
Billboard Magazine speaks with TPMS student Julia Soto about her experience performing at the Obama Foundation Summit, and about her backstage encounter with Barack and Michelle!
Get the full scoop on the Obamas’ message to Julia before her performance.
DNAinfo | March 31, 2017
Senite Barih, 14 year old TPMS student, opens up about her struggles facing racism at school and in the community – but how The People’s Music School provides a safe, comforting space where she finds comfort and positive mentors.
Read the full article, which includes testament from a long-time TPMS parent and TPMS President, Jennifer Kim Matsuzawa.
Crain’s Chicago Business | June 23, 2017
Why does the celebrated cellist devote his time and talent to making our city a better place? For Ma, it’s not just about the music.
Find out more about how Yo-Yo Ma makes an impact in Chicago through his involvement with The People’s Music School!
TPMS President and Artistic Director, Jennifer Kim Matsuzawa, talks about the One Chicago campaign, which aims to provide immigrants and refugees with easy access to legal help, medical assistance and other city services online.
See Jennifer’s interview and learn more about One Chicago,
WFMT | December 1, 2016
The People’s Music School was proud to partner with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Yo-Yo Ma for the annual Bach Marathon. In this interview, TPMS sits down with Mr. Ma to discuss music as a service.
NBC Making a Difference | November 15, 2016
NBC Making a Difference speaks with Jimmy Chamberlin about the influence music has had on his life and what makes him feel compelled to give back.
Make It Better | October 6, 2016
Jimmy Chamberlin, Smashing Pumpkins drummer turned local business leader and father, has a message for our kids: “If you’re brave enough to visualize something, it can be attainable.”
Check out the full article, which includes details about our 40th anniversary!
Chicago Sun-Times | July 3, 2016
The People’s Music School has made vast strides in the past two years since our President and Artistic Director Jennifer Matsuzwa re-joined our community after over 10 years with Bain & Company.
Read the full article to learn more about how we’ve opened two new locations and closed a six figure deficit.
Make It Better | June 10, 2016
Asked to perform for the Forefront Luncheon, The People’s Music School made lasting impressions on a crowd of more than 800 people and Yo-Yo Ma! The famous cellist surprised our students through asking if he could join in the performance.
DNAinfo | May 12, 2016
TPMS has always has a strong track record of student achievements. We’ve been hard at work these past two years to make sure our organizational operations are as strong as the community that’s sustained us for the past 40 years.
Read the full article to get the full scoop on our improved financial position and expansion to reach more students.
Built In Chicago | March 9, 2016
The People’s Music School unites techies and musicians alike in our 2nd annual Hackathon event. Technologists work with TPMS students and staff to develop apps as tools for music education. Check out which apps won this year!
Want to see Hackathon first hand? Check it out our video recap to see a quick summary of the day.
Chicago Inno | February 19, 2016
TPMS is always working hard to make sure our students learn the most they can and the best they can. This year, our faculty are using tech tools to test improvements in music instruction for our students. Read Chicago Inno’s article to learn more.
Hungry for more details? Head over to our “Tech + Innovation = Music Magic” blog for even more info.
Crain’s | March 13, 2015
Our President and Artistic Director found change and healing through music at The People’s School, where she had previously taught. She now offers guidance from her experiences to our students.
Read this Crain’s Article to learn more.
Chicago Splash Magazine | October 20, 2014
Chicago Splash Magazine discusses TPMS founder Rita Simó’s legacy, and the appointment of TPMS President & Artistic Director Jennifer Kim Matsuzawa.
The People’s Music School | September 22, 2014
The People’s Music School, the only tuition-free music school serving Chicago metropolitan area children, has appointed Jennifer Kim Matsuzawa as President and Artistic Director.
Longy School of Music | May 27, 2014
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Awards the Longy School of Music of Bard College a $100,000 Grant to Partner with WolfBrown to Study El Sistema-Inspired Orchestra Education Programs.
WCIU-TV | May 19, 2014
As a teacher who has found her passion in teaching, Stephane Collopy shares the story of why she loves her job at The People’s Music School.
Los Angeles Philharmonic | April 24, 2014
TPMS Youth Orchestras students Adilene, Karina, Alejandro, Luis, and Frank were 5 of only 26 students nation-wide chosen to participate in the first-ever Leadership Forum for Young Musicians in LA in February 2014.
Berklee City Music Network | February 27th, 2013
TPMS becomes a part of the Berklee City Music Network, a consortium of community organizations supported by Berklee City Music.
New York Times | August 26, 2011
“Rebecca Tirado arrived six days early to enroll her 7-year-old twins at the People’s Music School. With a tent, an air mattress and a cooler stocked with Gatorade and yogurt, she and her husband were ready for an extended sidewalk stakeout.”
Why? Read to find out!
Chicago Sun-Times | May 23, 2011
The Chicago Sun Times spends an afternoon at Hibbard Elementary, our Albany Park program site.
The Today Show | June 9, 2005
The Today Show’s Bob Dotson interviews TPMS founder Rita Simo and talks about the history and mission of The People’s Music School in his “Today’s American Story” segment.