The People’s Music School envisions a society where all children have access to the unique social, emotional, intellectual benefits achieved through musical excellence. We believe music is transformative and empowers the lives of youth, families and communities. Founded in 1976 by Dr. Rita Simó, a Juilliard-trained pianist from the Dominican Republic, the legacy of tuition-free music education began in a repurposed barber shop, until a vacant lot on a residential block in Uptown eventually became its permanent home.


Our mission is to deliver access to the benefits of high-quality, tuition-free music education. Through intensive instruction and performance, our students achieve excellence in music that transfers to other areas in life. They grow musically, socially, emotionally and intellectually, and develop a foundation of responsibility, self-esteem, resilience and purpose.


We Provide Opportunity
Access to the benefits of music, regardless of socio-economic status or previous training.

We Cultivate Excellence
High musical achievements reflected in all areas of life

We Work Hard
Focus, discipline and resilience required in everything we do

We Nurture Creativity
Innovative problem-solving sparks critical thinking

We Embody Community
Resourceful, diverse, welcoming community fully invested in common purpose.


At The People’s Music School, we serve students and families from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds (over 90% of our students are of color). We celebrate diversity as a fundamental strength of our organization. Our full potential relies building the people and practices that reflect the communities we serve. We commit to role-modeling an ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion is of highest priority,
and accountable at every level starting at the top.

Every student learns to play everything,
and 50% of their repertoire will be composed by underrepresented groups across multiple genres.

We invest to ensure equal opportunity
to transformational opportunities.

We will elevate underrepresented voices with our own,
particularly in how we partner with artists, mentors, suppliers and more.

Every team is diverse,
from Board to Leadership Team to every staff team to every site team.