All About the Kids: CMC classes for infants to 12-year-olds

CMC and kids music classes for infants to 12-year-olds
Our philosophy of music education holds that musicianship and a love for music start young and can be of great developmental impact for children. According to current scientific research, children who participate in musical activities enjoy cognitive, social, communication, and somatic benefits. Over the past couple of years, CMC has continued to grow its program of kids classes to offer children a fun environment to discover music while supporting these developmental impacts. No experience is necessary!


CMC Chiquitos

For infants to seven-year-olds: Musical bonding, interaction, and exploration
These three classes offer an introduction to singing, rhythmic activities and musical play.
Family Music and CMC Chiquitos are for infants to three-year-olds and provide unique “musical bonding” experiences for the child and caregiver. They play music together – for example, where adults sing and move with the children. CMC Chiquitos also includes a bilingual component where children learn Spanish words and phrases in tandem with learning musical activities and rhythms. Music has been shown to be a great support for kids in learning a new language. Music classes for children under three that include interactive musical activities have been found to help with communication and social development.

Music for Children is for ages four to seven. The class supports the development of musicianship through rhythm games, songs, creative movement, and the use of Orff instruments. Children are introduced to symphonic instruments and experiment with the way sounds are produced. In a casual and playful environment, children are introduced to the foundations of music.

For eight to 12-year-olds: Musical skills, cooperation, and listening
Group classes for this age range focus on developing rhythmic and melodic skills on a specific instruments in a fun group environment.

Children’s Chorus helps kids to explore and develop their voices through choral singing. Young singers learn how to blend with a group while learning ear training, sight singing, and performance skills. This class emphasizes cooperation, teamwork, and fun.


Guitar students at CMC

Group Guitar for Kids introduces children to guitar in a social environment. Kids learn to play in rhythm and internalize melody and song. Young guitar players learn songs from folk, rock, popular, and world music genres.

Percussion for Kids teaches kids about music with songs and rhythms. Children play Afro-Caribbean rhythms, and learn about dynamics, sound quality, rhythm, following a conductor, and listening to one another.

Percussion for Kids faculty Omar Ledezma teaching timbales


Class information
CMC Chiquitos
Ages: Infant to three-years-old
Locations, Days and Times:
Mission District Branch, Thursdays, 11:00–11:45am
Instructor: Susan Peña
Tuition: $288 per quarter (12 weeks)
Ask us about our referral discount!

Family Music
Ages: Infant to three-years-old
Location, Days and Times:
Mission District Branch, Tuesdays, 9:30–10:15am Mission District Branch class not being offered in Fall Quarter
Richmond District Branch, Mondays, 10:30–11:15am
Instructor: Diane Aurelius
Tuition: $288 per quarter (12 weeks)
Ask us about our referral discount!

Music for Children
Locations, Days and Times:
Mission District Branch, Wednesdays
3:45-4:30pm for ages four and five
4:30-5:15pm for ages four and five
5:30-6:15pm for ages six and seven
6:30-7:15pm for ages six and seven

Richmond District Branch, Saturdays
9:30am–10:15am for ages four to seven

Children’s Chorus
Ages: Eight to 12-year-olds
Location, Days and Times: Mission District Branch, Mondays and Wednesdays, 4-5:30pm
Instructors: Beth Wilmurt, Director; John Kyrk, Accompanist.
Tuition: None. $45 annual registration fee.

Group Guitar for Kids
Ages: Eight to 12-year-olds
Locations, Days and Times:
Mission District Branch. Wednesdays, 4:30-5:30pm
Instructor: Erik Pearson
Tuition: $288 per quarter (12 weeks)

Percussion for Kids
Ages: Eight to 12-year-olds
Location, Days and Times:
Mission District Branch
Mondays 5:15 – 6:15pm
Instructors: Omar Ledezma Jr. with guest artists
Tuition: $288 per quarter (12 weeks)

Nuts and Bolts: Theory and Musicianship at CMC

New CMC Ear Training faculty Erick Peralta

New Ear Training faculty
This Fall Quarter Community Music Center welcomes a new addition to CMC’s Theory and Musicianship faculty. Erick Peralta, who started teaching piano last year at CMC will be teaching Ear Training this Fall Quarter on Thursday evenings.

Though Erick is new faculty at CMC, he is not a new face. He began his musical career as a student in CMC’s Music for Children and piano over two decades ago. Erick has since gone to the Berklee School of Music in Boston and returned to San Francisco. As a pianist, Erick is a versatile musician with training in classical music with a special appreciation for all types of music, including Latin pop, Afro-Cuban, as well as his native Afro-Peruvian music. Proficient in traditional and popular styles, Erick is a composer and an arranger of music. Erick loves teaching and looks forward to sharing his passion for music to ear training this fall.


Theory and Musicianship at CMC

Which theory and musicianship class is right for me?
We asked CMC’s longtime music theory teacher Jono Kornfeld to help compare the theory and musicianship classes at CMC. If you’re wondering which one of these classes is right for you, take it from Jono.


  • Introduction to Music Notation and Reading
    Introduction to Music Notation and Reading gets you up to speed by covering the nuts and bolts of notation and reading. It’s great for students new to music reading or for students who are coming back to studying music after a hiatus. This class is a helpful complement to private lesson study or group classes, especially when you’re just starting out.
  • Music Theory I, II, III
    Music theory gives a name to everything that goes on in music, and helps explain how and why these components work. The music theory courses at CMC are good for students who are interested in understanding the theory behind what they’re playing. This class is a helpful companion to private lesson and group class study, in that it gives a student more understanding of the methods behind the music.
  • Ear Training
    Ear training helps someone develop their listening skills in order to recognize (with their ears) all the components of music. Ear training is an important ingredient of musicianship: helping a student develop the ability to execute (play or sing) these components more accurately and confidently. Ear training assists instrumentalists and vocalists in mastering technique and musical style and supporting sight-reading and sight-singing. Ear training is essential for composers and arrangers. It benefits anyone who simply wants to be a better listener.
  • Summer Quarter Theory Classes
    During the Summer Quarter, Jono Kornfeld offers a range of other music theory classes, including Advanced Theory, Beginning Jazz Theory, Summer Composition Workshop, Modern Music, and Rock of the 60’s and 70’s. The classes are available on a rotating basis. Contact a registrar or Jono in the Spring Quarter for more information.


Songwriting and Composition at CMC, photo by Linda Nakasone

Songwriting and composition classes at CMC
At CMC, aspiring songwriters and composers of all levels can study with professionals to bring their musical ideas to life. Seasoned songwriter and performer Larry Dunn teaches Songwriting Workshop covering songwriting techniques, including lyric development, song structure, and harmonic structure. Local composer Davide Verotta teaches Composition Workshop providing a solid foundation for understanding compositional forms coupled with music writing exercises. Both of these classes provide students with listening, analysis, and exercises in a small group environment.

Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive 50% discount in group classes.

Sights and sounds of summer camps at CMC

Camp CMC 2017

Camp CMC performance Photo: Stuart Zussman

Campers put on an incredible show at the end of their week of playing in ensembles together! Thanks to Camp Director Katie Wreede and faculty members Arwen Lawrence, Tregar Otton, and Jesse Wolff, as well as interns Aaron Bierman and Hannah Hanif from CMC’s Young Musicians Program for making beautiful music and big fun happen!
View photo album • Watch end-of-camp concert
Learn more about Camp CMC

Musical Discovery Camp 2017

Musical Discovery Campers Photo: Liz Harvey

Roots music of the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America brought CMC’s Mission Branch to life at the end of June. Thanks to Camp Director Hector Lugo and faculty members Jorge Liceaga and Cecilia Peña-Govea for an amazing week of camp. We can’t wait for more Musical Discovery next year!
View photo album • Watch end-of-camp concert
Learn more about Musical Discovery Camp


Chamber Music Camp 2017

Chamber Camp rehearsal Photo: Liz Harvey

Our chamber campers performed beautiful works from their classical repertoire with the guidance of our stellar coaches! Thanks to Camp Director Poppy Dorsam and faculty members Lauren Coney and Josepha Fath for bringing these budding performers together.
View photo album • Watch end-of-camp concert
Learn more about Chamber Music Camp


Concert Band Camp 2017

Concert Band Camp rehearsal Photo: CMC

This is CMC’s first-ever band camp, and we think it was a brilliant addition to our camp family! Thanks to Camp Director Bill McClanahan for bringing the sounds of concert band to CMC’s Richmond District Branch this summer. They bring back great memories to many of us!

View photo album • Stay tuned for concert footage
Learn more about Concert Band Camp

Preview new classes coming to CMC Fall Quarter!

Come singers, drummers, and little ones!

CMC is rolling out three new unique offerings for the Fall Quarter.

Sign up to sing and play along with your little ones in CMC Chiquitos: a one-of-a-kind Spanish bilingual family music class for ages 0-3. The class is taught by Susan Peña of the Latin music group La Familia Peña-Govea.

Percussionists of all ages and skill levels: gain hands-on experience with Indian rhythmic techniques in the new Indian Rhythms Ensemble taught by acclaimed performer Rohan Krishnamurthy. CMC will provide the instruments and no previous experience is required.

Join renowned CMC faculty Martha Rodríguez-Salazar and Jennifer Peringer in Coro de Cámara, a new chamber choir that will sing in the Baroque, Classical, and folk choral traditions of Spain and Latin America.


CMC Chiquitos

A Spanish Bilingual Family Music Class

This mixed-age music class for infants to three-year-olds and parents/caregivers provides a musical bonding experience and an introduction to singing, rhythmic activities, and musical play. Classes focus on the music of Latin America with an emphasis on Mexican music. More than one adult can attend with a registered child. Class is held in Spanish and English.

Ages: 0–3

Instruments: Voice and percussion instruments provided by CMC

Musical Styles: Music of Latin America

Class Size: 4–8 families

Location, Days and Times:  Mission District Branch, Thursdays, 11:00–11:45am

Instructor: Susan Peña

Tuition: $288 per quarter (12 weeks)
$192 for Summer Quarter (8 weeks)
Tuition will be increased by 5% starting Winter Quarter.
Ask us about our referral discount!
Sign up starting August 7!


Indian Rhythms Ensemble

This ensemble will explore universal techniques and approaches of Indian rhythm with a focus on the ancient South Indian Carnatic tradition. Gain hands-on experience playing several traditional instruments, including the pitched mridangam, khanjira frame drum, ghatam clay jug drum, and konakkol, a unique system of vocal percussion. Classes will culminate in a public performance with guest artists.

Ages: All

Instruments: Mridangam (double-sided pitched drum), khanjira (frame drum), ghatam (clay jug drum), konnakol vocal percussion (beat boxing). Open to singers and instrumentalists. Bring your instrument if you have one!

Musical Styles: Hand drumming; Indian rhythmic improvisation and composition; adapting traditional techniques to other instruments and across genres

Prerequisites: None

Location, Day and Time: Mission District Branch, Wednesdays, 6:00–7:00pm

Instructor:  Dr. Rohan Krishnamurthy

Tuition: $414 per quarter (12 weeks)
$276 for Summer Quarter (8 weeks)
Tuition will be increased by 5% starting Winter Quarter.
Sign up starting August 7!


Coro de Cámara

A chamber choir that sings the music of Spain and Latin America

Sing beautiful baroque, classical and folk music from Latin America and Spain in a small choir setting. Learn how to sing in Spanish, Latin and several dialects from the Americas in different styles ranging from the 13th century to modern folk styles.

Ages: Adults, older teens

Instrument: Voices of all ranges

Musical Styles: Baroque, classical, and folk music from Mexico, Spain and South America

Prerequisites: Ability to sing in tune and read music. Spanish fluency not required. Entrance by audition.

Class Size: 10–50 students

Location, Day and Time: Mission District Branch; Thursdays, 8:15–9:45pm

Instructor: Martha Rodríguez-Salazar, Director; Jennifer Peringer, Accompanist

Tuition: $366 per quarter (12 weeks)
$244 for Summer Quarter (8 weeks)
Tuition will be increased by 5% starting Winter Quarter.
Sign up starting August 7!

Mission District Young Musicians Program Celebrates Ten Years

In 2006-2007, CMC began a tuition-free program that offers a comprehensive music education through the study of Latin music. It is available for youth that live or go to school in the Mission District. Ten years later, the Mission District Young Musicians Program (MDYMP) is flourishing.

To celebrate this anniversary year, alumni were invited to speak to the musicians and audience members at the MDYMP’s end-of-year concert at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.

Martha Rodriguez-Salazar, the MDYMP Program Coordinator since its beginning, shared some of the highlights of her guests’ messages to students that day:

Chus Alonso, founder and director of the MDYMP from 2006 – 2012, was our guest of honor. He shared some reflexions about his tenure with the program and the goals it’s accomplished, thanking students, parents, teachers, CMC staff, and the Mission Cultural Center. He also played a fabulous flute solo in Almendra, a classic danzón, during the concert.

Pianist Carlos Ballesteros (2009 – 2014) talked about how formative the program was for him and remembers the teachers fondly.

Violinist Yojani Ulloa (2008 – 2014) shared how important it was for her to have a community of people with common interests. She is encouraging her young brother to apply for the program this coming year.

Guitarist Kai Lyons  (2009 – 2011) said that he went a Jazz Conservatory in the East Coast (William Paterson University) to realize that he learned more about important and complex rhythmic patterns in his neighborhood program (MDYMP).

Trumpeter Ceci Peña-Govea (2006 – 2010) said that the MDYMP gave her the tools to build a musical career. She is now teaching guitar through a CMC program at the Mission Neighborhood Center. This fall, she will also teach in CMC’s Mariachi program in partnership with the SFUSD and in the MDYMP, along with her dad, Miguel Govea.

Trumpeter Kyana Orellana (2010 – 2015) shared how much the program taught her to be disciplined and provided her with the opportunity to learn Latin music. To the current students in the program, she said: “Even when it is hard to wake up early on Saturdays, appreciate the excellent opportunity that you are being given.” After Kyana graduated, she came back to write a paper about the MDYMP. She also volunteered as an assistant for a quarter.

Violist Joshua Urrutia (2012 – 2016) said that MDYMP supported him during the difficult teenage years and said how important it was to have Chris Borg, CMC’s Executive Director, as a viola teacher and mentor. He expressed gratitude for all of the MDYMP teachers.

Nena Aldaz wasn’t able to attend but sent a message that Chris Borg read. Here are a few highlights:

“I remember auditioning for the group and being intensely nervous. I was much more shy back then. I didn’t know if I could make any friends, or if people would like my singing. But, you all provided a safe space for me to learn and grow. You all supported me and helped me to find my voice.

MDYMP was more than just a program to me. It was the stepping stone I needed to become a more skilled and open artist. It taught me about the music from Latin American countries (which, sadly, is not the case in most universities’ music programs), and it taught me about feeling the music as much as understanding it.

What I learned with MDYMP has always been immensely useful to my musical education at UC Irvine. For example, I am currently taking Latin American Music (a class that was added this year and is only for the duration of the quarter) and my professor asked if anyone knew what a clave rhythm was. My hand shot straight up. I clapped it out for him… and he was impressed!

MDYMP helped me realize that what I truly want to do is to sing and perform. Now I am a vocal arts major at UCI, and I am being trained classically. I have also been accepted to the Bel Canto Institute of San Miguel Allende, in Mexico. I am going to train there for a little over a month. Only 20 students get in each year.

None of this would have been possible without all of you.”

Our thanks to Martha Rodriguez-Salazar for her account of this inspiring moment for our MDYMP community and her invaluable leadership and commitment. Each Saturday, Martha is joined by dedicated faculty members who also perform professionally: Javier Cabanillas, Miguel Govea, Lisa Larribeau, Tregar Otton, and Jesse Wolf.

Over the years, the MDYMP has performed in high profile events in the Mission District and beyond, such as Mission Carnaval, the Mission District Cinco de Mayo Celebration, the SF International Arts Festival, La Posarela performances at the Brava and Victoria Theaters, CMC gala performances at SFJAZZ and the Fairmont Hotel San Francisco, and El Son de la Mision at the Brava Theater last year.

Look out for our MDYMP alumni and faculty performing out in the community!

CMC students pass exams with flying colors

Did you know that some CMC teachers support students with exam preparation?

CMC students can challenge themselves and measure their progress by preparing for exams such as the American String Teacher’s Association Certificate Advancement Program, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams, the Royal Conservatory of Music exams, the Music Teachers’ Association of California’s Certificate of Merit program, and others.

Congratulations to the thirty CMC students below on their achievement this school year!

American String Teacher’s Association Certificate Advancement Program
Alycia Tam, violin student of Monika Gruber-Gibbons

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams
Chloe Chan, flute student of Annelise Zamula, passed level 3 with distinction
Holly Lee, piano student of Paul Dab, passed level 4
Sunnie Lee, piano student of Paul Dab, passed level 5
Darren Leung, piano student of Christian Bonvin, passed level 2 with merit
Alycia Tam, violin student of Monika Gruber-Gibbons
Kelsey Wong, piano student of Christian Bonvin, passed level 1 with merit

Royal Conservatory of Music exams
Loren Gigi, piano student of Tatyana Mikhaylenko, passed level 6 with honors
Priscilla Guan, piano student of Tatyana Mikhaylenko, passed level 8
Thomas Ian, piano student of Tatyana Mikhaylenko, passed level 9
Tiffany Ian, piano student of Tatyana Mikhaylenko, passed level 7 with honors
Winston Lee, piano student of Tatyana Mikhaylenko, passed level 4 with honors
Jaden Liu, piano student of Tatyana Mikhaylenko, passed level 1
Richa Nath, piano student of Paula Dreyer, received First Class Honors in level 3 and earned the Certificate of Excellence for scoring the highest in San Francisco for her level

Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) Certificate of Merit evaluations
Catherine Chen, piano student of Lilia Zheltova, completed level 2
Jonathan Chen, piano student of Lilia Zheltova, completed level 5
Emily Chen, piano student of Lilia Zheltova, completed level 7
Louise Chen, piano student of Lilia Zheltova, completed level 3 with honors
Jenna Chui, piano student of Lilia Zheltova, completed level 5
Nicole Chui, piano student of Lilia Zheltova, completed level 7 (High School Award)
Angelina Costa, piano student of Elyse Weakley, completed level 3
Luciano Costa, piano student of Elyse Weakley, completed level 1
Evelyn Guo, piano student of Lilia Zheltova, completed level 6
Brenton Lai, piano student of Lilia Zheltova, completed level 8 with honors
Victor Louie, piano student of Lilia Zheltova, completed level 3
Sammy McClanahan, piano student of Juliet McComas, received the top score of a 5+
Alex Piskov, piano student of Lilia Zheltova, completed level 6
Rebecca Portnoy, piano student of Juliet McComas, received the top score of a 5+
Brydon Zheng, piano student of Lilia Zheltova, completed level 3

Why participate in music examinations? Our faculty weigh in:

“My most motivated students choose to participate in the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Music Development Program (MDP). It is a rigorous program requiring repertoire from all four musical eras, etudes, and loads of scales, chords, arpeggios, sight reading, and ear training. Last year my student Richa Nath got the highest score in San Francisco for her Level 3 exam. I was very proud of her accomplishments! I enjoy the well rounded musical foundation that the program lays for dedicated students. In order to ensure the student is not only focusing on the exam all year, we also incorporate a fun “30 Piece Challenge.” My closest student is two pieces away from the goal! My students who participate in the MDP reach quite a high level of playing ability. I am proud of all of my students who prepare well enough to participate, as it is no small feat!”
– Paula Dreyer

“I resisted putting students in for Certificate of Merit (CM) for the longest time. It seemed like there were so many rules that I found it offputting. But when I attended the MTAC student recitals, I noticed that the ones who participated in CM were always more solid and confident in performance. So I took the plunge and the first thing I noticed when I offered this to CMC students is they were much more likely to commit from quarter to quarter, including summer. So I have very few students who drop and it’s been like that ever since. I don’t make any of my students do it but simply offer it as an opportunity. I think they like to do it because it’s like passing a grade in school and going up to the next level. I think it definitely gives them a marker of their progress and they sure like getting those high marks and that certificate!”
– Juliet McComas

Interested in exam prep?

If you are interested in exam prep at CMC, contact a registrar who can make faculty recommendations depending on your instrument and goals.

Congratulations once again to our students and their teachers – you make us proud!

Announcing CMC’s 2017-2018 Merit Scholars

Each May, a jury of CMC faculty and staff auditions students for full scholarships for the next school year’s private lessons. These awards are based on need and merit. This year we heard dozens of youths play an extraordinarily diverse repertoire. The following are the 2017-2018 Merit Scholarship recipients:

Charlotte Ackerley Memorial Scholarship
Ying Chen, violin student of Sin-Tung Chiu

Chevron Scholarship
Amy Yu, violin student of Oscar Hasbun

Bella and P.P. Chiu Memorial Scholarship Fund
Isabella Torrez, voice student of Martha Rodriguez-Salazar
Murali Meyer, voice student of Jonathan Smucker
Leo Safir, clarinet student of Michael Jordin
Alexandra Granat, flute student of Annelise Zamula

Ruth and Martin Elsner Memorial Scholarships
Megan Ma, violin student of Abigail Shiman
Qiao Ying Chen, piano student of Sarah Stiles

Gertrude Field Memorial Scholarship
Dinh Tran, flute student of Diane Grubbe

Marian N. Ford Memorial Scholarship in Strings
Olivia Chan, violin student of Sin-Tung Chiu

Tyler Guge Memorial Scholarship
Journey Moore-Prewitt, piano student of Maestro Curtis

Harold Haber Memorial Scholarship
Maritza Bautista, piano student of Evelyn Davis

Hilda Haber, Jr. Memorial Scholarship in piano
Hannah Kim, piano student of Grace Yu

Koret Scholarship
Susanna Lau, piano student of Janis Mercer

Ross McKee Memorial Scholarships in Piano
Christine Chen, student of Les McWilliams
Trinity Lee, student of Tatyana Mikhaylenko
Rosa Zhang, student of Lilia Zheltova
Laura Chen, student of Elyse Weakley
Tiffany Ian, student of Tatyana Mikhaylenko

Alice Morini Memorial Scholarship
Sophia Manodori, violin student of Tregar Otton

Maurice, Helen, and Carl Shapiro Memorial Scholarship
Sunnie Lee, piano student of Paul Dab

The Shenson Foundation Scholarship
Brenton Lai, piano student of Lilia Zheltova

Shorr Memorial Scholarship in Chamber Music
Kelly Lee, violin student of Oscar Hasbun

Gioia Taber Piano Scholarship
Kimberly Chen, piano student of Grace Yu

Mrs. Paul L. Wattis Memorial Scholarship
Amy G. Li, flute student of Annelise Zamula

Joan Wild Memorial Scholarships
Vanessa Lopez, piano student of Shirley Marshall
Devin King-Roberts, piano student of Kristine Zhang

Peter F. Ostwald, M.D. Memorial Scholarship
Lola Salomon, cello student of Ben Snellings

Reah Sadowsky Memorial Scholarship (sponsored by Women Musicians Club of SF)
Jennifer Lee, piano student of Christian Bonvin

Isabel Hesselberg Memorial Scholarship
Karen Domingo, piano student of Martha Rodriguez-Salazar

James Hunt Scholarship
Priscilla Guan, flute student of Annelise Zamula

Ruth Lasky Scholarship
Manhattan Liu, ukulele student of Erik Pearson

CMC Older Adult Choirs Conclude Their Season with Ten Free Concerts Across San Francisco

CMC’s 30th Street Chorus Performing at Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, May 2017.
Photo courtesy of YBG Festival/Photos by Bishoculars

Sonia Caltvedt
Marketing Director
415-647-6015 x75

SAN FRANCISCO (May 26, 2017) – Over three-hundred singers in Community Music Center’s Older Adult Choir Program are preparing for a series of ten concerts across the city between May 30 and June 15. The free performances, open to the public, will take place at San Francisco community and senior centers, with a special appearance of the 30th Street Chorus at the JCCSF’s Brain Fitness Forum on June 11.

The concerts will feature music that represents the many cultures of the choir members and their communities, including gospel, jazz, Latin American, show tunes, folk songs, oldies and Americana, among others.

CMC’s Older Choir Program brings the many personal, social, and quality of life benefits of making music to hundreds of seniors in the city each week. The program began five years ago when CMC began partnering with senior centers to provide music opportunities for older adults. It has grown to include twelve choirs as choirs have cycled out of the Community of Voices research study, a three way partnership between UCSF, Community Music Center and the Department of Aging and Adult Services. The choirs are active in neighborhoods throughout San Francisco, serving a diversity of communities.

The choir program is free for any older adult ages 55 and up, regardless of musical background or experience. The choirs provide a unique way for seniors to learn about singing, form new friendships, perform in community concerts, and improve their quality of life.

A complete list of the free concerts can be found below. A short video documentary about the Older Adult Choir Program and information about how to participate can be found here.

CMC Older Adult Choir Program Concert Schedule

CMC Richmond Senior Center Choir
Tuesday, May 30 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Richmond Senior Center, 6221 Geary Blvd.

CMC Western Addition Older Adult Choir
Wednesday, May 31 from 10:00 – 11:30 am
Western Addition Senior Center, 1390 ½ Turk St.

CMC Bayview Older Adult Choir
Wednesday, May 31 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center, 1753 Carroll Ave.

CMC Aquatic Park Older Adult Choir
Thursday, June 1 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Aquatic Park Center, 890 Beach St.

CMC OMI Senior Center Choir
Friday, June 2 from 12:30 – 1:30 pm
OMI Senior Center, 65 Beverly St.

CMC Solera Singers of Mission Neighborhood Center
Friday, June 9 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Mission Neighborhood Center, 362 Capp St.

CMC 30th Street Chorus of 30th Street Senior Center
JCC Brain Fitness Forum
Sunday, June 11 from 1:15 – 2:00 pm
Jewish Community Center of SF, 3200 California St.

CMC Bernal Heights Older Adult Choir
Monday, June 12 from 2 – 3:30 pm
Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center, 515 Cortland Ave.

CMC Older Adult Choir at Castro Senior Center
Tuesday, June 13 from 2 – 3:30 pm
Castro Senior Center, 110 Diamond St.

Coro CMC del Centro Latino de San Francisco
Thursday, June 15 from 1:30 – 3:00 pm
Centro Latino de SF, 1656 15th St.

About Community Music Center
CMC is one of the oldest and largest community arts organizations on the West Coast making high quality music accessible to all people, regardless of financial means since 1921. During the last school year, more than 2,400 students studied music at CMC in a wide array of programs, classes, workshops, and community events. Thousands more attended free concerts, performances by acclaimed visiting artists, instrument “petting zoos,” and many other events. CMC offers lessons on over 30 instruments to its students, whose ages span nearly 100 years. Learn more about CMC at and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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CMC’s Sylvia Sherman recognized by SFUSD with Dreamcatcher Award

On May 4, the SFUSD Visual and Performing Arts Department recognized our Program Director Sylvia Sherman as a community arts partner with a Dreamcatcher Award. The award ceremony was held at the SFUSD Arts Festival Community Celebration at the Asian Art Museum, and featured exuberant live music and dance by SFUSD students.

Donn Harris, SFUSD’s Executive Director for Creativity and the Arts and Chair of the California Arts Council, presented Sylvia with her award, beginning with a quote from John Coltrane, “You can play a shoestring if you’re sincere.”

He went on to make sure the audience knew of CMC’s long history of providing music education to all: “CMC has always been a beacon in our minds, a special place with real roots in the Mission District and the kind of pure mission that we all want to be part of . . . .you know the arts are OK as long as places like CMC are thriving.”

CMC partners with SFUSD to bring mariachi music to SF public schools
In 2015, CMC began work with the SFUSD to provide teaching artists for the district’s mariachi program. Over the past two years, CMC faculty members Miguel Govea, Tregar Otton, and Martha Rodríguez-Salazar have taught at Buena Vista Horace Mann, Cesar Chavez Elementary, Fairmont Elementary and Mission High Schools as part of a San Francisco Unified School District-led initiative to teach mariachi music in their schools.

Mariachi programs are springing up across the U.S. as a way to bring music education to a wider group of students, engage families, honor students’ culture, and better address the needs of Spanish bilingual students. This culturally responsive program meets music education standards and follows a pedagogy just as traditional orchestra and band programs do.

About the Dreamcatcher Award:
Inspired by individually crafted Native American dreamcatchers, highly endowed and talismanic works of art believed to have the power to capture dreams and prevent negativity, the Visual and Performing Arts Department of the San Francisco Uni ed School District proudly presents Dreamcatcher Awards as part of the SFUSD Arts Festival to honor individuals who have inspired our educational community through the excellent work they have done to promote the vision and the promise of the SFUSD Arts Education Master Plan.

Dreamcatcher recipients come from various parts of the community, including arts teachers, school arts coordinators, principals, administrators and community arts partners. The Visual and Performing Arts Department is proud to recognize these arts education leaders with the annual Dreamcatcher Awards, which made their debut in 2007, along with the Master Plan, and have provided our community with a way to recognize and celebrate the excellent work provided by these exemplary and inspiring arts leaders.

More info:

Student leader Dephny Duan on her first arrangement: “How Far I’ll Go”

Interview by Katherine Mumm, student volunteer

Dephny Duan, a cellist from CMC’s Young Musicians Program, took it upon herself to bring some popular kid’s music into the YMP’s repertoire with her arrangement of the hit “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana. Dephny, with the support of YMP Director Alex Keitel, arranged the song for two violins, viola, cello and guitar. A YMP ensemble that included Dephny performed the arrangement at the Richmond Branch Library in March to the delight of children who attended the performance. The performance was followed by an instrument petting zoo and an information session presented by the YMP program.

Katherine: What inspired you to arrange a song from Moana? Was there anything in particular about the movie that stood out for you as inspiration for an arrangement?

Dephny: We (YMP leadership team) were planning out our repertoire for the Richmond Branch Library performance, and we wanted to incorporate a piece that younger children [could enjoy].  We thought that performing, “How Far I’ll Go,” would be perfect. The song was about freedom and and discovering oneself. Although the words weren’t sung during our performance, the power of the song was definitely felt while playing. The song starts out with a calm mood and grows with power and passion till the climatic end.

Katherine: What was most difficult and most exciting about the process of arranging a piece?

Dephny: One of the more difficult parts about arranging the piece was transposing the three voice parts into two violins, a viola part AND adding a guitar part. I have never played the guitar, but with some help from my cello teacher and flexibility of the guitar player, I was able to simply write in the chords….

By far, the most challenging part of arranging the piece, was learning how to use the program to arrange the piece. I’ve never arranged a piece before let alone write up music digitally. I learned that using apps like MuseScore definitely makes arranging and composing a lot easier and smoother.

The most exciting part was hearing how the piece sounded with real live instruments!

Katherine: How long have you played your instrument, and what has your experience been as a musician while growing up?

Dephny: I’ve been playing the cello for around four years now. I was first introduced to the piano at a young age. I discovered the cello in middle school.  I slowly drifted from the piano and fell in love with the deep and powerful voice of the cello.

I have and will always love music for its never-ending game. Whether it’s a piece with challenging rhythms, tempo, or fingerings; the thrill of learning and perfecting a piece is the best feeling and has stuck with me all these years.