Online Learning

Exceptional faculty bring online learning to life in fun and engaging ways! Even as we are open for in-person learning, we continue to offer online lessons and classes. Online group classes can be found in the youth and adult sections of the group classes & ensembles pages. Chat with a registrar to inquire about taking private online music lessons.


Lessons & Classes for Youth

Community Music Center offers classes for many interests and skill levels – from beginners to advanced musicians.


Lessons & Classes for Adults

Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced musician, you’ll find opportunities to explore music of all kinds at Community Music Center.

Online lessons are going incredibly well. We love the video lessons (no commute time!) and are learning at a solid pace. - Kelly Jane Rosenblatt
Mother of Cello Student

Online Learning in Action

Take a look at some of these examples to see how an online lesson or class might look:

Phoenix Curtis takes a Zoom violin lesson with Heidi Kim, strings faculty member.

Daniel Fabricant, Musical Storytime faculty member, created a video class for this week’s classes.

Omar Ledezma Jr., percussion faculty member, recorded a demo Latin percussion lesson on Zoom to demonstrate the experience.

Older Adult Choir members are loving having rehearsal videos online to sing with! Maestro and Nola Curtis made this video for the Western Addition Older Adult Choir, complete with warm ups, repertoire, and tips for staying healthy.


Online Learning Tips

To get the most out of your online music lessons and classes, follow these tips:

  • Take your online lesson or class in a distraction-free zone.
  • Prepare for your lesson by having everything you need on hand (instrument, metronome, music, etc.).
  • Get your technology set-up before the lesson or class. Turn on your computer or device. Connect to wifi or ethernet.
  • For younger students (under 12), we suggest having a caregiver in the room to help the child with taking the lesson.
  • For early childhood videos, we strongly encourage caregivers to do the exercises with the child to reinforce and model the lessons just as you would in class.

Equipment for Online Learning

  • An internet connection: broadband wired or wireless.
  • A device with speakers and a microphone: built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth. A personal computer, cell phone, iPad, etc. are all workable solutions.
  • A webcam or HD webcam: built-in or USB plug-in. Smart phones and more recent personal computers come installed with webcam.

Technical Support

We are all in this together! Please let us know if you are having technical difficulties at

Online platforms have instructional videos to get you started:

CMC has put together step-by-step instructions for setting up Zoom for lessons and classes:

Connecting with Your Teacher Online Each Week

Your teacher will send you a communication with your lesson access instructions at least 24 hours in advance of your first lesson. Keep your link handy; if you find that you don’t have it, please contact your teacher before your lesson time. If you are unable to reach your teacher during your lesson, please contact the registrars at 415-647-6015 (Mission District Branch) and 415-221-4515 (Richmond District Branch). If no one picks up, please leave a voicemail.

If you have questions or need additional help, students should contact your registrar before your lesson.

Credits will be issued if both teacher and student are communicating without success during the lesson time. However, credits will not be issued if problems are reported after the lesson time. If you and your teacher are able to be in touch but cannot connect for a lesson due to technical issues, the teacher may choose to provide a makeup lesson, or a credit will be issued.

Registration Policies for Online Lessons

Thank you for your interest in online learning at CMC! Because we have recently adopted online learning, we want to make clear our registration policies during this period of early transition. Please find more information below to help you as you enroll for the Quarter:

Remote lessons are proving very successful for both students and faculty. Give them a try and see how fun it can be!

Credits: As with all CMC quarterly registration, students will make a commitment to the full quarter. Credits will not be issued week-by-week. These lessons or classes will happen either remotely for at least part of the quarter (possibly longer, depending on how the situation evolves) or in person (once cleared by our City and State agencies).

Cancellations: If you try your first lesson and decide that it will not work for you, please notify a registrar at least 24 hours before your second scheduled lesson or class to avoid paying for the quarter in full.

If you decide to opt out completely of your  lessons or classes, the cancellation deadline is at least 24 hours prior to the first class of the new quarter.

Read more of our Registration Policies here.

Wishing you all health, safety, and music!