“I think this is the best place in Middlesex County to learn and play music!”

“Because of my voice lessons, I know that I can make my voice heard.”

“To see a child exploring music and enjoying all the good the world has to offer is heartwarming, and as parents, makes us proud.”

Kindermusik Early Childhood Music Program      •      Private Lessons      •       Suzuki Instruction      •       Group Classes      •       Performing Ensembles      •      Music Therapy      •      New Horizons Band      •      Summer Session at CMS      •      Broadway Bound Musical Theater      •      Kate’s Camp for Kids      •      School Time & Community Programs

Click here to email us or call 860-767-0026 to speak with our helpful office staff. Download our brochure  for more info!





Private lessons are the core of our program and are offered during the 17-week Fall (September – January) and Spring Semesters (January – June). Lessons can begin at any time during the semester and can be arranged for 30, 45 or 60 minutes each week. For some instruments, it is possible to arrange semi-private lessons through consultation with the instructor. Registration obligates the student to complete the semester and reserves your instructor’s time at that specific time period each week.

During our 9-week Summer Session (June – August), most of our instructors continue to teach. You can schedule as many or as few lessons as you’d like during the summer, which is also a great time to try a new instrument without full-semester obligation.

If you have questions about whether your child is old enough for private instruction, a single lesson ($37/half-hour) can be set up to evaluate his or her readiness. View information on tuition and fees.

The many talented musicians on our faculty are experienced in working with students of all ages and abilities. We offer private instruction in…
  • Voice – all voice parts
  • Piano – traditional instruction in all styles of music
  • Percussion – drums, drum set, vibes, etc.
  • Strings – violin, viola, cello, guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, dobro, dulcimer; Suzuki violin and cello
  • Brass – trumpet, trombone, tuba, French horn, baritone, coronet, euphonium
  • Woodwinds – saxophone, oboe, clarinet, flute, piccolo, recorder
All students receiving private instruction have the opportunity to:
  • Perform through studio, department and school-wide recitals and community performances
  • Work with professional accompanists
  • Attend workshops presented by CMS faculty
  • Attend masterclasses presented by visiting artists
  • Utilize CMS practice rooms and performance spaces
  • Participate in our Mock Audition Day for regional and statewide auditions
  • Receive discounts on additional lessons for themselves or a sibling

If you would like to study an instrument that is not listed above, please let us know as we are delighted to expand our offerings as demand warrants it.

For more information or to schedule private lessons, please call 860-767-0026.



The Suzuki method is a way of teaching music to students of any age based on the same principles used to teach language to children – listening, imitating and repeating. Shinichi Suzuki applied the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music.

Suzuki Instruction differs from traditional instruction in that parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s lessons and should be prepared to work with the child at home between lessons. We accept violin and cello students as young as 3½ or 4 years of age. “Pre-Twinklers,” the youngest students, have a private lesson each week. Once they begin studying in Suzuki Book 1, violin students also have a weekly ensemble class. Parents/caregivers should plan on attending lessons with their child.

Private Suzuki Instruction is offered for violin and cello for a 17-week semester
Private Instruction Tuition:

30 minutes ……………$ 612.00
45 minutes ……………$ 918.00
60 minutes ……………$1,224.00
Suzuki Violin Ensemble with Marianna Kiss – Time TBD based on enrollment, 16 weeks, $225

For more information about the Suzuki Method, please visit

To schedule Suzuki lessons, please call 860-767-0026.



Learning in a group offers a great introduction and foundation in music in a fun environment. Group classes are offered in several areas for both children and adults and new classes can be arranged based on interest. Most groups continue from Fall to Spring Semester with a progressive curriculum and prepare students to move on to private instruction. Classes may be delayed or canceled if sufficient enrollment is not reached; class days and times may change to accommodate student schedules.

Beginning Group Piano with Adele Huffman
Ages 6-9, 45 minutes, Mondays or Wednesdays, time TBD, 16 weeks, $350 (includes book) + $15 registration fee

Using the Alfred Beginning Piano Course book, students will be introduced to the basics of music notation as well as proper hand and finger technique. The class will be taught on our 88-key Yamaha digital pianos, which contain 500 sampled and synthesized sounds. A home piano or keyboard is recommended for practice. Limited to 4 students per class, book included.

Beginning Group Piano for Adults with Tom Briggs
Adults or Home school students, Wednesdays, 2:15-3:00pm, 16 weeks, $350 (includes book) + $15 registration fee

This class is for the beginning student with no prior experience. Using the       Alfred Beginning Group Piano Method book, students would learn the basics of music notation, finger technique, hand position, counting and rhythms, and group ensemble performance. The class will be taught on our Yamaha 88 key digital pianos that feature over 500 sounds!

Digital Piano Workshop with Tom Briggs (*For students with at least one year of private piano instruction)
Adults or Home school students, 16 weeks, 45 minutes, Day/Time TBD

Explore the unique capabilities of our exciting new state-of-the-art YPG Yamaha digital pianos and perform creative musical arrangements that are tailored for the group level. Musical styles range from classical to jazz to popular music, and kids songs. Reinforce note reading and an understanding of chords, clefs, and rhythms while exploring the contemporary digital sounds. Students will be grouped by experience.

Beginning Group Violin with Corey Johnson
Ages 6-9, 45 minutes, Wednesdays, Time TBD based on interest, 16 weeks, $350 (includes book) + $15 registration fee

A comprehensive approach to early technique and note-reading using favorite songs and melodies children know and love. Student must provide instrument. Limited to 4 students per class, book included.

Introduction to Guitar with John Birt
Ages 9+, 45 minutes, Monday or Wednesday, Time TBD based on interest, 16 weeks
$350 (includes book) + $15 registration fee

Learn the fundamentals of guitar in a group program dedicated to the absolute beginner. Course includes an overall history of the guitar in popular music, proper instrument maintenance/tuning, basic note reading and technique using the Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book 1. Requires a six string acoustic or electric guitar to be provided by the student. Includes book.

Ages 12-17, Private or Semi-Private lessons, 45 or 60 minutes, 8 week sessions, For students with musical skills and a strong interest in creative contemporary music

Learn the basics of Apple’s GarageBand music software with the goal of creating songs and developing your musical ideas into fully produced arrangements. Learn about digital recording, midi, and how to connect your computer to a digital piano. Projects can combine virtual software instrument multi track recording with live audio performance. You can edit, transpose, and add effects to your project and make an mp3 recording to share your music. Owning an Apple computer and digital piano is not required, but a plus.

For more information call 860-767-0026.



Playing in a group is an important part of music education and a valuable supplement to private lessons. Students find enrichment through ensemble participation, and the responsibility of playing with others helps with sight reading, counting, and multitasking, and leadership skills. The ensemble experience also helps develop an understanding of how one’s instrument part fits into the whole and provides the opportunity to perform for a live audience.

Ensembles meet weekly, working on repertoire for community performances. Everyone is welcome to join our ensembles whether or not they are also taking private lessons. A $15 registration feel applies for students not currently enrolled in other programs.

Directed by Kevin O’Neil
Adults, for guitar and electric bass, Fridays, 3:00 – 4:00 pm, 16 weeks, $250

Focus on the best classic rock from bands such as The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and more in this weekly ensemble. Chords and melodic material explored along with technique and musicality.

Directed by Martha Herrle
All ages, for violin, viola, cello and bass, Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30pm, May 8-June 19, 7 weeks, $90

Rehearsals take place at the Community Music School!

Directed by Christine Coyle
All ages and levels, Mondays, 5:00-6:00pm (approximately every other week), 7 weeks, $150
*Dates: February 5, February 26, March 26, April 9, April 30, May 14 & June 4

A beautiful way to pass an evening. Explore the rich harmonies of the cello repertoire with multi-part arrangements.

Directed by various faculty, depending on availability
All ages, for woodwind, brass, strings and piano, $285 + $15 registration fee
45 minutes, Day & Time TBD based on interest, 16 weeks

Playing in a group is a significant component of music education and a valuable supplement to private lessons.  Students find enrichment through ensemble participation and the responsibility of playing with others helps with sight reading, counting, multitasking, and leadership skills, as well as the opportunity to perform for a live audience.  Small group ensembles are assembled as trios, quartets, and quintets based on proficiency, instrumentation, and musical interests.

Directed by Martha Herrle
All ages and playing ability: violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, banjo, ukulele, mandolin and more!
Tuesdays, 5 – 5:45 pm, $195 + $15 registration fee

First Time Fiddlers String Band is open to fiddle music lovers of all ages and playing ability.  If you play the violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, banjo, ukulele, mandolin – any instrument with strings – we want you to play with us!  If you DON’T play a stringed instrument but this sounds like just too much fun, how about joining us with a washboard, a jug or a set of spoons?

We will be playing traditional American (and maybe some Irish!) fiddle tunes. You will receive a book of music, but reading music is not mandatory to play in this group.  If you have a good ear and just want to play along, you’re welcome too! Performances include the CMS Holiday Concert and a spring finale! Rehearsals are on Tuesdays from 5:00 to 5:45pm at Old Saybrook High School.

Directed by Martha Herrle
All ages, for intermediate to advanced violin, viola, cello and bass students
Tuesdays, 6:00 – 7:30 pm, $195 + $15 registration fee

The CMS String Ensemble had a modest start in 2002, with 4 children and one adult. Today, it’s an amazing inter-generational orchestra with nearly 50 members, from age 8 to 80! They play music at an intermediate to advanced level in a wide variety of musical styles, from classical to pop to fiddle. The rehearsals begin in September with public performances each year. All violins, violas, cellos and basses are welcome; an audition may be requested. Rehearsals are on Tuesdays from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at Old Saybrook High School. String Ensemble rehearses for approximately 26 weeks, working toward public performances throughout the year.

Directed by Shari Wilcox
Adults, Fridays, Choose 10–11 am or 11:15 am-12:15 pm, 16 weeks, $500 per semester

As vocal and acting coach, Shari Wilcox will unveil, enlighten and inspire the students to fully express themselves through song and movement.  This semester Studio 24 focuses on show tunes.  The semester concludes with a wonderful performance showcasing solos, duets, and group numbers!  Late enrollments require director’s approval.

Directed by Cheryl Six
All ages, intermediate and advanced students
Tuesdays, 6:00-7:00pm, 12 weeks beginning February 13th, $225

A fun and challenging weekly ensemble experience that will help develop your sight-reading and listening skills, improve your intonation, and make you a better all-around flutist. Explore a variety of flute repertoire including folk, classical, TV/movie music, and jazz with a variety of quartets, trios and works for larger ensembles.



Directed by Patricia Hurley

Active participation in music fills important needs for adults –
the need for challenging intellectual activity, the need to be a contributing member of a group, and the need to have exciting events in the future. Launched in 2009, New Horizons at CMS
under the direction of Patricia Hurley is a supportive group for beginners or those who have not played an instrument in years. There are no auditions and everyone is welcome! Rehearsals are twice a week with performances scheduled during the semester. Standard band literature graded level 2-3 in all styles and genres will be performed.

Beginners may schedule private lessons in preparation for joining full rehearsals (additional costs apply).

Meets Mondays and Thursdays, 10:45 am to noon; sectional rehearsals also available, 16 weeks;
$275 per semester + $15 registration fee (10% discount for students 65+)
About New Horizons

The New Horizons music program was introduced in Rochester, New York in 1991, the brainchild of Roy Ernst of Eastman Conservatory. Today there are about 150 New Horizons bands, choruses and orchestras in the United States and Canada, with thousands of participants. These organizations provide an entry point for adults who have either never studied music or who have been away from it for many years, allowing them to share the joyful experience of recreational music making. As it was first developed, members had to be at least 50 years old, but we have opened our program to any adults who are available between 10 and 12 on Monday and Thursday mornings for sectional and full band rehearsals. Read more at

We invite you to join the recreational music movement — you’ll be glad you did! Be a part of the New Horizons Band at Community Music School!

For more information call 860-767-0026.




One of music’s attractions is its ability to help communicate and express feelings. Music therapy combines the fields of music education and therapy to enhance the development of life skills and can be beneficial to people of any age regardless of musical skill or background. Music therapy has been successful in improving self-expression, communication, learning, social interaction and personal awareness. More information is available on the Music Therapy page.

Music Therapy Session Fee: $50* per private 30-minute session
Group Session fees are based on number of participants.

Please contact the Business Office at 860-767-0026 to schedule a consultation.

*scholarships available

Music therapy services are generously supported by the TJX Foundation, the Katen Foundation, the NewAlliance Foundation, the Kitchings Family Foundation, the Essex Lions Club, and generous individual donors.

For more information call 860-767-0026.