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This past summer a Garrison Afterschool Program parent called our Little 5 Points location and asked if we could provide guitar instruction in the afternoons at the Garrison facility.  For her, and many other parents, she explained, having guitar lessons at Garrison during the afternoons would be a desirable way for students to learn to play, and best of all, she said, it would eliminate either another errand (a trip to a music studio) from the already too busy family schedule or the inconvenience of an evening or weekend visit by an in-home instructor.  One of our Directors met with Suzanne Ries and we all agreed the collaboration was a good idea.

Coming the week of Sept 14: Guitar lessons @ the Garrison

We are pleased to announce that beginning the week September 14, we will start sending one of our full-time CMC Atlanta guitar instructors, Greg Chapman, to the Garrison Afterschool Program to teach small group guitar classes.  In groups of 3-5, students will learn the basic and then more advance playing techniques, learn to read music notation and tabs, and pick up a tune or two once lessons get under way.  

We believe in providing a foundational education for life long music making.  For students enrolled in the CMC Atlanta Core and Afterschool Music Programs, we mix private instruction with group instruction, rehearsals and performances.  The combination of group and private instruction, and the focus on skills and knowledge combined with project based learning, each provides something important and different to the student.  Connecting students with each other through music is also an important and motivating part of a good music education.  And over time, the immersion approach we use yields beneficial results.  

Among our 500+ students, we have many students who play for fun, many who play to connect with friends and family through music, but we also graduate students who go off to great music schools and conservatories around the country each year.  Right now, for example, we've got a quartet of recent graduates all living in NYC and enrolled in the prestigious jazz program at the New School in Manhattan, and we've got another good handful in Boston on full-ride scholarships at Berklee College of Music.  Why does this matter to you when you have a young musician you're thinking about enrolling in guitar lessons?  Because we want you to know that we are interested in providing a fun experience, but also a good education.  CMC Atlanta is not only a resource for students who aspire to careers in music, but also a resource available for anyone who actually wants to learn how to play an instrument, sing, write or produce music under the guidance of a professional and experienced faculty.        

Fees and Logistics  

Tuition for Guitar @ the Garrison is $450 for the term period Sept 14-December 20. Tuition can be paid by term or remainder of term (we'll prorate if you start after the week of 14th), or in monthly installments of $150, due in advance.  CMC Atlanta also requires an annual registration fee of $50 per student, which will be added to the first invoice.

Tuition will provide 45-minutes of weekly instruction on Thursday afternoons to students in small groups of 3-5, except the week of Thanksgiving, when we'll be on holiday break.  We will start with one section of 3-5 students, and if we exceed 5, we will add another section.  We expect to offer 12 sessions, and we will prorate for any students who start after the program is already under way.  We'll also offer a makeup session for the oct 8 break.  

Students who enroll in Guitar @ the Garrison are also welcome to join us for any CMC program events or activities, recitals, Salons at any of our three locations, free of any additional tuition charges.  For example, we have students who march annually in the L5P Halloween Parade in mid October and others who play and sing each year on the Main Stage at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park.  And we host monthly, informal recitals at our facilities.  Once students develop some skills and learn some tunes, they will also be eligible to participate in our Performance Program, which brings students together to play in folk bands, rock bands and jazz combos.  Guitar @ the Garrison students can jump in,as desired, at no additional cost, just like any student enrolled in programs at one of our Centers.

Students will need to provide books, which we can pick up and invoice you for, and an age and size appropriate instrument. Again, if you don't have a guitar for your student, we can get one for you based on your budget requirements or requests.  

To enroll, please complete the Registration Form here.   

If you have questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

for PreK and half-day school students

Mini-AMP is our intensive music education and enrichment program for PreK and half day Kindergarten students. Mini AMP is a unique program at our Dunwoody Center that empowers young children to express themselves very comfortably and naturally through music by immersing them in musical activities.  A combination of private lessons, group classes, and music activities offer the ideal balance of a focused introduction to playing an instrument with the pleasure of learning in a friendly, inspiring, social setting.  Mini-AMP is an appealing option for families who would like to enroll in a dynamic music education program, but whose busy schedules interfere with commuting to and from the Music Centers.  Mini-AMP is designed to be convenient, but more importantly, parents of mini-AMP students can trust their children are somewhere safe and engaged by an effective program and faculty during the early and mid-afternoon.


It's no secret, college is very expensive.  it's also obvious to clear thinking folks that not every high school graduate is ready to enroll in college immediately. Sometimes a year spent doing something valuable or personally meaningful is the ideal last step in college prep.  Some college graduates or undergraduates also need a year off before continuing studies or moving on to grad school or into the work force.  And frankly, many creative and talented people are better off not going to college at all.  The latter statement is a bold, maybe even radical proposition, but it's one worth considering.  

We developed our Gap and Apprenticeship Program (GAP) for young adults who love music, who want to explore musical creativity and performance deeply, who would like to be part of a musical community, and who may be interested in community service, but for whatever reason, are not enrolled in college or university degree-granting studies, musical or otherwise.  For young adult musicians, outside of expensive college programs or often under resourced and limited home studios or music stores, there aren't many exciting options.  

GAP fills that space.  The CMC Atlanta Gap Year and Apprenticeship Program immerses the student in our diverse community of practicing musicians and music educators.  Students can enroll for a term, an academic year, or even for two, three or more years.

Under the guidance of CMC Atlanta Director and co-founder Phil Sims, who was a student and then award winning teacher at the top ranked Eastman School of Music, and then subsequently a music professor at Mercer University and Emory University, GAP students are enrolled in a schedule comprised of lessons, classes, small ensemble rehearsals and more. Students meet with CMC faculty on an individually crafted schedule, usually each day of the week in the morning or early afternoon for training and coaching, and they also use Center space for practice and rehearsal between classes, appointments and also during evening and weekend off hours. CMC Atlanta GAP provides the chance for students to dig into their musical studies without the pressure of expensive per credit courses or grades .  GAP also offers a variety of opportunities to perform traditional or new music in venues around Atlanta, both large and small, in formal and informal arrangements.     

CMC Atlanta is comprised of teachers, players and writers who hail from many parts of the globe, from across the musical universe, and whose musical interests and backgrounds span modern art music to jazz standards to traditional rock and folk.  This means GAP students can cultivate their musical voices as classical, jazz, rock or folk musicians by working with faculty who have dedicated themselves to their own musical craft and also to teaching.   Because of the diversity of interests in our community, GAP also supports both traditional and modern approaches to these styles. 

For students who are interested in collegiate music studies, but not quite ready, or not quite sure what school to attend, GAP provides guidance and resources essential to preparing.  GAP helps students cultivate skills, concepts, prep audition repertoire and build a music portfolio or resume.  Our faculty have graduated from a variety of top conservatories and many different local and regional colleges and universities, which gives us some experience to help us reach our goal for the college bound musician: we want to help match the GAP student with the right program, the one that is best for the student's interests and both short and long term goals.   

In addition to training and performance, GAP offers other exciting opportunities.  We have a limited number of paid internships for GAP students.  Opportunities range from facility management and upkeep, administrative support, to camp counselor and teaching assistant.  For GAP students who are interested in music outreach and social change, we work to establish community service projects based around music.  Over the years, we've collaborated with organizations like the Center for Pan Asian Community Services, the Global Village School, Grady High School to offer under served children free instruction, and we've recruited students who are hungry to learn but lack the funds to pay for private training in a music studio or school like ours.  This added dimension of community service and engagement can be a rewarding and life changing experience for GAP musicians. 

For GAP students with sufficient training themselves, and who are interested in becoming music teachers themselves, GAP provides the opportunity to enroll in a Studio Internship.  Through this program, the student prepares for and then begins teaching small group classes and private lessons.  Over the years, we've had student teachers leave after several years of GAP training and teaching to open their own studios in other parts of the state and country.  GAP is not a degree-granting program, but there are many opportunities for musicians that do not require a degree, but instead, rest on skills and insights gained from hard work and personal, artistic integrity within a community of other serious musicians and music educators.

If you're interested, please take the time to review the Elements of GAP enrollment.  If you have questions or would like to schedule an interview and planning session for a student, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.        

If you're ready to enroll, you can register online here

Afterschool Music Program (AMP)  
for students K-5th grade

AMP is our intensive music education and enrichment program for students grades PreK-8th grade, which provides comprehensive training to beginners and more advanced students alike in Classical, Jazz, Rock, and/or American Folk music on weekday afternoons during the traditional latch-key hours.


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