Music Immersion 
a better way to become a musician   

"Immersion:  instruction based on extensive exposure to surroundings or conditions that are native or pertinent to the object or study; especially, foreign language instruction in which only the language being taught is used." 

It takes more than a series 30- or 45-minute weekly lessons to become a musician. Immersion provides the best chance for a student or emerging artist to connect with music and the wider community in a meaningful and sustained way.  This is the founding and guiding principle of the CMC Atlanta GAP and ART programs.    

Text Size
Comprehensive Musicianship Program 
music theory, musicianship skills, history, composition & more

The Comprehensive Musicianship Program (or CMP) Courses and Workshops provide essential support for CMC Atlanta students. Time spent one-on-one or in small group classes taught by music theory, harmony, composition and improvisation specialists works in tandem with private lessons to foster musical understanding, skills, and ultimately, the framework for performance and creation. 

CMP Overview

For each of our AMHS and GAP students, we develop a unique curriculum that meets the students needs and interests.


We cultivate genuine musicianship through CMP courses that first isolate individual musical parameters, and then put each new skill and concept back into a larger musical context.  Currently, we offer courses for students in each Division and Department in four distinct but overlapping areas of musicianship, each of which is critical to being a creative, skilled, and literate musician.  The four areas of focus are:

  • Reading Music or Music Notation and Literacy
  • Singing in time, in tune, and with sensitivity
  • Harmony: understanding, feeling, hearing, and creating tonal relationships
  • Rhythm:  understanding, feeling, hearing, and creating rhythmic patterns and relationships

Regardless of stylistic interests, we teach students to read music. While there are valuable oral/aural musical traditions in which reading music does not play as critical a role, we believe reading music is a gateway for experiencing and expressing music across wider historical periods and more cultural practices than otherwise possible.  We also encourage all students to sing, not necessarily like an operatic or rock star, but we think carrying a tune is a valuable and meaningful basic life skill.  Plus, any accoplished instrumentalist will tell you that making an instrument sing is an essential aspect of virtuosity in many musical styles.  Moving in control, and with direction and ease is another important skill in music and in life.  We also support all students in cultivating their understanding of rhythmic notation and developing the skill to move well in drumming courses.  At the CMC Atlanta, students learn the nuts and bolts of tonal relationships first in Notation class, then through Scale, Chord & Key, and finally through courses in Harmony, Improvisation, and Composition.

CMP Courses & Workshops

Most CMP Courses meet weekly for 12-14 week sessions during the Fall and Winter/Spring Terms.  Elementary Division Courses usually meet weekly for 30-minutes; courses in other Divisions vary from 30 to 60 minutes in length.  During the summer months, we synchronize courses for elementary students with our Day Camps for Kids, and courses meet more frequently for a shorter period of time (30 to 45 minute classes, daily for one or two weeks, for example).

While courses meet weekly, CMP Workshops are typically designed to be one to three days in duration, and they typically provide a targeted group of students and/or parents an opportunity to focus on a particular set of skills and/or concepts. Center faculty and guest instructors often share the teaching responsibilities in CMP Workshops.  Workshops are scheduled on a rolling basis by individual faculty. Invitations and announcements are forwarded to Center students and the general public as events are planned.


we're celebrating 15 years

Since 2007


Register for GAP

Register for GAP: CMC Atlanta Gap Year and Apprenticeship Program 

Music Performance, Composition, Theory, Apprenticeship, Community Service, Music Outreach & More 

  • Why GAP? +

    A creative musical output requires an approach that immerses the student in a community of practicing musicians and encourages the student to engage in a crucial set of activities with teachers and peers.  GAP is not only more effective, but also a more inspiring and socially meaningful method for developing musicians than the alternatives.  In fact, there's no empirical data to suggest that the old-fashioned approach-- scheduling a student to meet a teacher once a week for 30, 45, or even 60 minutes in home studio or back hall of a music store-- is a serious or even thoughtful approach
  • Who is eligible? +

    Since GAP curriculum and schedules are designed on an individual basis, GAP is suitable for relative beginners through Pre-Professionals.  Since the program immerses the student in music, music education, and music outreach experiences, students who enroll are passionate about music and in most cases have had at least a foundational education, whether formal or informal.    Students are divided by interest and skill level, so we are able to accommodate diverse skill levels without undermining the experience for advanced students or putting a less experienced student in an unnecessarily intimidating situation. GAP students are mostly recent high school or college grads,
  • Where? +

    GAP is based primarily at CMC Little 5 Points; however, elements of GAP (private lessons or internships) are offered in all three CMC Atlanta locations: CMC Little 5 Points 1127 Colquitt Ave NE Atlanta, GA 30307 CMC Decatur 116 E Howard Ave Decatur, GA 30030 CMC Dunwoody  5518 Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd Dunwoody, GA 30038 We also use a variety of community resources and local performance venues, as needed 
  • When? +

    GAP is offered year round: Fall Term: August - December Winter Term: January - May Summer Term: June - July Although we operate on a traditional academic term cycle, students register and begin at any time.  
  • What style of music? +

    We offer training in Classical Music,  Jazz Music, Rock and Pop Music, and American Folk & Roots Music Traditional and experimental approaches within these fields are supported. Students are taught to read and understand music using the terminology and conceptual frameworks used by professional musicians.   
  • How much? +

    Term tuition: August-December, $6000 paid in full or $1200 monthly installments January-May, $6000 paid in full or in $1200 monthly installment June-July Summer Term, $1600 paid in full or in $800 monthly installments Please note: there is an annual registration fee of $300 per student; other fees and restrictions may apply. Tuition rates are subject to change with 60 days notice.
  • 1

GAP Housing

It's one of the most frequently asked questions: what about housing?

CMC Atlanta GAP draws local, regional, national and international students.  Local Atlanta students often live at home with parents or other family members, but any student who enrolls is welcome to consider living in one of our apartments or to consult with us for support arranging suitable housing.  

CMC Atlanta has a limited number of efficiency apartments available at the Little 5 Points location.  Rent for these furnished, dormroom-like units includes all utilities, internet, and more, and varies, depending whether the student lives alone or with a roommate.  CMC Atlanta also has a limited number of unfurnished and potentially furnished one and two bedroom apartments a block from the Little 5 Points Center in highly desirable Inman Park.  These apartments are more expensive, reflecting the rental market in gentrified neighborhoods of the northeast/Atlanta Beltline corridor.  For students who wish to find more independent housing, CMC Atlanta Directors and GAP Faculty are also able to provide guidance by helping connect students with property management offsite and consulting with those unfamiliar with Atlanta neighborhoods and commuting options and patterns.

CMC Universal Login