Established in 1998
The Chicago School of Music was originally established under the management of www.zzounds.com and www.harmonycentral.com at Pipers Alley at North and Wells in September of 1998. We focused on the core of our business which was music education and private lessons while the corporate center developed a cutting edge website for selling musical instruments. The music school was had its own space, teachers and managers. It was very unique because we offered training on the digital equipment that the store was selling as well as training on world instruments such as the didgeridoo, Koto, and Celtic Harp. We were also partners with the other businesses in Pipers Alley mainly Second City and Tony and Tina's Wedding.
The school was also a pioneer of instruction in the the premier recording program of it's time Steingberg Cubase and the competing program Logic Audio. Steingberg certified the School of Music as the first training center of it's kind in North America which made for a very exciting time during the digital boom. Logic Audio as everyone knows was purchased by Apple who discontinued the PC versions of that program and they began their own training classes.
At the time it was one of the top e-tailors online which dramatically changed how musical instruments would be sold online. It forced the music retailer behemoth Guitar Center to purchase the competing business in order to play catch up. The company eventually sold the business and the new owners were not interested in the brick and mortar portion of the business. During this time the music developed its own early childhood program EarlyBirds! and established itself as a unique alternative and source for music education and enthusiasts.
A New Independent Beginning in 2001
Under direction of the current Director Richard Schieler, the school moved the established business to Chicago and Halsted. While independent, we were originally part of a family of schools that were all under the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. Some of the schools included the Chicago Training Center (for actors), the Chicago Casting Center, Player's Workshop (the founding program that started the Second City training school), and the CCPA group of theaters.
At it's peak, the CCPA theater had a summer program, numerous weekly training classes, casting calls, and was host to some great live productions. The theater and building was also a hub for TV's and movie studios. Among other things, we hosted the very first American Idol auditions and that was before anyone knew how big that was going to be.
a second location in 2008
In 2008, despite the economic recession, the Chicago School of Music proudly opened it's second location the Elmhurst Music Academy in Elmhurst. We built the Academy on the same core philosophies and business model with which we successfully grew our school in Chicago. Since it's inception in 2008 the Academy has quadrupled in size and has established itself in the area as the reputable music education go to.
During the ten years at Chicago and Halsted, the school focused on developing our business and hiring the best teachers not only for their professional accomplishments and training but for proven ability to really engage students. The School of Music built its reputation by offering the best quality and versatile combination of private lessons in Chicago. We have always maintained the same core values from day one: music lessons should be accessible at a convenient location, they should be FUN, and yet they should establish a core musical foundation taught by supportive and patient teachers. We have developed very unique programming where children and adults can learn and take lessons at the same place.
expansion in 2012
Our business and student growth was substantial and our facility at Chicago and Halsted could not accommodate. We took at very close survey of our client base and where they were traveling from while taking into account the convenience factor needed for families who would come to our location on a weekly basis. We found an outstanding match which also gave us access to performance space right in our own building.
Our new facility has spacious lessons rooms and a lobby for parents and students. We designed the brand new space to have the look and feel we wanted which we feel provided the best most engaging atmosphere for inspiring learning. The location is easy to access via public transportation and parking is very easy. The most significant aspect of the convenience of this location we found is that it is not immediately located off a busy street making it very easy and safe to walk to on foot from the car, bus, or train.