Celebrating 90 Years! 1931-2021

Join the Music Institute of Chicago as we celebrate ninety years of empowering people of every age and ability to listen, communicate, express, and connect through music. Since its founding, the Music Institute has served as an important community resource whose nine-decade history is highlighted by innovative teaching, inspiring performances, and a fundamental drive to ensure access to music for everyone.


On September 14, 1931, “The School of Musical Arts and Crafts” was born.  From its modest beginnings as an old farmhouse on the corner of Willow and Rosewood in Winnetka, this little seed of a music school, situated in an apple orchard, grew and blossomed into what it is today: the Music Institute of Chicago - a nationally renowned community music school with an historic concert hall and teaching locations from Chicago to Lake Forest.

As the Music Institute celebrates 90 years of innovation, access, and excellence, we look forward to bringing you the stories of the people, events, and music that make the school what it is today. Over the years the school has endured through depression, war, and revolutionary social change. Although founder David Dushkin could hardly have imagined that 90 years from the days of crafting simple instruments in that small farmhouse, we would be reaching students nationwide, through online lessons and equipping the concert hall for livestream events, we endure and flourish because his foundational words continue to ring true, “music is basic to life, like bread and fresh air.”