About Music Institute of Chicago

The Music Institute of Chicago believes that enjoying and understanding music and developing the skills to create and perform music enhance the quality of life and nourish the human spirit.

Our mission is to provide the foundation for a lifelong engagement with music by:


  -  Offering the highest quality music education for all ages and
     levels of ability.
  -  Reaching individuals with music education where opportunities
     are limited.
  -  Supporting lifelong musical learning in every community.
  -  Building upon a proud tradition of developing the
     exceptional performer.


The Music Institute of Chicago (MIC) is one of the three largest and most respected community music schools in the country, setting national standards for excellence in music education.  MIC was the first community music school in Illinois to be accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, the body that accredits college/university music departments.  With a world-class faculty, MIC provides music education for people of all ages and abilities across numerous inner-city sites, satellite locations in Downers Grove and Chicago and five permanent campuses located in Evanston (2), Lincolnshire, Winnetka and Lake Forest. MIC is passionate about the value of music for all people and is committed to providing every student with a comprehensive music education that transforms their lives.  MIC students (ages birth to 102 years) come from neighborhoods across Chicago, and more than 138 communities and seventeen other states.

The Music Institute of Chicago includes:


The Community Music School: whose reputation for the excellence of its teaching faculty attracts students of all ages, abilities and socio-economic backgrounds from across Illinois. 

The Academy: a nationally-recognized program offering the finest and most comprehensive pre-collegiate music education for gifted pianists and string students who have made a commitment to a career in music. 

Public Performance Programs:
are offered in Nichols Concert Hall a magnificently restored and acoustically-exceptional landmark building in East Evanston. These programs provide opportunities for the public to experience world class artists, MIC artists-in-residence and faculty, student and other special events.


Arts Link: is a collection of programs which provide private music instruction, artist residencies, professional development for teachers, community performances and music education scholarships to schools and community-based organizations in Chicago and other low-income neighborhoods.

Training the Next Generation of Classical Musicians

As the MIC Academy celebrates its tenth anniversary, we sit down for a conversation with Jim Setapen, Director of the Academy >>