About Music Institute of Chicago

MIC leads people toward a lifelong engagement with music by providing widely accessible resources for high quality music teaching, performing, and service activities -- and harnessing the power of music to educate, inspire and bring comfort to the communities we serve.


  • MIC offers the highest quality music education for all ages and levels of ability, including beginners, casual learners, aspiring professionals, and individuals whose opportunities are limited.
  • MIC curates a series of performance events at Nichols Concert Hall featuring guest artist and faculty concerts, noteworthy educators, and student recitals.
  • MIC offers music performances in the community in the service of good. Students and faculty are encouraged to perform for people who do not have easy access to live music because music is a powerful gift that musicians have the responsibility and the privilege to share.


The Music Institute of Chicago is a community music school dedicated to transforming lives through music education, striving to lead everyone in its community toward a lifelong engagement with music. Founded in 1931, the Music Institute has grown to become one of the largest and most respected community music schools in the nation. Offering musical excellence built on the strength of its distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services, the Music Institute is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Pre-collegiate Arts Schools (ACCPAS). Each year, the Music Institute’s teachers reach thousands of students of all ages and levels of experience. Music Institute locations include Chicago, Evanston, Winnetka, Lincolnshire, Lake Forest, and Downers Grove. In addition, the Music Institute is proud of its longstanding partnership with the Chicago Public Schools through its Arts Link program. The Music Institute offers lessons, classes, and concerts through its Community Music School, Academy, and Nichols Concert Hall.


The Music Institute of Chicago includes:



The Community Music School: with a world-class faculty, MIC provides music education for people of all ages and abilities across 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 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.