Providing opportunities to learn about, make, and enjoy music, since 1955.
Also see the non-profit partner Community Music Center Inc. website.
COVID-19 related information
Classes, Lessons & Ensembles
Now enrolling current students. Contact PP&R at 503-823-2525 for more information.
Starting November 13th - 4 week term for new and continuing students (registration starts Oct. 26)
- Music Theory and Games for beginners (youth) with Ellen Godula
- Intro to Songwriting (youth) with Ellen Godula
- Piano Songwriting Skills (youth) with Ellen Godula
- Group Piano (youth) with Zita Jefferson
- Online Chorus (adults) - with Tracey Edson (runs 8 weeks from Oct. 12 but may join up to Oct. 26)
- Private lessons (youth) for beginners and non-beginners new to CMC
- Intro to Recording and Composing Soundtracks (adult and teens classes)
- Create Your Stage (adults) - with Sebastien Eichvalds and Emmanuel Henreid
- Private lessons for beginners (youth) on select instruments
See more details on these classes and register online
This information updated 11/2/20.
Also see PP&R's new Stay & Play videos for arts, crafts, nature, and more!
We are not currently offering in-person programs due to Covid-19. Learn more about closures, postponements and refunds related to the COVID-19 pandemic response.
CMC offers need-based scholarships for registrants, subsidized by the non-profit Community Music Center, Inc.
During the covid emergency, activities will be free or "pay what you can", without a scholarship form or documentation required.
Otherwise, the scholarship policy is as follows:
What are the scholarship amounts given?
You tell us what you feel you can afford based on your household income, number of dependents and wage-earners, and extenuating circumstances. We'll look at that along with your documentation and work with you to come up with an agreed amount.
Who pays for the scholarships?
The non-profit Community Music Center Inc. raises money year-round to make up the difference between what a class costs to run, and what the students pay. Learn more at About and Donate/Volunteer.
Are there requirements?
You provide supporting documents once a year (Summer or Fall Term) to validate your declared level of income (this is temporarily waived during the covid emergency closure). The highest level of attendance and completion of assignments is expected of all scholarship recipients. Applicants applying for scholarship above 90% may be asked to engage in work-study, in which case a volunteer application form with background check will be necessary. Other requirements, such as regular attendance, are listed on the scholarship form. Scholarships may be denied for those not meeting payment commitment, program requirements, and/or at least 80% attendance.
CMC lowers the barriers to music instruction by providing low-cost instruments for those who need them. Thanks to generous donations, low-cost string instrument rentals are available to Portland Parks & Recreation music participants, with priority given first to scholarship students, then youth, then adults.
New or current renters: use our online form to make your rental instrument requests.
Contact CMC for more details by calling 503-823-3177.
Rentals have been temporarily suspended due to the covid emergency closures.
Auditorium amenities include:
- Great acoustics for un-amplified instruments
- Flexible seating for up to 140 people. Stage is ca. 15' x 30. Main floor is ca. 30' x 45'. Adjacent lobby for receptions.
- Steinway "B" grand piano (additional fee)
- Built-in digital recording & playback equipment
- Harpsichord (tuning not included)
- Kitchenette w/ restaurant-style coffee maker (food or drink in the lobby only, however - not in the concert hall itself)
- Wireless mic with amp
- Manhasset music stands
- Computer projector (additional fee)
- Reception tables, punch bowls and other equipment (bring own table cloth)
Events have been temporarily suspended due to the covid emergency closures.
When open, CMC adds to the rich variety of live performances in Portland with over 150 music events every year in the David Beasley Campbell Recital Hall. We offer discounts to non-profits and low-price hours to increase the access of free and low-cost music events in the area.
Drop-in practice has been temporarily suspended due to the covid emergency closures.
When available, the Community Music Center grants the privilege of practice room use to the public for:
- Occasional quiet practice
- On non-reservable basis (first come/first served)
- During specified hours (see below)
- When space is not otherwise in use
- For up to 2 hours per day
- Fee of $2 per person per day
The Community Music Center is a program of Portland Parks & Recreation in partnership with the nonprofit Community Music Center, Inc. It has been a popular place for music lessons and concerts in Portland since 1955, and is now one of over 20 PP&R sites offering music instruction. It is also part of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts.
CMC enhances the greater Portland community by providing opportunities for all ages to learn about, make and enjoy music. We do this though
- affordable music classes and lessons,
- free and low-cost concerts and workshops,
- low-cost instrument rentals,
- and other resources for the public,
all subsidized by the City and the non-profit. About 1,000 participants of all ages currently enjoy regular music activities at the Center, instructed by a faculty of over 55 professional performing artist teachers.
- 1 designated parking space in parking lot
- Paved pathway to door
- 50 feet to door
- Ramp to door (East entrance)
- Elevator to 2nd floor
- Accessible restroom (inside) via elevator
- Accessible stage via mechanical lift
Size in acres
PP&R's first music program began in 1955 at the Knott Street (now Matt Dishman) Community Center where guitar classes, as well as a string ensemble and a community orchestra, were offered. A major commitment to music education was made in the late 1950s when all existing music classes were moved to the Woodstock Community Center. Children's music classes were introduced, including music theory and ear-training, and a variety of stringed instruments were taught. As the children's abilities improved, a string ensemble was formed. It was evident that the music program would soon outgrow its new home.
Community Music Center, Inc. was founded as a non-profit association in February 1960 by a group of parents and interested citizens. It played a vital role in the remodeling a beautiful 1912 firehouse - designated a Portland Historic Landmark - which became the permanent home of CMC in 1969. That project was made possible by a generous gift from John D. and Elizabeth Gray and the donation of services by architect Robert Oringdulph. Substantial improvements were made to the facility in 1999, bringing the building up to the seismic requirements of the City of Portland, and making the building accessible in accordance with the American Disability Act.