The Community Music Center is a Portland Parks & Recreation program in partnership with the nonprofit Community Music Center, Inc. It has been a popular place for music lessons and concerts in Portland since 1955. It is also part of the National Guild for Community Arts Education.
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.
Support Community Music Center
The Community Music Center, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports programs at Community Music Center. For information and to donate, visit communitymusiccenter.org.
Classes, Lessons, and Ensembles
Winter term runs January 8 through March 15. Spring term is April 1 to June 7.
- Start here to enroll
- View CMC's class listing online
- View PP&R printed guide online (when available)
- Contact CMC at 503-823-3177 or PP&R Customer Service Center at 503-823-2525 for more information.
Winter 2024 Programs
Parent & Child
- Exploring Music Together
- Individual Lessons (waitlisting)
- Choir & Teen Vocal Ensemble
- Drum World
- Piano Group Lessons
- Suzuki Group Class*
- Theory & Games, Rhythm Games, Theory & Skills, Theory & Composing
- Percussion Orchestra
Adults, including 60+ (also see Lifelong Recreation)
- Group Piano Lessons
- Community Choir
- Violin Group Lessons
- Cello Group Lessons*
- Cello Ensemble*
- Community String Orchestra*
- Recorder & Renaissance Wind Ensemble*
- Drumming for Women
- World Songbook - NEW for Winter 2024!
Adaptive Recreation (also see Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation)
- Drum Circle: Feel the Beat
* Indicates activities with a prerequisite - see our catalog or call for more information.
Explore PP&R's Stay & Play videos for arts, crafts, nature, and more.
CMC offers need-based scholarships for registrants, subsidized by the non-profit Community Music Center, Inc and PP&R. Activities are free or have "pay what you can" discount options, without documentation required.
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, please use our online form to make your rental instrument requests.
Contact CMC for more details by calling 503-823-3177.
Space Use Grants
Individual musicians, groups, organizations and clubs apply and are selected to receive free or discounted use of the Community Music Center for rehearsal, practice and/or performance.
Cycle 2 applications ended April 16, 2023, for space use between September 1, 2023 and June 15, 2024, and candidates are yet to be announced.
CMC space use grants are given to those who best demonstrate in their proposal how the project will benefit underserved artists or communities, as specified in the application form.
This program is made possible through the Parks Local Option Levy.
Events & Facility Reservations
The David B. Campbell Recital Hall at CMC is a community resource for events.
For public and private music events such as private studio recitals, CMC will take booking requests from January 16, 2024 through March 10, 2024 for auditorium use in May and June of 2024.
Currently we are focusing on events and programs for underserved communities. Organizations with a mission aligned with this focus and who are wishing to use our facility may contact the CMC Director at email@example.com or 503-894-0661.
CMC adds to the wide variety of live performances in Portland with many events in our David Beasley Campbell Recital Hall. See our list of 'Upcoming Events' on this web page (above). Visit the PP&R Arts & Culture page for a system-wide list of arts events.
Music Program at the Center Powered by Y.O.U.th
Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is a partner with non-profits in East Portland to provide arts instruction and other activities.
CMC is now offering group piano classes for Winter term 2024 at the Center Powered by Y.O.U.th (SE 162nd and Stark) for students in the outer East Portland community. Call 503-679-5879 for more information.
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.
- 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