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The Community Music Center: A Hidden Gem with Sliding Scale Music Classes

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Full Disclosure: I let the folks at CMC write this one up because I really believe in what they do and I’m too slammed to write this up myself.

Just when you thought everything in SF was changing (read: getting more expensive), there is a music school based in the Mission District that has been doing its thing since 1921 – offering music classes and concerts on a sliding scale for everyone.

Walk into Community Music Center’s converted Victorian home on any given day and you will hear an unlikely mix of sounds – from a pianist trying out a Coldplay song to an opera student belting out an aria. You’ll see people of all ages and walks of life, too.  Community Music Center’s name says it all: this school welcomes everyone and offers an atmosphere in which really anyone would feel at home.

Make no mistake, their teachers will really challenge you if that’s what you’re looking for. CMC has some big name performers on their faculty, such as living jazz legend, bassist Marcus Shelby, and grammy award-winning latin percussionist Omar Ledezma Jr. You can find teachers and classes that focus on latin, jazz, rock, middle eastern, Chinese music and classical of course. CMC offers lessons on over 30 instruments and group classes on topics like songwriting and music theory. We also offer practice room rentals if you’ve got thin walls, sensitive neighbors or are saving up for a piano: they’re free for students and $5/hour for non-students.

For those of you up north, CMC has a smaller branch in the Richmond District. We rent it from the Richmond Neighborhood Center and offer a lot of the same classes and instruments there, too.

Don’t take our word for it, check it out for yourselves! Visit our Mission District Branch at 544 Capp Street, or our Richmond District Branch at 741 30th Avenue in San Francisco.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

I've been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York, but to those familiar with my work, I'm just "that douchebag who writes books about cheap stuff and drinks a lot".