Community School of Music and Arts

Rating: 5 stars   8 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 230 San Antonio Circle Mountain View CA 94040 USA

Mission: The Community School of Music and Arts enhances the quality of life in our region by engaging our diverse community in high-quality arts education, performances and exhibitions. At the heart of CSMA?s mission is accessibility. Each year, we award $279,000+ in financial aid and program subsidies for youth and low-income families to have ongoing, meaningful access to arts education.
Results: CSMA has a 40-year history of excellence and is the largest non-profit provider of arts education services in Northern California. We have received recognition from the California Arts Council (Exemplary Arts Education, Artists-in-Residence Multi-Residency, YEA!, and AIS Grants); National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts (Arts-in-the-Schools Programs named Mentor Programs); and the City of Mountain View (multiple Mayor’s Awards). We have also been profiled on KQED’s Spark program, as well as having our digital music program featured on network television on the weekly broadcast of "Tech Now." In 2004, CSMA was the only arts organization among six other non-profits to receive a prestigious Skoll Foundation Award for Innovation. In January 2004, after 36 years and 6 “temporary” locations, CSMA opened its own first permanent home at Finn Center. Built with strong community support and $12 million raised, our 25,000 square-feet facility houses 17 music studios, 8 art and music classrooms, a digital arts lab, faculty resource room, public exhibition gallery, and one of the finest small concert halls in Northern California. The center has won excellence in design awards from the American Institute of Architects, Business Week, and Architectural Record. Since the opening of Finn Center, CSMA has experienced unprecedented growth and has affirmed its place as a nationally recognized leader in community-building through arts education. We now reach over 40,000 people annually with a wide array of innovative programs. This includes 7,500 students off-site in K-12 schools and over 5,000 inter-generational students on-site, our highest enrollment ever. We are proud to employ an outstanding faculty of 110+ professional artist-educators, helping to support their creative lives and livelihood as contributors to the cultural and economic vitality of this region.
Target demographics: CSMA reaches more than 40,000 people in Silicon Valley through a variety of high-quality music and arts education programs. CSMA’s acclaimed in-school instructional programs (Arts in Action, Music in Action) fill a critical gap in children’s education with weekly, sequential, standards-based art and music classes at 29 K-12 schools. Our Music School serves students of all skill levels and musical interests, offering private lessons on 27 instruments, group instruction, core curriculum classes in musicianship, theory, and ensemble performance, special workshops, and performance opportunities. The community also participates in a wide range of art classes from life drawing to landscape painting to 2-D design and clay whether their skill level is beginning or advanced. The Visual Arts Program also includes after-school “art clubs” at local elementary schools and creative vacation and summer camps for children in grades K-8. CSMA’s Digital Arts Program empowers students with high-level skills focused on developing creativity with technology. This creative energy is directed toward storytelling, networking, art and music production, and new media syndication. The expanding Pre-School Program prepares young children ages 18 months to 4 years old for a lifetime of learning with a developmentally based curriculum. The program includes on-site and off-site art and music classes, including bi-lingual (Spanish and English) instruction for Head Start and Even Start students at a local school. CSMA brings the community together through year-round concerts, lectures, and exhibitions, which are all free and open to the public. Through interactive performances, open receptions, and targeted lectures, our growing audiences enjoy the rare opportunity to directly interact with the artists, gaining insight into their creative process. CSMA is proud to employ an outstanding faculty of 100+ professional artist-educators, helping to support their creative lives and livelihood as contributors to the cultural and economic vitality of this region.
Programs: CSMA reaches more than 40,000 people in Silicon Valley through a variety of high-quality music and arts education programs. CSMA?s acclaimed in-school instructional programs (Arts in Action, Music in Action) fill a critical gap in children?s education with weekly, sequential, standards-based art and music classes at 27 K-12 schools. Our Music School serves students of all skill levels and musical interests, offering private lessons on 27 instruments, group instruction, core curriculum classes in musicianship, theory, and ensemble performance, special workshops, and performance opportunities. The community also participates in a wide range of art classes from life drawing to landscape painting to 2-D design and clay whether their skill level is beginning or advanced. The Visual Arts Program also includes after-school ?art clubs? at local elementary schools and creative vacation and summer camps for children in grades K-8. CSMA?s Digital Arts Program empowers students with high-level skills focused on developing creativity with technology. This creative energy is directed toward storytelling, networking, art and music production, and new media syndication. The expanding Pre-School Program prepares young children ages 18 months to 4 years old for a lifetime of learning with a developmentally based curriculum. The program includes on-site and off-site art and music classes, including bi-lingual (Spanish and English) instruction for Head Start and Even Start students at a local school. CSMA brings the community together through year-round concerts, lectures, and exhibitions, which are all free and open to the public. Through interactive performances, open receptions, and targeted lectures, our growing audiences enjoy the rare opportunity to directly interact with the artists, gaining insight into their creative process. CSMA is proud to employ an outstanding faculty of 100+ professional artist-educators, helping to support their creative lives and livelihood as contributors to the cultural and economic vitality of this region.
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Community Reviews

Role: Client Served
Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

l have taken both art and music classes for adults at CSMA over the last few years.I have enjoyed them all - the instructors are excellent and the scope of the courses is broad enough to cover all skill levels. I also participated in the World Harmony Chorus, which is a wonderful way to get the community singing, and have attended free concerts there as well. CSMA is a wonderful community asset and I look forward to taking additional classes there. I highly recommend it to everyone I know.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach a lot more kids and adults in the community.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

My name is Taylor Eigsti, and I am a professional jazz pianist who grew up in the Bay Area, CA. I first became involved with CSMA when I was 6 years old, taking jazz piano lessons with Randy Masters, along with some art classes at the same facility. I continued to take lessons there for about 7 or 8 years, and I was always surrounded by a real community of people who care about the students, and access to the arts for people of all ages. Every year more and more funding is cut for arts programs across the country, and it is a relief that a place like CSMA is not only going strong, but is constantly expanding and growing, with inspiring leadership and new directions. I just know that during my experience with CSMA, I grew so much as a musician and learned about both music and also the process of effectively teaching music. I attribute a great deal of any growth and success I've had as a performing musician to having CSMA in my life, where I was truly encouraged to keep playing music and I was surrounded by positivity. The Community School of Music and Arts helps so many people continue to develop in the arts, or take a brand new interest in learning about the arts, or pass along information to young people about exploring their imagination artistically. I sincerely hope that their visibility as an organization continues to rise, and that they will continue to be the Bay Area's foremost source of music education for many years to come.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the enjoyment of many many young artists and musicians, and in the successful careers of some performers.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

immensely improve the availability of arts education even outside the Bay Area.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

I have been a CSMA supporter, volunteer, and contributor for more than 20 years. It has grown into a very competent, professional and successful organization that still retains a zeal for its mission and all of the best characteristics of a small, fun, friendly place to learn and work. A few months ago I helped "jury" art work produced by elementary school kids from CSMA's in-school arts program and, as always, was moved and hugely impressed by the quality and creativity CSMA is nurturing.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

giving people opportunities to explore art and music and improve their skills, hone their abilities and enhance their confidence.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

contributing to an organization that has an increasingly sigificant impact in our community, subscibes to important values and helps to make our society more livable and humane.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, creative, fun, friedly, inclusive and talented.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make sure "arts for all" is much more of a reality, not only by providing more direct opportunities to those who couldn't otherwise participate but also by showing others how best to work towards that goal.

Ways to make it better...

it had more resources and more contributors.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I had the unique perspective of being able to take lessons and classes as an "insider" during my four years of employment at CSMA. Over the years I found every teacher, every staff person, every Board member to be very kind-hearted and really dedicated to helping students learn about the arts. Also, if you've never been to the building, it's really unique and worth the trip. Even if your pocketbook is tight, it doesn't matter -- they have awesome financial aid and the one-on-one interaction with your teacher will make it worthwhile.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

its growth and expansion over the years.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

incorporate more outreach programs for music therapy and art therapy.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the friendships with the people.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

knowledgeable and fun.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

move to a larger space!

Ways to make it better...

I had just been a community member enjoying all of the services and hadn't had to always worry about everyone else's enjoyment :)

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

some minor growing pains in meeting the increasing needs and demands of the community.

One thing I'd also say is that...

this is a great place to be, a great place to learn and even a great place to work.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

I have personally been involved with this organization for almost 10 years. My husband was involved with it for 5 -10 years before me. It is an exceptional nonprofit in all facets: personnel, resource management, responsable and active board, well-respected in the community, and high-quality in the value of programs delivered. In my profession I have had the opportunity to be onsite and work closely with more than 100 volunteer organizations. I've been en employee of nonprofits; a board member; a recipeint of services; a general volunteer; and a consultant to them. For an organization that started out of someone's back porch - it has grown to be a community leader. One that provides arts and music education; free performances; and a wide range of multi-cultural productions that reflect and improve our community. I am proud to recommend CSMA as an Outstanding Nonprofit.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

> Students growth through performances and exhibitions > Significant financial stability and the ability to build it's first "home" > Growth in the volume of services delivered to over 40,000 recipients annually, while maintaining a balanced budget.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more parents involved Invest in the fundraising technology to improve constituent relationships and build customer loyalty. Give the staff a 5% raise.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Continuous improvement of services delivered in both quantity and quality. The professionalism exhbited by staff, and the committed and active level of support by the board.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Highly educated, dedicated and loyal to the organization. Often highly over-qualified for their positions but they stay with the organization because of intangible rewards.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Be a leader of Music and Arts education in the country. The funds are used in exceptional ways and with well-thought out programmatic planning. I know however the funds used, they would be fiscally responsable and yet CSMA would be "cutting edge" in program delivery.

Ways to make it better...

More classes were offered as a one-day or two-day workshop. "introduction" type courses aimed at busy professionals. Broader courses offered - ie more 3D art options (sculpture, glass, jewelry, etc.)

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Lack of parental involvement. Lack of tracking "alumni" and encouraging alumni financial support of programs. Poor technological options in the heart of silicon valley: software and registration databases; online class registration; online classes , etc.

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I taught for CSMA before I became a board member. I was so impressed with the Kodaly curriculum and felt that the children loved the program and learned how to read music as well as enjoying the singing and rhythm activities. I love children and love music so it was a natural for me. I really enjoy being a board member. I was on the Capital campaign and developed a real pride in the new building. The people on the board are truly outsanding in their love and committment to the school. What a joy it is to work with such a fine organization that brings music and art to all.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

CSMA is an outstanding organization

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

As a long-time music educator, I applaud the role of the Community School of Music and Arts! Their commitment to serving all members of the community, regardless of age, prior experience or ability to pay is reflected in all of their programs. Students in the local schools receive the highest quality instruction in music and art. Students of all ages may enroll in lessons and classes at the new, state-of-the-art facility. The faculty and staff are professional and dedicated in every way. The concerts and events that are offered at the site are truly a treasure that enriches all. CSMA is a great asset to the the whole community.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen countless children be inspired by what they have learned and experienced in their school music classes.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The dedication and commitment of everyone who works in the organization

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

top-notch.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach even more children in schools that cannot now afford music and art instruction.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Our family has been touched by a number of different facets of CSMA. Initially, my husband wanted to find a couple of musicians to play in a trio. He contacted CSMA and was placed with two others and a teacher. From that beginning, our two children have participated in numerous music and art camps and private piano, trumpet and sax lessons. They started attending CSMA as pre-schoolers and now are teenagers. They also have had art and music professionals from CSMA teach at their public schools. We truly believe in the "arts for all" mission of the school -- an art education should be available to any one who has interest.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the increasing number of music and art students attending the school.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

want to figure out how to build an endowment so that there would be less yearly pressure to fund raise for programs and scholarships.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

interactions with the staff and faculty.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

delightful!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand the reach of its in-school programs which could impact more students since there have been cuts in arts funding. The additional money could also go towards increasing the offerings of private lessons and music and arts classes for kids and adults. Since the mission is to provide arts education to anyone despite ability to pay, the addition funding would provide for some endowment money towards scholarships.

Ways to make it better...

there had been more of our desired classes at different times.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

providing additional teaching staff, space and funding due to the high demand of people desiring lessons and classes.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I have had friends who have not been able to participate in CSMA classes or lessons due to scheduling and over subscription of classes.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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