SHERWOOD COMMUNITY MUSIC SCHOOL
1312 South Michigan Avenue
A destination for high quality music instruction since 1894
Founded by William Hall Sherwood as the Sherwood Music School, the Conservatory officially opened its doors to students in 1895. From the 1920s, the Conservatory was a college of music offering professional degrees in performance to students from around the world. In 1986, challenged by the scarcity of quality music education opportunities in the Chicago metropolitan area — especially for children and teenagers as budget cuts impacted music programs in the public schools — Sherwood implemented a dynamic change of mission. The collegiate programs were phased out and Sherwood Conservatory emerged as a community-focused institution, committed to meeting the diverse music education needs of Chicago’s urban population. The mission change was accompanied by a major expansion of educational programs, staff and volunteers to serve a new constituency. Recognizing the compatibility of missions and desire to serve the culturally rich and diverse Chicago community, Sherwood merged with Columbia College Chicago in July 2007.
In 2017, the school became a part of the college's newly-formed division of Continuing and Community Education. The Sherwood building is the college's primary site for children's music programs, including Suzuki, and Individual Music Instruction for all ages. The location also houses the administrative offices of Continuing and Community Education, including Student Services.
ABOUT THE FOUNDER OF SHERWOOD
William Hall Sherwood is acknowledged as America’s first native-born piano virtuoso. A protégé of the great pianist, composer, and teacher Franz Liszt, William Hall Sherwood (1854-1911) was the nation’s most celebrated pianist and teacher at the turn of the last century. Sherwood was also the first performer of stature who came forth with the belief that every American child deserved a music education, and the first to publicly advocate for scholarship support of music students. He was one of the first Americans to take music to the people, loading up his grand piano on the back of a horse-drawn wagon and performing concerts in towns all over the prairie and burgeoning west. One of his great legacies was the 160-volume Sherwood Piano Course, the first standardized text for teaching and learning piano.