Our mission is to foster the love and pursuit of music through accessible and quality music education, performances, and activities for all.
At NCMC, we believe music is a gift - one that all can share.
The Northampton Community Music Center (NCMC) was founded in 1986 in response to the passage of Proposition 2 1/2, which dismantled many of the music education programs in the public schools. NCMC brings music education to students who otherwise would not have that opportunity. NCMC is the only music school in Hampshire County that offers financial aid: to date, ALL qualifying students have been offered scholarships.
To foster the love and pursuit of music within our community through quality music education, performances and activities that are accessible to all.
• To foster an appreciation of music through active participation in music
• To deepen the bonds between child and adult by engaging them together in music in a supportive setting
• To expand a child’s sense of opportunity through music
• To inspire and unite people of all ages and backgrounds and thereby enrich the life of the community through the shared experience of music.
Besides offering private instruction on more than 20 different instruments, NCMC prides itself on providing a wide diversity of shared music experiences including chamber music, jazz programs, rock band programs, brass and woodwind ensembles, four different community choruses (including a women’s choir directed by Evelyn Harris of the Grammy-winning group Sweet Honey in the Rock), and numerous early childhood programs for babies and pre-schoolers. NCMC regularly hosts special workshops with prestigious artists such as the Borromeo and Chiara String Quartets, Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers, singer-songwriter David Wilcox, and renowned violinist Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg, all of which attract both locals and musicians from outside the region.
Outreach is a big part of the culture at NCMC. Since 2007, NCMC has been bringing students and teachers to the Alzheimer’s units of two local nursing facilities to provide therapeutic interactive music experiences as part of the patients’ regular care regimen. NCMC has partnered with other community organizations to make music accessible to underserved members of the community, including teen mothers in the GED program at the Care Center of Holyoke, hearing-impaired children at the Clarke School for the Deaf, and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder referred by Community Resources for People with Autism and ServiceNet.
NCMC’s students can be seen and heard regularly at local hospitals, nursing homes, schools, libraries, and on the sidewalks of Main Street in downtown Northampton during our annual Springfest celebration.