Armstrong Community Music School offers exciting opportunities to learn the joys of music for students of all ages and skill levels, from early childhood to adult. As a nonprofit organization, it is our core mission to provide excellence in music instruction with a commitment to providing extensive community service.
The community music school, the first ever to be inaugurated by an opera company, offers instruction in virtually every music style: classical, jazz, as well as blues, folk and a variety of musical styles from world cultures.
Ongoing programs at the Armstrong Community Music School include early childhood classes such as Music Together® for infants, toddlers and preschoolers with a caregiver, and Little Drummers, Big Voices for kids ages 3-5 in a small group setting. Group piano classes, called Music for Little Mozarts, provide instruction for 4, 5, and 6 year olds.
ACMS is also a leader in bringing music to our community, providing free or low-cost music classes to six locations throughout Austin. ACMS is a long-term partner of community institutions where music is a tool for healing, rehabilitation, and skill building. Our Community Partnership Programs reach deep into the community and include extensive tuition assistance for Early Childhood Music Education, The SAFE Alliance, Todos Juntos Learning Center, We are the Chorus, Veteran’s Guitar Project, and Travis High School Child Development Center. Our newest program is Music for All: Creating Yes for Every Family in collaboration with Region 13, providing Early Childhood Music Classes to visually impaired children and their families. ACMS also provides programming for Easter Seals and the Department of Health and Human Services, bringing music education to special needs families throughout the Austin area.
Through our Open Door Program, ACMS is privileged to host musical artists and groups as well as other non-profits at our Westlake campus providing meeting, workshop, rehearsal and performance space at little or no charge. It is also our pleasure to host stellar music organizations such as the Texas Early Music Project and musical artists as part of our school’s Artists-in-Residence program.
Pianist Carla McElhaney and cellist Joel Becktell formed Revel in 2008 to return the classical music experience to its radical roots, a place where musicians and their friends got together in intimate settings to let their hair down and revel in great music. They helped usher in a new era of innovative and informal concerts in Austin, blurring boundaries between genres, and inviting listeners to “forget the rules, come as you are, clap when you feel like it, and listen with abandon.” As a result, classical music lovers found in Revel a new expression for their passion, and non-classical audiences awakened to a genre and repertoire far richer and more inspiring than they previously imagined.
Since their launch party at the Church House Recording Studio, Revel has grown into a pioneering music and arts collective, collaborating with leading composers, ensembles, soloists, visual artists, poets, and authors. Revel has released three albums, produced nine concert seasons and seven summer festivals, and has appeared on various concert series, including Chatter (Albuquerque), Beerthoven (Austin), Albuquerque Chamber Soloists, Blanco Performing Arts Series, Music from the Western Reserve (Hudson, Ohio), Mid-Texas Symphony, and Credomatic Music Festival (Costa Rica). Revel has performed for enthusiastic audiences at diverse venues throughout Central Texas and beyond, from 4thTap Brewing Co-Op to the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica, and at coffee houses, museums, churches, universities, ballet studios, recording studios, private homes, and more.