Education Program

What is the CCGS Education Program?

CCGS provides pathways for students to explore their musical potential and offers opportunities that allow for their continued development as artists. This is especially important due to the current trend of disinvestment of arts programs in schools throughout the city. With so many musical opportunities disintegrating, some inner city students do not have a chance to learn an instrument at school. In fact, some schools have even cut music altogether, completely removing music from the classroom. This is paired with the reality that those students coming from low-income families don’t have extra money to pursue music interests on their own, such as private lessons.

CCGS Education combats these challenges by providing an economical and efficient approach to music learning, filling a void in music education in Cleveland. CCGS Education Program serves hundreds of students throughout the City of Cleveland each year, with hands-on classical guitar instruction at no cost to students.

CCGS removes barriers and provide opportunities and mentorship to students in the City of Cleveland. See media interviews about this program on our Watch and Listen page.

Pathway from elementary, to middle school, to high school

The CCGS Education Program offers a holistic pathway for students in Cleveland. Instruction begins as early as third grade, continues to middle school (where the majority of our students are), and into high school at Cleveland School of the Arts. CCGS Education’s first college partnership is with Cleveland Institute of Music’s Musical Pathways Fellowship, a new commitment dedicated to increasing diversity at the school.

71% of our students

Survey results show that 71% of CCGS Education students believe that guitar classes are what have made them more interested in school. That alone is enough to change the course of a young life.

CCGS students have presented over 50 performances this year and counting!

The dedication of CCGS teachers and the passion of students are expressed in the more than 40 performances that students give per year, including at Severance Hall, Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland Museum of Art, Playhouse Square, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Cleveland Youth Guitar Orchestra

The Cleveland Youth Guitar Orchestra is a program for 7th-12th graders to participate and perform in a high-level ensemble. It includes students from around Northeast Ohio including students from CCGS’s Education Program. Visit the Guitar Orchestras page to learn more and register for this orchestra.

CCGS student Damian Goggans wins prestigious Musical Pathways Fellowship

CCGS student Damian Goggans is one of only two students named to the inaugural class of the Musical Pathways Fellowship at the Cleveland Institute of Music, one of the nation’s top music conservatories. View the press release here. The fellows receive weekly one-on-one instruction from CIM faculty members, as well as participate in ensembles and music classes for free. Damian has also been accepted to the Cleveland School of the Arts, joined the Cleveland Youth Guitar Orchestra, presented more than 20 performances including Severance Hall, mayor Frank Jackson’s Sustainability Summit and for the Council of Great City Schools conference (representing 68 urban school districts nationwide), and received a citizenship award from Frank Jackson and the City of Cleveland. Damian has been featured on CBS This Morning nationwide.


Contact CCGS

Interested in contacting CCGS Staff with questions about the Education Program, or just want to say hello? Please send us a message via the CCGS contact form.

In this video…

Martez Price, a former student of CCGS Education, talks about his experiences in the program. While a student, Martez became the first Junior Teacher, a position that allowed him to gain teaching experience working in collaboration with CCGS and Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland. Since graduating from high school, Martez has become an assistant teacher for the CCGS Education Program, working alongside CCGS teaching artists in the classroom.