Christopher Thompson's Closing The Deal: If Music Is Part Of Your Life, Take A Look At Manchester Community Music School

December 03. 2017 2:39AM


The Manchester Community Music School Jazz Ensemble trombone section performs during the school's annual Share the Music celebration March 25, 2017. (Courtesy) >

Tucked away in a historic North End building in Manchester is a special organization dedicated to changing lives through the power of learning, sharing and making music. With over 1,600 students and 47 teachers, the Manchester Community Music School has a lot to showcase.

I had heard of the school, but until recently I was unaware of the extent of the work it does. The more I learn, the more impressed I am. Since 1983, the school has been offering music instruction along with many other music related services. But there's a lot more to it.

First and foremost, Manchester Community Music School is a nonprofit organization. Why does that matter? It matters because unlike traditional places where you'd go for a music lesson, the school isn't there to make money. They are there to fulfill their mission of passing on the gift of music to others. That doesn't mean lessons are free or less expensive. It simply means they have a different agenda, and to me, that's an important consideration.

The school also offers some unique services, such as music therapy to help individuals meet nonmusical goals, such as physical and motor development, cognitive functioning and communication skills. Special people work in this field, and the positive impact it has on students is profound.

The school also has done an amazing job providing financial assistance to students who otherwise wouldn't have the means to learn an instrument. Since its inception, the school has awarded close to $1.4 million in financial assistance to more than 5,400 students. That speaks a lot about its mission and commitment to the community.

The school aims to teach students right from the beginning. And that means investing in the time and practice needed to truly learn the instruments of choice. And it's never too early or late to start. The school has programs for students as young as 18 months, and the oldest current student is 84. Along with the gift of being able to play an instrument, there is an immense amount of research that details the benefits of music, particularly in children. Learning an instrument has been proven to improve cognitive skills, social skills, self-discipline and self-esteem.

Music has been a big part of my life since I was young, and although I've fallen into the trap of being too busy and not making it a priority, I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing the guitar, trombone and even a bit of drums when I was growing up. I hope someday I'll have more time to dedicate to it.

Visit to learn more about the school and the other services it offers. If your experience is anything like mine, you'll be blown away with the organization, its staff and most importantly the impact it makes in our community.

Christopher Thompson ( is the vice president of business development at Talient Action Group in Manchester and writes Closing the Deal weekly for the Sunday News.

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