by Richard Abrams
The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, a not-for-profit organization chartered by the State of Illinois, was formed more than four years ago when a group of musicians and composers in the Chicago area saw an emergent need to expose and showcase original music.
In order to assume a more significant role in the total community, our major thrust has been conducting a free training program for inner-city youngsters. We now have an enrollment of 150 young persons in our brass, string, wind, percussion, voice, piano and theory classes. These sessions are held each Saturday morning in the Parkway Community House (of Hull House Associations, under the direction of AACM professionals.
The curriculum is designed to elicit maximum development of potential within the context of a training program that exposes youngsters to constructive relationships with artistic adults. Widest encouragement is given music for leisure and educational purposes, and we are continually seeking new ways of relating music to the needs of individuals and the community for increased skills, improved study habits and cultural enrichment. Superimposed over the training framework is our keen desire to develop within our students the ability to value self, the ability to value others and the ability to utilize the opportunities they find in society.