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Join the Conservatory

One of the most comprehensive choral music education programs in the Baltimore Region

Conservatory ProgramCombining nurturing play-based learning with ten levels of educational achievement, CCM’s School of Music provides a solid musical foundation to children between the ages of five and sixteen. Students from Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery, Harford, and Carol counties have learned to sing, read and write music through participation in a challenging academic curriculum that also includes classes in music theory and history.

Auditions start in February to Join the Conservatory Program beginning in Fall 2020-2021

If you would like to know more about our exciting music education and choral performance opportunities, call us at (410) 494-1480 or send us email.

Our students regularly perform with professional musicians and tour regionally, nationally and internationally at venues such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall and the White House; Smetana Hall in Prague, St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, St. Andrä Church in Salzburg, and the Cultural and Conference Center of Kecskemét in Hungary. CCM self-produces annual concerts in the winter and spring which are held at the beautiful Gordon Center for Performing Arts and frequently include local instrumentalists and special guest performers. Our alumni have gone on to pursue careers in music and the arts as well as in fields that include business, science and math.

Taught by highly trained teachers, our music programs are based on the pedagogical systems developed by Zoltán Kodály and Edwin E. Gordon, and the overarching vision of CCM founder, composer, and educator, Betty Bertaux. Official transcripts are provided.

Click on a topic below to view the details.

Training schedule, class levels and choirs

Schedules for classes and rehearsals

Conservatory classes and rehearsals are held twice a week. If you're looking for a program where you child is not just learning the music from listening to mp3 files or from hearing it played on the piano, and rehearsing only once a week, take a close look at our Conservatory program. From its inception, CCM places a strong emphasis in music education, not just performance.

Class: 5:30 - 6:30 pm Rehearsal: 8:30 - 9:00 am (until mid-semester when start time becomes 8:00)
Class: 9:00 - 10:00 am
Rehearsal: 5:30 - 6:30 pm
Class: 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Rehearsal: 9:00 - 10:00 am
Class: 10:00 - 11:00 am
Rehearsal: 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Class: 7:30 - 8:30 pm
Rehearsal: 10:00 - 11:30 am
Class: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Beginner levels / Treble Choir

Members of CCM Treble ChoirBeginner Classes/Treble Choir meet twice weekly for a total of 2½ hours per week. Beginners learn the fundamentals of music through play in a structured setting. Students learn solfá (do, re, mi, etc.), rhythm concepts, music notation and sight reading, and perform choral music, in unison and 2 parts, twice yearly.

Beginner gameThe focus at the Beginner Levels is to prepare the younger children with a strong educational foundation and a rich and joyful training experience. Formal ensemble singing, therefore, is not stressed as much as in the upper choirs. Children in Beginner Levels sing in the Treble Choir, which performs twice yearly in the Holiday and Spring Concerts. The Treble Choir rehearses from 8:30 to 9:00 AM on Saturday mornings.

Intermediate levels / Lyric Choir

Members of CCM Lyric ChoirIntermediate Classes/Lyric Choir meet twice weekly for a total of 4 hours per week, enjoying progressively more challenging musical games and activities that reinforce their advancing music skills. Students sing high-quality choral selections in two and three part harmony, allowing students to perform music that will enrich and strengthen their music reading abilities and understanding. The Lyric Choir performs 3-4 concerts per year.

Intermediate gameChoristers of the Intermediate Levels sing in the Lyric Choir. They apply skills developed in training classes to preparing choral music. They learn vocal technique, ensemble singing, how to follow a conductor, read music from choral scores, sing in unison and parts with good tone and diction, and they learn performance etiquette. They perform formally twice yearly and occasionally for special events. This three-year period of Lyric Choir and Intermediate classes provides intensive preparation for full participation in the Concert Choir. Admittance to the Concert Choir is through auditions held at the end of the Intermediate Level III season.

Solfá levels / Concert Choir

Members of CCM Concert ChoirSolfá Classes/Concert Choir meet twice weekly for a total of 4½ hours per week. Students have additional opportunities to perform, tour, record and broadcast throughout the community, the country and the world. The repertoire they perform spans the early periods of music to the present and includes a variety of styles and cultures. Students continue their education during four years of Solfá Classes, where they are introduced to advanced levels of music theory, harmony, dictation, and sight reading, as well as introductory counterpoint, composition and conducting.

Solfa gameThe Concert Choir is the most advanced performance level and the designated performing choir of the Children's Chorus of Maryland. Choristers are admitted to the Concert Choir by audition only. Sophisticated choral music from the early periods to the present is prepared for performances throughout the year. Ensemble skills stress artistic interpretation and excellence in performance. Choristers may graduate from CCM after completing Solfa IV, reaching the age of 16, or, for boys, when the voice changes.

What you need to know

What is the audition like and when are they held?

The audition is a kid-friendly, enjoyable, 20- to 30-minute series of games, imitative exercises, and physical activities for which no previous training or preparation is required up to age nine (9). It is conducted in a private setting where you may sit in and observe. In addition to games and exercises, your child will be asked to sing the “Happy Birthday Song” and another song of their choice without accompaniment.

Auditions may be scheduled as early as January and continue as late as September. However, auditions in September typically find classes nearly filled so that acceptance is based on class availability.

Children 10 years and older will generally need to have had some previous training or musical experience in order to be successfully placed in a CCM class. There is a $25 fee per audition.

Parents are welcome to attend the audition. Be assured that CCM faculty will give your child the utmost respect and consideration.

General Information

Passing an audition is required to join the Conservatory program.


The Conservatory program consists of three levels of musicianship classes and choirs. The program accepts children 5½ years old and up. All levels meet twice a week for ten (10) months on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Learn about Class levels and Choirs above.

The curriculum

The curriculum is based on the Kodály approach to music education, modified by the scientific and methodical Gordon Music Learning Theory, and further extended by the adaptations of CCM's founder, Dr. Betty Bertaux. Classes employ a curriculum for music literacy unparallelled among choir programs in the area. Rehearsals for performances complement music theory lessons with musicianship training.

Official transcripts are provided at the end of each school year.


All our choirs, including the youngest (Treble choir) perform at our self-produced Annual Concerts in the winter and spring. Upper choirs have additional opportunities to perform at other venues and to work with professional musicians and artists in professional settings. For more, see our FAQ page.

Parent Association

CCM relies on the generosity of time, talent and resources from our family members to help realize opportunities for our young musicians, from chaperoning them during performances to working behind the scenes during our self-produced annual concerts. Families are asked to volunteer a minimum of twelve (12) "Family Involvement Program" (FIP) hours per semester. Many opportunities arise to fulfill this requirement, but one may choose to buy out the hours at a set rate.

Rates for 2020-2021

Rates vary based on placement following a successful audition. Contact us directly for more information or click the "Email me the details" button below to receive current rates and additional information by email.

Registration and Tuition

Online registration

Some time after your child auditions, information for registration and tuition payment will be sent to you if your child is accepted to the program.

Tuition installment plan

During online registration, you may choose to pay the tuition in installments. Payment is divided into a maximum of 10 installments beginning no later than June 1st and ending no later than March of the following year. A processing fee is applied. Your installment plan must be approved by CCM.

Because we pack as much learning and fun in the time we have with our students during classes and rehearsals, completing the audition and the registration process early ensures that your child doesn't miss a moment of the Training Season.

Late Registration

Late Registration, July 1st through September 30, does not guarantee placement. Class size is limited. Classes are filled on a first come, first served basis. This policy applies to newly accepted and to returning students.

Additional Expenses

  • Books. Beginner 2 level and above. Books range from $20 to $70, depending on class placement. Book orders may be placed in during the registration process.
  • Uniforms. Students from Intermediate 1 and above are required to wear uniforms.
    Formal uniform: around $80.
    Casual uniform: $24 to $45.
  • Annual Concert Tickets. Concert tickets usually range from $15 tp $35 each.
  • Additional performances, touring expenses. Lyric and Concert choirs only. Rates vary.

Discounts and Scholarships

Early bird
  • register and pay non-refundable deposit – save $50!
  • pay in full or through an authorized payment plan – save $50!
  • New Students Only – save $100 by acting quickly after your acceptance!
Sibling discount

Save $100 for each sibling enrolled at any level of the Conservatory program or save $50.00 for a sibling enrolled in Crickets™.


It is the policy of the Children's Chorus of Maryland that no qualified child is excluded for financial reasons, and every effort is made to supply financial assistance where appropriate. Applicants will be notified in writing of application results. Recipients of scholarships need to re-apply each year. No scholarship is given automatically from year to year. We strongly recommend applying before April 1st.

The amount of tuition and fees not covered by the scholarship award must be paid on time, unless prior arrangements have been made for installment payments. Scholarship recipients commit to remaining in the Children's Chorus for the entire performing season and are required to perform in all concerts. Refusal to comply with CCM policies may result in the loss of scholarship. If a scholarship award is revoked, full tuition is due and payable within thirty (30) days of written notice of such a decision.

Scholarship applicants will be notified in writing of application results. Recipients of scholarships need to re-apply each year. No scholarship is given automatically from year to year.

Meet the teachers

Teaching the CCM way requires that our educators not only enjoy teaching bright musical children, but that they themselves are highly trained in the pedagogical method we use. It's "Art of Play" in action. Our teachers use a series of carefully designed games and other play-based techniques to engage your child's intellect and body. The result is learning made fun without sacrificing rigor.

Read their bios here.

I'd like even more details!

Go to our Contact page to learn how to reach us by phone, email, or in person.