What is Community Music?

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When I was a little boy, I had tuberculosis. I was in hospital for 10 months. They liked to keep you busy in bed and had a woman who came around with maracas and triangles and drums. The first day I got the little drums and, after that, I wouldn’t be in the bedridden band unless I got the drum. – Ringo

Making music helped Ringo get better! Who know? Maybe without community music there would never have been The Beatles!

So, what exactly is community music?

Community music is an approach to music making that stresses active collaboration between individuals who play, create, improvise and perform music together . It is music making that fosters individual growth and community development.

SOUND SENSE, a British community music organization states on its website that “communities need music; music can bring communities together, and it also acknowledges differences. Community music enables people to enjoy and learn from making music with each other and it enriches their lives.”

Community music adheres to the philosophy that music is like physical exercise: for all ages and for all people. And like  physical exercise, participation in musical exercise leads to overall wellness.

WHAT COMMUNITY MUSIC IS (or strives to be):

Open to all, Cooperative, Fluid, Non-Judgemental, Unselfish, Process-Centered


Competitive, Formal, Exclusionary, Talent Based, Egocentric, Product-Centered

To find out more, contact us at jfitz@thecoffeehouseprojectnj.org.