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April 1, 2021

10 Reasons to Choose CIM and Cleveland

group of students standing in front of "Be the Future of Classical Music" banner
Photo by Tyler Scott

By: Ella Sobkowicz

CIM’s Newsroom includes a student-led blog with posts covering a variety of topics, including the CIM admissions process, student life, and interviews with faculty, students and alumni. CIM undergraduate and soprano Isabella (Ella) Sobkowicz, who is currently studying with Mary Schiller in CIM’s Voice program, is a regular voice on the blog. 

If you auditioned for music programs this year or have auditioned for them in the past, you know what an important and exciting time it is! It’s that time of year again when music students from all over the world receive acceptance letters, offers and opportunities. It is essential to make an informed decision, so we put together a list of ten reasons to #chooseCIM.

1. Faculty

At CIM, each student is valued and supported, and CIM faculty make every effort to teach, mentor and challenge each student with the student’s individual needs in mind. With a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds, each faculty member has unique wisdom and knowledge to pass along to their students. Every class, lesson and rehearsal is led with immense care, passion and drive; allowing each student to realize his or her full potential.

2. Small School

With fewer than 350 students, the sense of community at CIM is strong, and students very easily get to know each other. Whether undergraduate or graduate students, everybody supports and cares for each other. In our community, if someone needs a hand, they end up with an abundance of hands. Along with our small student population, the student to faculty ratio is about 5:1, which creates more opportunity for individualized care and attention.

3. Performance opportunities (to perform in and to watch)

CIM hosts almost 600 performances, concerts and events. Students at CIM are constantly preparing for their next performances and supporting their friend’s performances too. Despite the obstacles that COVID-19 created, the concerts and performances this year have not stopped!

4. Alumni success

Since the Institution’s inception, CIM has had numerous alumni success stories. From performing in renowned chamber groups, to performing in the world’s biggest orchestral and opera stages, CIM alums have done it all! Many alumni go on to have long solo or orchestral careers, and travel the world performing and teaching. Over 30 members of The Cleveland Orchestra attended CIM.

5. Curriculum

At CIM, every student takes music theory, eurhythmics and keyboard. Eurhythmics is the study of rhythm and pulse through body movement, and coursework leads to mastery of rhythmic fluency and pulse relationship. In our music theory program, we study keyboard skills, sight singing, ear training (dictation) and written harmonization. After completing music theory at CIM, students show fluency in the great language of music and its skills. In keyboard class, we learn scales, chord progressions, pieces, harmonization, and transposition! After finishing keyboard at CIM, students show mastery in sight reading, transposition, scales and keyboard technique.

6. University Circle

Our neighborhood, University Circle, has a variety of cultural attractions! Minutes from the school, you can find yourself lost in the Museum of Natural History or the Cleveland Museum of Art (which is free to all CIM students) . Walk up the hill from University Circle into Little Italy and fill up with fabulous pastas and gelato. University Circle is also home to our partner institution, Case Western Reserve University, as well as the Cleveland Institute of Art. Need a practice break? Cleveland’s Botanical Gardens have a wide variety of flowers, plants, birds, butterflies and turtles, and is located directly across the street from the Mixon Hall entrance to CIM.

7. Connection to Case Western Reserve University

CIM students have full access to all courses offered by CWRU, and CWRU students can participate in CIM classes such as music theory and Eurythmics. Some students at CIM choose to enroll in our dual degree program with CWRU, and all CIM students can add minors from CWRU at any point during their undergraduate degree. CIM students also have access to the libraries, health services and counseling services at the university.

8. Free tickets to The Cleveland Orchestra

Less than a ten-minute walk from CIM is Severance Hall where The Cleveland Orchestra performs. Students at CIM have access to free tickets to every Cleveland Orchestra performance at Severance Hall, as well as access to Cleveland Orchestra dress rehearsals.

9. Brand new residence hall

New to the CIM campus this year is our living complex for undergraduate students at 1609 Hazel. Made up of mostly 4 person or 6 person suites, each suite has a shared kitchen, living room, bathrooms and washer/ dryer. 22 brand new sound isolated practice rooms were also built on the first floor. There is also a gym for students to use, and student lounges where students can do homework, watch movies and have ping pong tournaments!

10. Focus on classical music and creating the future of classical music.

At the front entrance of CIM, there is a large banner that says, “Be the Future of Classical Music” (pictured above). Our exemplary faculty, curriculum, performances, resources and community are all of what help mold and shape students to be the future of classical music.

Already admitted to CIM for Fall 2021? Join us for our Admitted Student Open House April 5-9. Check your email for your invite and sign up!

Explore the University Circle and Cleveland area virtually! Find links at the bottom of this page and explore what Cleveland has to offer.

For more information, browse the CIM website or reach out to the Admission team at

There are many great reasons to choose CIM for the next step in your musical journey! Are you ready to be the future of classical music?