Community Help in Music Education (CHIME)

CHIME was founded by Dorothy Marschak in 1997 as a response to her experience as a National Symphony docent visiting Title I DC elementary schools to prepare third-graders for their one free NSO concert in their school careers. She was dismayed by discovering how inadequate and unequal the access to music education - during and outside of school - had become for most inner-city DC schoolchildren, and she was inspired by witnessing how responsive - even thirsty - they were when it was offered to them. Years before she had organized a volunteer music project . SDeborah. She decided to explore the possibilities of creating a new volunteer music education project in DC that would respond to its needs.

After the success of our first two in-school programs - classes in listening skills at Marie Reed Learning Center by composer and pianist Dina Koston, and a class in recorder instruction by pianist and music educator Beatrice Frank at Seaton Elementary School, it was decided to incorporate CHIME as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, which was done in May 1998, with the help of the pro bono legal skills of Ann Stansbury.

Our mission has remained unchanged from the beginning, but the ways we have carried it out have continued to expand. . Since inception we have successfully added new programs to an ever-growing repertoire of music instruction (during school, after-school, and joint sister-school projects), educational music presentations, professional development workshops for DCPS teachers, instrument donations, research, advocacy, collaborations, and education and social policy activities.
For the details on our accomplishments and honors received for them please see our What We Have Done and What’s New pages.  We have done all this with one hard-working staff member,  who started getting paid only in 2006, aided by volunteers and partners. Our music instructors were all volunteers in our early years, but as our funding has permitted, most now receive modest stipends. We still welcome student interns and established musicians who choose to work as volunteers.  

Mission and GoalsPublic Recognition

Community Help in Music Education (CHIME) • 1789 Lanier Pl. • Suite 3 • Washington, DC • 20009
Phone: (202) 232-2731 • Fax: (202) 234-5887 • Email: