An interesting story on the driving force behind Chicago's thriving and "free" music school:
"The People’s Music School is a human symphony. Young, old, and every color, conducted by a woman who first learned music pounding a piano keyboard painted on her dining room table. Rita Simo was good enough to get a scholarship, study at Julliard, and become a concert pianist. But she wanted to share her love of music with others. “Music is a gift,” she says, “Pass it on!”....The first 300 or so who show up each semester get in. Simo says her reasoning for the first-come, first-serve policy is “because nobody’s better than anybody else. You want it? Get here! And that's it. The pope can come and he's not making it unless he's in line.”
You can visit the music school online here. Be sure to check out the "Music Fundamentals Study Guide" at the top of the school homepage.