Mission & History


Our mission is to inspire everyone in the National Capital Region to love music, offering opportunities to discover how music can provide purpose, elevate, and heal.


To provide everyone with opportunities for musical discovery.


Levine’s Core Values — excellence and opportunity — infuse everything we do. Our distinguished faculty provides individualized instruction and music therapy for students of all ages, abilities, and interests, building a foundation for lifelong musical expression. We strive to make our programs available to everyone. Hundreds receive substantial scholarship assistance; thousands more receive free music experiences through community partnership initiatives and performances.

Camp Levine 6


At each Levine campus, our students find a diverse range of musical activities, a supportive environment, and dedicated teachers to challenge their creative limits and guide them. In addition to traditional one-on-one music education, programs such as our Camp Levine, First Music program, and a variety of classes for children and adults foster musical discovery in inviting group settings. We encourage students to join our jazz ensembles, chamber music groups, choruses, musical theatre, and rock groups, gather informally with friends around a musical activity, and participate in collaborative programs with other leading music and arts organizations across the National Capital region.

We also believe that opportunities to hear great musicians and to perform can be important parts of a well-rounded music education. Levine’s performance series offers master classes with visiting artists of international renown and faculty performances.  We also offer student recitals, workshops, juries, and competitions that provide additional learning opportunities and enrich the lives of both performers and audiences.


Levine was founded in 1976 in memory of Selma M. Levine, a prominent Washington attorney and an amateur pianist who took particular delight in encouraging young musicians.

Founded by Diana Engel, Ruth Cogen, and Jaclin Marlin in the basement of a small church, Levine has grown into one of the country’s leading community music schools. It is one of the few community music schools accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and the only All-Steinway community music school in the world. Levine is also certified by the National Guild for Community Arts Education as exemplifying the highest standards of excellence and access in community arts education. Learn more about Levine’s history.