The Sherwood Music School was founded in Chicago, Illinois in 1895 by piano virtuoso, William Hall Sherwood, as an institution to foster professional musicians. An Extension Division was established in 1913, which allowed the School to implement Sherwood teaching methods to students across the country through its correspondence courses. When the correspondence courses were standardized in 1928 with the printing of copyrighted lesson books for piano and violin, the School used wood block printing plates, like those in this display, for printing images and music in the books.

The Sherwood Music School utilized the lesson books for its correspondence courses in various editions until 1985. As enrollment declined, the School rebranded itself as the Sherwood Community Music School, no longer offering music degrees and instead providing lessons and programs for musicians of all ages in the Chicago area. In 2007, Columbia College Chicago purchased the school to become a campus center promoting lifelong involvement and development in music. 

These items highlight memorabilia found within the Sherwood Community Music School’s archival collection and illustrates its rich history within the South Loop of Chicago. The entire collection of materials and documents for the Sherwood Community Music School (1875-2008) is available for research at the College Archives and Special Collections department of the library.

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William Hall Sherwood

William Hall Sherwood was the founder of the Sherwood Music School.

Rubbing the stamp


This photo shows the student rubbing the paper against the inked stamp with a metal spoon. This helps transfer the ink from the stamp to the…

Applying the ink


In this photo, the student is applying ink to the stamp with a roller. They wear gloves to avoid staining their hands with the ink. The ink is…