Arcadia High School (Phoenix, AZ)

  • Instructor:  Richard Maxwell
  • Location: Phoenix, AZ
  • School Profile: public high school, grades 9-12, approx 1750 enrolled.
  • Class Title(s): Creative Musical Arts and Sciences (CMAS)
  • Grades Levels Included: 9-12
  • Structure of NTM Class(es):  The Arcadia High School Creative Musical Arts and Sciences program (CMAS) is a nationally recognized, 4-year high school music program, created by GRAMMY® nominee Richard Maxwell, that allows students the opportunity to explore their own, individual creative process, while learning how to take their music from the stage to the studio and beyond. Largely funded through Federal grants, CMAS can best be thought of as an independent record label and production company, run entirely by the students – writing, recording, performing and producing their own, original music.

    From Rock to Jazz to EDM to country to classical , and more; in CMAS there are no musical restrictions of any kind, nor is any prior experience or training required. Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano, Vocals…ANY instrument...and NO experience is needed.

    The CMAS program is a model for contemporary music education. Students are currently eligible for as much as 27 hours of college credit as part of their work in the program. Every year CMAS produces numerous CD’s of original student work, as well as presenting as many as 50+ shows ranging from stadium concerts and original musical productions, to coffee house performances.

  • Software Used: Pro Tools, Ableton, Garageband
  • Hardware Used: Mackie, Shure, Presonus, AKG, Fender, Seagull, Pearl, Digitech, Sans Amp, etc.
  • Class NTM Activities:  Project based.  Technology and music theory taught as tools/conduits for student creativity.    Several student produced albums released every school year.  An average of 50 shows or more every school year.

  • History:  see
  • Success Stories: Most music education majors from the Arizona State University spend at least a semester interning or student teaching in the program. Past Students of the CMAS program have gone on to work in the industry in various capacities, including, but certainly not limited to, Warp Tour, Honda Civic Tour, major labels such as Warner Brothers; formed production facilities; created music event promotion/production companies; and include artist such as Co-Op, Halocene, and …Walrus; and numerous others working as producers, engineers, writers and musicians. For more, including access to the CMAS Recordings Archive, please contact or

  • Advice to Others Starting NTM Project: There is no such thing as "good" or "bad" music.  Only honest and dishonest. Data: approx 160+ students per year of the 1750 enrolled at school.

  • Date Submitted: June 2016
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