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"All children can learn. They're just brilliant. 
But you've got to make them work."

Clara H. Jones
Retired Educator & Piano Studio Owner

The Clara H. Jones Summer Institute is a structured, six-week intensive program aimed at developing students' fine arts skills while also targeting reading, math and science proficiency. We serve students in rising grades 1st-9th.

Now in its 16th year, the Summer Institute is named in honor of acclaimed music teacher Clara H. Jones who is a retired CMS teacher and provided community lessons on Charlotte's west side for decades in her home-based studio.

Below you will find everything parents usually ask. But if you need more info, feel free to contact us at 704.372.3742, Mon-Fri afternoons, or email


  • We serve RISING 1st-9th GRADE STUDENTS. Also, more info coming soon on a special one-week Aviation Camp for high school students July 6-10 with flight simulators, airplane rides, etc.
  • ONE LOW PRICE! Tuition includes Academic & Fine Arts Instruction, Field Trips, Polo Shirts, Before & After Care, Instruments, Breakfast, Hot Lunch & Snack. No extra fees!
  • CONVENIENT LOCATION! Five minutes west of uptown at 1801 Oaklawn Avenue in the Family Life Center of First Baptist Church-West. Easy access from uptown on Trade Street, or I-77/I-85.
  • PARENT-FRIENDLY OPERATING HOURS 7:30am-5:45 pm Monday thru Friday.
  • DIVERSITY in race, gender and language celebrated. Spanish translations provided, as well as diverse program offerings ranging from classical to gospel to salsa.
  • 1:18 TEACHER-STUDENT RATIO in afternoon academic classes led by licensed teachers, college education interns Mon-Fri 1-5pm. Field Trips or Fun Activities on Fridays.
  • ACCOMPLISHED ARTISTS lead fine arts lessons in Brass (trumpet, trombone, tuba & saxophone), Violin, Piano, Art, Dance & Chorus. (Note that piano often is in high demand and may not be available.)
  • Our THEME this summer is "I Believe I Can Fly." We will focus on aeronautics with trips to Charlotte-Douglass Airport and other flight-related activities. As always, our theme will be interwoven in the fine arts and academics. Students will spend mornings taking two fine arts classes. One class is always chorus to provide a musical foundation, while the second is a choice of violin, piano, brass, art or dance. Afternoons will be devoted to academic instruction. And every week, there will be a field trip or special program.
  • ONLINE ACCESS on wireless laptops for students & ONLINE PAYMENTS AND APPLICATION for parents.


Two orientation sessions held on the first day, Monday, June 21, @ 8:15am and 8:45am. Or, individual tours by appointment or drop-in. Parent Handbooks issued at orientation.

Operating hours are Mon-Fri, 7:30am-5:45pm. June 22-July 31, 2020. (Instructional time is from 9am-5pm.) Closed on Friday, July 3rd. Mark your calendars for the FINAL PROGRAM on Friday, July 31st, @5:30pm.

Students can be dropped off and a staff person will check them up, but parents or an authorized person MUST sign them out each day.


Tuition of $900 (which works out to $150 per week) can be paid all at once or $450 on June 17th and July 1st. But early payments will be accepted anytime online. (Sorry, no refunds or pro-rated payments for vacations, change of plans or missed days. Pre-approval required for other arrangements.) Tuition includes instruction, instruments, activity fees, shirt, before- and after-care and food. Scholarships are available on a first-come-first-serve basis with income verification.

$25 registration fee required to process application and hold child's space.

Note that our fees are already below market and that's why we don't offer sibling discounts.

Online payments at, no checks!


$2 per minute after 5:45pm. $15 late fee for tuition after due date.

Light breakfast, hot healthy lunch and one snack prepared on-site in our commercial kitchen by school-trained chef. Peanut-free menu and hearty meatless days.

Students are expected to wear school-appropriate attire. We also ask that students wear tennis shoes or other similar footwear, but NO OPEN-TOE SHOES DUE TO SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS.

The Summer Institute shirt will be issued prior to the first field trip and is to be worn every Friday as well as for the Final Program on Friday, July 31st.

We do not discriminate against students, parents, employees or applicants on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, language, religion or, where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation or income.