Educationally it is both challenging and sometimes excess/bs work. You learn from some of the best teachers this country can offer. What hurts this school is financial and the administration. Currently the school as been put on notice by accreditators for those very reasons. Orchestra program is either too demanding or not demanding enough (depends on your instrument). Some facilities are nice, like the recital hall and studios/classrooms, but the practice rooms are in need of major overhaul. I wound not come back to this school if I could do it over again, despite studying under cleveland orchestra members, the price (scholarship is ok to poor) and administration cause enough headaches that there are better schools with equally great teachers out there, ie Julliard, Curtis, Rice, Colburn, etc.
Yes, we get free access to TCO concerts and perform in severance hall multiple times. Cleveland is still a recovering city from pretty much every major economic crash. It has gotten a lot better since 2008-9 but nowhere near the level of say this countries biggest cities (NY, LA, Chicago, Houston, Philly...). The area,University Circle, is nice and access to museums is mostly free. Outside of UC is hell, aka East Cleveland. The westside is much nicer as is downtown. The weather is well what you'd expect from an northern easterly coasty city. CIM has a partnership with CWRU which is really nice if you like to do other academics or horrible if your main focus is just music. If you like university life/all that other stuff they have it, all is there. If you want to be a recluse and practice all day you can do that too, so the appeal I suppose would be that there is opportunity to escape the conservatory life &dive into another activity. What I liked about the relationship between the 2 institutions was the recreation/workout facility and the early music program is STELLAR. All in all, ok-good school that has a price tag that does not equate to the quality it should and needs.