Segregation was the order of the day and racial tensions began to mount in the city. Price was unable to find employment and, after being refused admission to the all-white Arkansas Music Teachers Association, she founded the Little Rock Club of Musicians and taught music at the segregated black schools. Little Rock had been a comfortable city for Black residents, but as racial problems began to develop resulting in a lynching, she moved with her husband, Attorney Thomas J. Price (whom she married in 1912) and their two daughters, to Chicago in 1927.
Shortly after arriving in Chicago, Price joined the R. Nathaniel Dett Club of Music and the Allied Arts (named for the black composer of Canadian descent) and did additional study at the American Conservatory of Music, Chicago Teachers College, Central YMCA College, the University of Chicago and Chicago Musical College (now Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University) as a student in composition and orchestration with Carl Busch and Wesley LaViolette, graduating in 1934.
It was at Chicago Musical College that Florence Price met baritone Theodore Charles Stone, a member of the Chicago Music Association who later served as its President from 1954 to 1996).
The Chicago Music Association (CMA) had been established March 3, 1919 by Nora Douglas Holt, then the classical music critic for The Chicago Defender, in order to provide performance venues for classically-trained “Negro” musicians who were, by tradition, denied performance opportunities in major concert halls and on opera stages throughout the country. In July, 1919, musicians from Washington, D. C., met with the newly-organized CMA in Chicago at Bronzeville’s historic Wabash Avenue Y.M.C.A. and organized the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. (NANM); CMA became the first branch and awarded its first scholarship prize to Miss Marian Anderson of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is significant to note here that these meetings were held during a horrific race war occurring less than three miles away at the 31st Street Beach and gunshots could be heard through the open windows of the meeting hall.