Music Lessons

We offer one-on-one music instruction for students of all ages. A teacher who is sensitive to student's learning style, interests and goals will create an opportunity for enjoyment and success in music-making. Our teachers help students master their instrument and gain skills in areas such as sight-reading, ear training and theory. We also offer a performance opportunity for all students at our end-of-semester showcase recitals.

  • Lesson frequency: Once a week (fourteen lessons in fall and spring, six lessons in summer)
  • Length: 30, 45 or 60 minutes
  • Location: Music Building, online lessons are also available

View our instruments and teachers

We also offer semi-private lessons, allowing you to share lesson time and cost with another student of a similar skill level. Semi-private lessons count as one activity in a semester and must be a minimum of 45 minutes.

  • Fall lessons begin the week of August 22 and end the week of December 5.
  • Spring lessons begin the week of January 16 and end the week of May 8. 
  • Summer lessons begin the week of June 5 and end the week of August 14.

Arranging Lessons

Fill out a registration form, indicating the teacher you'd like to work with.

If you don't have a teacher in mind, read our teacher biographies. If you're still not sure, indicate the level of teacher you prefer on the registration form, and we will make the assignment.

If you'd like more information about a teacher or do not see a teacher for your instrument, call us at 815-753-1450 for assistance.

After we receive your registration form, your teacher will call you to discuss scheduling lessons.

At the first lesson, the teacher will meet you at the elevator on the north side (Lucinda Avenue) of the Music Building and accompany your child to a practice room. You may choose to escort your child to and from the practice room.


Showcase recitals at the end of the fall and spring semesters provide an opportunity for music students to prepare a piece of music to perform for family and friends. Students taking private lessons are not required to perform at a recital, though they're encouraged to do so.

Some teachers have their own recitals. They do their best to schedule these recitals to accommodate everyone's schedule. Students who are unable to attend their teacher's recital are welcome to participate in the showcase recitals in fall and spring.

Check our calendar to see upcoming recitals.

Lesson Cost

The cost of your lessons depends on your teacher's level.

Fall and Spring Semesters

14 Private Lessons 28 Private Lessons
Level 30 Min 45 Min 60 Min 30 Min 45 Min 60 Min
Apprentice 1 $264 $396 $528 $528 $792 $1,056
Apprentice 2 $276 $414 $552 $552 $828 $1,104
Apprentice 3 $308 $462 $616 $616 $924 $1,232
Associate $432 $648 $864 $864 $1,296 $1,728
Faculty $532 $798 $1,064 $1,064 $1,596 $2,128

Summer Semester

6 Private Lessons
Level 30 Min 45 Min 60 Min
Apprentice 1 $114 $172 $228
Apprentice 2 $118 $178 $236
Apprentice 3 $132 $198 $264
Associate $186 $280 $372
Faculty $228 $342 $456

Lesson Policies

School Closure for Weather

Teachers and students may cancel a lesson because of weather conditions at their own discretion and should be in contact with each other if weather conditions prevent travel. Lessons and classes may be rescheduled by the teacher later in the semester, time permitting.

Make Up Lesson Policy

One make up lesson is allowed each semester for excused absences (illness, family emergency or religious observances), provided at least 24 hours (or as much notice as possible) is given. Sporting practices and events, family vacations and doctor appointments are not considered excused absences. It is recommended that students keep a record of all lessons attended.

Teacher Absence

If a teacher is unable to teach a lesson or class, he or she will inform the student(s) at least 24 hours in advance to reschedule the lesson or class.

Children’s Safety

NIU buildings are open to the public. Young children should be supervised at all times; older children should be picked up promptly after lessons and classes and should not wander through the buildings. There are no longer pay telephones in the music or art buildings. However, there is a phone that can be used for local calls only (free) on the west wall of the concert hall hallway in the music building.

Contact Us

College of Visual and Performing Arts
Office of External Programs

Music Building 132

Kristin Sherman

Join Our CSA Mailing List

Online Office Hours

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
(lunch from noon – 1 p.m.)

To protect the safety of our staff, students and families, we will operate remotely until further notice. Our staff will be available at their remote offices during normal NIU business hours and can be contacted via phone or email.

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