Online Music Lessons

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the safety concerns resulting from COVID-19, in-person Community School of the Arts summer events are canceled for 2020.

Summer Online Music Lessons

We are now offering online music lessons, registration is now open. The summer lesson registration deadline is June 5, 2020. Summer semester online lessons begin the week of June 15 and end the week of July 20.

Note: the time, day, and method of online teaching are arranged at the mutual convenience of students and teachers. Lessons may begin before the start of the six-week session and may finish after the session ends; it is important to discuss vacation schedules.

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 (14 lessons in fall and spring, six in summer)
  • Length: 30, 45 or 60 minutes
  • Location: Music Building, third and fourth floor practice rooms

We also offer semi-private lessons, allowing you to share lesson time and cost with another student of a similar skill level. These lessons must be a minimum of 45 minutes.

Fall lessons begin the week of August 26 and end the week of December 2, and Spring lessons begin the week of January 20 and end the week of April 27.

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.


We have recitals at the end of the fall and spring semesters. 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/Spring Semesters

14 Private Lessons
Fall Only/Spring Only
28 Private Lessons
Level 30 Min 45 Min 60 Min 30 Min 45 Min 60 Min
Apprentice 1 $248 $372 $496 $496 $744 $992
Apprentice 2 $260 $390 $520 $520 $780 $1,040
Apprentice 3 $290 $435 $580 $580 $870 $1,160
Associate $408 $612 $816 $816 $1,224 $1,632
Faculty $502 $753 $1,004 $1,004 $1,506 $2,008

Summer Semester (six private online lessons)

Level 30 Minutes 45 Mintues 60 Mintues
Apprentice I $106 $159 $212
Apprentice II $111 $167 $222
Apprentice III $124 $186 $248
Associate $175 $263 $350
Faculty $216 $324 $430

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.