Private Lessons from the Community Music School

  • Private lessons offer participants a one-on-one learning experience with a music instructor on their chosen instrument.

    Lessons are offered on all brass and woodwind instruments, percussion, voice, piano and organ, guitar and additional fretted instruments as available, and electric bass. For lessons on violin, viola, cello, and string bass, contact Linda Jennings, director of the IUP String Project.

    Spring 2021 COVID-19 Pandemic Update

    As with the fall 2020 semester, private lessons are again being offered on all instruments for the spring 2021 semester, which begins on Monday, January 25. Both online and in-person options will be available, depending on instructor and room availability.

    Registration is currently open and will be ongoing and rolling throughout the semester. The same minimum requirement of seven lessons for the semester still applies.

    First-time IUPCMS participants should utilize the online registration form. Previous participants simply need to email with information on what they’d like lesson-wise for the fall.

    Please see the IUP Community Music School home page for additional information. For more information from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, please see the comprehensive Coronavirus Information page. You should also review the university guidelines for returning to campus, as the IUPCMS protocols are built upon those and those of the IUP Music Department.

    Instructor and Room Availability

    The following applies during the spring 2021 semester:


    Each type of lesson is dependent upon instructor availability. If, for example, you would prefer in-person lessons on your instrument, but all the instructors for that instrument are only comfortable teaching online, you would need to switch to the online option or take the semester off.

    Both instructors and students have the option of selecting what they are most comfortable with, and then we work to find a match. In most cases, the instructors have indicated they are comfortable teaching in both environments.


    The basement practice rooms will not be used for private lessons this semester, as they are not suitable in size or ventilation for two people (they are single-person practice rooms for music majors only that will have 30 minutes of air-clearing between practice sessions).

    In-person lessons will only take place in rooms on the first, second, and third floors that are of suitable size, to include classrooms, etc. Some faculty members will be making their studios available to their students who teach in the IUPCMS. In short, rooms will be at a premium for everyone—Music Department needs and IUPCMS lessons—so scheduling will be the biggest challenge. Your assigned instructor will work within the room reservation system and with you to reserve a lesson space.

    In-Person Lesson Guidelines

    The following applies during the fall 2020 semester, following the university guidelines for returning to campus and the Music Department Guidelines.

    • Masks must be worn to enter Cogswell Hall, or any other building on campus, and outdoors when six-foot physical distancing is not possible.

    • Instructors will meet students/parents/guardians at the outside door to escort to the arranged lessons space. If the room is of sufficient size, the parent/guardian may sit in on the lesson. If not, the options are to wait outside when the weather is nice, wait in the Starbucks (as room is available), or wait in a parked car. The Crimson Café will not be available. A six-foot physical distance must be maintained in the building at all times, and congregating/waiting in the hallways, student lounge, lobby, and classrooms is not allowed. The student will be escorted back to the outside doors at the completion of the lesson.

    • Traffic patterns, entry, and exits are clearly marked and must be followed.

    • During a lesson, brass players must use the puppy pee pad that the instructor is also using when emptying their instrument, or bring in their own to use (available very inexpensively at Ollie’s).

    • Depending on the lesson location, whoever is not playing during the lesson will wear a mask (the larger the room, the less the need for this requirement; comfort factor of both parties is paramount and taken into consideration).

    • The instructor will be responsible for wiping down any shared surfaces (such as piano keys, stands, etc.). In general, however, items such as wind instruments, mouthpieces, and reeds may not be shared.

    NEW Important Note: If taking in-person lessons, please download, print, fill out, and provide to your instructor at your first lesson the Waiver of Liability Form, and either the Photo-Video Release Form - Adult Student or the Photo-Video Release Form - Parent-Guardian. You may also email both of the completed forms to

    Online Virtual Lesson Guidelines

    There is no change to what has been taking place for online virtual lessons. Lesson days/times will be arranged, an online platform agreed upon, and the lessons take place. Instructors may teach from their residence, and there will be five rooms set up in Cogswell Hall for Zoom lessons that IUPCMS instructors will have access to, depending upon Music Department priority and availability.

    Instrument Access

    • Regardless of the instrument, all students from the community must have daily access to an instrument for practice outside of Cogswell Hall. For the larger non-wind instruments such as organ and piano, if there is not an instrument in the home, arrangements may often be made with a local church or school.

    • Currently enrolled IUP students may make arrangements to practice in Cogswell Hall.

    • The IUP Community Music School does not have instruments to rent.

    Lesson Requirements

    • Although the parent/student may select the number of lessons desired for the semester, the minimum requirement for the fall and spring semesters is seven lessons, and five lessons for the summer semester. Most participants select a full semester of lessons.

    • Lessons must occur at least once every two weeks.

    • At the availability of the instructor, lessons may also be taken between semesters. Contact for more information.

    • All lessons purchased for the semester must be completed before the start of the next major session (fall, spring, and summer). Any lessons not taken at that point are forfeited. This provides a minimum of three weeks after the end of each major semester for makeup lessons, as needed, or for additional lessons.

    Lesson Cancellation Policy

    • Instructors are allowed to set their own cancellation policy. They range from a couple of hours before the lesson to a half day, or to the night before. Be sure to know and understand your instructor’s policy.

    • This fall and spring it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to avoid canceling in-person lessons, as the the high level of room usage will make rescheduling lessons a challenge. Lessons not taken before the start of the next main semester are still forfeited.

    • While extenuating circumstances are always taken into consideration, if a student misses a lesson and does not contact their instructor to cancel, OR does not meet their instructor’s cancellation policy, it is considered absent and is paid for. Student-canceled lessons that met the instructors’ cancellation policy will be made up, as well as all lessons canceled by the instructor.

    Instructor Training and Clearance Requirements

    • Teaching apprentices have been recommended by their major studio professor. Teaching artists, generally graduate students, have also been recommended by their major studio professor. Non-graduate student teaching artists from the community have been interviewed and fully vetted.

    • All instructors have the three clearances as required by the state of Pennsylvania. They include Act 114, Federal Background Check; Act 134, Child Abuse Clearance; and Act 151, State Criminal Background Check.

    • All instructors have also taken Title IX Protection of Minors and Mandatory Reporter training as required by IUP and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

    Additional Notes

    1. In addition to the tuition charged below, a $25 registration fee is charged per individual student, per semester for the fall and spring semesters, and $20 per student for the summer semester. There are no registration fees for lessons taken during the weeks between the major semesters as long as there are lessons associated with one of the semesters on either side of the in-between weeks.

      This fee directly supports a very small portion of the IUP Community Music School administrative cost, and may only be charged a maximum of three times a year.

    2. Invoices are sent as a pdf file to the email address listed as the primary billing address during the initial registration process. If you do not receive your invoice, check your Junk/Spam and Trash folders. If you still do not find it, contact the IUPCMS at as soon as possible, and add Mandrill to your Address Book.

    3. Unless the cost of tuition, registration fees, and materials exceeds $250 per family, payment must be made in full before the first rehearsal, class, or lesson, or by the date indicated on the invoice.

    4. If payment has not been received by the second private lesson, the lessons will be stopped by the instructor until payment has been received. Similarly, if payment has not been received by the second rehearsal, the student will not be allowed to continue in the ensemble until payment is received.

      The following payment schedule may be utilized:

      • Under $250 — Payment in full

      • $250–$500 — Two payments; one per month

      • $500+ — Three payments; one per month

    Teaching Apprentice (IUP Music Majors)

    • $12.50 tuition for a 30-minute lesson (Example: 7 lessons = $87.50; 14 lessons = $175)

    • $18.75 tuition for a 45-minute lesson (Example: 7 lessons = $131.25; 14 lessons = $262.50)

    • $25.00 tuition for a 60-minute lesson (Example: 7 lessons = $175; 14 lessons = $350)

    Teaching Artist (bachelor’s or master’s degree)

    • $16.00 for a 30-minute lesson (Example: 7 lessons = $112; 14 lessons = $224)

    • $24.00 for a 45-minute lesson (Example: 7 lessons = $168; 14 lessons = $336)

    • $32.00 for a 60-minute lesson (Example: 7 lessons = $224; 14 lessons = $448)

    IUP Music Faculty

    The following music faculty members offer private lessons through the IUP Community Music School. Rates vary by instructor. Full listing of IUP music faculty.

    Oboe: Stephanie Caulder — $26/half-hour, $42/hour

    Bassoon: Jason Worzbyt — $32/hour

    Saxophone: James Flowers — $26/half-hour, $52/hour

    Trumpet: Kevin Eisensmith — $26/half-hour, $52/hour

    Horn: Heidi Lucas — $26/half-hour, $52/hour

    Trombone: Christian Dickinson — $26/half-hour, $52 hour

    Tuba/Euphonium: Zach Collins — $26/half-hour, $52/hour

    Piano: Henry Wong Doe — $26/half-hour, $52/hour

    Piano: Evan Engelstad — $26/half-hour, $42/hour

    Voice (Jazz Specialty): Laura Ferguson — $26/half-hour, $52/hour

    Composition/Songwriting: John Levey — $26/half-hour, $42/hour