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, bagpipes, and electric bass. For lessons on violin, viola, cello, and string bass, contact Linda Jennings, director of the IUP String Project.

They are primarily in-person, as in-person lessons are significantly better than virtual—but virtual lessons can be made available on a case-by-case basis, and pending instructor availability.

2023–24 Academic Year

The IUP Community Music School fall and spring semesters begin one week after the start of the IUP university semester; the summer semester starts at the same time:

  • Fall 2023 - September 5 to December 17 (IUP starts on August 28)
  • Spring 2024 - January 29 to May 12 (IUP starts on January 22)
  • Summer 2024 - June 3 to August 11 (Same start/end dates)


Registration is always open and ongoing throughout the year; however, registration must occur while there is still sufficient time to take the minimum requirement of seven lessons for the fall and spring semesters, or five lessons for the summer semester.

All lessons for one semester must be completed before the start of the next semester. This allows the break between semesters to be available for both make-up and additional lessons, or be used to complete the minimum number of lessons if the student signed up later in the semester.

NOTE:  Lessons during the semester breaks are only available if the instructor is available.

First-time IUPCMS participants should utilize the online registration form. Previous participants simply need to email with information on what they'd like for lessons, which would include the level of instructor (or specific instructor), number of lessons, length of lessons, and whether in-person or virtual.  

Instructors / Lesson Fees

Teaching Apprentice (IUP Music Majors)

  • $14.00 tuition for a 30-minute lesson

  • $21.00 tuition for a 45-minute lesson

  • $28.00 tuition for a 60-minute lesson

Teaching Artist (Bachelor's or Master's Degree)

  • $17.50 for a 30-minute lesson

  • $26.25 for a 45-minute lesson

  • $35.00 for a 60-minute lesson

IUP Music Faculty

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

Required Forms

If taking in-person lessons, the following forms are required for participation in lessons and in all classes and ensembles. You may download, complete, and either provide them to your instructor or ensemble director or return them by email to or USPS mail.

The forms will also be emailed to you when your registration is processed.

Tuition / Fees

In addition to the tuition, 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 (once for each semester).

Invoices / Payment

  1. Invoices are sent as PDF attachments 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.

  2. If you are not receiving emails with your invoice attached, you should also open your browser preferences to locate your list of safe sender domains and add to the list.

  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

Online Virtual Lesson Guidelines

Lesson days/times need to be arranged and an online platform agreed upon between the instructor and parent/student. Instructors may teach from their residence, or from rooms in Cogswell that have the technology available for virtual learning.

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. Making the arrangements is the responsibility of the parents/students.

  • 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

  • All lessons take place in Cogswell Hall.
  • 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. The standard, especially for younger students, is one lesson a week.

  • 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. Most require a two- to four-hour notification. Be sure to know and understand your instructor's policy.

  • 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.