Below you will find answers to the Community Music School's most frequently asked questions. Please visit our Recital FAQ page for answers to questions about our studio recitals.


How is the Community Music School affiliated with the university?

The Community Music School is a division of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music and serves the larger Fox Valley area. We offer musical instruction to all ages and interest levels. We also serve as a laboratory school for Conservatory students and offer preparatory experiences for high school students interested in conservatory training. Please visit our About Us page for more information.

Why should I study music at the Community Music School?

Community Music School teachers have extensive training in pedagogy as well as performance experience. Approximately three-quarters of our teachers hold masters or doctoral degrees; two-thirds of our teachers have taught in the Community Music School for more than 10 years. Guest teaching artists augment Community Music School instruction with master classes and recitals.  

What are the ages of the Community Music School's students?

Because we believe that music-making is a lifelong experience, Community Music School programs are available to students from birth through adulthood.

How can I contribute to the Community Music School?

Please visit our Giving page to make a contribution to the Tutti Scholarship Fund or to other Community Music School programs. Please 

Private Lessons

When do you register new students for private music instruction?

New students may register for private instruction at any time during the year. Placement will depend upon teacher availability. Tuition for private lessons is prorated when not beginning at the start of a semester. If no teacher is available, you will be placed on a waiting list and contacted when an opening occurs.

What is the registration cycle for private lessons?

If you are taking private lessons in the fall you are automatically re-registered for spring term unless you have given notice of discontinuation.  Summer lessons are based upon teacher availability and must be prepaid.

On what instruments do you provide private music instruction?

Lessons are available on piano, strings, winds, percussion, and voice. Below is a complete list of instruments:

  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • String Bass
  • Acoustic Guitar
  • Piano
  • Taubman Approach
  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet
  • Bassoon
  • Saxophone
  • Percussion
  • Voice
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Horn
  • Baritone
  • Tuba

Does the Community Music School offer summer private music instruction?

Summer lessons are based upon teacher availability. They must be prepaid through the Community Music School office and scheduled with the individual studio teacher. There are no refunds.

How long are private lessons?

Private lessons vary in length according to the age and ability of the student. Lessons are available in quarter hour increments (30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour)

How much are private lessons? 

For a full list of prices, please visit our Registration & Billing page.

Where are private lessons held?

You will be contacted by the studio teacher about the location of your lessons.

Classes and Ensembles


What other programs the Community Music School offer besides lessons?

The Community Music School builds well-rounded musicians through additional programs. Please refer to our Musical Programs page for a complete list, including early childhood music classes, ensembles, summer opportunities, and more. Registration information, class locations, and more can be found on each individual program page.

What programs require auditions?

Three of our youth ensembles require an audition:

  • Girl Choir (6 choirs, grades 3-12)
  • Lawrence Youth String Orchestra (grades 5-8)
  • Wind Ensemble (grades 10-12)

Audition dates and requirements will be posted on each ensemble's webpage. Please fill out our interest form to receive information in the spring for the upcoming year. You will receive notification of placement and registration information once auditions are completed.


What if I can't afford the tuition?

Tuition assistance is available to ensure equal access to all Community Music School programs, regardless of a student's financial status.

What is the billing cycle at the Community Music School?

  • August: bill for fall semester of private lessons and year-long programs
  • January: bill for spring semester private lessons 

Does the Community Music School offer an installment plan for payments?

The Community Music School does offer an installment plan. There is an $12 setup fee per semester. Please note that we do not store credit card information, and monthly installments are not automatically paid. If you have any questions about your specific account, please contact billing at 920-993-6278.

Expectations of Registered Students

What are the expectations of an Community Music School student/family?

Community Music School guidelines have been established to ensure that students and teachers have productive musical experiences. Registration in an Community Music School program indicates understanding and acceptance of these guidelines.

What if the weather is bad?

Severe weather conditions often prompt area schools to close. Community Music School lessons, classes, and ensembles are not automatically canceled because of weather. In the event Community Music School classes or lessons are canceled, a message will be left on our answering machine and posted to the Community Music School home page. A student’s individual lesson teacher will notify students of cancellations. The Community Music School will notify ensemble members via email if a rehearsal is canceled.

We encourage families to use their best judgment regarding travel conditions and to let their teacher or ensemble manager and/or the office know if they will not be attending. Ensemble rehearsals canceled due to inclement weather are not made up. Lessons canceled by Community Music School teachers due to inclement weather will be made up. If a teacher does not cancel lessons due to inclement weather, they are not required to make up the lesson for families who choose not to attend.

If the Lawrence University emergency alert system is initiated during a rehearsal or lesson, all Community Music School students and faculty must follow the university’s emergency protocol. This includes instances of fire, tornado, or other severe storms.