Three photos: a closeup of students playing clarinet at a Wind Ensemble concert, six Girl Choir singers huddled together and smiling at the camera,  a closeup of a young student's hands on a piano

Frequently Asked Questions

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 that 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. Please visit our Faculty and Staff page for more information about our teachers. 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?

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

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.

  • What instruments do you provide private music instruction for?

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

  • 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 lessons with a teacher? 

For a full list of prices, please visit our Fees and Payment Schedule page.

  • Where are lessons held?

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

Ensembles and Other Programs

  • What if I want more than just private lessons?

The Community Music School builds well-rounded musicians through additional programs including Music Theory and Aural Skills, Community Music School ensembles (please click on the links below for each ensemble), and Summer Camps/Workshops.

  • am interested in an ensemble. What does the Community Music School have to offer?

We offer a variety of ensembles. Please click on the links below to visit each ensemble's web page for more information. 


  • Which of the ensembles listed above require an audition?

Auditions are held in the spring each year for the following ensembles. Please fill out our interest form to receive audition information. You will receive notification of placement and registration information once auditions are completed.

  • Lawrence Community Girl Choir
    • Primo, Allegretto, Capriccio, Arioso, Cantabile, and Bel Canto Girl Choirs require an audition. Please visit the Girl Choir web page for more information and links to each choir's page.
  • Lawrence Community Wind Ensemble
  • Lawrence Community Youth String Orchestra (LYSO)

No audition is required for the following ensembles. When registration opens, it will be linked on their web pages.

  • Chamber Ensembles - Open to all string and wind students (youth and adult)
  • Lawrence Community Symphonic Band - Open to students in grades 7-12
  • Ragazze Girl Choir - Open to students who identify as female in grades 3-5


  • What other programs does the Community Music School offer?

Please refer to our Musical Opportunities page for a complete list of our offered programs, which includes early childhood music classes, music theory classes, summer camps, and more.

  • How much are Community Music School ensembles and classes?

Ensembles and class fees vary widely and are listed on each individual page.

  • Where are rehearsals and classes held?

Ensemble rehearsal and class location information is listed on each program's web page.

Billing and Fees

  • 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. Please visit our Financial Assistance page for more information.

  • Is there a registration fee at the Community Music School?

There is an annual registration fee of $19 per student. This fee covers all registrations for the student, including private lessons, ensembles, and classes.

  • 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 your 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. Please visit our Community Guidelines page for information.

  • 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, s/he is 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.