UVM organ (photo by Mike Lawler)

The caliber of UVM's artist teachers makes private lessons a one-of-a-kind learning opportunity.

All UVM students, regardless of major, are eligible to take private lessons; however, priority for lesson space in private studios goes to music majors and music minors.

The amount of space available for non-music majors in a private studio varies from teacher to teacher; students are encouraged to contact their prospective teachers and sign up for lessons as early as possible.

In some cases, individual instructors will provide additional information or their own syllabi.

Enrolling in lessons

Do I have to audition for private lessons?

Requirements vary from teacher to teacher. Some teachers will accept students with zero prior experience, while others (including piano, violin, and viola) will expect to hear 1-2 contrasting pieces which show your playing ability based on several years of previous study. Contact your teacher to ask about their requirements for accepting new students.

Instruments with multiple instructors (including jazz guitar, classical voice, and classical piano) will generally hold group auditions at the beginning of each semester to place new students.

Music majors are required to pass an Entrance Audition before they are accepted for study in MUL 2500, and an Intermediate Performance Assessment before acceptance for study in MUL 4500.

How do I enroll in private lessons?

  • Register for lessons online before or during the first week of classes.
  • Contact the teacher(s) to ask if they require a placement audition.
  • Set up a lesson schedule with your teacher.
  • Fill out the applied lesson contract (PDF) and submit to the Music Office by add/drop deadline.

Which section do I enroll in?

  • MUL 1200, 1300 - Lessons for NON-MAJORS / NON-MINORS
  • MUL 1500 - REQUIRED secondary lessons for music MAJORS (Music Education students only)
  • MUL 1600 - NON-REQUIRED secondary lessons for music MAJORS
  • MUL 1700 - Lessons for Music Tech/Business majors preparing for the Basic Performance Assessment 
  • MUL 2400 - Lessons for music MINORS
  • MUL 2500 - Lessons for music MAJORS (after Entrance Audition)
  • MUL 4500 - Lessons for music MAJORS (after Intermediate Performance Assessment)

Each lesson level is further broken down by instrument. For example: a non-major/non-minor interested in jazz guitar should enroll in MUL 1300 I. A music minor violinist should enroll in MUL 2400 X. A music major vocalist who has passed their Intermediate Performance Assessment should enroll in MUL 4500 Y.

Enroll in 1 credit for weekly 30-minute lessons; enroll in 2 credits for weekly 1-hour lessons.

Lesson credits

What type of credit do I receive for taking lessons?

Applied lessons are available for one or two credits. Each student receives one private lesson per week for 14 weeks. Private lessons are available for variable credit as follows:

1 credit = One half-hour lesson per week (14 lessons)
2 credits = One full-hour lesson per week (14 lessons)
Music majors generally take lessons for 2 credits. Minors and non-majors may take lessons for one or two credits based on the student's level and teacher's availability. Please contact your teacher to determine whether you should register for one or two credits. Unfortunately, there is no way to audit lessons for 0 credits.

To switch between 1 or 2 credits, visit your myUVM Portal. Under the Registrar tab, in the top right corner, you will see an option to "change variable credits." (See screenshot)

Practice, attendance, and grading

How often will I have to practice?

Expectations will vary from teacher to teacher, but students should expect to practice a minimum of three hours per week. Students should consult their teachers for details.

Lesson attendance

Attendance at all lessons is a course requirement. If a faculty member must cancel a lesson, they will inform the student by e-mail or by a sign posted on the lesson studio door. Students should then contact the faculty member to schedule a make-up lesson.

If a student must cancel a lesson, they must inform the faculty member by e-mail or voice mail prior to the lesson time. When possible, faculty will make up a lesson canceled prior to the lesson time. No make-up lesson will be scheduled when the student does not contact the faculty member prior to the lesson time. Furthermore, faculty will not be expected to make up more than two lessons canceled by the student.

Lesson registers and grading

At the end of the semester, students must fill out a lesson register form (PDF) listing repertoire studied during the semester and give the form to their teacher no later than the last lesson of the semester. The instructor will then fill out the final portion of the form and return the form to the Music Office (music majors) or keep it for their own records (non-majors). No grade will be given until the applied lesson register has been completed.

Performances, Exams, and Accompaniment


End-of-semester Area Juries are generally required of music majors, and may be required of some non-majors. (All piano students taking private lessons must take an Area Jury.)

All music majors except Music Technology and Business concentrators are required to pass an Intermediate Performance Assessment. Concentrators in Jazz Studies and Classical Performance usually do this at the end of sophomore year, and History/Literature and Composition/Theory concentrators usually do this as their capstone performance in junior or senior year. Passing the Intermediate Performance Assessment allows the student to register for lessons in MUL 4500.

Student Performance Recitals

A music major enrolled in applied lessons in their principal instrument must perform on at least two Student Performance Recitals prior to being eligible for an Intermediate Performance Assessment, and another two recitals prior to being eligible for a Recital Audition. Please contact the Music Office if you have questions about this requirement.

Music minors and non-majors/non-minors may sign up for Student Performance Recitals at their teacher's discretion.

Solo Recitals

Music majors in the B.A. program with a concentration in Classical Performance or Jazz Studies, as well as B.S. Music Education students, are required to perform a Senior Recital in their last year of study. (Read more about solo recitals.) Students must pass a Recital Audition four to six weeks before any required recital.


The Music Program will cover limited accompaniment fees for required performance obligations toward the major. This includes Juries and Recitals (of all types) for majors.

Accompanist fees for non-requisite recitals toward a major (studio recitals, masterclasses, workshops) are not covered by the Music Program.

Since non-majors and minors are not required to complete juries or recitals, any associated accompanist fees are fully paid for by the student.

Piano Lesson FAQs

What piano class should I enroll in?

MUL 1111 - Group Piano Lessons
For students with no previous piano experience.

MUL 1200 - Basic Private Lessons: Piano
For students with some prior piano experience - for example, you took lessons as a child but have not played in several years, or play by ear but don't read music, or took Group Piano and want to continue.

MUL 1300 - Private Lessons: Piano (non-majors/non-minors) &
MUL 2400 - Private Lessons: Piano for Music Minors
Students must pass a placement audition to enroll in MUL 1300 or 2400. We request to hear two contrasting pieces you've already learned (from score, not by ear) and also some sightreading. Examples of audition pieces could include sonatinas, sonatas, minuets, nocturnes, inventions, and more. This need not be a polished performance but should give us an idea of your playing level and background. Students auditioning successfully have typically studied piano several years. If you are a beginner, you might consider MUL 1111 or 1200.

For questions about piano placement, please contact us at music@uvm.edu.

Close up of the orchestra string section

Lesson Fees

From Fall 2024 onward, the private lesson lab fee for undergraduates is as follows:

  • MUL 1200/1300 (non-majors): $505/credit
  • MUL 1500 (music major required secondary lessons): $235/credit
  • MUL 1600 (music major elective secondary lessons): $420/credit
  • MUL 1700 (music technology majors): $235/credit
  • MUL 2400 (music minors): $420/credit
  • MUL 2500 and 4500 (music majors): $235/credit
  • MUL 4550 (Senior Recital): $235/credit

Additional fees may apply for graduate students and Continuing Education. Ask your college or sfs@uvm.edu.

No refunds after the add/drop deadline. NOTE: You will be charged for lessons you receive if you drop before the deadline.

Questions? Contact us at music@uvm.edu