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.

View policies and procedures for all applied lessons - see syllabus (PDF) for details. 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 a Music Major Audition (Level II) before they are accepted for study in MUL 134, and an Intermediate Level Examination (Level III) before acceptance for study in MUL 234.

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 022, 033 - Lessons for NON-MAJORS / NON-MINORS
  • MUL 034 - REQUIRED secondary lessons for music MAJORS (Music Education students only)
  • MUL 044 - NON-REQUIRED secondary lessons for music MAJORS
  • MUL 074 - Lessons for Music Tech/Business majors preparing for the Level II audition
  • MUL 133 - Lessons for music MINORS
  • MUL 134 - Lessons for music MAJORS (after Level II jury)
  • MUL 234 - Lessons for music MAJORS (after Level III jury)

Each lesson level is further broken down by instrument. For example: a non-major/non-minor interested in jazz guitar should enroll in MUL 033 I. A music minor violinist should enroll in MUL 133 X. A music major vocalist who has passed their Level III should enroll in MUL 234 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 two credits. Music 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 Level Jury (Level III). 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 Level III jury allows the student to register for lessons in MUL 234.

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 Level Jury (Level III), and another two recitals prior to being eligible for a Solo Recital Examination (Level IV). 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 Solo Recital Jury (Level IV) 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 002 - Group Piano Lessons
For students with no previous piano experience.

MUL 022 - 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 033 - Private Lessons: Piano (non-majors/non-minors) &
MUL 133 - Private Lessons: Piano for Music Minors
Students must pass a Level I placement audition to enroll in MUL 033 or 133. 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 002 or 022.

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

Close up of the orchestra string section

Lesson Fees

The lab fee for undergraduates taking lessons is as follows:

  • MUL 022/033 (non-majors): $450/credit
  • MUL 034 (music major required secondary lessons): $210/credit
  • MUL 044 (music major elective secondary lessons): $375/credit
  • MUL 074 (music technology majors): $210/credit
  • MUL 133 (music minors): $375/credit
  • MUL 134 and 234 (music majors): $210/credit
  • MUL and 250 (recitals): $210/credit

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