The music department at Calvin offers the opportunity to take private music lessons to students of all majors.
Private lessons are offered for organ, harp, piano, voice, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, percussion, violin, viola, cello, string bass, guitar, harpsichord, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, and recorder.
The fee for a semester of lessons (12 lessons total) is in addition to the student's tuition. It appears on the student's tuition account as follows:
- 30-minute lessons—$300
- 60-minute lessons—$600
At the beginning of each semester, all students taking private lessons should email their complete schedule (including classes, work, etc.) to their instructor. The assigned instructor will contact the student during the first ten days of the semester to schedule a lesson time. The student should contact the music office if the instructor has not made contact by the end of the first ten days.
Private lesson placement auditions are held for certain areas, usually voice and piano. These placement auditions are helpful in determining teacher assignment and private lesson level. The auditions are held during the first week of the semester and should be scheduled with the supervisor of the area directly (see Instructors tab above).
The following faculty members are supervisors over the different types of lessons:
- Dr. Tiffany Engle—winds, brass, and percussion instruments | email
- Dr. Forrest Wakeman—piano | email
- Dr. Timothy Steele—string instruments | email
- Dr. Benita Wolters-Fredlund—voice | email
- Professor Norma de Waal Malefyt—organ | email
When students register for lessons, these names will be listed as the instructor of these lessons. However, under each of these supervisors, students may be assigned to one of the many part-time faculty instructors. Music majors, along with anyone enrolled in private music lessons at Calvin, must study with Calvin music faculty. A complete list of instructors is available on the Faculty & Staff page.
Each student should receive twelve lessons during the semester—one lesson per week for 12 weeks. If a student is unable to attend a lesson because of illness, the student is responsible for rescheduling the lesson with the instructor.
The amount of practice time required is determined at the beginning of the semester in a dialogue between the instructor and the student. Minimum requirements for practice are three hours/week for 30-minute lessons and six hours/week for 60-minute lessons.
Students have the opportunity to reserve a practice room in the Covenant Fine Arts Center for daily practice time. This process typically happens in the Music Office during the third week of classes each semester, and the schedules are posted outside each of the practice rooms for the rest of the semester.
During studio class, students will meet with the private lesson instructor and other students taking lessons from the same instructor. The purpose of this class is for students to perform for each other and to discuss the performance in a constructive manner. Each studio instructor will schedule a time for the studio class to meet.
Juries are the final exams for private lessons. Students perform for a panel of faculty members and are graded on their performance. This takes place during the last week of each semester (before exam week). Juries are required every other semester for students taking lessons at the 100-level, every semester except the first at the 200-level, and every semester at the 300-level. Instructors may request a jury for a student even if it is not required.
Students who are taking their first semester of lessons are not expected to give a jury. Students giving recitals within six weeks of the jury exam date or students performing a significant solo work with a college ensemble within six weeks of the jury exam date are exempt from performing a jury during that semester.
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