Private vocal and instrumental music lessons are available to all Lafayette students, regardless of major.

The Department of Music offers private lessons in most orchestral and band instruments, piano, voice, guitar, lute, banjo, and accordion.

We have a highly qualified staff of world-class professional musicians  (see our list of applied faculty for more information ) who provide individual instruction from beginning to advanced levels. Students may choose from three categories of instruction (see below) depending on level of interest and background. In addition to satisfying a personal need to continue supervised study, up to eight semesters of credit may be applied toward fulfillment of humanities electives.

Each Applied Music course consists of 12 45-minute lessons. Students are required to be in attendance and on time for ALL lessons. Attendance is mandatory for students enrolled in MUS 141 or 142. Absences for reasons other than extraordinary personal emergencies or illness (for which you must have a dean’s excuse) must be cleared through your instructor at least 48 hours in advance (calling the morning of your lesson is NOT sufficient). Excused absences will be made up at the discretion of the instructor. Unexcused absences will NOT be made up, nor will a refund be given. Absence from more than two lessons will lower your final grade.

There is an extra fee that is billed through your account. The fee is the same for all three sections. Registered students will be billed by the Controller’s Office after the semester begins. Fees are not refundable after the published “Drop/Add” deadline. The head of the music department must sign all Drop/Add requests; the date on which you actually secure the department head’s signature will determine the refund status. In any event, any lessons taken before that point will be charged to your bill. The current fee is $600 per semester for MUS 140 and MUS 141. The current fee is $765 per semester for MUS 142.

MUS 140: Private Instruction for students who do not wish to receive academic credit (audit). This section is recommended for beginners or students in the early stages of learning the instrument or voice.

MUS 141: This is the primary course for students interested in private instrumental or vocal instruction. Twelve lessons of 45 minutes each. Jury examination is required 1/4-credit course. No more than eight 0.25 credit courses may be counted toward the 32/36 course credit requirement for the degree.

MUS 142: This course is reserved for advanced students who have completed a minimum of two semesters of Music 141 with grades of A.” Both jury examination and exemplary recital participation are required. Twelve lessons of 60 minutes each. 0.25 credit course. No more than eight 0.25 credit courses may be counted toward the 32/36course credit requirement for the degree.

How to Register for Lessons

Registering for lessons is a two-step process. Please complete these steps in this order.

  1. Complete your course registration for either MUS 140 (no credit) or MUS 141 (1/4-credit) in Banner, as you would any other course. In the Drop/Add periods, you will need Permission of Instructor in order to complete you registration. Contact the Department Head for Music to obtain this permission. You may also need to submit an overload petition if you are choosing MUS 141 and that brings your total credits to 4.5 or higher. Your advisor will need to endorse that form, and once that is complete you will be able to register.

    Please complete this by the end of the first week of classes if possible. Lessons begin in the second week, and while it is possible to add lessons until the end of the formal Drop/Add period, your teacher may not be able to teach all 12 lessons.

  2. When you have completed your registration process in Banner, you will be sent a link to a survey that will ask you for your schedule and some information about your experiences with music. Complete this as soon as possible, and be as  accurate as possible with your schedule.

    Note that our lesson faculty are often only on campus one day each week. Some flexibility may be required on your part to help the scheduling process.When we have received your scheduling survey, we will forward that to your instructor, who will then contact you to schedule your lesson.

To summarize: 1) register in Banner; 2) complete the scheduling survey when you receive it.

Visit the Course Catalog for the official course description and listing

Sheng Family Music Lessons Scholarship

Interested in taking private lessons on your voice/instrument through Lafayette? For an additional fee, our Music Department is proud to offer lessons with outstanding professional musicians. Anyone can register for private lessons either for ¼ credit (MUS 141) or not-for-credit (MUS 140).

If you would like to register for private lessons, and need a little help affording those lessons, please consider applying for a Sheng Family Music Lessons Scholarship.

The Sheng Family Music Lesson Endowment provides a limited number of scholarships to qualified students wishing to take private lessons for academic credit (MUS 141).  In order to qualify you must be an active member of a Music Department Ensemble.  While preference is given for students currently receiving financial aid from the College, any interested ensemble member is encouraged to apply.

If selected, you must register your lesson for credit (MUS 141) and are expected to demonstrate commitment and progress throughout the semester and at your end-of-semester jury. At the conclusion of the semester, you will complete a brief online self-evaluation including a statement indicating whether you wish to be considered for an additional semester of Sheng sponsored lessons.

Application deadline is 11:59 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2023.

Scholarship notifications will be sent out by Friday, September 2.

Follow this link to apply for the Sheng Family Scholarship.