The Department of Music offers private music lessons in many instruments and styles of music.

Russ Lawton - Drums

The Middlebury College Department of Music welcomes all students to its private music lessons program. We encourage music majors and non-music majors to explore and enjoy making music.

There is no audition required to participate in private music lessons. Lessons are considered extracurricular, do not confer course credit, and are billed directly to your Middlebury student account.

Fall 2024 Private Music Lessons
10 lessons — September 16 - December 6

To register for lessons, begin by contacting the private music instructor (see Contact Affiliate Artist link below) in the instrument of your choice. You and the instructor will arrange your lesson schedule (days, times, number of lessons), whether you will meet remotely or in person, and the meeting location (if in person - all lessons are held on campus). Once your schedule is set, your instructor will ask you to complete a student contract that confirms your agreement.


One-on-one lessons typically meet once per week for 45 minutes for 10 weeks (fall and spring semesters, $550 each) or four weeks (winter term, $220). Lessons fees are billed directly to your Middlebury student account. The fee is waived for declared music majors (limit to two lesson series per semester), students registered in a music performance course (varies by semester, inquire to confirm), MUSC 500 (independent work), and MUSC 704 (senior work) courses during the semester. You will qualify for half-price lessons if you are a declared music minor. Your lesson fee is half-price if you enroll in lessons on your ensemble instrument if you participate in one or more of the following:

  • College Orchestra
  • Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble
  • Jazz Workshop
  • Afropop Band
  • Voice lessons for participation in College Choir and College Community Chorus (limit one per semester)
  • Voice lessons if cast in the 2025 J-term Musical

Financial Assistance

A limited amount of financial assistance is available to qualified students. It’s important that students make their requests for assistance prior to each term they intend to take lessons. Access to the application for Fall 2024 lessons will be available August 30 and will close when the available funding has been allocated or by the end of the first week of classes.  Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and you will be notified by email.


Department-owned instruments support music course work and sponsored ensembles; seldom do we lend instruments owned by the College to individuals for private music lessons or groups for other activities. Students interested in short-term or long-term instrument use are encouraged to contact Ellis Music in Bethel, Vermont, 800-244-7664,, for reasonable rental rates and free delivery (by arrangement with department coordinator) to the College.

Lockers and Practice Rooms

If you would like to store your musical instrument at the Mahaney Arts Center, please stop by MAC 307 to reserve a locker and sign out a key for the academic year. All lockers need to be cleaned out and keys returned to the music department before students leave campus for the summer.

Practice rooms are reserved only when requested by instructors for college student private music lessons. A schedule will be posted on each door. Otherwise, availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. The eight practice rooms at the MAC are for use by Middlebury College students; Middlebury College staff and faculty may also use the practice rooms. The MAC is open 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily. There is one additional practice room with a piano located in Wright 118.


Lessons are offered in the following instruments:

  • Bagpipes
  • Bass and Jazz bass
  • Carillon
  • Cello
  • Clarinet
  • Drums
  • Flute
  • French horn
  • Guitar (acoustic, electric, classical, and Jazz)
  • Harpsichord
  • Irish whistle
  • Oboe
  • Organ
  • Piano (classical, Jazz, popular music, beginner)
  • Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Trumpet
  • Ukulele
  • Viola
  • Violin
  • Voice and Jazz voice