Individual Performance Studies are open to all Bowdoin students. Currently, lessons are offered in: classical piano, jazz piano, classical voice, pop/jazz voice, guitar, jazz guitar, cello, violin, viola, harp, oud, jazz bass, clarinet, French horn, trombone, trumpet, flute, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, and percussion. Depending on faculty availability, the department also offers instruction on less common instruments such as Celtic harp, banjo, harpsichord, sitar, and Renaissance instruments.

Private lessons are available at three levels for credit:

  1. Beginner - MUS 1811-1878 for beginners, which offers a half-credit per semester with no performance requirement.
  2. Intermediate - MUS 2811-2878, which also offers a half-credit per semester and requires a short performance of seven minutes of music at the end of the second semester (and each semester thereafter).
  3. Advanced - MUS 3805-3807, offers a full credit and requires a solo recital at the end of the semester as well as a writing component. One year of intermediate lessons for credit is a prerequisite.
Lessons 2016

Lesson Fees and Important Dates

Students taking lessons for credit pay a fee of $700 for twelve one-hour lessons per semester. Junior and senior music majors and minors may take two half-credits free of charge in their junior or senior year.

Non-credit students will pay the instructor directly at their private student rate.

To sign up for lessons, please see Clare MacKenzie in the music department office (Gibson 103). The deadline for adding lessons is one week from the start of classes; the deadline for dropping lessons is two weeks from the start of classes.

Applied Music Scholarships

Students who are on financial aid can take lessons free of charge, thanks to the following funds:

  • Isaacson Family Applied Music Scholarship Fund
  • Judson Fund, given by Ron and Kathy Judson in Memory of Todd Judson, Class of 1998
  • Friends Fund, given by the Association of Bowdoin Friends

For more information, please see Clare MacKenzie (Gibson Hall Room 103) by the end of the first week of classes.

If a student is required to purchase musical scores and needs financial assistance with that purchase, there are two options for financial assistance with those purchases. Students may ask their dean if the Office of the Dean of Students can provide funds to reimburse them, or they may contact Delmar Small (in the music department) who can purchase the score directly.

Kathryn and Jae Yeon


The following provisions govern applied music lessons for credit:

  1. Any student may take introductory-level performance studies (18xx) for credit. Intermediate-level performance studies (28xx) may be taken by students who have completed two semesters of study at the introductory level or have three-plus years of experience on the instrument and have basic technical facility. The second semester of intermediate-level individual performance courses may be repeated for credit. Only intermediate-level or higher performance studies courses count toward the major or minor.
  2. Students and instructors meet weekly for hour-long lessons; exact meeting times are determined based on the students’ and instructors’ schedules. Some instruction at the introductory level, e.g., guitar and piano, may take place in a small-group format.
  3. The deadline to add lessons is one week after the start of classes, and the deadline to drop lessons is two weeks from the start of classes.
  4. With the exception of Advanced Individual Performance Studies (38xx), all individual performance courses count for one-half credit per semester and are graded on a Credit/D/Fail basis. Advanced Individual Performance Studies (38xx) count for a full credit and are graded with a letter grade.
  5. Beginning with the second semester of intermediate-level lessons (28xx), students must attend and perform in an end-of-semester department recital.
  6. Up to six credits of ensemble and individual performance courses together may be taken for graduation credit. (Note: Advanced Individual Performance Studies (38xx) count for academic credit and are thus not included in this limitation.)
  7. Students taking lessons for credit pay a fee of $700 for twelve one-hour lessons per semester. Junior and senior music majors and minors may take two half-credits free of charge. Scholarships are available for students on financial aid to cover the cost of lessons for credit; students interested in applying should contact the music department coordinator by the second day of classes.