Individual Lessons

Students seeking to improve their playing or singing ability have the option of taking individual private lessons with about thirty professional musicians from the greater Boston-Providence area. Our Teaching Associates offer intensive instruction in piano, voice, and all the individual instrument families of the symphony orchestra, the wind ensemble and jazz ensemble. Students may also study instruments such as organ, harpsichord, tabla, and sitar.

Lessons are offered for academic credit and for an additional fee through the Applied Music Program (AMP). Ordinarily, new students audition at the beginning of the fall and the spring semesters.

In non-pandemic years, students seeking credit are expected to attend and perform in the group classes, master classes, and juries arranged for their instrument group over the course of the term. Following safety guidelines the University set for all students and faculty, these types of activities will undoubtedly vary from other years.

To learn more about how to enroll, read the Applied Music Program guidelines below.


In non-pandemic years, we offer students in the Applied Music Program a chance to test-out of the AMP Theory Requirement (and therefore into another music course of their choice—see guidelines below) by passing a theory test. This theory test is recommended only for those students who have already studied theory. We plan to offer the AMP Theory Exam again in Fall 2021.


The Applied Music Program is a series of private instrumental and vocal instruction courses at the intermediate and advanced levels (MUSC0810 & 1810 respectively). Restricted to trained musicians of demonstrated skill and commitment, the program enables students to continue applied musical studies while at Brown. As per University COVID-19 guidelines, in-person instruction may occur only if it is deemed safe to do so. Vocal, winds, and brass musical training must only be done remotely. Lessons for all other instruments are subject to Brown’s Campus Activity Status levels. We ask all students to carefully consider these dynamics before committing to the Applied Music Program and its fee for the semester.


General policy for the AMP is made by the Music Department faculty, subject to approval by the Administration and Corporation. The Chair of the Department of Music is the director of the program and responsible for its administration.

Division administrators, appointed annually and reporting to the Chair, are responsible for administration of their divisions. The following are division administrators this year:


Mark Steinbach

Strings, Harp, and Classical Guitar

Lois Finkel

Voice (classical and musical theatre)

Frederick Jodry

Jazz (all instruments including voice)

Ed Tomassi

Winds, Brass, Percussion (classical)

Kevin Plouffe

South Asian Music

Srinivas Reddy



Instruction is given by professional musicians selected by the division administrators and hired as teaching associates by the University. Students wishing to study with a teacher other than a regular teaching associate should petition the division administrator in writing. Petitions will be granted only in exceptional cases.


Admission for undergraduates begins with MUSC0810. Admission for graduate students begins with MUSC1810.

Admission is determined by the skill of the applicant. The department faculty reserves the right to assign priority among equally qualified applicants to declared music concentrators. The suggested course load per semester is one instrument. After consulting with the appropriate division administrators, students may register for a maximum of two instruments per semester and will be assessed a fee for each course.


All students must follow the following steps to enter and receive credit for the program:

  • Follow the guidelines linked above for your preferred division.
  • The division head will notify you via email to let you know if you were accepted into the program.
  • Students will be notified and given contact information for their instructor when the override is processed.
  • There will be no contract to sign this year. We ask that you ONLY register for AMP in Banner if you are absolutely certain you will be taking the class, because your student account will be charged a non-refundable $720.
  • When you register for your class, pay special attention to the number of courses you are carrying. If your AMP class is dropped because you have too many classes, you will still be charged for your lessons, but you will not receive credit.
  • A fee of $720 per semester is charged for registration in the Applied Music Program. This fee, or any part of it, will not be refunded should the student fail to complete the semester's lessons. Music concentrators on financial aid receive additional scholarship awards to cover the AMP fee. Non-concentrators on financial aid have the fee covered with supplements to their loans. Please contact a counselor in the Financial Aid Office at x3-2721 for more information.


Students are expected to attend, either in person or remotely, the twelve (12) lessons offered per semester and are required to attend at least eleven (11) of them. Failure to do so will result in a grade of NC and ineligibility to continue in the program. Lessons missed without at least 24 hours' notice to the consultant or without a dean's or physician's note will not be rescheduled. Instructors may establish further policies regarding the number of times students may reschedule without consequence, including its impact on grading (see Part F).


The study of music theory is an essential aspect of training for any musician. Undergraduates enrolled in the initial stages of the Applied Music Program (MUSC 0810) are therefore required to take one semester of college-level theory, either MUSC0400A, MUSC0400B, MUSC0550/0560, or MUSC0570, if they wish to continue with the advanced stages of the Applied Music Program (MUSC 1810). The theory requirement must be satisfactorily completed before the student completes their fifth semester of AMP.

AMP students with extensive background in music theory can test out of MUSC0400A, MUSC0400B, MUSC0550/0560, or MUSC0570 by passing the Department's theory exam, which is administered at the beginning of the each fall semester. Students who pass this exam may substitute any full-credit music course (or two half-credit music courses) for the required music theory course.


Grades are assigned by the division administrator on the basis of:

1. A final jury examination or AMP recital or performance
2. An evaluation completed by the instructor
3. The attendance record


If you want to join the AMP in January 2021, please contact the appropriate Division Administrator (listed above).


We usually encourage all students (pianists and singers included) to participate in ensemble performance as part of their program of study. Like everything else, this will be more difficult in Fall 2020. We encourage you to look at the department’s course ensemble offerings this semester and also encourage you to reach out to other musicians to collaborate in new and exciting ways.


We have attempted to provide clear and comprehensive guidelines concerning student rights and obligations in the Applied Music Program. If you have any questions about the program, please contact the Music office at [email protected]. All grievances should be sent in writing to the appropriate division administrator or to the Chair.