The Community Music School offers private lessons to students of all ages and levels of ability. New students may begin private instruction at any time during the year. Lessons are offered in the following areas: piano, voice, guitar, ukulele, organ, orchestral strings (violin, viola, cello, bass), winds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, recorder), brass (trumpet, trombone, french horn, euphonium, baritone, tuba), and percussion. Lessons occur at the Moody Music Building (Physical address: 810  2nd Avenue, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487), UA Campus.

Students may study with the instructor of their choice for weekly 30-, 45-, or 60-minute lessons. Students choose from a staff of over 50 instructors who are professionally trained in the repertoire and technique of their instrument. Students are encouraged to participate in ensembles (by audition) and/or the chamber music program along with attending music theory classes. Private Lessons may include brief and limited physical adjustment for proper student playing position of the hand and/or body posture. Lessons are taught in music practice rooms or classrooms which have unobstructed windows in the doors, or faculty studios. All doors remain unlocked during lessons. Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons.

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Teacher Categories

The experience and education of the CMS teacher determines the semester fee structure. All teachers have had background checks and have completed mandatory UA training.

Undergraduate Teacher (UT): Carefully selected undergraduate students who are pursuing a degree in the area they teach. All undergraduate teachers have their major professor’s approval to teach for the program, and are experienced teachers.

Graduate Teacher (GT): A graduate teacher has completed an undergraduate degree in the area they are teaching. Most are currently pursuing either a masters or doctoral degree at The University of Alabama. All graduate teachers are experienced teachers and have their major professor’s approval to teach for the program.

Professional Teacher (PT): A teacher in this category has completed graduate work and is a highly experienced professional. These teachers live in the Tuscaloosa area and often perform professionally (Tuscaloosa Symphony, etc.). Some are adjunct instructors at area arts schools (ASFA) and/or area colleges (Stillman College, Samford University).

Artist Teacher (AT): School of Music faculty from The University of Alabama are artist teachers. Availability may be limited with these highly experienced teaching/performing artists.

Suzuki Teacher (ST): A Suzuki teacher has completed training and has certification in the Suzuki Method. They teach a number of group lessons (mandatory) fall and spring semesters in addition to weekly private lessons. Both the lesson and group fees are combined for the semester Suzuki lesson fees.

How to Enroll

  • The CMS office will provide contact information and fee amounts for available teachers in your area of interest.
  • The student contacts a CMS teacher via phone or email to establish the lesson day/time. Once you verify the day/time of the weekly lesson, verify lesson length (30, 45, 60 min), and the date of your first lesson, then you’re ready to enroll.
  • Fill out the enrollment form and make your payment. If enrolling for the full session, you can enroll online or visit our office in 171 Moody Music Building. Prorated enrollments must be done in person at our office.
  • Once your form/payment are completed: Your name appears on the teacher’s roster and they meet you at the prearranged day/time (determined in advance) for your lesson. The CMS office is the best place to meet your teacher on the first day.
  • The teacher will take you and your child to the room that your weekly lessons will take place and from that time on you go to that location for your weekly lesson for the rest of the semester of study. Please read the CMS enrollment form fully before enrolling. Please arrive early to find parking. Please “map out” the lesson dates with your teacher at or before the first lesson. Please refer to the CMS calendar as we are on the UA schedule (not always the same as Public or Private Schools).
  • If your lesson is scheduled on Monday – Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and you do not have a faculty/staff or student permit from UA, you will need to purchase a Patron Parking Permit ($40/yr, or $15 summer only) to park in the designated lot between Moody and Arby’s. Go to: www.ua.edu and select Transportation Services (under the A-Z Index), then select Parking Services, then Forms) Select the UA Patron Registration Form, print and mail. Leaving a vehicle unattended in the circle drive may result in a ticket.

Enrollment Cost

The fee for private lessons depends on the teacher you select and the length lessons you take. Most beginning level students will take 30-minute lessons (one per week). The CMS offers 45-minute and 60-minute options as well. All lessons occur on the UA campus in the School of Music. The day and time of the weekly lessons is arranged directly with the teacher you select.

The payment(s) and enrollment form must be received by the CMS office (online or in person) before the first lesson occurs. Payment in full or a deferment plan is offered during fall or spring semesters. Once the lessons begin the student is obligated for the entire semester of study. Please read the CMS policies before enrolling. Payment in full is the only option for summer session.

Returning students are expected to enroll for the full semester. With teacher permission, a new student may begin in the middle of a scheduled session (Fall, Spring, Summer), and the office will prorate the lesson fee down to the remaining number of lessons in that session.

Please call us at (205) 348-6741 or email Dr. Jane Weigel at jweigel@ua.edu if you have any additional questions.