Private Lessons for All Ages

Private lessons can be started at any time of the year and are open to children, youth and adults. Registration is handled internally once we have corresponded and settled on a day/time/instructor combination that works for you.

To start the process, please fill out a Lesson Inquiry Form. In order to submit an inquiry, you will be prompted to create a student account. The inquiry form asks for the following information:

  • What instrument you would like to learn/improve on (here’s a list)
  • Instructor preference, if any (consult instructors page)
  • Windows of availability (Monday-Thursday, Sunday for B/C accordion students only)

After you submit your lesson inquiry, our Registration Coordinator and Administrative Associate, Lily Gaetgaeow, will get back to you promptly.

How do Private Lessons Work at the CIM?

Year-round instruction is organized in three semesters:

Fall term - 17 weeks long, September through January

Spring term - 16 weeks long, February through June

Summer term - 10 weeks long, mid-June through August

All term dates and important events can always be found on our calendar page.

Private lessons are scheduled in advance per term, and usually occur on a weekly basis. Lessons on an “every-other-week” schedule (EOW) are available depending on instructor availability. All private lesson placements are dependent upon a combination of factors: student goals, instructor and student availability, and the formats available for lessons (online or in-person). Once you have finalized your lessons schedule, you will receive an invoice for your lessons. Please see our policies page for payment deadlines and instructions.

Cost of Private Lessons

30 minute private lesson $33.00 ($29.70)*
45 minute private lesson $49.50 ($44.55)
60 minute private lesson $66.00 ($59.40)

*Students registered in ensembles receive a lower rate on private lessons, equal to a 10% discount, since private lessons are required.

Private Lesson FAQ

How long should my lessons be?

We recommend:

  • 30 minutes for beginning to intermediate students learning one instrument
  • 45 minutes for intermediate-advanced students OR students working on two instruments
  • 60 minutes for advanced students working on more than one instrument
How often should my lessons be?

Every Week lessons

The most popular option for our students - taking lessons every week of the term. Our instructors recommend weekly lessons over EOW lessons for most students. 

Every-Other-Week (EOW) lessons

Based on instructor availability, students may choose from a schedule of every other week lessons. These EOW schedules are set by CIM around breaks, etc., to most fairly split the lessons between two students who share a lesson time.

Every Week vs. Every-Other-Week (EOW): Why Weekly Lessons are Better Value

After over 18 years of offering private lessons and group lessons, we have consistently seen better progress and  happier and more satisfied students with regular lessons. This is particularly true for the first 5-8 years of learning Irish music, and in younger students.

Here's why: The regular, weekly activity creates a space in your life and mind for your music. If you commit to weekly lessons, your instructor is also able to dedicate more of his or her non-active teaching time to thinking about you and your musical development. For students who are new to the genre, or to an instrument, weekly lessons also means that you don't go too far down a "rabbit hole" with a bad habit that could cause you to have to go back and rework a tune, song or exercise. If finances are an issue, we recommend taking lessons every week for one term over taking EOW lessons over two terms. For adults, you are the best judge about how you learn. We certainly have students who thrive with an every-other-week lesson schedule. If you are organized and a dedicated practicer/player, EOW lessons could work well for you. Most of our instructors prefer not to teach EOW lessons to young students.

What do I need for my private lesson?
Required Items for All Students
  • An instrument - don’t have one? Check out our Instrument Info & Rental page and contact us for more information!
  • A recording device
  • Small notebook
When can I register for private lessons?

New students can register for private lessons at any time during the year! Students who register in the middle of the term will be scheduled until the end of the current term. Students are notified via email when registration for the next term is open (approximately 6-8 weeks before the start of the next term).

Do I need to re-register for private lessons each term?

Yes, returning students need to re-register every term. Continuing students must re-register each term (Fall, Spring or Summer) for a new series of private lessons. We expect you to email us to confirm if you’d like to continue. Re-registration does not happen automatically!  Please keep track of the early registration deadlines to keep your lesson time for the next term.

Can I reschedule a private lesson?

Our policy is that students are allowed one rescheduled lesson per term if they give CIM admin and their instructor at least 24-hour notice. To reschedule a private lesson, please contact admin@centerforirishmusic.org, call 651-815-0083 and/or talk to your instructor.

What is make-up week?

CIM does not schedule lessons during the last week of each term, which is called Make-up Week. When a private lesson student needs to reschedule an excused absence, that lesson can be moved to Make-Up Week.

What if I only want to take one lesson?

Our instructors' busiest times, from 5:00-8:00pm, Monday-Thursday are reserved for regular students (weekly or EOW); however, we love meeting people from out of town, and are happy to take special requests! Private lessons on an irregular schedule are available depending on instructor availability.  Contact us at admin@centerforirishmusic.org to inquire and to set up a lesson with one of our amazing instructors!

Need more information?