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What is Community Music School?

Community Music School (CMS) is a music lesson program at Moody Bible Institute.  Our teachers are qualified Moody music majors and alumni and we have students of all ages from the Chicago area.

Who can sign up for lessons at CMS?

Anyone can take music lessons at CMS.  For young beginners, the age that is best to start depends on the student’s stage of development and which instrument is desired.  Students as young as five years old may be ready to begin private piano or violin lessons, though a trial lesson or two is recommended for students younger than six years old.

I don’t have an instrument.  What is your recommendation?

It is important that students purchase or rent a high-quality instrument to use for at-home practice.  Please be ready with your own instrument by the first lesson.  If you would like recommendations on shops where you can purchase or rent an instrument, please contact our office at communitymusic@moody.edu.

For piano students, it is highly recommended that the student practices on a full-size, weighted keyboard or piano.

What instruments do you offer?

We offer lessons on piano, guitar, violin, viola, cello, organ, voice, flute, and songwriting.  If the instrument you’re interested in isn’t listed here we will usually look for a qualified Moody music major who can provide lessons on that instrument.

How much do lessons cost?

The cost of lessons varies depending on the qualifications of the teacher as well as the length of the bi-monthly period. The bi-monthly periods continue year round as follows: Sept./Oct., Nov./Dec., Jan./Feb., Mar./Apr., May/Jun., Jul./Aug. For more information about how our scheduling works, please visit our Calendar page.

Here is a list of our hourly rates to give you a basic idea of how much lessons  might cost for you. Please keep in  mind that tuition is paid up front for each bi-monthly period and that we do not offer a pay-per-lesson option.

Lessons with a current Moody Music Major: $36/full hour, $27/45 minutes, $18/half hour

Lessons with Moody Alumni (BA or BMus degree): $45/full hour, $33.75/45 minutes, $22.50/ half hour

What makes CMS different from other music schools? 

  • Personal, Christ-centered approach.  We want to celebrate who God made you to be by teaching you how to express yourself and worship Him through music!
  • You are important to us.  In order to make sure we offer you an excellent music education, teachers are closely supervised by the CMS Administrator, and other Music Department faculty and staff.
  • Clear communication.  Students or parents are given direct contact with their teachers to set up a schedule and communicate about the progress taking place in the lessons.
  • Affordable rates.  Our rates are among the lowest in the Chicago area!  Plus, tuition costs cover your entire experience at CMS, including: campus parking and ID, recital costs, registration fees, administrative costs and of course, lessons! (Lesson books are not included with the cost of lessons.)

Where do lessons take place?

-All lessons take place on MBI campus at 820 N. LaSalle Blvd.  Most lessons are in Doane Memorial Music building, which is located at 821 N Wells St. just north of Chicago Ave.  (Please see our Campus Map) We do not offer lessons in students’ homes.

-In order to ensure the safety of all our campus guests, MBI campus has a secure access system.  Upon arriving to Doane Memorial Music Building, you will find an intercom outside of the entrance.  Simply dial the number posted and a desk worker will let you into the building.

-Once your registration is processed, you will receive a campus ID.  Please wear this ID card each week when coming to your lessons.  This way our desk workers know who you are!

-You will also receive a campus parking pass from your teacher at your first lesson, valid August-December, January-May, or May-August (for summer lessons).

When do lessons take place?

Lessons are scheduled between the student and teacher during a mutually convenient time.  In order for you to get the best musical education possible, we ask that you make your lesson time a priority.  This means that you are committing to the day of the week and time you agree upon with your teacher.  If you need to re-schedule, we allow one make up lesson during each bi-monthly period, free of charge.  We are unable to make-up or credit any other missed lessons.  You are welcome to discuss schedule conflicts with your teacher or the administrator during the registration process and we will be happy to set up a lesson schedule to suit your needs.

Where can I find parking?

Please arrive 15 minutes early to your first lesson so your teacher may give you your campus parking pass. After your first lesson, you may simply continue to use the parking pass in the designated lot.

Why do you ask for a bi-monthly commitment to lessons?

At CMS we recognize that learning a musical skill takes time and diligence.  Committing to two months of lessons helps our students to get the most out of music lessons by following through on a long-term commitment.  In return, our teachers are able to invest in your lessons completely by knowing that they can count on your working relationship for several weeks.

Do you offer a payment plan?

Effective Fall 2016, we no longer offer a payment plan.  Students are expected to pay up front for the bi-monthly period.  Please contact our office at communitymusic@moody.edu with any questions.

Other Helpful Facts:

-Students will need to purchase their own instrument and books.  Your teacher will help recommend which instrument/books will be the best investment for you.

-Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons to better know how to help young students practice.

-Frequent, regular practice is best for students of any age or skill level to make progress.  Here is a helpful handout that summarizes the basics of effective practice: http://www.teachpianotoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Practice-Handout-For-Piano-Parents.pdf