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Preparatory (Traditional)

Preparatory Instruction is offered in piano, violin, cello and guitar

guitar student & teacher

Preparatory Private Lessons

CSA’s Prep program provides music lessons with a traditional approach to over 150 students. Our instructors hold advanced degrees, have extensive experience working with students of all levels and employ a variety of methods to meet individual needs and goals. CSA’s nurturing and creative environment builds character and equips students to become excellent artists.

  • Instruments offered: piano, violin, cello, and guitar.
  • Students may begin at age 6, through adult.
  • Early emphasis is on note-reading, excellent technique, and self-expression.
  • Parent involvement is encouraged for young students, but not required.
  • Tuition includes a weekly private lesson along with a group class required for students through grade 8. The class inspires motivation through peer interaction and strengthens musicianship through theory, ear-training, performance, music history, and sight-reading.
  • Students participate in all-program concerts and recitals held in Conservatory performance venues.

Ready to Begin?

Your child may begin Preparatory lessons at any time, pending teacher availability. Semesters run 15 weeks and include several performance opportunities. Follow the Steps to Enroll to begin your journey into Preparatory Instrument lessons at CSA.

  1. Register
    Complete the registration form (pdf) and submit with $35 registration fee to the CSA office.
  2. Prepare to purchase/rent an instrument
    For piano students, a non-electric piano is required. String and harp students must be measured by their teacher prior to purchasing/renting an instrument

After submitting registration materials, you will be contacted for placement.

Private lessons + group class

30 min/15 weeks | $670*
45 min/15 weeks | $943*

*A $40/semester Events Fee applies to all private lesson students to cover administrative and production costs of concerts, festivals, and studio recitals. Group classes are required through grade 8.

Music Makers: At the Keyboard

MM at the Keyboard

Musikgarten's curriculum is a perfect musical foundation which prepares for private study ON ANY INSTRUMENT. Music Makers: At the Keyboard emphasizes making music independently and with others. The approach to reading music is both aural and visual. Activities include dancing, drumming and composing, all of which nurture tonal, aural and rhythmic development. Three levels of Music Makers: At the Keyboard is offered, whereupon completion of level three, students advance into private lessons. A 66-key, weighted keyboard or acoustic piano is required for home practice. Parent attends last 15 minutes. 

New family orientation for Music Makers: At the Keyboard
SEPT 6, 2018 | 7:45-8:45 pm | Pierce 104

All Music Makers: At the Keyboard classes begin in the fall semester. Please check back for fall 2019 dates and times.

Music Makers: At the Keyboard (Musikgarten) Level 1
$295/15 weeks | Required materials fee $62

MON 4–5 pm | Pierce 108 | Storm FULL
TUE 4:10-5:10 | Pierce 108 | Wilder FULL
FRI 4–5 pm | Pierce 101 | Wilder FULL
SAT 11:10 am–12:10 pm | ARM 124 | Wilder

Please call the CSA office if you wish to be placed on a wait list.

Music Makers: At the Keyboard (Musikgarten) Level 2 
prerequisite Level 1
$295/15 weeks | Required materials fee $62

MON 4–5:15 pm | Pierce 101 | Wilder FULL
MON 5:15–6:30 pm | Pierce 101 | Wilder FULL
THU 4–5:15 pm | ARM 124 | Wilder FULL
THU 5:15–6:30 pm | ARM 124 | Wilder
SAT 8–9:15 am | ARM 124 | Wilder

Please call the CSA office if you wish to be placed on a wait list.

Music Makers: At the Keyboard (Musikgarten) Level 3
prerequisite Levels 1 and 2
$295/15 weeks | Required materials fee $62

MON 3–4 pm | Pierce 101 | Wilder
WED 4–5:15 pm | Pierce 101 | Wilder FULL
WED 5:15–6:30 pm | Pierce 101 | Wilder 

Please call the CSA office if you wish to be placed on a wait list.

Preparatory Program Events

prep jazz pop piano

Prep Jazz-Pop Festival

The Jazz-Pop Festival offers Prep piano students the opportunity to perform in a jazz trio accompanied by Wheaton College students. This event highlights blues, jazz, pop, rock, contemporary Christian music and more. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019
3 pm & 5 pm
Pierce Chapel & Pierce 201

Prep Scholarship Competition

First and second place winners from Jr division (gr 6-8) and Sr division (gr 9-12) perform in a concert and receive a prize in the form of CSA tuition credit.

Honors Scholarship Competition Auditions
Friday, February 14, 2020
4–7 pm
Pierce Chapel, Wheaton College

Preparatory Program Honors Recital
Saturday, February 22, 2020
6:30 pm
Pierce Chapel, Wheaton College