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NIU Community School offers summer music lessons

Registration is underway for summer music classes offered by the Northern Illinois University Community School of the Arts. Pictured are students and 2017 Talent Scholarship competition winners (from left) Cindy Minju Oh, Marisel Schalck, Sofia Mattson, Kjelden Breidenbach, Miranda Zhang and Faustina Bystry.
Registration is underway for summer music classes offered by the Northern Illinois University Community School of the Arts. Pictured are students and 2017 Talent Scholarship competition winners (from left) Cindy Minju Oh, Marisel Schalck, Sofia Mattson, Kjelden Breidenbach, Miranda Zhang and Faustina Bystry.

The Northern Illinois University Community School of the Arts offers a variety of summer programs for children and adults. 

Music classes, ensembles, private lessons and workshops begin in June and run through the end of July. All classes and lessons are taught on the campus of NIU. Call the CSA office for more information or visit for summer 2017 programs and online registration. Register for the summer session by June 5.

NIU Percussion Workshop

Join world-class NIU percussion faculty, alumni and students for a five-day workshop exploring the world of percussion. Students perform in concert percussion ensembles, samba bands and steel drum ensembles, participate in classes on snare drum, drum set, timpani and keyboard percussion, attend faculty recitals, and more. This workshop meets from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with lunch, door prizes and T-shirts provided, and a final concert for parents and friends. Workshop dates are July 24 to 28.

Private Music Lessons

Private lessons are available on many musical instruments, including violin, piano and guitar, as well as banjo, steelpan, flute, saxophone, voice and more. CSA teachers include NIU students and faculty, as well as experienced community-based artists. Students and teachers meet weekly June 12 to July 31, at a time convenient to both. Community members of all ages and skill levels are invited to participate in the six-week summer session, to brush up old skills or try a new instrument.

Music Classes for Young Children

Prelude Class (ages 1 to 3) is a group class with lots of fun for kids and parents. Class activities include music listening, creative movement, songs and lap games. 

Development Class (ages 3 to 5) builds on the material learned in Prelude Class, adding musical patterns and skills through games, songs, creative movement, percussion instruments, basic music theory, and learning about some of the instruments of the orchestra. A parent must accompany the child to each class. 

Both classes meet on six Saturdays beginning June 24 (no class on July 8). Prelude begins at 10 a.m. and Development begins at 10:35 a.m. Traditional and Suzuki violin instructor, music educator and Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra member Laurie Rodriguez teaches both classes.

Piano Starter

Children explore the instrument in a fun, small-group setting, learning basic notes and playing simple tunes. For parents, this class is an opportunity to see if your child is ready for private lessons. No previous musical experience is required for this class. Information about the book parents are asked to purchase will be emailed prior to the first class meeting on June 6. This class meets on six Tuesdays from 4 to 4:40 p.m. (no class meeting July 4 or 18), is limited to four students, and early registration is recommended.

Music Classes for Kids and Adults

Guitar for Kids provides children age 8 to 12 with an introduction to guitar playing through a fun, song-oriented approach to learning. 

Guitar Basics is a beginning class for age 13 to adult where students learn to read music, play songs, and construct and play scales and chords, in addition to learning about music theory and exploring various styles of guitar techniques.   

In Intermediate Guitar, students develop different styles of playing, continue to learn music theory, and build more advanced playing techniques. These group guitar classes meet for six Wednesdays beginning June 14 (no class meeting July 5). See the website for meeting times. Instructor Quentin Dover is an accomplished guitar player and teacher, with many years of experience working with students of all ages, both privately and in a group setting.

Adult Piano is a beginning group piano class for ages 13 to adult. Bring the joy of piano music to your life and enjoy getting to know fellow musicians in this beginning class. Students learn simple tunes and basic skills such as reading music and chords. Every student plays on a keyboard in a piano classroom. Adult Piano class meets for six Tuesdays beginning June 6 (no class meeting July 4 and 18) from 6 to 6:45 p.m. CSA piano and harp instructor Jaina Krueger teaches this popular class.

Qi Gong (or Chi-Kung) is a precursor of Tai Chi. For ages 12 to adult, this class will focus on 24 postures divided into three sets. These exercises can be done at one time during a day or interspersed amid practice sessions, rehearsals, etc. to renew your energy, release tension, and enable greater relaxation and concentration when practiced immediately before a performance. Taught by Eric Schroeder, this class meets for six Mondays starting June 12 (no class on July 3) from 6 to 6:55 p.m.


NIUkulele Ensemble is a fun group designed for beginning and intermediate ukulele players ages 9 to adult. Students learn to play melodies, chords and songs in many styles, and to perform solo, in unison and in harmony. Beginners receive instruction on the ukulele and players with more experience are assigned more challenging parts. Associate level guitar teacher Eric Schroeder directs the group, bringing his many years of experience teaching private and group lessons to the ensemble. Group rehearsals begin June 12 for six Mondays from 7 to 7:55 p.m. (no rehearsal on July 3) with a concert in the Recital Hall on the final night.

CSA Guitar Ensemble provides an opportunity for guitarists to play together in an ensemble setting while gaining confidence and skill on the instrument. Designed for beginning and intermediate players age 14 to adult, the group meets for six Wednesdays beginning June 14 from 8 to 8:55 p.m. (no rehearsal on July 5). On the final night, a recital is scheduled at 8 p.m. CSA guitar instructor Quentin Dover is the ensemble director.

The NIU Community School of the Arts offers year-round programming in music and the arts. More information and registration forms are available at or by calling the NIU Community School of the Arts at 815-753-1450. The CSA office is located in Room 132 of the Music Building and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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