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School of Music

Community Music School guitar lesson

Private lessons at Carolina Music Studios

We provide you with the highest quality teaching and learning experiences – our teachers are current USC students, graduates and professionals from the community. USC faculty members serve as mentors and supervisors and may participate through master classes and other activities.

Spring 2018 registration is now open.

Private Lessons

Private lessons are available in brass, guitar, percussion, strings,  voice and woodwinds. Our private lesson program offers 12 or 6 lessons per semester following the USC academic calendar.

Students may select half-hour, 45-minute or one-hour lessons. All lessons are offered at the USC School of Music building and lesson times are arranged on an individual basis.

When your registration application and fees have been received, your teacher will contact you to arrange a lesson time.


Twelve 30-minute lessons: $330/$315*
Twelve 45-minute lessons: $450/$435*
Twelve 60-minute lessons: $585/$570*
Six 30-minute lessons: $165/$150*
Six 45-minute lessons: $245/$230*
Six 60-minute lessons: $325/$310*

*family/senior citizen/USC faculty and staff discount

Tuition for those enrolling in 12 private lessons may be paid in three installments. Payments must be paid by the following dates:

  1. Prior to the first lesson or class
  2. March 1 or before the 5th lesson or class
  3. April 1 or before the 9th lesson or class

Progress reports

Community Music School parents and students receive end-of-semester reports detailing progress and recommendations from their teachers.


At the end of each semester students have the opportunity to prepare for and perform at recitals as a celebration of their accomplishments during the year. Students perform at the discretion of their teacher.
Spring Recital - April 28, 2:00 p.m.

Music Theory Class

Spring Semester Dates:
January 19, 2018 - Classes begin
March 16 - No class
(USC Spring Break)
March 30 - Last class
(10 classes total)
January 5, 2018 - Registration deadline

Following the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program, these classes introduce students to the basic elements and notional conventions of music. These building blocks of musical grammar provide the foundation for further explorations in harmony, history, counterpoint and analysis.

Theory II: Fridays 4:30–5:15 p.m., Room 215
This class continues with the Preparatory Rudiments and begins to explore the Basic Rudiments including note recognition using accidentals, enharmonic tones, more complex time signatures such as 3/8 and 6/8, interval recognition and dictation, triad identification and dictation, exploration of key signatures up to 4 sharps and 4 flats, and some musical analysis, musical terms and symbols.
Recommended for students (approx. 9-12 years old) with one year of theory experience.

Theory III: Fridays 5:30–6:15 p.m., Room 215
This class reviews the Basic Rudiments and moves into Intermediate Rudiments such as double sharps/double flats, complex rhythm patterns including the use of 16th and 32nd notes, the exploration of other scales such as blues, pentatonic and octatonic, writing and identifying triads using inversions, identifying key signatures with more than four sharps and four flats, exploring cadences, and increasing music vocabulary.
Recommended for students (approx. 10-14 years old) with at least two years of theory experience.

$35 per semester (no other discounts apply)

NEW! Dual Guitar Lessons for Kids

Research shows that small group cooperative learning environments foster enhanced learning and development in creativity and skill. In this lesson structure, two friends or siblings receive both individualized attention and cooperative lessons to enhance development and promote greater engagement and passion for guitar playing. Taught by Dr. Alma Van Duys.
$295/$280* per person for 60 minutes of combined instruction
*family/senior/USC discount

Fees and financial aid (Fall and Spring only)

Tuition is due before lessons can begin. For those enrolling in 12 private lessons or KinderFlute, tuition may be paid in three installments. Discounts are offered for families with more than one member enrolled in lessons and classes through CMS; senior citizens; and USC faculty and staff. ($60 maximum discount per family for all CMS programs.)

A limited amount of financial aid is available. Awards are made as soon as possible after applications are submitted and until funds are depleted. Submit the financial aid form with your application for consideration.

Community Music School Policies

For more information, email or call 803-777-5381.