The Millikin University Preparatory Department is once again offering in-person lessons in cases where the teacher and student are interested and agree to adhere to campus masking and distancing requirements.  Contact the Prep Dept. at or (217) 425-4698 to inquire about making arrangements for summer lessons.

Piano lesson

Applied Lessons

The Applied Lessons program offers individual lessons in piano, voice, guitar, woodwind, brass, percussion, and string instruments. Instructors include School of Music faculty members, Preparatory faculty, and upper-level Millikin student instructors. Students may choose 30-minute, 45-minute or one hour lessons. Lessons are offered in both fall and spring semesters, with many instructors also available for summer lessons. Students have the opportunity to perform in regular recitals help in Kaeuper Recital Hall at Millikin.

If you have questions, please contact the Preparatory Department Coordinator at

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Millikin School of Music YouTube Channel

View the recommended learning outcomes/guidelines for each instrument area.

Millikin University School of Music
Preparatory Department
1184 W. Main Street
Decatur, IL 62522

Campus Map

Applied Lessons Frequently Asked Questions

What are Applied Lessons?

Applied Lessons are private, one on one lessons with a qualified instructor in voice, piano, or an instrumental area.

Who teaches Applied Lessons?

We have three categories of instructors teaching Applied Lessons at Millikin; however, not all categories are available in every given discipline.

Millikin Faculty

These instructors are current or retired School of Music faculty members at Millikin University.

Preparatory Faculty

These instructors hold degrees in music but do not currently teach in the School of Music at Millikin University. They are often K-12 music teachers in and around the Decatur area.

Student Instructors

These instructors are upper level Millikin students who have been selected to teach lessons by the School of Music faculty.

How old does my child need to be?

Oftentimes this depends on the readiness, discipline, and desire of the student and the policies of our instructors. Generally, piano lessons and some string lessons start in early elementary school while other instrumental lessons begin around age 9/10 and beyond. We only offer applied lessons to vocalists that are in High School. For younger vocalists, we strongly recommend participating in the Millikin Children’s Choir program.

How much does it cost?

The cost for lessons depends on the category of instructor and the duration of the lessons. Current tuition rates are listed below:

Prep Tuition Rates

Spring or Fall (based on 15 week term)

30 Minute Lessons

45 Minute Lessons

60 Minute Lessons

MU Faculty

Current or retired Millikin School of Music Faculty



$25 per lesson



$37.50 per lesson



$50 per lesson


Preparatory Faculty

Has a college degree; does not teach university level courses in the School of Music at Millikin University


$20 per lesson



$30 per lesson



$40 per lesson


MU Student Instructor

Current MU student who has been recommended by University faculty. 


$15 per lesson



$22.50 per lesson



$30 per lesson


When are payments due?

Prior to taking the first lesson of the term, a $50 non-refundable deposit (credited toward the cost of lessons) must be paid to the Preparatory Department. The remaining term balance may be paid in two increments according to the payment schedule below. All families will receive an e-bill each month with their current balance. It is the student/family’s responsibility to ensure that payments are received by the appropriate deadline. Please ensure the Preparatory Department always has current contact information to prevent billing issues.

Lessons will cease if no payments have been made on an account. Under no circumstances may a student begin lessons for the next term until the prior term is paid in full.

Payment Schedule

1/2 Tuition Fee Due 

Remaining ½ Tuition Fee Due

Fall 2021

October 15, 2021

November 19, 2021

Spring 2022

February 18, 2022

March 18, 2022

Summer 2022

June 24, 2022

July 22, 2022

I signed up but haven’t heard from anyone yet, what should I do?

At the beginning of every semester, it is oftentimes frustrating that we do not have a quick turn-around of placing students with teachers. This is because most of our students and faculty are not settled in their schedules until the end of the first week of classes. We do our best to start the process; however, it is sometimes late August or early September (or early February in the Spring term) before students are officially placed with an instructor. If you fear your contract or name might have fallen off the list or want to check on the status, please contact the Preparatory Department at or (217) 425-4698.

Who do I contact if I have a question or concern?

Please contact the Preparatory Department at or 217-425-4698.