In light of the COVID-19 virus, Millikin University Preparatory Department has canceled all in-person lessons through the fall of 2020. If you would like to inquire about receiving lessons virtually, please contact

On-line lesson graphic

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 recitals being broadcast on the Millikin School of Music YouTube Channel.

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

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Fall 2020 Video Recitals - Millikin School of Music YouTube Channel

  • October 1st - "Welcome Back
  • October 29th - "Halloween"
  • November 25th - "Thanksgiving/Family"
  • December 23rd - "Holidays"

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

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

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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. Spring 2020 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 2019

October 18, 2019

November 22, 2019

Spring 2020

February 21, 2020

March 20, 2020

Summer 2020

June 26, 2020

July 24, 2020

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 425-4698.