Lessons and Applied Music

Individual instrumental and vocal instruction can be pursued at different levels. Most music majors take one-hour weekly lessons, but half-hour lessons are also offered, and qualified juniors and seniors may pursue Independent Study in Performance, which is a full course culminating in a recital.

You don't have to be a Music major/minor to take lessons.

Fees, Course Credit & Audition Requirement

The applied lesson fee is waived for music majors, for one area of study only. There is a fee for additional instruction for music majors and for all instruction for minors, non-majors, and graduate students outside of the Music Department. All applied lessons at Duke are offered by permission of the instructors after competitive auditions at the beginning of the semester.

Group lessons: 

  • MUSIC 101-1 Class Piano, 101-2 Class Voice, 101-3 Class Guitar, 101-4 Class Djembe, 101-7 Class Brass, 101-6 African Dance Percussion, 201-3 Intermediate Guitar; (half hour) 0.25 course credit. Fee per semester: $190.

Private lessons:

  • MUSIC 103-108 (half hour), 0.25 course credit. Fee per semester: $380
  • MUSIC 203-208 (one hour), 0.5 course credit. Fee per semester: $760


  • MUSIC 210-1, 210-2, 210-4, 210-6, 211-1, 211-2, 213-1, 213-3, 0.5 course credit. There is no additional fee for enrolling in an ensemble.


Graduate Students:

Graduate students must get approval from their department DGS to enroll in undergraduate Music courses. Please find FAQs here and the required form here. If enrolled in applied lessons, an audition and permission number from the instructor are also required. 

For non-Music graduate students, there is an additional fee for enrolling in applied lessons, noted above.


Policy Update: Effective Fall 2021, for all students who entered the program Fall 2020 or later

Students who are taking individual applied music lessons in the Music Department are required to take two academic music courses under the following circumstances. 

  • Students have to complete one academic course (1 course credit) by the end of the fifth semester of lessons. 
  • Students have to complete the second academic course (1 course credit) by the end of the seventh semester of lessons. 

*Students who take lessons on multiple instruments or who switch between instruments will only have to complete the requirement once. The requirement does not double.