CSA offers summer music lessons, classes, ensembles

Registration is open for Northern Illinois University Community School of the Arts summer programs for children and adults.
Registration is open for Northern Illinois University Community School of the Arts summer programs for children and adults.

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

Music classes, ensembles and private lessons 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 http://www.niu.edu/extprograms/csa/summer.shtml for summer programs and online registration. Register for the summer session by June 4.


Community members of all ages and skill levels are invited to participate in private music lessons, to brush up old skills or try a new instrument. 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 music students and faculty, as well as experienced community-based artists. Students and teachers meet weekly June 11-July 31, at a time convenient for both. 


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, lap games and more. 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 or caregiver must accompany the child to each class. 

Both classes meet on six Saturdays beginning June 16 (no class on July 21). 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 piano 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. CSA teacher Danielle Pivonka leads this class on six Tuesdays beginning June 12 from 4 to 4:40 p.m. (no class meeting July 3). Piano Starter is limited to four students and early registration is recommended.


Guitar for Kids provides children ages 8 to 12 with an introduction to guitar playing through a fun, song-oriented approach to learning. Guitar Basics is a beginning class for ages 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 a range of guitar techniques. In Intermediate Guitar, students develop unique styles of playing, continue to learn music theory, and build more advanced playing techniques.  

These group guitar classes meet for six Wednesdays beginning June 13 (no class meeting July 4), see the CSA 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 12 (no class meeting July 3) from 5:15 to 6 p.m. CSA piano and harp instructor Lauren McCombe teaches this 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 11 (no class on July 2) from 6 to 6:55 p.m.


NIUkulele Ensemble is a fun group designed for beginning and intermediate ukulele players ages 9 to adult. Ensemble members practice melodies, chords and songs in many styles, and perform solo, in unison and in harmony. Beginners receive instruction on the ukulele and players with more experience are assigned more challenging parts. CSA guitar teacher Eric Schroeder directs the group, bringing his many years of experience teaching private and group lessons to the ensemble. Rehearsals begin June 11 for six Mondays from 7 to 7:55 p.m. (no rehearsal on July 2) with a concert in the Recital Hall on the final night.

CSA Guitar Ensemble provides guitarists an opportunity to play together in an ensemble setting while gaining confidence and skill on the instrument. Designed for beginning and intermediate players ages 14 to adult, the group meets for six Wednesdays beginning June 13 from 8 to 8:55 p.m. (no rehearsal on July 4). On the final night, a recital is scheduled at 8 p.m. CSA guitar instructor Quentin Dover directs the ensemble.

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

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