NIU opens registration for music lessons, classes and workshops

Staff Report

Rachel Barton Pine
Rachel Barton Pine

Northern Illinois University has opened registration for Community School summer music lessons, classes and workshops. Throughout this summer the NIU Community School of Arts will be offering a variety of programs for children as well as adults. Music classes, ensembles, private lessons, chamber music workshops and a percussion camp will begin in June on the campus of Northern Illinois University. For more information on the Community School visit

Summer Chamber Music Workshops, June 27-30:

Advanced String Quartet Workshop, Ages 12-19

String players improve their musicianship and ensemble skills as they rehearse and are coached as a member of two string quartets. Each student will perform in a quartet at the masterclass taught by international concert violinist Rachel Barton Pine. The workshop begins with a sight-reading party on June 21 from 7-9 p.m. Workshop activities during the week also include seminars on music theory, history, and rehearsal techniques. All quartets will perform in the final day recital in Boutell Concert Hall.

Junior Chamber Music Workshop, Ages 8-15

Young string and woodwind players have fun learning and rehearsing duets, rounds, or quartets, based on their level and experience. Students refine reading skills, learn more about playing music with others, and gain listening and leadership skills. The workshop begins with a sight-reading party on June 21 from 5:45-6:45 p.m. There is a final day recital at 11 a.m. in Boutell Concert Hall.

Violin teacher and chamber musician Laurie Rodriguez is the director of the workshops. She has been a private teacher with the NIU Community School for many years and has directed multiple chamber music workshops in Illinois, Utah and Minnesota.

Students are admitted to these workshops by audition on May 9 starting at 4 p.m. To reserve an audition time, submit a registration form with the $15 non-refundable registration fee by April 29.

Summer Percussion Day Camp:

Join Community School percussion teacher Alexis Lamb for this week-long percussion program at NIU. This camp includes daily classes, workshops, and instruction in the many forms of percussion including mallet pieces, found instruments, world instruments, and group compositions, as well as a chance to perform in the concert at the end of the week! Camp dates are June 20-24, beginning players from 9-11 a.m. and intermediate players from 1-3 p.m. Camp will take place in Room 132 Music Building at  Northern Illinois University, 1425 W. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb.

Private music lessons:

Private lessons are available on many musical instruments, including violin, piano and guitar, as well as banjo, mandolin, flute, saxophone, and more. CSA teachers include NIU students and faculty, as well as experienced community-based musicians. Students and teachers meet weekly June 13-July 31, at a time convenient to both. Community members of all ages and skill levels are invited to brush up skills or try a new instrument!

Music classes for young children:

Prelude Class (ages 1 – 3) is a group class with lots of fun for kids and parents! Class activities include music listening, creative movement, songs, and lap games. Development Class (ages 3 – 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 must accompany the child to each class. Both classes meet on six Saturdays beginning June 25 (no class on July 2). 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.

Music classes for kids and adults:

Guitar for Kids provides children age 8-12 with an introduction to guitar playing through a fun, song-oriented approach to learning.

Guitar Basics is a beginning class for age 13-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 various styles of guitar techniques.

In Intermediate Guitar, students develop different styles of playing, continue to learn music theory, and build more advanced playing techniques.

These classes meet for six Wednesdays beginning June 15 (no class meeting July 6), see the website for class meeting times. Associate level instructor Quentin Dover is an accomplished guitar 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-adult. Bring the joy of piano music to your life and enjoy getting to know fellow musicians in this beginning class. 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 Tuesdays and Thursdays June 14 through June 30 from 6:15-6:55 p.m. Associate level piano and harp instructor Jaina Krueger instructs.

Qi Gong (or Chi-Kung) is a precursor of Tai Chi. For ages 12-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 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 13 (no class on July 4).


NIUkulele Ensemble is a fun group designed for beginning and intermediate ukulele players ages 9-adult. Students learn to play melodies, chords, and songs in many styles, and to perform solo, in unison and in harmony. Beginners receive instruction on the ukulele and players with more experience are assigned more challenging parts. Associate level guitar teacher Eric Schroeder directs the group, bringing his many years of experience teaching private and group lessons to the ensemble. Group rehearsals begin June 13 for six Mondays from 7-7:55 p.m. (no rehearsal on July 4) with a concert in the Recital Hall on the final night.

CSA Guitar Ensemble provides an opportunity for guitarists to play together in an ensemble setting while gaining confidence and skill on the instrument. Designed for beginning and intermediate players age 14-adult, the group meets for six Wednesdays beginning June 15 from 8-8:55 p.m. (no rehearsal on July 6). On the final night a recital is scheduled at 8 p.m. Associate level instructor Quentin Dover is the ensemble director.

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

You might also like

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!