Audition Info  Online Audition Sign-ups

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Columbia/Barnard undergraduate students are eligible to take private instrumental lessons for credit through the MPP. Auditions are required and are only held during the first week of classes in the fall semester. 

  •  Lessons in voice are for credit through Barnard College.
  • Lessons are taught by distinguished MPP Associate Faculty members.
  • Placement in lessons is based on auditions held during the first week of classes each fall semester. 
  • Students who audition and register for lessons are required to take six hours of lessons per semester. Lessons are taken for one credit and students receive a pass/fail grade for their participation.

We offer private instruction for the following instruments:

  • Piano (ALL LEVELS) 
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Bass
  • Clarinet
  • Flute
  • French Horn
  • Oboe
  • Bassoon
  • Harpsichord
  • Classical Guitar
  • Harp
  • Organ
  • Percussion
  • Classical Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Tuba


We offer private instruction for the following instruments:

  • Jazz Piano
  • Jazz Percussion
  • Jazz Drums
  • Jazz Acoustic Bass
  • Jazz Electric Bass
  • Jazz Saxophone
  • Jazz Trumpet
  • Jazz Trombone
  • Jazz Voice
  • Jazz Guitar
  • Jazz Vibraphone
  • Jazz Orchestration
  • Jazz Composition


  • Only students enrolled in an undergraduate program at Columbia University or Barnard College, or graduate students in Music, may participate in competitive auditions for a limited number of lesson placements for the coming academic year.
  • There is a $500 lesson fee per semester for non-music majors and concentrators. 
  • Undergraduate students who are currently DECLARED music majors, concentrators, jazz special concentrators, or prospective music majors (must test into Theory 1) will be fully subsidized if they qualify for lessons.
  • *All freshmen and sophomore students wishing to major/minor/concentrate in music, and thereby get their lesson fees waived, ​are required to make an appointment with​ Prof.​ Brad ​Garton*, Director of Undergraduate Studies, every semester during the registration period​, in order to register for appropriate courses​. ​Fees will not be waived without meeting this requirement every semester.

    ​​*Special ​j​azz concentrators will ​meet with Prof. ​Chris Washburne

    ​All accepted MPP ​students ​must register ​for lessons and ensembles ​by the change of program​ deadline​ in order to ​be allowed to attend lessons that semester.​ Petitioning students must notify MPP staff prior to this deadline. ​

  • All students who would like to take private lessons at Columbia must (re)audition at the beginning of the fall semester only.  No auditions are offered in the spring semester. 
  • Audition sign-ups sheets will be available on mpp.music.columbia.edu approximately two weeks before the first day of classes in the fall semester.
  • Signing up for an annual audition is strictly the student's responsibility. Failure to do so will mean loss of eligibility for lessons for the entire academic year.
  • Upon completing a successful audition a student will be permitted to register for six one-hour lessons for one credit per semester at Columbia. 
  • If, after a successful audition, should a student decide not to take lessons for any reason, s/he must formally drop the course before the end of the Change-of-Program period, as specified in Columbia's Academic Calendar, in order to receive a full refund of the lesson fee. After the deadline, the fee will not be refunded. The amount will not be pro-rated.

Placement in piano lessons requires an interview.  

  • Please go to Dodge 109 or 110 on September 8 and 9 between 10am-2pm to speak with Michael Skelly and Niels Ostbye.  
  • For piano chamber music, a separate audition is required.  Please check out CHAMBER ENSEMBLES for audition requirements and online sign up.