Bates offers private lessons on a wide variety of instruments (see below).  Instruction may be available in other classical, jazz, folk, and non-Western instruments when demand exists.

Receive academic credit for your private lesson

Students are given Applied Music course credit for individual instructions, exploring the literature for voice or a solo instrument through weekly instruction. Problems of performance practice, style, form, and technique are emphasized equally.  One-half credit is granted upon completion of every semester of MUS 270. The course may be repeated for a maximum of four course credits. Students register for the section(s) corresponding to the instrument(s) they are studying. A special fee of $550 per semester is charged for each course. Open to first-year students. Lessons are offered in the Fall and Winter terms.

Lessons not for academic course credit are scheduled and paid for through individual arrangements with instructors.


Lesson Attendance

Students are expected to attend all lessons. You are expected to give your Applied Music instructor advance notice if you are unable to attend your lesson due to sickness or an emergency. If a sickness or an emergency occurs on the day of your lesson and you cannot reach your instructor, you should contact the Olin Operations Supervisor Marisa Wickersham as soon as possible at (207) 786-8212. Failure to notify your instructor or Marisa will result in an unexcused absence. Make up lessons are up to the discretion of the instructor. Unexcused absences may result in receiving a lower grade. More than three unexcused absences will result in a failing grade.

Concert Attendance

Students who take Applied Music lessons must attend at least three concerts during the term. This co-requisite comprises 15% of the applied music grade.

Any concert presented by the Music Department or the Olin Concert Series will satisfy this requirement.  To guarantee a seat at any concert, please reserve a ticket ahead of time at  To receive credit for attendance, you must turn in your Bates ID card during the concert. It will be available for pick up immediately following the performance. View upcoming concerts here.

Non-Bates concerts may count toward the concert requirement with approval from your instructor. The Applied Music instructor must email Stuart Gurley ( with the approved concert information. The student must then write a half page summary (12 pt, Times New Roman, double spaced) that includes the following:

  1. A copy of the program
  2. Why you decided to attend the concert
  3. How it relates to your Applied Music study


Every student enrolled in Applied Music is required to perform a jury at the end of the term. Juries are typically scheduled on the Monday of exam week for both fall and winter semesters. Students who perform a recital or other major solo performance and demonstrate progress in their applied music lessons may be excused from the jury. A jury exemption form must be signed by your Applied Music instructor and submitted to Marisa Wickersham in Olin 205.

Students will present a list of all music studied during the year and will be prepared to perform for approximately ten minutes. Performance from memory (no music) is encouraged. Students are expected to discuss the music performed: its composer and history, its form and style, and the interpretative decisions they have made.

When the music requires accompaniment, the Department will not hear a jury without it. Students should find accompanists as soon as they begin work on pieces and should begin rehearsing with their accompanists as soon as they are able to. They should arrange to perform with the accompanists at their lessons long before their juries.

Applied Music instructors are encouraged, whenever possible, to attend their students’ juries.


The fee for Applied Music lessons is $550 per semester, for eleven 45-minute lessons. The College contributes the remainder of the cost for each student.


Students may withdraw from the course during the normal withdrawal period, but may be subject to a charge even if they do not complete the course. Students who withdraw before the last day to drop will be charged $62 per lesson received prior to dropping Applied Music. For example, if you receive two lessons prior to dropping, you will be charged $124 ($62 x 2 lessons). Students who withdraw after the last day to drop will be charged the full $550. To withdraw from the course, students must both drop the course on Garnet Gateway and notify Stuart Gurley (

LAST DAY TO ADD: September 19, 2023
If you add after this date, you will be subject to a late fee.

LAST DAY TO DROP: October 27, 2023
If you drop the course after this date, you will be charged the full $550.
If you drop before this date, you will be charged $63.86 per lesson taken.



Students may take Applied Music lessons for .5 credits in the Fall and Winter terms. Applied Music lessons for credit are not offered during short term.

How to register for lessons
  1. Contact your desired Applied Music instructor to schedule your lessons, using the contact information listed below. Enrollment is limited based on instructor availability.
  2. Register on Garnet Gateway for the instrument according to the course number listed below.
    • Courses with an asterisk require instructor permission. Students must contact their instructor (see below) for permission before registering. Instructor permission does not automatically enroll a student in the course. Once permission is granted, students will still need to register on Garnet Gateway.
    • Beginning September 19th, all students will need instructor permission before registering. Once permission is granted, students will still need to register on Garnet Gateway. After September 14, 2021 students will be subject to a late fee.
  3. Submit a signed copy of the Applied Music Policy (click the button at the top of this page, or pick up in the Main Office, Olin 205) to your instructor or Stuart Gurley.


Instrument loans and rentals

The Bates Music Department offers instrument and equipment loans to students who are both enrolled and not enrolled in performance courses. If the Department does not own the instrument required, it will pay for the rental for one semester only if the student is actively enrolled in a performance course. Typically, loaners can be procured within 24-48 hours, but rentals can take up to a week or more, so please plan accordingly.

All instrument and equipment loans are to be for no longer than one semester (but may be as short as one day); items can be re-checked out each semester. No Bates-owned instrument, or piece of equipment, may be taken off campus without explicit approval from the Applied Music Manager, except for students living in off-campus housing.

We suggest you contact the Applied Music Manager ( to determine the best instrument to select, then complete the following google form to finalize your instrument/ equipment loan.

Note: if you are filling out the form on a device that is not logged into your Bates email account, you will not be able to access the form.


To discuss or schedule lessons, contact your Applied Music instructor by using the emails listed below.

For any additional questions, please contact Stuart Gurley, Applied Music Manager, at, (207) 786-6163, or in Olin Arts Center 209.


When demand exists, instructors may be available to teach classical, jazz, folk, and non-Western instruments other than those listed below. Please contact Stuart Gurley ( with any requests.

270BBTabla and Hand PercussionBrian Shankar
270EBass TromboneSebastian
270GHand DrumsEric
270HDouble Bass (Classical)Stuart
270HH BVoice*Luette
270HH CVoice*Jazmin
270HH DVoice*Joelle
270IDrum SetBrian Shankar
270JJArabic NayMaria
270KKOrchestral PercussionGreg
270MFrench HornMargery
270R AClassical GuitarSeth
270R BClassical GuitarKen
270SJazz GuitarKen
270TMiddle Eastern PercussionEric
270WOud (Middle Eastern Lute)Eric
270X AClassical Piano*Chiharu
270X BClassical Piano*Bridget
270XXCollaborative Piano*Chiharu
270Y BJazz PianoStuart

* Requires instructor permission. Letters A/B/C/D denote multiple sections.