151H-181H; 351-381H; 451-481H (fall and spring semester)


Private lessons are offered by professional adjunct instructors in the Music Department. You may, but are not required, to take lessons for credit, but you must pay a mandatory fee of $750/semester, which is not refundable for any reason after the end of the add/drop period. You may repeat these courses for credit, and take lessons every semester if you like. If you are enrolled for credit, you are allowed by the College to carry 4.5 credits (4 full courses plus a music half-course) in the semester of enrollment, and may take only 3.5 credits in a second semester if you are again enrolled in the same instrument (or voice).

To Take Lessons for Credit

  1. Your private instructor must deem you of sufficient proficiency.
  2. You must enroll in a classroom music course not later than one semester after instrumental/vocal lessons have begun.
  3. Lessons count as a half-course.


  1. Require twelve 50-minute lessons per semester, with adequate practice and preparation for your lesson as determined by your teacher.
  2. May be counted towards your degree at Amherst College only if you combine two such half-courses taken in the same instrument to make up one full credit (in other words, if you take lessons for credit in only one semester during your time at Amherst College, it will not count towards your baccalaureate degree.

The $750 Fee may be Paid in Full by Scholarship Funds Only If

  1. You are receiving need-based financial aid from Amherst College AND
  2. You are taking performance instruction for credit.

To Make Arrangements for Lessons


  1. Contact the appropriate teacher as set forth in the list (below) and arrange for an audition.
  2. If accepted by the teacher and you are taking lessons for credit, you must complete the on-line registration which will then be approved on-line by Suzette Farnham, Music Department Coordinator. If you are taking lessons not for credit, you must see Suzette Farnham to be added to her list of students taking lessons at Amherst College.
You may also take lessons at one of the other five colleges through the Five College Interchange. Contact these faculty directly through their departments for information:

UMASS 545-2227
Smith 585-3150
Hampshire 559-5622
Mt. Holyoke 538-2306

For a complete list of instructors, click here