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The Department of Music at Vassar College offers lessons for both music majors and for non-music majors in many areas: piano, organ, voice, guitar, harp, percussion, all strings, woodwinds, and brass. All lessons are private and the student meets with the instructor once a week for 50 minutes. There are normally thirteen lessons per semester. Most studios have a performance class at the end of each semester. Music lessons at the college level require self-motivation and daily practice and are to be considered an academic pursuit.

Some studios require auditions in order to take lessons. Because of the large number of students who wish to study voice, piano, and guitar, the department holds scheduled auditions for these at the very beginning of the year, and occasionally again in the Spring.