Guidelines for Instrumental and Vocal Instruction

The Department of Music offers individual instruction in vocal and instrumental music with the department's artists-in-residence and other music instructors. Any enrolled student, music major or non-major, can enroll in this program. Students enrolled in this program are encouraged to participate in workshops, master classes and performance forums which are regularly offered by the music department.

The department also encourages participation in the following performing organizations: Holy Cross Orchestra, Holy Cross Chamber Music Ensembles, Holy Cross Jazz Ensemble, Holy Cross College Choir, Holy Cross Chamber Singers, Chapel Choir, Gamelan and the Crusader Marching and Pep Bands.

Lessons for music majors are covered by the department. Non-majors may take lessons for a nominal fee.

Students interested in individual music lessons should familiarize themselves with the following guidelines.

Signing Up for Lessons

  1. At the beginning of each semester students will receive an email from the music department with sign-up instructions.
  2. Interested students are required to contact the music office coordinator, Alice Resker, during the first week of the semester. Students will be put in touch with the appropriate instructor to arrange for a mutually agreeable weekly lesson time.
  3. Once the lessons schedule is arranged, students should contact Alice Resker in order to complete a lesson contract at the music office. These arrangements must be completed by the 2nd week of the semester.


The rates are $1000/10 hourly lessons and $500/10 30- minute lessons.

The fee for the semester is payable after the second lesson. Once students are enrolled for music lessons, non-music majors will be charged the lesson fee on their account administered by the Bursar’s Office. Payment must be made to the Bursar’s Office. If for any reason, after two lessons, the student wishes to discontinue lessons, he/she must immediately inform the music office coordinator, Alice Resker. Upon doing so, the lessons may be discontinued but students will be billed for lessons completed.

Withdrawals after week 4 will not result in reimbursement to the student. Once the charge is placed on the student's record, it cannot be reversed.

The music department pays for private lesson fees for one (1) 60-minute weekly lesson for music majors, generally devoted to the student's principal instrument. First-year students may qualify for lessons covered by the music department if they are on track with their course work to complete the music major by enrolling in the Music Theory Sequence (fall semester: Theory I or III; spring semester: Theory II or IV). Completion of the required History Sequence by the end of the second year is normally also required. Second-year students have to declare a music major in order to qualify for lessons covered by the department.

Rescheduling Lessons

Students may request to reschedule a lesson for the following reasons:

  • Health or family emergency
  • Athletic event as defined by college policy
  • Special circumstances as approved by the Department Chair

If a student is able to provide a valid reason for re-scheduling a lesson, as outlined above, it is the department's policy that instructors offer a make-up lesson.

If a student misses a lesson without providing sufficient notice (24 hours), the lesson is considered a "no-show," and the instructor is not obligated to reschedule the lesson.

Missed lessons that are not rescheduled cannot be reimbursed.

Lessons for Credit

Lessons may be taken for lab credit (pass/no pass).  To register for credit as listed here, students must register for 10 one-hour lessons, or the equivalent thereof. Students must declare lessons for credit by registering by the add/drop deadline for the semester.  The rates are $1000/10 hourly lessons and $500/10 30- minute lessonsMusic majors (to fulfill lesson requirements for the major) as well as qualified non-majors can enroll in the following courses:

  • Music 105/106/107/108 Individual Instruction (beginning/intermediate level)
  • Music 205/206/207/208 Individual Instruction (intermediate level)

With the goal to deepen the level of engagement in individual instruction, with greater focus on all aspects of their development in performance, qualified students may take Performance for (full) Credit. For detailed information please see the Guidelines for Instrumental/Vocal Performance for Credit

Notes for Instructors

  • By the end of the third week of the semester, instructors should provide music office coordinator, Alice Resker, with their student roster.
  • By the end of the fourth week of the semester, instructors will be asked to confirm a finalized roster of students and report any lessons given to students who decided to discontinue lessons. That information will be submitted to payroll, which will issue the payment to music instructors for the semester. Withdrawals after week four will not result in a reimbursement to the student. Once the charge is placed on the student record, it cannot be reversed.
  • Instructors must plan for ten (10) lessons per semester.
  • Instructors must make every effort to offer make-up lessons at a mutually convenient time when lessons are cancelled by the instructor.
  • When the instructor is given sufficient notice and a valid reason for missing a lesson by the student, the instructor is expected to reschedule the lesson to the best of her/his abilities.
  • Instructors are expected to respond promptly to student requests for lesson scheduling and rescheduling.
  • Holy Cross instructors cannot under any circumstances collect funds for lessons directly from students. All student payments will be handled by the Bursar’s Office and instructors will be paid through payroll.
  • Holy Cross instructors may not provide instruction on campus for non-Holy Cross students unless appropriate approval has been received from the music department chair.

Guidelines for Instrumental/ Vocal Performance for Credit

Performance for Credit (one unit) is available to qualified students who pursue instrumental or vocal studies through the music department.  The rates are $1000/10 hourly lessons and $500/10 30- minute lessons.

The goal for students taking Performance for Credit is to deepen the level of engagement in individual instruction, with greater focus on all aspects of their development in performance, including extra time for practice and performance. 

Available Courses are:

  • Music 331, 332 Intermediate Performance
  • Music 431, 432 Intermediate/Advanced Performance
  • Music 433, 434 Advanced Performance

 Admission is by permission only.


  • Students must have significant previous experience and perform at the intermediate or advanced level of proficiency.
  • Completion of or current enrollment in one semester of Music Theory or Music History in the department (excluding Fundamentals of Music and Introduction to Music.)
  • Completion of normally four semesters of Individual Instruction.
  • Clear goals for the semester, established with the instructor and presented in writing by the student.
  • At the end of each semester of study, the student will prepare at least two pieces of contrasting style and time periods to be performed at the end of the semester in front of a jury.


  • After communicating with their instructor, interested students will sign up for lessons and for an audition slot at the beginning of the semester at the music Office or by appointment with the director of performance.
  • Upon successful audition and approval by the director of performance and chair of the department, a registration code will be issued.
  • Students may enroll in only one performance course each semester.
  • Students must register for Performance for Credit as a fifth course in the first semester and as a fourth or fifth course in the second semester.
  • Ten lessons will be offered during the semester.
  • Participation in at least one performance forum before the end of the semester recital is required. 
  • Participation in at least one recital sponsored by the department is required.
  • Regular fees for instrumental/vocal Instruction apply.


  • At the end of the first semester of enrollment, students enrolled in Performance for Credit will receive an IP (In Progress) and at the end of the second semester the student will receive a letter grade. (Students can only claim a maximum of two letter-grade units towards graduation).
  • Grading will be at the discretion of the director of performance and the chair, based upon the evaluation of the teacher and the results of the juries.

Notes to Instructors

  • Interested and motivated students of at least an intermediate proficiency level are to be encouraged to take Performance for Credit.
  • Establishing clear goals for technical and musical improvement, according to the individual need, level and interest of the student, set at the beginning of the semester by both the student and the teacher is expected.
  • Stylistic variety of répertoire is encouraged.
  • At the end of the second semester of enrollment a report about the progress of the student as well as a recommended grade needs to be submitted to the music office by the instructor.