Adult learners of all experience levels can study with expert faculty who teach fundamentals of technique and musical expression, and inspire students to progress. Private lessons are available for all string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments, as well as piano, voice, classical guitar, harp, composition and music theory. Lessons are offered at CIM's main campus in University Circle and in Shaker Heights. All students have access to CIM's Robinson Music Library; recitals by conservatory faculty, students and ensembles; and master classes.

Are you under 18 and looking for instruction at CIM during the school year? The Academy at CIM is just the thing for you!

Questions? Connect with the Preparatory team.


Start your application here. Once your application is received, you will be assigned to a teacher depending on the factors listed below:

Teacher Preference

Applicants can select up to two teacher preferences when applying for private lessons. Before applying, we highly recommend thoroughly researching our faculty and contacting them directly to get a sense of their personality and teaching style. If this is not possible, or you are struggling to choose a teacher preference, please contact the Preparatory team so that we may assist you.

Please note: Teachers have the final say in accepting students into their studios. If a teacher does not accept a student into their studio, we will either contact the second preference teacher, or contact the family to discuss other options.

Admission Video

It is recommended that intermediate and advanced students submit a short video recording of their playing with their online application. This is not an audition video, simply a way for the teacher to get a better sense of the student’s ability level. Students with no prior experience are not required to submit a video.

Location Preference

Not all teachers are available at both locations, therefore, it is essential that you let us know your preferred branch location(s).

*Virtual learning: applicants looking to study virtually should discuss this option with their preferred teacher(s) before finalizing registration. Accommodations for virtual learning are made by the teacher on a case-by case basis.

Schedule and Availability

Lessons are also offered depending on the schedules of the student and faculty. Within the application, you will be asked to describe your availability for lessons, which will help us to determine the best faculty match. We will do our very best to accommodate your schedule, but flexibility is greatly appreciated!


Please note, as of Fall 2022, we are offering a la carte private lessons to adult learners only.

Total per-semester cost is determined by the total instruction hours for the semester. Lessons are charged at a rate of $100 per hour of instruction; Special rates apply for studying with Conservatory faculty for exceptionally talented performers who pass an audition.

15 lessons is the standard number of lessons per semester, though the total number of lessons per semester is determined in coordination with the student and assigned faculty.