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Westminster College offers competitive private music lessons

Many students at Westminster College may not realize private music lessons — from playing instruments to conducting — are available through the Florence J. Gillmor School of Music. Instructors offer several opportunities to all students, regardless of academic major. 

Brandon Derfler, chair of the school of music, said he’s tried to raise awareness of the opportunities for private music lessons for years. 

“We like to reach out to just the whole campus community and let them know that they can be involved in music to any degree that they would like to,” Derfler said. “It could either be something they’ve been doing for a while and [an] instrument they’ve already done, or it could be something entirely new.” 

Derfler said he wants everyone on campus to feel comfortable seeking lessons, regardless of their experience or skill level.

“You don’t have to have any musical background whatsoever, and you can be partially involved in music or you can be extremely involved in music,” he said. “The sky is really the limit.”

The lessons are taught by different adjunct faculty members in the department, so students can get professional musical training at different rates.

The lessons are included in tuition at a cost of $150 per credit hour. Students can register their lessons as either one or two credits.

“It’s actually a bargain, because these faculty members — in their own private studios off campus — they charge anywhere from $60 to $90 per hour for their lessons,” Derfler said. “You could use that up in just two lessons, but you get 13 over the course of the semester.”

Forum Reporter James Carson sat with Derfler to discuss the private music lessons available to students — not just music majors — and the opportunities that come with. You can listen to the latest episode of Office Hours on our Spotify, Sound Cloud or Apple Podcasts. 


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James Carson is a senior at Westminster College majoring in communication studies. He is a transfer student from Southern California, but he has always loved Utah. He loves everything music and various outdoor activities.

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