Honors Private Music Study

Did you know Honors students with previous musical experience can participate in private music study with no additional cost to them?  Students who successfully complete the audition process can take free private lessons for the first two semesters in the Honors College. The opportunity to take private lessons for academic credit is not open to beginners, but is intended for those who wish to continue previous study. Honors Private Music Study is intended for first-year Honors students who are NOT Music majors.  Space is limited in some studios.

Honors Private Music Study (1 cr. MUSC150) includes a weekly private lesson, a weekly 50-min repertory class, and participation in an approved music department ensemble (credits vary). If interested in auditioning for Honors Private Music Study, please complete this form coming soon.

  • Popular ensembles include: Marching Band, Chamber Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Concert Choir, and Jazz Ensemble

There are four categories of study: Vocal, Piano, Guitar, and Instrumental.  You will be able to select one of the categories for audition in the form – please be specific and read the form information fully, as each category has slight variations for auditions and requirements.

Austin Gray ’22 – Trumpet

Austin has 12 years experience playing the trumpet and participated in a variety of ensembles including both high school and collegiate marching band, symphonic bands, jazz ensembles, pep bands, trumpet ensembles and All-State band and orchestra.  

“I never officially had private lessons before I started college, but once I was receiving them, I found them extremely beneficial to my abilities as a musician,” he said.  “Each lesson is focused and helps you practice a particular skill or skills. Your instructor acts as a guide each week to check your progress and provide tips, so much of the remaining work has to be done in a practice room.  My current instructor, Dr. Chris Underwood, is a fantastic instructor and I am beyond thankful for what I’ve learned and for the experiences he has provided.”

His note on ensembles: “Each ensemble is different in its own special way. I couldn’t imagine my college experience without memories from the marching and pep bands playing for crowds at football or basketball games, or playing in the concert halls in the music buildings with the symphonic band.”

After participating in Honors Private Music Study for a year, he decided to add an applied music minor. He came to college without a clear academic plan, but knew he wanted music to be part of his experience. “I decided against studying music for the rest of my life and found passions elsewhere, but I couldn’t just put my instrument down that easily,” he said. “Adding the music minor was the best decision I could have made.” He continues to participate in ensembles, receive private lessons and perform solo pieces, just like the majors do, but with less requirements.  “I’m also a brother of the men’s music fraternity here on campus – Phi Mu Alpha – and we strive to advance music in the local communities and region,” he said. “Most of all, I’m so thankful for the people I’ve bet and the relationships I’ve developed.  My friends in the ‘music world’ are the most valuable people in my life at UD.”

Kate Greco ’23 – Piano

Kate first learned about Honors Private Music study during an Honors info session at Accepted Students Day.  “Coincidentally, the student talking to us was a piano student like me,” she said. “After the session ended, I was able to go ask questions about the program and get insight on her experience with private music lessons. When hearing her praise for the opportunity, I immediately knew that I wanted to attend the University of Delaware. I felt confident in my decision, as I knew that this would be somewhere I could pursue my passion of playing piano with the commitment of a minor in music.”

She took lessons with the same piano teacher since second grade, so coming to UD and having a new instructor with a different teaching style was intimidating at first – especially since college lessons were more advanced than she was used to. “I have moved every second of my lessons thus far,” she said. “My professor has assisted in improving my playing and technique greatly over these past two years, and I look forward to continuing my journey during the remainder of my time at UD.” 

As a sophomore in college, Kate plans to continue playing through Merit Study, an opportunity through the School of Music.  

Jeff Lin ’23 – Cello

Jeff met Dr. Stomberg (the cello professor at UD) through connections he made in high school at the local music school. He’s been playing cello for 10 years, and took lessons with six or seven cellists for varying lengths of time,  now including Dr. Stomberg. “He’s really intentional about pedagogy,” he said.  “Dr. Stomberg is definitely demanding in terms of graded assignments (scale quizzes, juries, video projects), but offers fun, positive motivation.”

While taking private lessons, Jeff participated in two ensembles: chamber and symphony orchestra.  “I love playing in the orchestra because we play professional-level repertoire and a lot of modern pieces,” he said.  When not taking private lessons or an ensemble class it can be challenging to keep up with practice, so he plans to rejoin the orchestra in the fall semester. If you’re living in Louis L. Redding hall, you might even hear Jeff practicing in the building! 

Jason Bangser ’22 – Jazz Guitar

Jason has studied guitar for 12 years, focusing on jazz for the last nine.  When he toured UD and talked with Honors staff, he talked about his experience and found out that being in Honors could provide him with free lessons in his first year.  “I was already pretty much sold on UD, but this was a game changer,” he said. “I came in as a freshman super excited to continue my jazz guitar studies, and quickly became great friends with my instructor.”

His instructor is Dave Bozenhard.  “Dave’s instruction felt like a natural segue from my past experience,” he said. “He pushed my boundaries and helped me discover techniques and sounds I didn’t think I was capable of, all while caring about my improvement as a guitarist and my wellbeing as a student.”  Jason has been in Jazz Ensemble 1 and Jazz Combo since his freshman year. “I’ve had the opportunity to jam with some of the best musicians I’ve ever known and I’d be lucky to find a group as great as UD Jazz ever again,” he said, adding that he looks forward to staying in touch with “the cats” long after graduation.  

Though his majors are marketing and entrepreneurship, music is always on his mind.  This summer he will be gigging and getting into music production where he can.  His band Mage (who met through Jazz Ensemble) will also be recording a second studio album this July. “We can’t wait to see what happens,” he said, adding “I’m so looking forward to full in-person ensembles when we return in the fall semester.”