12 Best Music Schools in Chicago-Tuition & Programs

Are you interested in studying music in one of the best music schools in Chicago? This article is for you.

From its historical relevance to the wide variety of arts, dining, and entertainment options you’ll discover Chicago has much to offer. Millions of people visit the city every year from around the world.

Chicago, Illinois is a major center for music in the midwestern United States where distinctive forms of blues (greatly responsible for the future creation of rock and roll), and house music, a genre of electronic dance music, were developed.

Chicago has one of the most exciting music scenes in the country.

The birthplace of influential genres (ever heard of house, modern gospel, or Chicago-style blues?) and a hotbed for new and exciting musical innovations.

So it only makes sense that Chicago is one of the best cities to feel, and see live music and houses the best music schools.

The List of 12 Best Music Schools in Chicago

  • Bucktown Music
  • Phil Circle Music
  • Cappelli Institute of Music
  • Chicago School of Music
  • Music Makers of Western Spring
  • New Music School
  • Piano Art Academy
  • Suzuki Music School of Lincoln Park
  • The Metzger School of Music
  • Tunes and Top Music School
  • Upbeat Music
  • Yevgeniya Lepskaya’s School of Music

Bucktown Music

Bucktown music is one of the top music schools in Chicago that was founded by Jessica and Luis Solares in 2009.

The couple believes that music making is for everyone of all ages and abilities and in all musical styles. Bucktown Music has earned the loyalty and respect of families throughout the Chicago area and has become the number one choice for adults and children that want to become more accomplished, expressive, and confident performers.

The family-owned school offers a full menu of courses, lessons, and options, including a play-based Kindermusik program to get little ones inspired, as well as group and private lessons for adults and kids such as beginner adult guitar lessons in the park.

From traditional instruments like piano and violin to more unusual options like banjo and ukulele, Bucktown Music has something for everyone, always at competitive rates.

The company even offers in-school programs using nationally recognized teaching materials.

Programs: Bucktown music offers the following programs:

kindermusik classes ( age range, newborn to 5 years old): in this special class, kids are taught music while parents and caregivers learn, how to use music for everyday routines to add a little fun to their stay-at-home time with their kids, musical activities that help develop child’s growing brain and systems, how music, song, and speech can help you learn to read and respond to your child’s needs, increasing your connection and how to use music to boost your child’s social-emotional development during difficult times.

Group classes for kids: Mini Maestros (the Perfect Preschool Music Class) and Creative Ensembles (Ages 9 -13).

This class is designed to give students the opportunity to experience the joy of being creative and making music with others. 

Open to all instruments, piano, voice, guitar, ukulele, violin, drums, etc.  Participants must be active private-lesson students.

Private lessons: Private lessons are 30-minute one-on-one lessons of just you (or your child) and the teacher. 

A perfect time and day are scheduled for each student and they must attend the lesson on the same day/time each week. 

Hybrid lesson: Students have the option of sometimes taking classes in-person, and sometimes virtually on zoom which can be convenient sometimes.

Tuition: Bucktown tuition is as follows:

Adult lessons: monthly tuition for 30-minute private lessons costs $125.00

Youth classes  when you add a sibling to Kindermusik class cost $59.00

Babies under 1 year may attend for free with a paying sibling!

Tuition for kids Programs

Kindermusik Classes (newborn to 5 years old).

Monthly tuition for 45-minute Kindermusik classes (includes all music & activities from class) Age-specific and mixed-age (sibling) classes available at $99.00

Music Lessons (Kindergarten to Adult).

Monthly tuition for 30-minute private lessons is $125.00

Phil Circle Music

Phil Circle Music and Guilt By Association Records is a music coaching business and indie label that has more than 25 years of experience in teaching beginner, intermediate, and advanced music students.

It specializes in guitar, voice, songwriting, and music entrepreneurship. Phil Circle Music offers house call lessons, audition prep, music performance coaching, and artist business coaching. Its label subset is free of charge to artists and is funded by patrons

Programs and tuition:

Adult lessons $60.00

Adult Music Lessons range from $60 to $75 per hour depending on the instrument and instructor you choose.

  • Advanced classes $75.00

  • Intermediate classes from $60.00

  • Beginner’s classes $60.00

  • Group lessons $110.00

  • Private lessons $60.00

  • All private lessons range from $60 to $75 in-studio.

  • Advanced Bass & Guitar Techniques $75.00

  • Bass Lessons $60.00

  • Drums & Percussion Private Lessons $75.00

  • Music Entrepreneur Coaching $65.00

  • One Hour Private Lesson from $60.00

  • Songwriting Coaching $75.00

  • Foundational Guitar classes $60.00

  • Artiste Life Coaching $75.00

Cappelli Instiute of Music

The Cappelli Institute of Music has been a friend in the Oak Park-River Forest music community since 1980.

The staff at Cappelli Institute consists of highly qualified instructors who teach with each student’s individual needs in mind.

Weekly and long-term assignments are designed for each student and progress is observed through a variety of student assessments and optional recitals. Cappelli institute of Music’s approach is specifically designed to help students learn to skillfully shape music.

By mastering the basics of note reading and location, rhythm, and terminology and going beyond notes and symbols each student is able to achieve a higher level of performance.

Programs: The Cappelli Institute of Music provides individual music instruction at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels for students of all ages and abilities.

They also offer daytime, afternoon, and evening on-site and virtual music lessons,  private piano, and vocal and instrumental instruction for students of all ages and abilities, emphasizing musical enjoyment.

The programs offered include adult lessons, private lessons, youth classes, guitar Instruction, music Instruction for all ages and abilities, piano, vocal, violin, viola, guitar, harp, bass, ukulele instruction, and private music instruction for children and adults.

  • Tuition: 30 Minute Private Lessons $42.00 ·
  • 45-minute Private Lessons $63.00
  • 60-minute Private Lessons $84.00

Chicago School of Music

Chicago School of Music has been inspiring performers of all ages since 1998 and has given thousands of students the skills and support they need to become accomplished casual and professional performers.

Chicago school of music offers superlative programming dedicated to fostering students’ interest and curiosity in music while remaining rooted in core traditional music principles and values.

Their teachers are not only chosen for their qualifications, training, and experience but for their ability to motivate and inspire students to cultivate a life-long love and appreciation for music.

The company offers programs for every age and skill level, including early childhood classes that encourage natural creativity, enhance motor skills, and let young children learn new ways to explore and express themselves.

The school also has programs designed for older children, teens, and adults, as well as advanced training programs such as audition preparation for aspiring professionals and jazz and blues piano training for aspiring piano teachers.

Programs: Chicago school of music offers lessons in piano, voice, guitar violin, and the most popular musical instruments for adults and children. 

Training are also available for music teachers and more advanced students. Other programs include adult lessons, private lessons, youth classes, drum Instruction, drums Lessons, kids Classes, and scheduling.

Tuition: Rates may vary depending on the teachers.  Tuition is based on 16 weeks with an option of paying in 8 and 4-week intervals.

The 16-week option saves 10% over the four-week option and 5% over the 8-week option.  Tuition fees for most teachers are as follows:

  • 1/2 hr lessons 16 weeks $625; 8 weeks $327; 4 weeks $170
  • 3/4-hr lessons 16-weeks $925; 8 weeks $; 4 weeks $254
  • 1-hr lessons 16 weeks $1,230; 8 weeks $645; 4 weeks $338

Music Makers of Western Spring

Music Makers of Western Springs is one of the music schools in Chicago that is owned and operated by Jeremy & Gwen Michor, a husband and wife team who are committed to providing quality music education.

They reside in Western Springs with their four children and strive every day to make MMWS the best possible music learning experience for students.

They are outstanding for the following reasons: exceptional teachers, unparalleled customer service, the widest range of lesson times, the most qualified teaching faculty, professional office staff available to always assist, a proven track record of excellence, and student recital twice a year.

Programs: Music makers of Western Spring offer a number of different musical programs for all ages and abilities, including private, semi-private, and group instrumental lessons, Music Appreciation lessons, Rock Band classes, Musical Summer Camps, and an award-winning Musical Theater program! MMWS is committed to providing high-quality music education in a challenging yet comfortable learning environment.

Other programs include advanced classes, private lessons, youth classes, cello Lessons, drum Instruction, drum lessons, guitar Instruction, Guitar Lessons, musical theatre classes, piano lessons, violin lessons, voice lessons, beginner’s classes, and trial lessons.

Tuition: $42.00 · Take 1-2 lessons (with no enrollment fee until you commit) at the going rate of lessons (currently $42.00/30-minute lesson).

  • 30 Minute Private Lessons $42.00 ·
  • 45-minute Private Lessons $63.00
  • 60-minute Private Lessons $84.00
  • Music Makers Theatre $385 – $425 ·
  • Rock Band Classes $275 ·
  • Chamber Music Program $160-$200 per 10-week session ·
  • Harpsicle Lessons $42.00 ·

New Music School

The new Music School curriculum provides a seamless path toward musical excellence.

Mentored by Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians, renowned collegiate professors, and other world-class faculty, students are exposed to unconstrained musical exploration.

Students are placed in houses through a jury process. In order to complete each house, students fulfill requirements in performance, repertoire, musicianship, and technique.

New Music School faculty represents a fantastic team of world-class musicians dedicated to students’ success.

All faculty members are real-world professionals with lifelong trajectories and dedication to their instruments.

At New Music School, you are free to be you and you can feel safe knowing that students receive an equal opportunity at all times.

Programs: New music school program challenges and grows students; whether they are picking up an instrument for the first time or are looking to enter the most prestigious music conservatories in the world.

Lessons are offered in piano, violin, viola, voice, guitar, and other orchestral and band instruments.

New Music School offers lessons for all ages including adults and early childhood.

Tuition: Music Together is a music and movement class offered for students aged 12 months – 4 years old.

Tuition cost: $420 with a $100 discount on each additional sibling.

Rates for lessons vary based on instrument, location, and other criteria, but the initial lesson fee is $50 for a half-hour lesson.

Piano Art Academy

Piano Art Academy offers a range of services to students young and old designed to fit any needs, goals, and abilities.

The academy’s private, one-on-one lessons give students the attention and customized learning plans they need to explore their natural talents, face new challenges, and grow into more confident, accomplished, and creative performers, whether they just love music for fun or plan to go on to a professional career.

First-time students can call to schedule a free introductory piano, guitar, or voice lesson and work with a team of friendly and knowledgeable, multilingual, university-trained instructors with years of experience in styles such as jazz, classical, and pop.

Program: Piano Art Academy has classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.

Students not only have the opportunity to improve their performance skills at the intermediate and advanced levels but also perform in concerts and participate in Competitions. Lessons offered include group lessons, private lessons, guitar lessons, music lessons, piano lessons, and piano recitals.

Suzuki Music School of Lincoln Park

The Suzuki Music School of Lincoln Park has provided quality music instruction since 1978. Located in Lincoln Park’s Old Town area.

The Suzuki Music School of Lincoln Park offers a success‑oriented, step‑by‑step approach to learning a musical instrument through the Suzuki method and encourages a positive, non-competitive environment in which students, parents and teachers may work together and enjoy the wonders of music.

The school offers instruction in cello, violin, and piano starting at age 4 1/2. Private lessons are available throughout the week, based on the schedules of teachers.

Programs: for the youngest children (18 months to 5 years), the school offers kindermusik classes.

For children ages four and one-half years old, there is Suzuki instruction on cello, piano, and violin.

Group lessons, private lessons, guitar lessons, music lessons, piano lessons, and piano recitals are also available.

Tuition: The cost is $20.00 per rehearsal (for advanced learners).

Lesson  tuition is charged on the basis of minutes spent:

  • 20 minutes $31.00
  • 30 minutes $46.00
  • 45 minutes $65.00
  • 60 minutes $82.00

Group class fees are additional and vary according to the length of the group. All students eventually take both a private and group lesson each week. There is a $20.00 registration fee per family for each session.

The Metzger School of Music

The Metzger School of Music is one of the best music schools in Chicago that provides quality music lessons and materials for students of all ages.

The mission of The Metzger School Of Music is to provide high-quality private instruction in singing, piano, and early childhood music for students of all ages and at various levels of proficiency. 

To strive to encourage a life-long interest and participation in music while helping students to develop the skills necessary for performance. 

Program: The Metzger School of Music offers a 30 or 60-minute private piano lesson once a week. Lessons consist of warm-ups, working on new pieces, music theory, and reviewing mastered pieces.

The school offers quality, private music instruction for piano, voice, and early childhood music. The school serves both children and adults.


  • 18 lessons at 30 minutes = $1,260
  • 18 lessons at 45 minutes = $1,530
  • 18 lessons at 60 minutes = $1,800
  • 12 lessons at 30 minutes = $840
  • 12 lessons at 45 minutes = $1,020
  • 12 Lessons at 60 minutes = $1,200
  • 10 lessons at 30 minutes = $700
  • 10 lessons at 45 minutes = $850
  • 10 lessons at 60 minutes = $1,000

Tunes and Taps Music School

Tunes & Taps Music School is an ideal place for young students to get the encouragement, support, and skills they need to become accomplished performers.

Whether students plan to build a professional career or just love to explore, grow, and express themselves in new, creative ways, the school’s instructors tailor lessons to enhance each child’s natural abilities, encourage self-discipline, and open a whole new world of possibilities and achievement.

Program: Lesson options include piano, drums, guitar, saxophone, flute, and bass guitar, all taught by talented instructors with years of professional performance and education experience.

Tuition: visit the school website

Upbeat Music

The upbeat music school has been serving Chicago since 2000 and is the largest music school in the Chinatown/South Loop area of Chicago offering private lessons on piano, guitar, bass, violin, voice, and drums.

Upbeat music is outstanding for the following reasons: piano, violin, guitar, bass, voice, and drum lessons + rock band classes in one location, it has the largest and most qualified teaching faculty in the Chinatown/South Loop area of Chicago, the number 1 music school for the ABRSM exam, convenient music lesson times available seven days a week, a proven track record of excellence, has a comfortable waiting room for parents, fully stocked music lesson rooms, several performance opportunities for students, professional office staff seven days a week to serve you and conveniently located.

Programs: Upbeat music is said to be your number 1 choice for private lessons on piano, violin, guitar, bass, ukulele, voice,  drums, and percussion.

  • Tuition: 30 minute = $168 per month (discounted rate $160)
  • 45 minute = $252 per month (discounted rate $240)
  • 60 minute = $336 per month (discounted rate $320)

Group Lessons are available for 2 to 4 students of the same level (not necessarily the same age).

The cost of a 45 minute private lesson ($252 or $240) is divided by the number of students.

Yevgeniya Lepskaya’s School of Music

Yevgeniya Lepskaya’s school of music is a professional music school that is designed to give your child a comprehensive music education of the highest quality.

Following the musical traditions of the famous Ukrainian and Western European Schools of music and promoting standards of musicianship in students by providing an education in various music disciplines such as private instrument instruction, music theory, music history, solfege, and choir.

All classes are designed to supplement private instrument instruction in order to cultivate well-rounded young musicians.

Programs: Yevgeniya Lepskaya School of Music offers 30 or 60-minute private lessons and quality, private music instruction for piano, guitar, viola ukulele, and voice training.

Tuition: Lesson fees vary depending on the instrument.

  • 30 min   $36/$40
  • 45 min   $54/60
  • 60 min   $72/80


What college has the best music program?

Top 5 colleges with the best music program

  • Juilliard School (New York, New York)
  • Curtis Institute of Music. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • Manhattan School of Music.
  • Berkeley College of Music.
  • Mannes College-The New School for Music.

Is the University of Chicago good for music?

Yes! The University of Chicago is in the top 10% of the country for music. More specifically it was ranked #55 out of 697 schools by College Factual. It is also ranked #3 in Illinois.

What is the hardest music school to get into?

The Curtis Institute of Music

As of 2019, the Curtis Institute of Music was the hardest music school to get into. Curtis has a tiny 4.5% acceptance rate. In comparison, Harvard has a 4.7% acceptance rate and Stanford has a 4.4% acceptance rate.

What is the most prestigious school in Chicago?

The University of Chicago is.

Are there music schools in Chicago you think should be on our list? Please let us know in the comment section.

We also recommend:

Was This Article Helpful? Tell Us What You Think.