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Beat the heat: Community School to offer summer programs

April 24, 2014

Community School of the Arts piano studentsSummer is a great time to focus on the arts and learn something new.

Beginning June 16, artists of all ages will be able to hone their talents or learn a new skill at the NIU Community School of the Arts.

All classes and lessons are taught on campus.


Private lessons will be offered on most musical instruments, as well as in specific areas of theater and visual arts. The instructors are NIU students and faculty, as well as community artists. Students and teachers meet for six weeks, and lessons are scheduled at the convenience of both students and teachers.


  • Prelude Class (ages 1 to 3) is a group class with lots of fun music listening, creative movement activities, songs and lap games. Development Class (ages 3 to 5) builds on the material learned in Prelude Class and adds musical patterns and skills through games, songs, creative movement, playing percussion instruments, basic music theory and various orchestral instruments. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Both classes will meet six Saturdays, beginning June 21. Prelude begins at 10 a.m., and Development begins at 10:35 a.m. The courses are taught by Laurie Rodriguez.
  • Piano Starter for Children is a beginning piano class for ages 5 to 7. Children meet in a small-group environment and learn basic notes and position of keys and play simple tunes. This is a great way for parents to know whether their children are ready for private lessons. The class meets six times, from 4 to 4:40 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning June 17. Teacher Jaina Krueger is a piano and harp teacher with the community school, where she has taught for several years.


  • Guitar Basics is a beginning class in which students learn to read music, play songs and construct and play scales and chords. Students will be taught music theory and guitar techniques. The class meets Wednesdays beginning June 18. Guitar Basics, Section 1 is for ages 9 to 12, and meets from 7 to 7:55 p.m.; Guitar Basics, Section 2 is for ages 13 to adult, and meets from 8 to 8:55 p.m. The instructor, Quentin Dover, is an experienced guitar teacher with many years of experience teaching all ages both privately and in a group setting.
  • Square One Piano: Group Basics Class is a beginning group piano class for ages 13 to adult. Students learn simple tunes and basic skills, such as reading music and playing chords. Piano Forte: Building Piano Skills is an intermediate group piano class for ages 13 to adult. Students are encouraged to choose music to learn that they enjoy listening to, anything from ragtime to folk to show music. Both classes meet on Monday evenings beginning June 16, Square One from 6 to 6:55 p.m. and Piano Forte from 7 to 7:55 p.m. Taught Carly Gorman has taught piano lessons with the community school for many years.


String Quartet Chamber CampAuditions are required for all campers and are scheduled for Tuesday, May 20. Interested campers must register and sign up for an audition by noon Tuesday, May 13.

  • Duet Camp (ages 8 to 15) is for string players, flutists and clarinetists who enjoy playing their instrument with others. Campers refine note reading skills, learn more about playing music with others and develop listening and leadership skills. Campers are expected to have at least one year of playing experience. The camp meets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. from July 7 through 10, with a sight-reading party planned from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 24. The camp is limited to 12 players.
  • String Quartet Chamber Camp (ages 12 to 19) is for string players. Campers enjoy seminars on music theory, history, rehearsal techniques, a master class with Chicago chamber musician Jasmine Lin and a recital. The camp meets from 1 to 5 p.m. from July 7 through 10, with a sight-reading party planned for from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 24. The camp is limited to 16 players.


  • NIUkulele Ensemble is a fun group designed for beginning and intermediate players ages 9 to adult. Students learn to play melodies, chords and songs in many styles, and to perform solo and in unison and harmony. Beginners are welcome and will receive instruction on the instrument, and players with more experience are assigned more involved parts. All students must bring a ukulele to class. Guitar teacher Eric Schroeder directs the group and brings years of experience as a private and group lesson teacher to the ensemble. The group meets from 7 to 7:55 p.m. for six Mondays, beginning June 23. A final recital is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 30.
  • CSA Guitar Ensemble encourages players to enjoy the guitar in an ensemble setting and gain confidence and skill on the instrument. The class is designed for beginning and intermediate players, and all players must bring a guitar to class. The group meets from 8 to 8:55 p.m. for six Wednesdays, beginning June 25. A recital is scheduled for 8 p.m. Monday, June 30. Quentin Dover is the director.

For more information, visit or call (815) 753-1450.