Adult Programs

Music for Adults

You're never too old to learn! Whether you've always wanted to play, are ready to dust off an old instrument, have been a musician for years, or just want to join us in the group, Northeast Iowa School of Music has an adult program for you!

Browse programs for other age groups: Kids age 3-9 | Tweens & Teens | College


Learn one-on-one with an instructor

Private lessons are a wonderful way to begin music instruction or improve your skill. No experience or audition is required. Lessons are offered year-round; begin at any time.

Lessons are available in piano, voice, guitar, composition, and band & orchestra instruments.

Learn more about Private Lessons or Browse Faculty by Instrument

Also see: Registration | Tuition | Policies | Calendar | FAQ

Learn in an engaging atmosphere with a friend

We offer duet lessons for adults. Keep your brain engaged and reap the benefits of music education in a social setting! Duet lessons are a great way to try an instrument or return to an old one. No experience is necessary unless otherwise specified. Call up a friend and start a new, fun musical adventure!


Adult Ensembles

Northeast Iowa School of Music offers two non-auditioned adult performance ensembles. All groups welcome new members and give public concerts.


Dubuque Community String Orchestra

Directed by Rebecca Geyssens for adult string players of all ages. Dubuque Community String Orchestra is a non-auditioned ensemble for adults of any age who play a string instrument. The group was founded in 1998 to give area musicians an outlet for ensemble performance. The orchestra gives two or more free concerts per year. Learn more.

New Horizons Band

Directed by Dr. Glenn Pohland for adults age 50 and up. New Horizons Band is a non-auditioned performance ensemble for adults age 50 and over. Members get to be part of a band, play favorite melodies and exciting band arrangements, meet new people who share a love of music, and have a weekly outing that promotes good health, relaxation, and fun! Learn more.

Sweet Adelines

Directed by Teresa Slade for women who love to sing together! Founded in 1945, Sweet Adelines International developed into an organization that would bridge continents and unite women in their love of music. Learn more.


Healing Harmonies Chorus

Directed by Callie Mescher for memory-challenged adults and non-care-center Alzheimer’s disease patients in the Dubuque area, along with caregivers and others who might be interested. Learn more.


Concerts & Events

Northeast Iowa School of Music holds a variety of public events and concerts each year including ensemble performances, student recitals, and special performances by guest artists (such as the audience favorite ChamberFest DBQ with Michael Gilbertson and guest artists). Whether you are a musician looking get inspired or a music lover looking for a great way to spend an afternoon or evening, Northeast Iowa School of Music has ample concert-going opportunities, many of which are free!


Scholarship Program

Need-Based Financial Assistance

Northeast Iowa School of Music offers need-based financial assistance for students of all ages in private lessons and duet lessons. Please submit your scholarship application before you plan to register for the program.

Learn more

Why Music?

Physical and Mental Health Benefits

Studies show music and music education can have a profound impact on students of all ages, like helping prevent hearing loss in adults!

- Music can play a role in healthy aging, mentally, emotionally, and even physically.

- Even if you've never played an instrument you can start reaping the benefits of music education.

- Swedish researchers have found that singing in a choir has a positive effect on the heart.

- The 1999 NAMM-funded Music Making and Wellness project found that seniors who participated in group music lessons reported significantly decreased feelings of depression, anxiety and loneliness.

- A study at Northwestern University showed adults with music experience had "more robust" brain stem response, which improves memory, listening, reading, and more.

Learn more about the benefits of music for all ages


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Upcoming Events

Just A Minute! virtual recital, Feb 2021


You've found the link for our concluded "Just A Minute!" virtual...

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Online Lessons


Northeast Iowa School of Music has gone online with music lessons...

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