Online lessons available -
Online Piano Instruction
Group Zoom Meeting of CMS Teachers

Music Should Last a Lifetime!

Enrich Your Life with Music at UNI


The Community Music School offers a variety of music programs just for YOU!  

Private lessons are available on a variety of woodwind, brass, keyboard, percussion instruments, and voice, as well as, group piano lessons, the UNI Children’s Choir, the UNI New Horizons Band, and Camp Musicmania.  Children and adults are welcome!

The CMS staff includes professional music educators, performers, and UNI School of Music students (We love music and we live music!). Classes and lessons are offered year-round for students of all ages and abilities. All CMS events are held on the UNI campus in the UNI School of Music facilities and other appropriate area community sites in Cedar Falls and Waterloo, IA. 



Mission Statement:

  • To offer innovative music education experiences for area youth and adults.

  • To provide mentored teaching opportunities and experiences for UNI School of Music Students.

  • To establish a community-based partnership to promote and utilize the many resources and facets of cultural diversity at UNI and in the Cedar Valley


National Association Of Schools Of Music (NASM) Accreditation 2011


National Associate of Schools of Music Logo


The UNI Community Music School received full accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music, joining over 650 other accredited universities and institutions across the country. The organization, founded in 1924, establishes the national standards for undergraduate and graduate education programs in the United States. More information can be found at

Donate to UNI CMS 




Friday, Apr 17, 2020
Summer Music Lesson Registration OPEN!

Online Summer Lesson Registration is Open!

  • Lessons are scheduled between June 1 through August 14, 2020.Online Piano Lesson
  • Flexible lesson options - register for 8 or 10 lessons
  • Lessons can be schedule any time between June 1 - August 14 (subject to teacher availability).
  • Lessons will take place online during the summer until the University of Northern Iowa announces that in person classes may take place on campus.  Several of our teachers are available this summer ONLY for online lessons, regardless of UNI mandates.

Online Summer Information

Monday, Mar 16, 2020
COVID-19 Announcement - 3/16/2020

Refunds and withdrawals are currently not being considered on a case by case basis.  As of today, UNI will be back to normal operations beginning April 5th.  If something changes with that time frame, CMS staff will be in contact with all our students about our contingency plans.  
We are asking for some patience and grace as we navigate this situation.  We are in uncharted territory.  Emotions are running high not only with our CMS participants (lessons, New Horizons Band, and UNICC members), but with our UNI community as well.  Our concerns and intentions are about everyone's safety and well-being, including our students, their families, and our teachers. 

Thank you and stay healthy!

Heather Hamilton Signature

Friday, Mar 13, 2020
Community Music School COVID-19 Announcement

Music quote and pictures of kids making music

Dear Community Music School families,


Today, the Iowa Board of Regents announced that all Iowa state schools will teach classes virtually, following spring break.  

In an effort to protect student and employee health – and with guidance from the Iowa Board of Regents – all on-campus courses will switch over to exclusive online instruction beginning Monday, March 23 through at least Friday, April 3.


This decision also affects the Community Music School.  I have been meeting with teachers and directors this week to determine how we can move forward with instruction while on-campus classes and lessons are not an option.


Rehearsals for the New Horizons Band and the UNI Children’s Choir will cease until we have been cleared to return to campus.  It is our sincere hope that we will return to our normal schedule after this brief hiatus, and rehearsals can resume and concerts be performed as planned.


Regarding group piano classes, we will continue to host these classes online.  Your instructor will be touch with the students with more details. If you do not have an instrument to practice on at home, please contact me.  CMS owns keyboards that we will be able to lend you to use while you do not have access to an instrument at school.


Private lessons will also continue, taught online.  Your individual teacher will be in touch with you on how lessons will work, following spring break.  They will likely be using facetime, zoom, skype, or google hangouts for your lessons.  


In-person performance classes are cancelled.  Your teacher may elect to hold a virtual performance class in place of lessons for one week.  


Currently scheduled concerts for the New Horizons Band, the UNI Children’s Choir, and CMS recitals have been suspended until UNI resumes normal operations. 


For lessons being taught online, you will need to have internet access, as well as a laptop with video and microphone capability or smartphone.  If you are a voice student, and do not have a piano at home, you are free to borrow a keyboard from CMS


If you are needing a keyboard, please contact me to arrange a pick up time for the instrument.  


I will continue to communicate with you by email with updates on when on-campus classes will resume.  Currently, UNI staff will be working on campus and/or telecommuting. The most efficient way to get in touch with staff and teachers is by email.  


Contacts -

    Heather Hamilton (CMS Administrator): or 273-2142

    Diana Blake (NHB Director): or 352-3007

    Michelle Swanson (UNICC Director): or 273-2600

    Michelle Kline (CMS administration): or 273-2014


Thank you, in advance, for your flexibility as we navigate this “new” experience.  We wish each of you good health and hope to see you, in person, soon!


Warmest Regards,


Heather Hamilton

Director, Community Music School


University of Northern Iowa - School of Music

142 Russell Hall

Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0246