Community Music School at Appalachian State University (ASU-CMS)

Our Mission: to transform lives through sustained and deeply engaging experiences in music

Appalachian State University Community Music School provides non-credit music instruction for children and adults in our local community as well as surrounding Western NC counties. We are uniquely able to combine university expertise with area teaching artists to provide outstanding musical training. Come and celebrate musical excellence with us!

The Community Music School (CMS) offers lessons or classes in the following areas:

  • Cello
  • Clarinet
  • Drum set / Snare
  • Flute
  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Voice

Teaching artists include ASU students and faculty as well as community musicians. Fees vary according to teaching artist’s training and experience; see rates by performance area and instructor


Registration for CMS' Spring semester is now closed -- save the dates for Summer Flex Lessons during May 3-10, 2019

If enrolling for the first time, please confirm lesson arrangements with your instructor prior to registering online. Questions? Contact Dr. Nicole Sonbert at

Lesson and Rate Information

Summer Flex Lessons are available between between May 13 - August 9, 2019. Students/families schedule either (3) or (6) lessons in advance with preferred instructors during the 13 week period.

Each fall or spring semester consists of 12 full semester lessons or 6 partial semester lessons, unless indicated otherwise. Lesson commitment is for an entire 12-week semester, even if registering/paying for a half-semester. Bi-weekly lessons are available to primarily adults and by advanced arrangement with individual instructors and approval by director Laura Chu Stokes. Teaching artists include ASU students and faculty as well as professional community musicians. Fees vary according to teaching artist's training and experience.

Individual lessons are offered in piano, voice, guitar, violin, viola, cello, clarinet, flute, saxophone, trumpet and drum set/snare*.

NEW THIS SPRING: Drumming Circle offered through CMS

Instructor Biographies


A limited number of scholarships for fall and spring are available based on financial need. Proof of income is required for this application process. Download the financial aid form (PDF, 121 KB). Previous awards are not guaranteed for the following year; a financial aid form must be completed every academic year that a student wishes to enroll. 

Registration and Payment

  • Fees vary according to teaching artist’s training and experience. 
  • View performance areas with instructor names and rates
  • Please be certain that you have received a definite commitment from your instructor regarding lesson arrangements prior to registration. 
  • Minimum enrollment is required for the Drumming Circle. If the class is cancelled due to low enrollment, students will have the option of receiving a full tuition refund or transferring to individual lessons, depending on instructors' availability.


Individual Lessons: All cancellations must be approved by the director and made before the second week of classes. Refunds can not be made in the event of withdrawal, nor will charges be cancelled when a student discontinues lessons after the second meeting of the semester. In the case of cancellations, a $30 fee will be charged in addition to any fees accumulated for lessons attended.

Ensembles and Lessons: All cancellations must be approved by the director and made before the second week of class. There will be no refunds after the second meeting (lesson) of the semester. All cancellations are subject to a $30 administration fee.


Attendance and Making Up a Class/Lesson

Students who arrive late for lessons/classes cannot be guaranteed full lesson times. Notification by the student/parent of inability to attend a class/lesson is requested as a courtesy to the teaching artist, but does not exempt the obligation for tuition for that class/lesson. Teachers are not obligated to make up lessons resulting from student cancellations; however, there will be one-week of make-up lessons scheduled at the end of each semester and missed lessons may be scheduled at that time at the discretion of the teaching artist. Teaching artists will make up lessons cancelled by them.


Parking at the CMS building - 134 Doctors Dr - is free. Students taking lessons with faculty on the ASU campus may park in any available parking space that is not reserved or handicapped after 5:00 PM on weekdays or all day on weekends. For those without ASU parking tags or taking lessons/classes before 5:00 PM, participants may purchase parking passes.

Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather, the ASU-CMS may cancel classes/lessons. Look for announcements on the Appalachian State University Homepage. In the event that classes/lessons are cancelled due to inclement weather, those activities will be rescheduled. If the ASU-CMS is open and you cannot travel to your class/lesson, please contact your teaching artist. The ASU-CMS may possibly be open when the Watauga County Public Schools are closed; do not assume that lessons are automatically cancelled before contacting your teaching artist.

Contact the Community Music School

  • Physical Address: 
    134 Doctor Drive 
    Boone, NC 28607
  • Mailing Address:
    Community Music School c/o Hayes School of Music 
    813 Rivers Street
    Boone, NC 28608
  • Director: Dr. Nicole Sonbert,
  • Find us on Facebook