Music Academy

NDSU Music Academy

Laura Kellogg

We are excited to continue another year of music-making at the NDSU Music Academy! Fall lessons will be offered both in-person and virtually.

We feel our Music Academy is a great opportunity to enrich our community by educating students young and old about music and the fine arts. Please contact us for more information about lesson availability or other questions you may have concerning the Academy. We look forward to meeting you!

Registration for returning students is open August 1, 2022 (email
Registration for new students is open August 6, 2022 (fill out registration form below)

The NDSU Music Academy currently offers lessons in the following areas:

  • Voice
  • Piano
  • Ukulele
  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet
  • Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • French horn
  • Percussion
  • Violin
  • Viola
Please check the "Meet the Instructors" tab for ages the instructors teach.

We also have a FB page, so please give us a Like! The Music Academy Director will post updates on social media and via email.

Dr. Laura Kellogg
Director of the NDSU Music Academy
Phone: (701) 231-8271
*I am not always in the office to answer the phone. Email is the fastest way to reach me.


The NDSU Music Academy is a non-degree organization that provides high quality music education to students from age four years through adult. The Academy allows students to work at their own pace in an encouraging environment. We also provide opportunities for students to perform and interact with each other in a non-competitive atmosphere. The instructors at the Academy are highly qualified NDSU graduate and undergraduate students pursuing degrees in music education, music performance, and conducting. The NDSU Music Academy is housed at Peace Lutheran Church (1011 12th Avenue N, Fargo, ND).

Fall Session 2022 (13 lessons)

Registration Opens - Returning StudentsAugust 1
Registration Opens - New StudentsAugust 6
Lessons BeginSeptember 6
No lessonsNovember 11
November 23-25
Last Day of LessonsDecember 9
Fall RecitalDecember 10, 2:00pm

Spring Session 2023 (15 lessons)

Registration Opens - Returning StudentsDecember 1
Registration Opens - New StudentsDecember 6
Lessons BeginJanuary 9
No LessonsJanuary 16
February 20
March 13-17
April 7,10
Last Day of LessonsMay 5
Spring RecitalMay 6, 2:00pm

Summer Session 2023 (8 lessons)

Registration Opens - Returning StudentsMay 1
Registration Opens - New StudentsMay 6
Lessons BeginJune 5
No LessonsJuly 3-7
Last Day of LessonsAugust 4
No Recital in summer session

Pay tuition online

30 minute lessons

  • Fall (13 lessons): $247.00
  • Spring (15 lessons): $285.00
  • Summer (8 lessons): $152.00

45 minute lessons

  • Fall (13 lessons): $370.50
  • Spring (15 lessons): $427.50
  • Summer (8 lessons): $228.00

60 minute lessons

  • Fall (13 lessons): $494.00
  • Spring (15 lessons): $570.00
  • Summer (8 lessons): $304.00

Prorated Fee

  • $19.00 for 30 minute lesson
  • $28.50 for 45 minute lesson
  • $38.00 for 60 minute lesson

(Summer lessons offered only by specific teachers, check with your teacher to see about availability in the summer.)


There is a $20 registration fee per student for first time registration only

After registering, we will contact you to schedule your weekly lesson time. Once we have found a time that works for your lesson, please pay your new student registration fee of $20 online through our website within 48 hours. When we have received your new student fee, we will reserve your lesson time. If the new student fee is not received within 48 hours, the lesson time that was agreed upon will become available for other students to reserve.


Once you have registered, you may pay in full or make two payments per semester for the fall and spring semesters. Payment is due before the first lesson. Lessons will not begin until payment has been received. If paying twice per semester, the second payment is due during the seventh week of the semester. Summer session payment is due in full before the first lesson. Payment can be made in the form of a check or credit card. Checks should be made out to NDSU and sent to:
NDSU Music Academy
Attn: Tracey Dahl
PO Box 6050 Dept 2330
Fargo ND 58108

Pay Lessons Online

This site will ask for the contribution amount. You’ll need to type in the tuition amount since it changes by semester. In the fall semester there are 15 lessons, and in the spring semester there are 13 lessons. Therefore, the tuition amount changes.

Make-up lessons

  • There will be the option of making up one lesson each semester for an excused absence.
  • An absence will be counted as excused when the teacher is notified at least one week prior to the lesson. If the teacher was not notified prior to the absence, the lesson will be counted as unexcused and will not be rescheduled.
  • If a student is ill, the teacher must be notified by phone a minimum of two hours prior to the lesson. If the teacher was not notified prior to the absence, the lesson will be counted as unexcused and will not be rescheduled.
  • A lesson canceled by the instructor will be made up at the earliest convenience of both parties.
  • All make up lessons will take place during normal Academy hours.
  • Please respect our instructors time as they have carved out a specific time in their schedule to teach you or your child.


Academy students are expected to:

  • Keep a regular practice schedule as specified by their instructor
  • Attend all lessons and recital in which they are enrolled
  • Bring instrument, music and all lesson materials to each lesson

Lesson Location

In-person lessons will take place at Peace Lutheran Church, 1011 12th Avenue North, Fargo. When you walk in the front door, continue walking towards the back of the church. There will be a host who will greet you and show you where the lessons are at. (Lessons will be in the Sunday School Wing). Parents must always accompany children. There is a waiting area with chairs and tables outside the lesson rooms.

Building Policies

Peace Lutheran Church has graciously opened their facility for Academy use, we wish to keep their building in good order and respect their property. The Sunday school wing is the only place students and parents will be allowed to wait in the building. An adult must accompany students at all times. Students may not wait outside of the building for any reason and must remain in the Sunday school wing.

Student Dismissal

Students who are not meeting the expectations listed above may be dismissed at any time with tuition forfeited.

Cancellation of lessons

  • The Music Academy will only cancel lessons due to bad weather if NDSU cancels events for that day. Check the NDSU website for cancellation information. We will not follow public school or Peace Lutheran cancellations.
  • If a student decides to cancel due to bad weather and NDSU is open, the instructor is not obligated to make up the absence.
  • The Music Academy Director will send out an email blast and post on the NDSU Music Academy Facebook page when lessons are canceled.
  • Lessons canceled by the instructor will be made up at the earliest convenience of both parties.

Withdrawing from lessons requires written notification to the Academy office. If written notification is not received, students will still be considered officially enrolled and charged accordingly for tuition.


After the first payment has been received, students are obligated to pay for that half of the semester. If a student has paid in full for the semester and does not continue lessons in the second half of the semester, a refund will be given for the second half of the semester.

Late Arrival

Students are expected to arrive on time and be ready for their lesson to begin at the specified time. Instructors will wait 15 minutes before assuming the students will be absent for the lesson. Instructors are not required to make-up lost time. However, if an instructor is late, they will arrange to make-up the lost time.

Please fill out this registration form for NEW students only. If you have previously taken lessons through the Music Academy, you will receive an email with returning student registration information on August 1st, December 1st, and May 1st.

Registration for New Students

Registrations for new students will open on August 6th, December 6th, and May 6th.

Scholarships for students are available on the basis of need through Excite Music. Please visit Excite Music FM to apply.

Ava Brewster, flute
Ava Brewster
Teaches age 10 and above
Ava Brewster is the flute instructor at the NDSU Music Academy. She is a recent NDSU graduate in General Music and Neuroscience, and this is her fourth year teaching at the Academy. She is from Moorhead, MN, and has played the flute for 12 years. Ava loves teaching and playing the flute and strives to help young players develop their ability to express themselves musically.

Cameron Solberg, oboe
Cameron Solberg
Cameron Solberg grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and is gaining her Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education at North Dakota State University. She studies oboe under Philip McKenzie and studied under Jennifer Peterson prior to college. Cameron has obtained a variety of performing and teaching opportunities while studying at NDSU. These experiences include playing in the NDSU Wind Symphony, NDSU Woodwind Quintet, NDSU Gold Star Marching Band, NDSU Jazz Ensemble, NDSU Saxophone Quartet, and various chamber ensembles for NDSU’s operas and choirs. She has also earned the title as a finalist in the Bismarck Mandan Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition and competed in the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition and the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Solo Competition.

While performing is a large passion for Cameron, she also enjoys sharing her knowledge and appreciation for music through teaching. In addition to teaching private oboe lessons for the NDSU Music Academy, she has also volunteered as a camp counselor for the Bemidji MusiCamp.

Isaac Homuth, trumpet and Piano
Isaac Homuth
Teaches age 5 and above
Isaac Homuth is currently an instrumental music education major at North Dakota State University. He graduated from high school just across the river at Moorhead High, so he has been around the FM area his entire life. Being the principal trumpet player in the NDSU Wind Symphony, split-lead trumpet player in the NDSU Jazz Ensemble, section leader in the Gold Star Marching Band, and the leader of the Gold Star Brass Quintet, he loves being a leader and helping others achieve their goals. Trumpet is his true passion and he wants to share it with as many people as possible. Besides music, Isaac also enjoys disc golf, chess, table tennis, watching movies, and cooking.

Lilliana Ash, piano and Voice
Lilliana Ash
Teaches age 6 and above

Lilliana is a sophomore attending NDSCS and NDSU where she hopes to become a music therapist. She is currently majoring in psychology and Vocal Music education as well. Music has played a big role in her life, and ever since she was younger she would start singing and playing the piano, and it just made her feel happy and relaxed. As she got old she started singing the National Anthem at basketball and football games. You could also always catch Lilliana playing preludes or singing for special events as well. Lilliana enjoys teaching because she loves letting kids embrace who they are and their unique styles, she also loves to watch their progress from start to finish.

Nick Lero, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, and piano
Nicholas Lero
Teaches age 8 and above
Nick is an NDSU student working towards a bachelor's degree in Instrumental Music Education, as well as a minor in Vocal Music Education. The moment music became his love, he recalls, is when his 2nd grade teacher (Mr. Rodman) taught the class "Yellow Submarine" by The Beatles. When not doing anything musical, he likes playing basketball, reading the classics, and playing with his cat, Mimi.

Ciara Spade, ukulele and voice
Ciara Spade
Teaches age 5 and above
Ciara Spade is a mezzo-soprano studying Vocal Music at NDSU. This is her second semester teaching at the NDSU Music Academy. At NDSU, she is an officer for the Concert Choir, a member of the Madrigal Singers, and an active participant in the Musical Theatre program. In addition to voice, Ciara also enjoys teaching the ukulele. She first picked up an ukulele when she lived in Hawaii and hasn’t put it down in the 11 years since. She loves teaching because she finds it SO rewarding to watch a student finally grasp a concept and take pride in their hard work. In her free time, Ciara can be found gardening, doing puzzles, and cuddling with her cats.

Jared Hartl, tuba and euphonium
Jared Hartl
Teaches age 10 and above
Jared Hartl is from New Rockford, ND, and currently a senior Instrumental Music Education major at NDSU. He has been playing tuba for 9 years and has also played euphonium and bass trombone during his time at college. Jared has studied under Dr. Joel Pugh of UND and Connor Challey and Douglas Neill of NDSU. His favorite genres to play include marches, jazz standards, chamber music, and polkas! Jared hopes to pass on his love for all things tuba while teaching at the NDSU Music Academy.

Aubrey Spangelo, piano and percussion
Aubrey Apangelo
Teaches age 5 and above
Aubrey Spangelo is an Instrumental Music Education major at North Dakota State University. Originally from Mandan, North Dakota, Aubrey has been a student of music for 10 years studying piano and percussion. In her free time Aubrey loves to bake various treats, read fiction novels, and listen to educational podcasts. She is excited for this opportunity to start teaching at the music academy to connect with people through music and help support them on their musical journeys.

Jessica Livdahl, voice
Jessica Livdahl
Teaches age 11-12 (6th grade) and above
Jessica Livdahl is a soprano from Fargo, North Dakota. She is in her third year pursuing a vocal performance degree at NDSU, and this is her first semester teaching at the NDSU Music Academy. She is a member of the NDSU Concert Choir with which she has performed as a soloist in the Messiah, as well as the Madrigal Singers. She is also very interested in opera, and is an active participant in both the NDSU Opera program and the FM Opera chorus. Jessica has a passion for performing vocal music, but also enjoys working with younger singers to help them grow as musicians. She hopes to assist her students in sharing their music with the world.

Lauren Craig, violin, viola, and voice
Lauren Craig
Violin and Viola: ages 10 and above
Voice: ages 13 and above

Lauren Craig is a recent graduate from NDSU, graduating summa cum laude with a BM in Vocal Performance. Throughout her degree she enjoyed performing in operas, singing in the NDSU concert choir and Madrigal singers, and competing in various regional competitions. One thing that was very important to her in her education was remaining open to other skills and instruments that would make her a well balanced musician. She is currently playing with the FM Symphony Orchestra as a sub-list violist, and spends many evenings performing in other chamber groups around the area. She most recently received her 200-hour yoga teaching certification and has been enjoying using her skills as a yoga teacher to teach musicians wellness and injury prevention to her students. She looks forward to meeting you soon!

Joshua Sperr, horn
Joshua Sperr
Teaches age 10 and above
Joshua Sperr is going into his final year of his Undergraduate degree in Instrumental Performance at NDSU. He studies with Kayla Nelson at NDSU and this is his second year teaching at the Music Academy. He’s played the French Horn for over 10 years and has played with many ensembles at NDSU. These include the Wind Symphony, Orchestra, various Brass Quintets, the NDSU Horn Quartet. Outside of music, he enjoys working, spending time with friends and family, and playing video games. He is excited to pass on his love of music and watch his students’ love of music grow.

Natalie Harrison, voice and ukulele
Natalie Harrison
Teaches age 8 and above
Natalie Harrison is a senior at NDSU studying Vocal Performance and French. In addition to performing she teaches singing and ukulele. She hopes to pursue a career in opera and musical theater after obtaining her masters in Vocal Performance and French. Natalie enjoys sharing her love for music through performing and teaching others!

Alison Johnson, piano
Alison Johnson
Teaches age 5 and above
Alison Johnson is going into her first year of being an instrumental music education major at North Dakota State University. She is coming from a small town just outside of the twin cities called Victoria where she has been studying piano for over 11 years. Throughout those 11 years she has performed in over 20 formal recitals and even put on one herself! Previously, at her high school she participated in her top band, top jazz band (on the piano of course!), and top choir. Outside of music, she enjoys working with her young students at her job, baking, figure skating, and being crafty. Alison cannot wait to meet you and hopes to have a fun year!

Mark Ancheta, piano
Mark Ancheta
Teaches ages 5 and above
Mark Ancheta is a current Master of Music student in collaborative piano at the NDSU’s Challey School of Music. He is from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada where he also completed his Bachelor’s degree in Performance at the University of Regina in 2021 receiving the Academic Silver Prize and Distinction Award upon graduation. Mark was actively involved in Regina’s music community as a vocal studio and university choir pianist, church choir leader, and former member of a small non-profit chamber music organization called Concertino Regina among others for many years. Mark’s favourite part of teaching is the chance to create a dynamic lesson plan that is tailored to the needs of each student because it shows the diversity among everyone’s characteristics and learning capabilities. Mark believes that teaching music provides a mutual benefit for learning for both the student and the teacher.

Q: How are lessons set up?
A: Before the semester begins, I collect all the instructors’ availability. I create a Google Spreadsheet for each instructor with times they are available to teach. Once a student registers for lessons, I email that Spreadsheet link to the student. The student then edits the document to pick a lesson time that works for them.

Q: Why are the tuition amounts different for fall versus spring versus summer?
A: The tuition changes because there are a different amount of lessons. In the fall there are 13 lessons, in the spring there are 15 lessons, and in the summer there are 8 lessons.

Q: Where do the lessons take place?
A: Peace Lutheran Church. The address is 1011 12th Ave. N, Fargo. Upon entering the church, walk towards the back. There will be a host to greet you and direct you to where lessons are. The lesson rooms are located upstairs in the Sunday School wing of the church.

Q: Are instruments provided by the Academy?
A: No, students will need to purchase or rent their own instruments. Of course, we do have pianos at the church for lessons! For other instruments, check out local music stores such as Eckroth Music and Schmitt Music for purchasing or rental options.

Q: What materials should be purchased for lessons?
A: Besides an instrument, lesson materials will be determined by your instructor specifically for you! At the first lesson, the instructor will get to know the student’s level to recommend appropriate method books and music. These materials can often be purchased at Eckroth Music, Schmitt Music, or Popplers Music.

Q: What length of lessons should I select for my child?
A: This depends on the age, attention span, and goals of the student. For younger students age 4-12, I would recommend 30 minutes. Middle school and high school levels would be more 45 minutes to an hour. If your child is interested in being involved in music at the college level, I would say definitely an hour.

Q: Can I sign my child up for lessons on multiple instruments?
A: You sure can!

Q: What days and times are lessons available?
A: Academy hours are Monday through Friday, 4:00pm-8:00pm. However, each instructor has different availability within that time frame. Once you register for lessons, I will send you a Google Spreadsheet of the instructor’s availability.

Q: Why aren’t there lessons during the weekend?
A: Our instructors are all music majors at NDSU. They often have musical obligations and performances on the weekend.

Q: Can we invite friends and family to the recital?
A: Yes, of course!