Music Academy

NDSU Music Academy

We are excited to continue another year of music-making at the NDSU Music Academy!

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 check out our FAQ tab for common questions and an explanation of how we set up lessons. We look forward to meeting you!

Registration for returning students is open December 1, 2023 An email is sent to returning students to register. If you are a returning student and didn't receive an email, please check your spam folder first and then email Please do not fill out a new registration form.
Registration for new students is open December 6, 2023 (fill out registration form below)

For the first time in over 5 years, we are raising tuition prices to be able to better compensate our instructors and hosts. We are raising lesson fees by $5 for each 30-minute lesson. Please see the policies and tuition tab for more information.

Scholarships Available

Excite Music, a fiscal sponsor project of the Impact Foundation, provides scholarships on the basis of need to students at the NDSU Music Academy. Excite Music’s mission is to ensure that every child has the opportunity to learn and experience music, regardless of economic status. To apply for a scholarship, please visit their website to fill out the application:

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

  • Organ (new to Fall 2023!)
  • Rhythm ukulele
  • Rhythm Guitar (centers around chords, strumming patterns, and working with groups of strings
  • Voice
  • Piano
  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet
  • Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • 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


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).

The NDSU Music Academy is housed at Peace Lutheran Church (1011 12th Avenue N, Fargo, ND).

Laura Kellogg
Laura Kellogg is the Director of the NDSU Music Academy. She is also flute faculty at NDSU and the Executive Director of the Fargo Moorhead Area Youth Symphonies.

Fall Session 2023

Registration Opens - Returning StudentsAugust 1
Registration Opens - New StudentsAugust 6
Lessons BeginSeptember 5 (Tuesday)
No lessonsNovember 10
November 22-24
Last Day of LessonsDecember 8
Fall RecitalDecember 9, 2:00pm

Spring Session 2024

Registration Opens - Returning StudentsDecember 1
Registration Opens - New StudentsDecember 6
Lessons BeginJanuary 16 (Tuesday)
No LessonsFebruary 19
March 4-8
March 29
April 1
Last Day of LessonsMay 3
Spring RecitalMay 4, 2:00pm

Summer Session 2024 (8 lessons)

Registration Opens - Returning StudentsMay 1
Registration Opens - New StudentsMay 6
Lessons BeginJune 3
No LessonsJuly 1-5
Last Day of LessonsAugust 2
No Recital in summer session

Pay tuition online

Prorated Fee

  • $24.00 for each 30 minute lesson
  • $36.00 for each 45 minute lesson
  • $48.00 for each 1 hour lesson
We’re going to try something different this year and pro-rate the lessons depending on what day of the week lessons are. Please see charts below for tuition costs.

Fall Semester

In Fall Semester, lessons go from Sept. 5 to Dec. 8

Because of holidays and breaks, there are differing amounts of lessons for each day of the week.

Day of the weekNumber of lessonsLength of lessonsTuition Due
1 hour
1 hour
1 hour
1 hour
1 hour

Spring Semester

In Spring Semester, lessons go from Jan. 16 to May 3

Because of holidays and breaks, there are differing amounts of lessons for each day of the week.

Day of the weekNumber of lessonsLength of lessonsTuition Due
1 hour
1 hour
1 hour
1 hour
1 hour

Summer Session

There will always be 8 lessons in the summer session.

30-minute lessons $192
45-minute lessons $288
1 hour lessons $384

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 established a lesson time, 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 2540
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 to apply.

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 received her Bachelor’s degree in General Music and Neuroscience at NDSU in 2021, and this is her sixth year teaching at the Academy. She is from Moorhead, MN, and has played the flute for 13 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
Beginner, intermediate, and advanced students 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
Trumpet: beginner, intermediate, and advanced students
Piano: beginner and intermediate students

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.

Jared Hartl, tuba, euphonium, and trombone
Jared Hartl
Teaches age 10 and above
Tuba and euphonium: beginner, intermediate, and advanced
Trombone: beginner and intermediate

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.

Joshua Sperr, horn
Joshua Sperr
Teaches age 10 and above
Beginner, intermediate, and advanced students
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.

Alison Johnson, piano
Alison Johnson
Teaches age 5 and above
Beginner, intermediate, and advanced students

Alison Johnson is a current student at NDSU's Challey School of Music studying instrumental music education. This will be her second year attending NDSU! Currently, she is studying piano, accompanies over at the Newman center for mass, is in the Wind Symphony, and you can catch her in NDSU's Gold Star Marching Band at one of the games! Alison is from Victoria, MN, a small town 30 minutes southwest of the twin cities. She is thrilled to be teaching again this year and can't wait to get going again with everything piano! Alison has found that one of her passions is not only music, but also teaching. She believes that music is a universal language and can be enjoyed by anyone whether you are the listener or player. By learning the piano (or any instrument), you are not only developing the skill to create music, but you are also learning how to appreciate music and all it has to offer.

Ziyan Hu, voice and piano
Ziyan Hu
Teaches ages 5 and above
Voice: beginner, intermediate, and advanced students
Piano: beginner students

Ziyan Hu is a soprano with a warm and round voice, known for her agile light coloratura. She has over 9 years of experience teaching private lessons in voice and beginning piano. In addition, she has 3 years of experience teaching in high school and junior high school and completed a half-year internship in a primary school.

Ziyan holds a Master's Degree from Wuhan Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor's Degree from Zhaoqing University, both in China. Her passion for vocal achievement led her to pursue a degree in the United States, where she is currently studying at North Dakota State University (NDSU) as a graduate assistant.

Ziyan has formed a unique singing style through rich performance experience and exposure to different vocal advisors, and she enjoys singing both bel cantos and Chinese folk songs. She combines the advantages of both styles to create a unique and versatile singing style.

Ziyan's dedication to teaching and music is evident in her extensive experience teaching students of all ages and backgrounds, and her students have gone on to study at universities in China, the United States, and the United Kingdom. She has also performed in hundreds of performances in many cities in China, including Macau, Foshan, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Kunming, Zhangjiajie, and many others. With her talent, passion, and years of experience, Ziyan Hu is a skilled educator and performer.

Zackary Carlson, trumpet and piano
Zackary Carlson
Teaches ages 5 and above
Trumpet: beginner, intermediate, and advanced students
Piano: beginner students

Zack Carlson is an instrumental education major at North Dakota State University. He has been playing for 9 years and has performed in a variety of ensembles including Principal Trumpet of the NDSU Symphony Orchestra, Section Leader in the Gold Star Marching Band, NDSU Wind Symphony, NDSU Jazz Ensemble, and the Gold Star Brass Quintet. Music has been a large part of his life and he wants to provide his knowledge to the next generation of musicians in any way he can.

Adam Madrigal, saxophone and piano
Adam Madrigal
Teaches ages 5 and above
Saxophone: beginner, intermediate, and advanced
Piano: beginner

Adam is currently an Instrumental Music Education Major at NDSU. He loves music, being involved in various different ensembles including Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble, and Marching Band. In his free time, Adam enjoys gaming, spending time with friends and family, and chilling with his dog Lulu.

Alejandro Lopez, percussion (drum set) and piano
Alejandro Lopez
Teaches ages 7 and above
Percussion: beginner, intermediate, and advanced students
Piano: beginner and intermediate students

Alejandro Lopez is currently an International student from Honduras, doing a Major in Music performance at North Dakota State University. He has played percussion for nine years and piano for three years and is part of many ensembles at NDSU, like, Wind Symphony, Jazz ensemble, Percussion ensemble, Gold star Marching band. Alejandro worked as a music teacher in Honduras for two years and one year as a volunteer. He also enjoys teaching and sharing music in all ways possible.

Bradley Schiltz, violin and viola
Bradley Schiltz
Teaches ages 6 and above
Violin and viola: beginner, intermediate, and advanced students

Bradley has been playing the violin for 12 years. He has performed in numerous ensembles and has a passion for music and teaching. Bradley is currently studying chemistry at NDSU.

Joel Jones, clarinet
Joel Jones
Teaches ages 13 and above
Clarinet: beginner and intermediate students

Joel Jones is the youngest of three sons, was born in Houston, TX, and has also lived in Washington State. He grew up listening to many kinds of music, and attempting to recreate those tunes he enjoyed on the family piano. After moving to North Dakota, he went to Minot State, where he began taking clarinet lessons with Dr. James Fusik, and Dr. Charles Young. After graduating with a BA in music, he moved to Fargo, ND; he is currently with Dr. Cassie Keogh while completing a Masters in Music Performance in clarinet at North Dakota State University. He has played with the Fargo-Moorhead, Minot, and Bemidji symphonies, and has frequently participated in the Dakota Chamber Music Festival. Joel particularly enjoys chamber music, and is a founding member of the Mellifluous clarinet trio. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar, reading fantasy novels, trying new restaurants with friends, and occasionally playing chess.

Benton Schmidt, organ
Benton Schmidt
*Students need to be able to have their feet reach the pedals. Estimated youngest age is 10 years old
Teaches beginner, intermediate, and advanced students

A native of Fargo, North Dakota, Benton Schmidt began studying music at the age of 5. He completed his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at North Dakota State University where he was recipient of the Bill Euren Fellowship Award. Schmidt received his Masters of Sacred Music from the University of Notre Dame in May 2021 and is currently finishing his doctorate in Church Music at the University of Kansas. At home in both ancient and modern repertoire, Benton particularly enjoys the liturgical music of seventeenth-century French and early German Baroque periods. He currently serves as the director of music at St. Paul’s Newman Center next to the campus of NDSU.

Olivia Bedard, rhythm guitar, rhythm ukulele, and voice
Olivia Bedard
Teaches ages 8 and above
Ukulele and guitar: beginner and intermediate students
Voice: elementary and middle school students

Olivia Bedard is a music major in her Junior year at NDSU. She is from Cottage Grove, MN and has experience performing in various ensembles both back home, and in Fargo. She also has worked 4 years as a camp counselor at a musical theater camp for elementary and middle school students. Through her performing opportunities, she has found that one of the most exciting things about music is getting to inspire younger generations to love it too!

Guilherme Montenegro, piano
Guilherme Montenegro
Teaches beginner and intermediate students

Guilherme Montenegro is currently studying Collaborative Piano under the guidance of Dr. Tyler Wottrich. When pursuing a master degree in Music Education from the University of Brasilia, he carried out research about collaborative pianists at scholarly music settings in Brazil. Previous piano professors were Dr. Jaci Toffano, Dr. Maria de los Ángeles Iglesias, and Neusa França. Since 2011 Guilherme has been serving as a collaborative pianist for the School of Music at Brasília for both vocal and instrumental divisions. Main topics of his interest include collaborative piano, chamber music, sight reading, piano teaching for beginners, and vernacular language learning applied to art songs. Those interests resulted in the publication of scholarly papers at larger Brazilian conferences in Music. Guilherme also gained relevant musical experience due to piano accompaniment for the Brazilian Federal Senate choir and for a few editions of the International Summer Program held by the School of Music at Brasília. In addition to music performance, Guilherme has taught one-to-one piano lessons for beginners, and distance music courses at the Brazilian Open University Program - Universidade Aberta do Brasil. He's thrilled about pursuing a doctoral degree and sharing his professional experience as an international student at NDSU. Piano teaching enables him to share experiences and positively transform students' lives with music.

Angelana Quanbeck, violin, guitar, ukulele, voice
Angelana Quanbeck
Teaches ages 6 and above
Violin: beginner and intermediate students
Guitar: beginner students
Ukulele: beginner students
Voice: beginner and intermediate students

AJ is a 5th year senior at NDSU majoring in Music and Sociology who enjoys reading, baking, knowing too much about Shakespeare, and hanging out with her dogs. AJ’s main instruments are violin and voice, but she also dabbles in guitar, ukulele, piano, saxophone, percussion, and viola. She loves to write music, both singer-songwriter style, and for vocal and instrumental chamber groups. As a teacher, AJ sees music as one of the best ways to develop learning skills, as well as connect with oneself and others. She prioritizes cultivating students’ relationship with music, encouraging them to find their joy.

Trent Hunskor, piano and saxophone
Trent Hunskor
Teaches ages 5 and above
Saxophone: beginner, intermediate, and advanced
Piano: beginner and intermediate

Trent Hunskor is currently a senior instrumental music education major at North Dakota State University. He graduated from Newburg United High School, a small rural school, and is enjoying the Fargo area. At NDSU he is currently a part of the NDSU Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble, a section leader for the Gold Star Marching Band, and a member of the NDSU Saxophone Quartet. Trent has been playing the saxophone since age nine and piano since age eleven. Previous students of his were between the ages of six and twelve for both saxophone and piano. In his free time Trent enjoys spending time with friends and family, listening to music, and watching movies. He is excited to start at the music academy to help students grow their musicianship and to help share their music with everyone.

Ethan Bruley, piano and saxophone
Ethan Bruley
Teaches ages 5 and above
Piano: beginner and intermediate
Saxophone: beginner and intermediate

Ethan Bruley is a freshman at NDSU pursuing a Music Education degree. He grew up in West Fargo and has played piano for 12 years. He has played around town in multiple groups and teaches other kids in the F-M area outside of NDSU too. Ethan has always loved teaching kids music and enjoys watching his students grow. Ethan has also played saxophone for 7 years and is a part of the NDSU Jazz Ensemble and the Gold Star Saxophone Quartet. Outside of music, he spends most of his time watching football or bowling.

Germán Rojas, piano and trumpet
Germán Rojas
Teaches ages 5 and above
Piano: beginner, intermediate, and advanced
Trumpet: beginner, intermediate, and advanced (starting age 9)

Germán Rojas is a professional trumpet player and a piano enthusiast with over 20 years of experience. With 12 years devoted to both studying and teaching at various universities across the United States. He earned his bachelor degree in music from the Central University of Colombia, followed by a master's degree in music from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He further enriched his education through participation in the Artist Diploma program at Texas Christian University and is currently on the verge of completing a doctorate at North Dakota State University.

His expertise spans classical music, rock, jazz, and popular genres. Additionally, he has successfully organized youth brass instrument groups within symphony orchestras and concert bands. He's skilled in various musical settings, including jazz big bands, symphony orchestras, concert bands, rock and funk groups, and small jazz ensembles, both as a trumpeter and a pianist.

His teaching philosophy centers around nurturing a student's natural connection to music while encouraging self-expression through their instrument. He firmly believes that this approach is the most effective way to master instrumental technique.

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!