FAQ Instruments & Music

Do I have to have my own instrument?
Generally, yes. The Department of Music does own some large band and orchestra instruments that are available for student use: a number of string basses, two concert harps, several bassoons plus a contrabassoon, a bass clarinet, a tenor and baritone saxophone, as well as several school piccolos. University instruments are issued to the most qualified players who request them, and who plan to participate actively in a Department of Music Performance Ensemble. The Department also owns a number of specialty instruments available to qualified members of the Early Music Ensemble, Middle East Music Ensemble, and South Asian Music Ensemble.

For standard orchestra and band instruments, there are several instrument stores in the area that rent instruments. See repair options, listed below. There are also a number of excellent string instrument shops in the Chicago area, many of which offer a large selection of instruments in a variety of price ranges.

How can I get an instrument locker in Goodspeed or in the new Logan Art Center?
Instrument lockers in Goodspeed Hall can be requested through the Department of Music Main Office, GoH 309. *Goodspeed Hall lockers are unavailable for the 2020-21 academic year due to COVID-19 precautions.

Instrument lockers in the Logan Center for the Arts can be requested in the Department of Music Performance Program Office, Logan 217. *note how this is being handled during COVID

Priority for locker assignments in both locations is granted to students who are active in the Department of Music Performance Program. Lockers are to be used for the storage of instruments, and not for coats, books, or sheet music.

Where can I get my instrument repaired?
String repairs are best handled by the A440 Violin Shop on the near north side of Chicago, which also sells strings, bows, rosin, mutes, etc. Repairs to woodwind and brass instruments can generally be accomplished by Quinlan & Fabish, which has a representative who comes to campus once a week for pick-up and delivery. Reeds and accessories are most easily purchased through a reliable online source.

For serious or complicated instrument repairs, ask Barbara Schubert, Director of Performance Programs.

Where can I obtain sheet music?
A range of printed music for solo instruments and ensembles is available in Regenstein Library. The music holdings are located in the third floor stacks, and are available for browsing as well as check-out.

Standard repertory sheet music as well as public domain orchestral parts can be downloaded free of charge from IMSLP. Chamber music and solo literature can be purchased from many online vendors, including Performers Music, Sheet Music Plus, and Luck’s Music Library.