Skip to Content
Aerial shot of campus

Extension Division


Marla A. Meissner, Ph.D., Director
Letitia G. Stancu, Office Administrator

Contact Us

Phone: 973-655-4443
Fax: 973-655-5279
(Please do not FAX credit card information.)

Extension Division Info Book 17 – 18
Registration Form
Credit Card Authorization Form
Extension Division 17 – 18 Semester Calendars

If you have any difficulty accessing or using these forms, please contact us at or 973-655-4443.

Open Houses

  • Fall Semester 2017:  Saturday, September 9, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Spring Semester 2018:  Saturday, February 10, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Location: Chapin Hall – Ground Floor Atrium (Park in the Red Hawk Deck and follow signs)


The Extension Division (formerly Preparatory Center for the Arts) at the Cali School of Music was established in 1976 to provide musical education and training for all age groups. Through the years the Division has served as a supplemental musical enrichment for some, and a comprehensive musical training ground for others who have gone on to pursue successful careers in music. It is dedicated to providing students of all ages, backgrounds and levels of ability with the experience of learning music in an encouraging environment intended to enhance creative growth and promote a life-long understanding of and appreciation for the musical arts. The Prep Center provides a unique learning environment in Northern New Jersey. It offers students and their families the opportunity to share music experiences with professional artist-teachers, energetic and enthusiastic music majors, as well as each other in a modern facility on the Montclair State University campus.

What does the Extension Division at MSU offer?

  • Highly skilled artist-teachers who enjoy MUSIC & TEACHING
  • Private Lessons on ALL instruments, voice & composition
  • SUZUKI Violin, Viola, Cello & Piano
  • Theory & Musicianship Classes for Age 9 and up
  • Chamber Ensemble Program
  • Chamber Winds Ensemble
  • Flute Ensemble
  • Harp Ensembles
  • Orchestral Ensemble Program
  • Chamber Winds Ensemble
  • Recitals and concerts at the end of each semester

Who can attend the Extension Division?

  • Children age 3 through adult
  • Absolute beginners through advanced players are WELCOME!

Where do the activities take place?

  • At the Cali School of Music in the recently renovated and expanded Chapin Hall on the MSU campus.

When do the activities happen?

  • Private lessons can be scheduled for Saturdays or weekdays
  • All classes and ensembles meet on Saturdays

We invite you to be a part of our musical community!

Chamber Ensemble Program

The Chamber Ensemble Program is open to students of all levels. Chamber music groups are small ensembles with mixed instruments usually consisting of three to four performers per group. The chamber ensemble experience is a wonderful way to improve intonation, rhythm reading, musical expression and nuance. Chamber Ensemble students meet as a group once a week with their chamber coach. The coach provides guidance for performance addressing musical issues such as articulation, dynamics, phrasing, balance of sound, interpretation and more.

Chamber Winds Ensemble

This ensemble is open to woodwind, brass and percussion players.  Students have the opportunity to rehearse and perform pieces of various musical styles in a fun supportive environment.

Flute Ensemble

The Flute Group is a new ensemble open to beginning and intermediate students, although more advanced students are encouraged to enroll and take on a mentoring role within the group.  Classes will consist of flute ensemble repertoire in varying musical styles as well as group warm ups and techniques.  Students will learn about important aspects of playing in a group including intonation, blending, rhythm, listening, and playing independent parts within a group.

Harp Ensemble

The Preparatory Center Harp Ensemble offer young harpists the opportunity to experience making music with a group. This is a wonderful addition to private lessons as it helps further develop listening skills, rhythmic accuracy, and performance readiness.

Orchestral Ensembles

The Preparatory Center for the Arts offers four orchestras designed to suite a wide variety of students’ needs.  The Prep Center’s orchestral program is the only pre-college program in Northern New Jersey to blend an exceptional artistic environment and side-by-side rehearsal/performance experiences with talented collegiate mentors from the Cali School of Music. Students who already participate in a school program or another youth orchestra will benefit and further enhance the dimension of their music learning and experience in this unique setting.  Please see the current Catalog for audition information.

Cadet Strings

Cadet Strings is a beginning string orchestra experience for students up to Suzuki Book 3 or the equivalent. The ensemble encourages note and rhythm reading in a fun dynamic environment.

Youth Orchestra

The umbrella orchestra of some fifty pre-college, college and continuing education musicians, the Montclair State University Youth Orchestra performs unarranged standards of the orchestral repertoire, from Baroque through contemporary. The ensemble is open to intermediate and advanced strings, winds, brass, and percussion. Recent performances included Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, lively collaborations with the Suzuki Strings as well as visiting artists. The 2013 – 2014 season promises to be especially exciting.

Junior Orchestra

Comprised of Junior Members as well as Full Members age 14 and under, Junior Orchestra performs moderately advanced works each semester.

Chamber Sinfonia

The Chamber Sinfonia is an advanced chamber orchestra for exceptional string players.  Recent performance highlights include Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins and Cello in d minor and Holst’s St. Paul Suite.

Private Music Lessons

Students age 4 through adult interested in instrumental, vocal, or composition study can take private lessons ranging in duration from 15-minutes for the very young to 60-minutes for the more advanced student.  Lessons can be scheduled on Saturdays and weekdays. Students taking private lessons at the Preparatory Center have the opportunity to perform on an end-of-the-semester recital in the beautiful and acoustically excellent Leshowitz Recital Hall.

Suzuki Music Study

The Suzuki Method evolved from Dr. Suzuki’s approach in teaching the violin. The musical accomplishments of the child are a result of a team effort involving parent, child and teacher. Note reading is integrated as the readiness becomes apparent while the student develops imitative, listening and memory skills. A positive atmosphere is essential to the success of the method. A parent must accompany the child to the lessons, and serves as a surrogate teacher at home supervising practice.

Suzuki String Study: (violin, viola, cello)

The Preparatory Center has one of the largest and most comprehensive Suzuki Strings programs in Northern NJ. Suzuki string study consists of two components – a private lesson and book class. The private lesson provides the student with individual attention, introduction and reinforcement of technique, and repertoire. The Book Class consists of students studying at the same book level performing pieces from the book together with a class instructor. The Book Class experience serves as a motivating reinforcement of the private lesson as well as social interaction with other music students working on the same material. The Preparatory Center offers book class levels Pre-Twinkle through Book 10. All book class students have the opportunity to perform in a ‘Playdown’ concert at the end of each semester.

Suzuki Piano

‌Suzuki oriented piano lessons can be arranged.

Theory Classes (for ages 9 and up)

The theory class curriculum is designed as a comprehensive sequential foundation for the musician. Students are exposed to the fundamental principles and practices of music construction. Through reading, analysis, composing, and progressive refinement of aural skills, students are given a broad understanding of music in a fun-to-learn environment!

Recitals and Concerts

Studio recitals are held at the end of each semester in the beautiful Leshowitz Recital Hall.  Students are encouraged to perform on a recital and share what they accomplished during the semester. Family and friends are welcome to all of the Preparatory Center recitals and concerts.