Sullivan Conservatory of Music

The Mercyhurst University’s Sullivan Conservatory of Music offers private lessons to students of all ages in the Erie area. It is named after Sister Helen Jean Sullivan, who, for over fifty years, kept music alive at Mercyhurst. She served as the director of the music department from 1954 to 1973, and then founded the conservatory, for which she was the director of until her retirement in 2005. The conservatory was renamed in her honor in 2008.

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Our goal at the Sullivan Conservatory is to provide exceptional music education while nurturing a life-long love of music. Not only do we strive to push our students to know his/her potential as musicians, but also in other areas of life. Lessons are taught by professional musicians who are active performers in the community. Students learn on the Mercyhurst University campus in the D’Angelo Performing Arts Department, while our recitals are held in the beautiful Walker Recital Hall in the Audrey Hirt Academic Building. We offer two programs—traditional lessons and Suzuki Strings, which you can learn more about on this website and/or by contacting the Sullivan Conservatory director below.

Traditional Lessons

The Sullivan Conservatory offers traditional lessons in violin, viola, cello, guitar, clarinet, saxophone, flute, voice, trumpet, trombone, and piano. A request for an instrument not listed is welcome, but is not guaranteed. The approach to this style of instruction uses a variety of method books based on the needs of the student and the direction facilitated by the instructor.

Traditional instruction includes one private lesson a week lasting 30, 45, or 60 minutes in length. There is no age requirement; however, younger students should be able to demonstrate appropriate maturity and desire to learn in order to start lessons. Additionally, student participation in conservatory recitals is strongly encouraged, but is not required.


Be advised that there is a difference in pricing between the traditional and Suzuki programs.

  • Cash, Check, and online Credit/Debit Card payment accepted.
  • Payments per term/year are preferred, but monthly payment plans are available upon request.
  • Initial online registration prompts a deposit of $50 with the $30 registration fee to hold a spot for the student(s). The deposit is applied towards your total, but not the registration fee.
pricing chart for the sullivan conservatory of music