Piano Academy

Travel and Housing

Quick Links

Traveling to Bloomington

Located about an hour south of Indianapolis, Bloomington is nestled in the scenic rolling hills of southern Indiana and serves as home to one of the nation’s most beautiful college campuses, Indiana University. The following links will give you more information on the city of Bloomington and Indiana University.

City of Bloomington Home Page
Indiana University Bloomington Homepage
Indiana University Bloomington Virtual Tour

Driving to Bloomington

For specific maps of the Indiana University campus and directions to the residence halls, please see the printable maps section at the bottom of the page.

Flying to Bloomington

If you are traveling to Bloomington by air, it is highly recommended that you fly into the Indianapolis International Airport (IND).

Round-trip transportation from the Indianapolis International Airport to Bloomington is available through GoExpress Shuttle  and can be purchased online in advance. Transportation by limousine may also be arranged through Classic Touch Limousine.

If you have any questions or concerns about travel, please don't hesitate to contact us through e-mail at musicsp@indiana.edu or by phone at (812) 855-6025.

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Students should not bring or store cars on campus unless it is absolutely necessary for them to do so. Academy students are not permitted to operate motor vehicles while attending the Academy.

Parents/guardians of Academy students:  All campus parking is paid parking. Please note the following:

No parking permit is needed to drop off or pick up a student at the Jacobs School of Music or the residence hall. 

Parents/guardians of commuters: if you need regular access to campus, you can purchase a Visitor parking permit online through the Piano Academy registration site.  The permit costs $20 per week and allows parking on the top level of the Jordan Avenue Parking Garage.   Parking permits should be ordered online and will be received at registration or check-in.   

Note: Disabled Permits (H) are available: Please order your permit on the application for your program and then call the Office of Pre-College and Summer Programs (812-855-6025) to specify the type you need.

If you are living off campus and you do not wish to purchase weekly permits:

Garages: The parking garages closest to the Jacobs School of Music are the Jordan Ave. Garage (top level only*) and the Atwater Garage*. These garages charge hourly rates, with a maximum of $24.00/day, or a maximum $6.00 charge if you enter after 5pm. Parking is free in the parking garages all day Saturday and Sunday.  Any vehicle may park in any CH or ST zone from 5pm Friday until 11pm Sunday, with or without a parking permit.

*Please note: garages have A, C or R permit parking spots on lower levels—this is reserved parking, and you will be ticketed during applicable hours.*

Bus System:

The IU Campus Bus is free of charge for all! Click here for a real-time, interactive map of IU bus routes and stops. (This link is smartphone-friendly!)

Bloomington Transit is free to students with valid I.D. and $2 per ride for everyone. Click here [PDF] for a full map of Bloomington’s bus lines.

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The great majority of Piano Academy students live on campus. They are housed in new Spruce Residence Hall (opened 2013), about a 4-8 minute walk from the Jacobs School of Music buildings. See our Campus Map below for locations.

Students are housed on gender-specific floor wings, most in double rooms. Some rooms are adjacent, opening onto a central hallway; other rooms are arranged in small clusters. Each floor wing is supervised by live-in counselors. The student:staff ratio is ca. 8:1. Participants over 18 may be housed separately. 

Residence halls do not have phones or TV’s available in the rooms; there is wifi throughout campus, however. Spruce hall has several larger lounges and classrooms, as well as coin-operated laundry facilities. If you are taking a medication that must be refrigerated, special accommodations may be made. 

More information about: Spruce Residence Hall


Off-campus students under age 18 are the responsibility of the supervising parent or legal guardian. Drop-off and collect times must be set in advance with our staff. The agreed drop-off and collect time should be convenient to the daily schedule.

At no time can a student under age 18 be dropped on the Indiana University campus and left unattended. The student must be handed-off from the legal guardian to a Piano Academy counselor.

We strongly recommend that students living off-campus eat some meals—lunch at least—with their residential classmates. They may choose to pay with cash or credit card for each meal, or purchase a half-fare meal card. Commuter meal cards may be purchased online when registering. Please contact Dr. Karen Taylor, karmtayl@indiana.edu if you wish to buy a meal card.

If accompanied by an adult or hosting an adult guest who wishes to stay in Bloomington for part of the session, please see the following:

For students: it will be your responsibility to find transportation to accommodate your program’s schedule. Bloomington Transit and Indiana University Campus bus stops are available near many accommodations. See Buses below for more information.

There are many off-campus accommodation options available in Bloomington, from hotels and motels, to apartments available for subletting.  Please consult www.visitbloomington.com for helpful information about finding hotels or contact the hotels listed below that are close to campus and are stops along the Bloomington Shuttle line.

Accommodations in Bloomington:

Courtyard by Marriott
310 S. College Ave.
(800) 321-2211 or (812) 335-8000

Hampton Inn
2100 N. Walnut St.
(812) 334-2100

Indiana Memorial Union (on-campus)
900 E. 7th St.
(800)209-8145 or (812) 856-6381

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Dining and Entertainment: What to do in Bloomington

Indiana Memorial Union: One of the largest student unions in the world, with more than 500,000 square feet of restaurants, retail space, and entertainment options. It also houses the IU Bookstore which offers a large amount of Indiana University related clothing and merchandise.
: W 7th Street, middle of IU campus (pay parking lot)

IU Dining Schedule- 2019 Summer Meal Hours Click here

TIS Bookstore: Preferred bookstore for Indiana University clothing, merchandise, and souvenirs.
Location: 3rd Street, just west of Jordan Avenue.
Walking distance from Forest Residence Center: 5 minutes 

Soma Cafe: This locally-owned cafe is a favorite among Jacobs School of Music students, featuring everything from hot chocolate and coffee drinks to bubble tea and treats.
: Jordan Avenue and 3rd Street intersection, in the Jordan Square Plaza

Ami Japanese Restaurant: One of three Asian fusion restaurants right across from the music buildings, it features outdoor seating and daily featured discount periods!
3rd Street, just east of Jordan Avenue.

Mother Bear’s Pizza: One of Bloomington’s favorite pizza restaurants. Once named by People magazine as the 4th best pizza in the United States.
: 3rd Street, just east of Jordan Avenue.

College Mall: A hangout for all students and Bloomington residents, this mall features a variety of restaurants, department stores and great restaurants for a night on the town!
: E 3rd Street and College Mall Road.
Driving distance from IU Campus: 5 minutes

Some places to see while in town:

The Kirkwood Observatory, built in 1900, is named for Daniel Kirkwood, a noted mathematician and astronomer. Its original telescope is a 12-inch refractor that is capable of magnifying 600 times. The observatory is open to the public during the warm summer months.

Wonders in the Lilly Library vary in age and type from a Babylonian cuneiform tablet to the New Testament of the Gutenberg Bible, from Shakespeare's First Folio to richly illuminated manuscripts, and from an extensive Abraham Lincoln collection to the personal papers of Orson Welles and Sylvia Plath. Housing more than 400,000 books, 130,000 pieces of sheet music, and approximately 7 million manuscripts, it is especially strong in American and British history and literature. Visit the Lilly Library and see one of the first printed copies of the Declaration of Independence, a comic book collection, or film and television scripts that include the original Star Trek series.

The Jacobs School of Music Musical Arts Center is the main location for IU Jacobs operas, ballets, and band and orchestra concerts. Seating 1,460, the MAC features an acoustically refined auditorium and stage with technical capabilities unrivaled by other schools. Regularly compared to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the main stage is one of the biggest in the country at 90 feet wide by 60 feet deep. The backstage area occupies more than half the building and provides a state-of-the art theater space for technical work. Custom-designed carpet in the lobby points through a wall of windows to Alexander Calder's last on-site original sculpture, Peau Rouge Indiana, which stands 40 feet tall in the front of the building. The piece was restored on-site in 2007.

No matter what your perspective, you can experience art from all angles at the Indiana University Art Museum. From world-renowned architect I.M. Pei's soaring triangular atrium, to galleries filled with extraordinary works of art from all corners of the globe, the IU Art Museum will engage, stimulate, and satisfy your curiosity about the worlds of art.

The IU Auditorium was completed in 1941. An extensive restoration was completed in 1999.  The art deco-style auditorium seats 3,154 and is a major venue for year-round entertainment.  It houses a large pipe organ and 16 panels of the Thomas Hart Benton murals that depict the social history of Indiana.   The murals were first exhibited in the Indiana hall at Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition in 1933.

The Showalter Fountain is a two-tone sculpture that portrays the birth of Venus surrounded by six 400 pound dolphins. Located in front of the IU Auditorium, the fountain was designed and created by Robert Laurent. During his time as resident sculptor at the American Academy in Rome, he fashioned the six bronze sculptures and then had them sent to Bloomington by plane in 1958.  Commissioned by University Chancellor Herman B Wells, Showalter Fountain was dedicated in 1961. Mr. Laurent was a faculty member in the IU Department of Fine Arts.

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See parking on-campus and bus systems information above for explanations of letters and locations. Click each image to save or print a PDF version of each map.

IU Bloomington Campus (Southeast)

Campus Map

Bloomington (basic) and Indiana road maps


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