Q. How long are the lessons and classes?
A. Most students take 30 min. weekly lessons. Though it is possible to take longer lessons, we feel that a concentrated 30 min. is plenty of time and especially best with a beginner. Dance classes are 55 min except creative dance which is 45min. All early childhood music and movement classes are 50 minutes.
Q. What is LessonMate?
A. Every private student who is currently enrolled in lessons has a free account with LessonMate. LessonMate is a secure website where teachers post information regarding the students' lessons. The teacher may include audio files, notes, PDFs and instructional videos. Check out LessonMate for more information and a brief explanatory video.
Q. Do I Pay For missed private lessons?
A. If your teacher misses and we don't have a sub for you, absolutely not. If you cannot make it to lessons, your teacher, during your regularly scheduled time, will compile a complete lesson for you complete with review and new concepts to work on for the week. This will all be done via LessonMate. A link will be emailed to you. No missed weeks!
Q. What is the right age to start private lessons?
A. Adults and teens can start any instrument at any time. We have taught beginners in their 60’s and 70’s. For children, starting private lessons at the right time is the key element to the success of their lessons. Some people will tell you “the sooner the better” but this attitude can actually backfire and be a negative. Many parents want their children to start instruction at 5 years of age or even earlier. This can be very stressful. Kindergarten is already stressful with new rules, new friends, and new teachers. At a time when children are learning through a brain-body connection, having them sit still in a lesson for 30 minutes may not be the best path to take. The Early Childhood classes are designed to provide children with all the tools to succeed in private lessons once they become 6 or 7, depending upon the instrument. We do not recommend starting lessons at age 5 before spring of their kindergarten year.
Q. Do I have to own my own instrument or can I rent one?
A. This depends upon the instrument that is being studied. We recommend purchasing if you are studying guitar, piano (buy a keyboard with full size keys that are touch sensitive) or drums (renting really not an option). The initial expense for these instruments does not have to be much. For violin, viola, cello, or woodwinds (sax, clarinet and flute), renting might be a more feasible option at first.
Q: Do we have the same time every week?
A: Yes. Your lesson time is reserved every week just for you and cannot be taken by anyone else. You have the same time and day each week. We know how important having a convenient time is for our busy parents!
Q: Can I change my time once I start my lessons?
A: We are happy to change your lesson time to another permanent time that’s available.
Q: Do you accept credit cards?
A: Yes, we do. All our families are set up to pay for their lessons each month on an auto-pay schedule using either a credit/debit card or a direct debit from their checking account.
Q. Are group lessons available? How do they differ from private lessons?
A. Group lessons are available at specific times of the year. Usually we’ll offer them in the fall, again in the winter and then in the summer. Group lessons are finite in that they are not to take the place of private lessons. They are a way for students to see and decide if that instrument is indeed the instrument of their choice. Group lessons differ from private in some very distinct ways. Firstly, the pace is much slower since the instructor needs to meet all the needs of the class. Secondly, private lessons are tailored to meet the individual student’s needs and interests. Students progress much more quickly in private lessons. And lastly, group lessons are for a specific period of time like 6 weeks or 8 weeks. Private lessons are ongoing.
Q: Is it possible to do a trial lesson?
A: Yes, you can take one trial lesson on the instrument of your choice to get a taste of what lessons will be like!
Q. WHY IS MY Dance/Early childhood music TUITION THE SAME EVERY MONTH WHEN MONTHS LIKE DECEMBER ONLY HAVE 2 OR 3 Classes?
A. The tuition amount is averaged out over the year. Sometimes there are 4 classes, sometimes there are 5 and in December there may be 2 or 3. The averaged tuition makes it easier for you to know that the account will be charged the exact same amount each month and makes the cost less for some months when there are 5 classes. If tuition were less in December, monthly tuition would be more for the rest of the year. Private lessons are tallied per lesson scheduled - so if there are 3 lessons, tuition is for 3. If there are 5 private lessons scheduled, tuition is for 5.
Q. When is the school closed?
A. It is always best to check the Calendar page on the website for exact dates. We are closed for most major holidays.
Q. Can I take lessons with one of my friends?
A. Private lessons work best when they are taken alone. Even if the students are both the same age and at the same level, they are going to learn at different rates and even more importantly in different ways. The job of the teacher is to adapt a lesson plan to fit the needs of an individual student. This becomes too difficult and ultimately fails to work when teaching more than one student in a lesson over a period of time.
Q. Can I switch to another instrument mid-month?
A. Yes! If you begin the month with, let’s say, piano, and decide mid-month that you would rather study drums, it’s simply a matter of coordinating new lesson times/new teacher with the front desk.
Q. When can I start lessons?
A. Music lessons, music classes, and dance classes are all ongoing, so you can start anytime!
Q. Can I take a lesson every other week?
A. We don’t offer an hour lesson every other week for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we have found through our experience of teaching thousands of lessons, when learning something that has both conceptual and physical demands, like playing a musical instrument or singing, it’s important to have weekly “check-ins”. Repetition is a key factor in learning how to play. Two weeks is too long for students to remember everything their teacher showed them in the last lesson. With lessons every other week, it’s almost like starting over again each lesson. Secondly, we have found that students don’t practice any more in a 2-week period than in a 1-week period. As a result, students take more than twice as long to learn the same amount, negating any effort to save money. Remember that learning a musical instrument is very much like learning a foreign language.
Q: Can I watch my child’s lesson?
A: Yes. We have an open door policy and parents are welcome to join their child in the lesson. All lesson doors have 2 way mirrors as well if you would like to watch from the hall.
Q: Is there a minimum number of lessons that I have to take?
A: We recommend that a student take at least 8 lessons or two months worth in order to see some progress and to see if it's a good fit. This is what we recommend, but it is not required. Keep in mind that the school does require a 30-day notice to withdraw.
Q: Do you have recitals and how much do they cost?
A: We offer several performance opportunities each year. There are annual winter and spring recitals, student composition recitals, family music night recitals, and performance workshops each month. There is no cost to participate, and friends and family are encouraged to attend the performances! Our annual dance recital has a fee that includes costume, alterations, 2 tickets, digital download of the performance and group pic.
Q: What do I need to do if I want to stop my child's classes or lessons?
A: The school requires a 30-day written notice for students that want to withdraw. No refunds are issued. A 30-day written notice is required and must be handed directly into the front office. No email or phone call withdrawals are permitted. Termination of tuition fees will begin 30 days from receipt of written notice. No refunds will be made for any missed classes or lessons. For more information, see our Policy page.