Frequently Asked Questions
What are your hours?
Our main location on Elmwood is open from 9 a.m. to about 8 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to about 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Our satellite locations are open at various times throughout the week. During the summer, the School is closed on Saturdays.
Where are you located?
Check out all of our locations and get directions here.
How young/old can a student be?
Does Community Music School sell music?
No. We encourage you to visit a local music store for your music needs.
Does Community Music School rent rooms out for practice or meetings?
No. Due to insurance liabilities, we are not able to rent rooms to outside entities.
Does Community Music School donate to community events and auctions?
As a nonprofit organization, we cannot meet every request. But we do what we can. Email us with details and we’ll see if we can help.
Does Community Music School provide entertainment at community events or facilities?
Yes! Our talented, experienced, creative faculty is comprised of over 30 professional musicians. Between them, almost any configuration or genre is possible. Start off by completing this form: Request for Music at a Special Event
Can I volunteer or intern at Community Music School?
It depends on whether your interests fit our needs. Email us with details and we’ll see what we can do!
Lessons and Classes
How often are lessons and how long are they?
Once a week for 30, 45 or 60 minutes. Occasionally, someone will take two lessons a week to prepare for an audition or performance. We generally do not allow students to take lessons every other week — regular practice and instruction are important!
Which instruments do you teach?
Just about everything. See the list here.
Can a teacher come to my house?
Sorry, but no. It’s not efficient for the teacher, and it offers too many distractions for the student.
What method do your teachers use?
We generally refer to our method as traditional. Each teacher uses different method books depending on the individual goals of the student.
What are the qualifications of your teachers?
You can read all about them here.
Do you offer classes?
Can two children share a private lesson?
No. Children progress at different rates, so it’s important to individualize the instruction.
May I/we observe a lesson or class before signing up?
For group classes, visitors are always welcome to participate in one trial class before signing up. We ask each visitor to pay the standard $15 fee for that day so we can compensate the teacher for the extra attention.
For lessons, our studios are too small and the experience is too individualized for us to let potential students observe. We work very hard to match each student with the right teacher based on the student’s goals and interests. If the relationship between the teacher and the student doesn’t work out, we encourage students to let us know so we can try a different teacher.
And of course, we’re happy to offer a tour of the school, which answers most questions that parents and/or students may have.
What if I miss a lesson or class?
For lessons, each student can have one excused absence per year and receive a makeup lesson at no extra charge. If you don’t give adequate notice (at least four hours before your lesson), you forfeit the lesson. For classes, you pay the full amount for the session regardless of how many classes you attend. You’ll receive a detailed explanation of all of these policies when you register.
Do you offer financial aid?
Yes. It’s based on family income and other details. There is no guarantee that financial aid will be available, but we encourage you to apply.
Do I have to sign up for a certain number of lessons or classes?
No, but you should stay long enough to really find out if it’s right for you!
How do I pay?
CMS accepts credit cards, checks and cash (exact change only). For lessons, you pay by a monthly installment plan. (If you discontinue for any reason, you’ll receive a refund for lessons you haven’t used.) For classes, you pay for the full session up front.
Do I have to have my own instrument?
Does Community Music School rent instruments?
We have a small supply of some instruments that we can rent if students can’t find any other instruments. There is no guarantee we’ll have what you need, but you’re welcome to ask!
Does Community Music School buy instruments?
Does Community Music School accept used instruments?
We’re grateful when people offer their used instruments. We particularly appreciate donations of Steinway grand pianos, or rare instruments that may have value. If you have a notice about an instrument for sale, we’re also happy to post it.
How do I apply to work at CMS?
Check here to see if we’re hiring. Even when we’re not hiring, we’re always happy to keep resumes on file, especially for teaching positions. Send your resume if you’d like us to keep you in mind for the future.