Private Lesson FAQs
(scroll down for Suzuki and General Program FAQs)
Q: Is there a waiting list to get in the program for private lessons?
Normally, we are able to place students by the start of the semester after registration is complete unless there is an exceptionally long list for the requested instrument. In May we place students who would like to start in the summer.
When you enroll, your child’s name is put on a placement list for the instrument requested. A placement coordinator will call you as soon as there is an opening for your child. We generally do placement the month before the start of each semester and at the beginning of summer.
Q: What is the typical schedule for a student beginning private lessons?
A: A beginning student comes once a week for a 30-minute lesson with a private teacher and is also assigned to a group class with students of the same level (not necessarily on the same day). Suzuki classes meet weekly for 30 minutes. Preparatory Program classes meet on alternating weeks for 40-50 minutes. Tuition for the semester includes the cost of both the private lesson and the group class.
Q: If I put more than one child in lessons, can the sibling lessons be scheduled back-to-back?
If your children are registering for the same instrument, you may request to have the lessons back-to-back and we will do our best to arrange that. We will not be able to accommodate that request for students enrolling for different instruments.
Q: How is teacher placement arranged for private lessons?
After you have registered, a program coordinator will work with you to arrange for a teacher and a mutually agreeable time for the private lesson and the group class.
Q: May I choose the private teacher to fit my child’s personality?
You may indicate a request for a specific teacher on the initial registration form, with the understanding that it may result in a longer wait to get into the program as we cannot guarantee when that teacher will have openings.
You are welcome to express any specific concerns you might want to be considered in the placement process. This may be done on the registration form or verbally to the program coordinator when you are called for placement.
Q: Why are group classes required for all Suzuki and Preparatory students?
The group class is how we are able to most economically provide essential elements of music training, such as aural and rhythmic skills, musical symbols and terms, performance, as well as theory, and still allow for the private lesson to be devoted to one-on-one instrument study. This provides an integrated musical experience for the lowest cost.
Students up through Grade 8 are required to be enrolled in a group class. There is no tuition adjustment for a student who does not attend class. Group classes for high school students are optional.
Q: What are special group opportunities for Suzuki string students?
When starting note reading, Suzuki string students also enroll in a sequential curriculum of reading orchestras which includes theory and improvisation with Creative Ability Development (or CAD) method. After completing reading orchestras, students graduate to the Chamber Program, culminating with advanced Chamber Ensembles repertoire and Improvising Quartets CAD curriculum.
Q: Can a student register for a few lessons to get ready for a contest?
This can possibly be arranged for the summer, but in general we view enrollment in private lessons as a long-term commitment.
Q: How does the Suzuki Method differ from other methods of teaching music?
- Students begin at a young age
- Parents play an active role in the learning process
- Listening and auditory learning are emphasized prior to note-reading
- Technique is taught in the context of each piece
- Pieces are refined through constant review
- Students perform frequently
Q: Is my child ready for Suzuki?
Beginning Suzuki students should be able to:
- Listen attentively to an adult read an age-appropriate book
- Follow short instructions cooperatively
- Stay on-task with a hands-on activity for 15 minutes
General Program FAQs
Q: How is the CSA calendar organized?
Music programs have two 15-week semesters: September to mid-January, and mid-January to May. Visual Art classes have two 10-week semesters. During the summer we offer various enrichment courses in music and visual art.
Most music students continue to take private lessons during the summer but with a more flexible schedule.
Q: What are the credentials of CSA faculty members? Do college students teach?
Our teachers are professional musicians, with the majority of them holding postgraduate degrees in their respective disciplines. Biographical information is available for each faculty member in our Faculty section.
Many Wheaton College Music Conservatory interns work at Community School of the Arts, but always under the supervision of a CSA faculty member.
Q: What performance opportunities are available for students?
There are numerous annual large-scale performance opportunities for music students as well as studio recitals every semester. Visual Art students participate in art exhibits, both on and off campus, at least once each semester.
Q: Can we pay our bill in monthly payments?
Yes. Billing statements for the semester’s tuition are sent out at the beginning of each semester. You may pay it all at once or choose to make monthly payments. If monthly payments are made the entire balance must be paid before the end of the semester. There is a 7% late fee on outstanding balances after the semester ends.
If you are registering for Suzuki lessons, you are required to do online (or in-person) observation of two private lessons. There are no observations required or available for Preparatory lessons. You may request the teacher of your choice, however the wait may be longer for a particular teacher.
Q: If we will be out of town for a couple weeks, can our tuition be prorated?
Tuition is charged by the semester. There are no refunds for missed classes or lessons except in cases of serious illness or relocation. For additional details refer to CSA Policies.
Q: Are there scholarships available?
Need-based scholarships are available for those students who qualify. In order to apply for private lesson scholarships a student must have successfully completed a minimum of one semester of a music class (Early Childhood Music, Little Stars or Music Makers at the Keyboard). Download the CSA Scholarship Program Information (pdf) and CSA Scholarship Application (pdf).
Scholarship application deadlines:
July 1 (fall semester)
November 1 (spring semester)
Q: Where should I park?
On the main campus, parking can be congested. It is always wise to plan to arrive early. There is street parking and CSA student families may also park in any campus lot marked “W”. The closest lots are at McAlister Hall, Blanchard Hall, and behind Edman Chapel. Student families are supplied with a parking pass that must be displayed when parking in “W” lots.