Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions, please click on the expand “+” to learn more.

How old should children be to start lessons?

…Piano?
Generally speaking, as long as children have basic reading skills, they can begin piano lessons. It helps if their attention span can easily handle half-hour lessons. It also helps if they have basic number skills. Younger children (age 3 and up) can begin Suzuki training. No note-reading is required for beginners; Suzuki students learn by imitating their teacher and by listening and imitating the music on the Suzuki audio CD.

…Guitar?
Children as young as 7 years old can start guitar lessons. Some children find that ukulele is a good alternative when they first start out.

…Voice?
Children as young as 7 years old can start voice lessons.

…Violin or viola?
Children as young as 3 years old can start Suzuki violin lessons. Traditional lessons are available for children at least 7 years old.

…Cello?
Children as young as 4 years old can start Suzuki cello lessons. Traditional lessons are available for children at least 7 years old, teenagers, and adults.

…Flute and Recorder?
Recorder lessons are available for children as young as 5 years old. Flute lessons are available for children as young as 6 years old.

I’m an adult. Can you teach me?

Absolutely. It’s a cliche, but it’s true — you’re never too old to learn, even if you’ve never had music instruction before. Adults usually learn music concepts more quickly than children. Adults who can take lessons before “prime time” (before 3:00 p.m.) are especially welcome.

I got bored with music lessons when I was young. Can you teach me the kind of music I want to play/sing?

CMA teachers welcome the opportunity to work with students on different kinds of music – including traditional “classical” as well as pop, rock, jazz, etc.

Do you teach home-schooled students?

Certainly. Those who can take lessons before “prime time” (before 3:00 p.m.) are especially welcome.

Does there have to be an instrument at home to use for practice?

Yes — you must have an instrument to practice on between lessons.

Can I rent practice time at the Academy?

Sorry — CMA cannot rent studios for practice time (most of our studios are nearly always in use).

Are there opportunities to play outside of class?

Occasional Friday night “soirees” are sprinkled throughout the year, at which students enjoy food and drink and play for each other if they choose. Adult friends and family are welcome to attend! A very relaxed and social atmosphere!

For piano lessons, are digital (electronic) instruments OK for practice?

Most CMA teachers will work with you if you have a full-size (at least 76-note) digital instrument with “touch-sensitive” keys that respond like those in an acoustic piano. Some CMA teachers will work with beginners who have smaller electronic keyboards (but most prefer that the instrument be replaced eventually with a full-size instrument).

Do you rent or sell pianos, guitars, violins, violas, cellos, flutes, etc.?

No. We will be happy to suggest retailers that do.

What do lessons cost?

All CMA teachers are independent professionals who set their own rates. Except for voice and acting, weekly half-hour lessons range from about $102 to about $130 per month, depending on the teacher’s experience and the type of program wanted. Longer lessons are priced proportionally.

Voice lessons range from about $125 to $144 per month. Included in this charge are group Performance and Technique classes (see the main Voice page for information). Private acting training at CMA is customized to the needs of our students. Generally, this training costs $55.00/hour.

How long are lessons?

Voice lessons and instrumental lessons for beginners are frequently a half-hour long. Longer lessons are available for intermediate and advanced students, and for those enrolled in special programs.

When can lessons be taken?

CMA operates every day, during the day as well as most evenings. A few teachers offer lessons on Saturday and Sunday.

Do your teachers give lessons in people’s homes?

No.

Do you offer group lessons?

All CMA teachers give private lessons. The Guitar and Piano Department offer quarterly group classes throughout the year. Click here for more info. Some of our Suzuki teachers also offer group lessons as part of the regular Suzuki curriculum. Voice lessons include Performance and Technique classes (see the main Voice page for information).

CMA does not offer group programs for pre-school children. However, If you are interested in this we would be happy to suggest several organizations. Most of them offer a general introduction to music and do not focus on playing skills with a particular instrument.

How can I help my child learn?

Be supportive. Even if you aren’t musically inclined, you should encourage your child’s efforts. Find ways to praise your child and give occasional rewards. Don’t threaten or use practice time as a punishment. Such actions make music study unpleasant, unrewarding, and — almost always — unsuccessful.

Encourage regular practice sessions. No one can “cram” for music lessons. it’s best to have regular, daily practice sessions. Someone who doesn’t practice won’t learn the material. But just practicing a certain amount of time each day doesn’t guarantee success. Quality practice time is important.

It isn’t necessary, however, to require a day’s practice in one session. Some children profit from two or three (shorter) practice sessions a day.

Should I attend my child’s lessons?

Parents are always welcome to attend their child’s lessons at Cincinnati Music Academy. However, doing so sometimes inhibits the child and makes the teacher’s job more difficult. This is especially true with adolescents. On the other hand, young children are sometimes more comfortable if a parent is present. If you do attend your child’s lessons, please let the teacher do the teaching. Be attentive; don’t work on your knitting or whatever. Such activities tell your child that you really don’t care about the lesson but are there just to keep an eye on them.

A parent must attend Suzuki lessons. Doing so helps the parent work with the student at home between lessons.

Do I get a refund for missed lessons?

All CMA teachers are independent professionals who establish their own policies. Generally speaking, though, your agreement with a teacher is an agreement to show up at the agreed-on time on a regular basis. Most teachers will try to reschedule a lesson — if their schedule permits — if there is a family emergency. However, most CMA teachers will not issue refunds for lessons missed due to school, social, athletic or other such activities.

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