Student/Parent Guide for Quality Music Education

We welcome you to quality music instruction by the experts at CMS!  To ensure that your CMS experience is a positive one for you, your family, and your teacher, we offer the following suggestions:
 
Students
 
• Plan to arrive 5-10 minutes prior to your lesson time. This allows you time to sign in at the office, receive any new information that has been posted in the office, make a payment, and use the restroom. Even if you feel that you have not accomplished as much as you or your teacher would like, it is important not to miss lessons.

• Practice good “practice hygiene.” When you arrive, please wash your hands and use the restroom prior to your lesson. This will help reduce the spread of germs on shared instruments, like the piano, and keep it clean for everyone. Please do not chew gum or bring snacks into your lesson.

• Be prepared for your lesson with your instrument, all the music that you are currently working on, and a folder/notebook to record assignments or notes from your teacher. We recommend a tote bag to carry your music to each lesson.

• The key to success is practice. It is important to practice each day if you want to improve. Find a quiet place and a consistent daily time to review and practice your entire assignment, not just a portion of the assignment.

• Listen to a wide variety of music, seek out professional performances, and attend local concerts whenever possible. Tickets with student discounts are often available, and in some cases, students may attend performances at no charge (e.g., Allentown Symphony Orchestra concerts).

• Regularly participate in and attend recitals and public performances offered by fellow CMS students and faculty. Developing proper performance etiquette is part of becoming a well-rounded musician.

• Music is a physical, as well as mental, experience that takes weeks, months, and years to reach performance levels approaching “perfection,” so do not expect immediate results. 
 
 
Parents

• It is essential to have an instrument in your home on which your child can comfortably practice on a regular schedule. Be sure to keep the instrument in good working order. Pianos need to be tuned at least once each year, preferably during the months of November, December, January, February, or March when indoor temperatures are more even. Band and orchestral instruments also need annual maintenance. Please ask the CMS office or your teacher for recommendations on reputable local repair or maintenance providers for your instrument.

• You will be requested to purchase music for your child. Occasionally, the teacher will purchase the music for him/her, rather than asking you to go to the music store. It is the parent’s responsibility to reimburse the teacher for the purchase.

• In most cases, your child will need a reminder to practice. Just as children need reminders for homework, bed time, etc, they will most likely need a reminder to do their “music homework” or to “practice”. If you wish your child to master an instrument or learn to sing properly, practice is the key to success. Encouragement of and rewards for quality practice and lessons, together with goal setting for participation in recitals and public performances are some of the positive responses parents can offer their children.

• It is important that you support your child in his or her musical education. Do not use practice as punishment. Never make fun of your child’s mistakes or less-than-perfect performances. Do not apologize for your child’s mistakes. Remember that no child ever practices as much as you think he or she should. Talk with your child’s instructor often or sit-in on an occasional lesson so you can understand the weekly assignment and help with daily practice. At home, listen to your child's practice throughout the week and ask him or her to play the assigned piece(s) for you.

• We want your education experience at CMS to be enjoyable, safe, and fun. For students under 8, we recommend that the parent attend lessons for the first few weeks. For students under 18, CMS requests that you or a responsible adult accompany your child to the CMS location, check in with the office receptionist, and remain in the building. If you need to leave the building during your child's lesson, please notify the front office before you leave. Students may not roam the halls in the building before or after their lessons. During your child's lessons at Miller Symphony Hall, we ask that you remain in the 2nd floor lounge and then leave with your child after the lesson.