Policies & Procedures
Interview Lesson: A 30-minute interview lesson costs $30, and payment must be made at the time of scheduling, even if you intend to apply for financial aid. The Registrar will contact you after the interview to ensure you wish to continue with the teacher. CMS requires payment for lessons and the annual registration fee on or before the day of the second lesson. If you choose to interview with another teacher, each 30-minute interview lesson is $30, and payment is due upon scheduling.
Instruments & Materials: Students must supply their own instruments. If you are not familiar with the instrument, please discuss the student’s needs with the teacher before purchasing or renting. Contact the office for rental recommendations. There is an additional charge for music books and/or study copies.
Annual Registration Fee: The Individual/Family Annual Registration Fee is $45. The Group Class or Ensemble Annual Registration Fee is $20. The annual registration fee is non-refundable and applies to the entire year (July 1 - June 30).
Tuition Payments: CMS requires payment for lessons in advance. Your invoice includes all lessons for the current time and reflects any previous balances, registration fee (if applicable), discounts, merit scholarship, or financial aid award for the entire year. If a student takes lessons in multiple instruments or there are multiple students in the family, they are all included on one family invoice with the lesson day/time/length, teacher, and location listed next to each student’s name. If you know in advance that the student cannot attend a lesson date on this schedule, please notify the office immediately (see new cancellation policy below). Invoices will be mailed or emailed monthly unless you have set up an automatic payment plan with monthly credit card billing (see below).
Payment Plans: To set up a monthly automatic payment plan for the school year, please call the office at 610-435-7725. CMS accepts all major credit and debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, & Discover). A deposit of the first month’s lessons, plus the registration fee (if applicable) will be charged to the card on the day the plan is initialized; then, equal payments will be automatically charged to the card on the 1st of each month for the upcoming month.
Example: For a student taking 30-minute lessons for all 36 weeks of the school year, the total tuition is $1,080, plus the $45 registration fee. On Sept 7, the student signs up for the payment plan and a $165 deposit is charged to the credit card ($120 for 4 lessons, plus $45 registration fee). Then starting Oct 1, $120 will be automatically charged to the card each month - Oct 1, Nov 1, Dec 1, Jan 1, Feb 1, Mar 1, Apr 1, May 1.
Financial Aid: Financial Aid is available to those who qualify, based upon your family's financial circumstances. Financial aid is computed on a sliding scale. CMS requires all students on financial aid to reapply each year and provide updated documentation of family income. All new documentation is due on or before August 1 for the upcoming school year. For students without updated documentation, full tuition will apply to all subsequent lessons. There are no additional discounts for students who receive financial aid. Click here to download the financial aid application.
Multi-Instrument/Multi-Family Member Discounts: The first member in a family to take private lessons pays full tuition. CMS will apply a 5% discount to additional family members or additional lessons in another discipline. The family discount does not apply to families receiving financial aid or any other discount program.
Cancelled Lessons: CMS has a “no cancellation” policy for lessons, except when the Director closes the school for safety reasons or in inclement weather. Scheduling private lessons is complex, and lesson days/times/teachers cannot be easily changed once students have committed to their times. In the event that CMS is open and a student must be absent, the student or his or her parents must notify the office in advance. Make-up lessons (“rescheduled lessons”) will be given only for Authorized Absences, pre-approved by the Director in the following instances: Student illness with notice to the office before 11 am on the day of the lesson; Required school/extracurricular activity or religious holiday with 7 days notice to the office; or a death in the student’s immediate family (including grandparents, aunts, and uncles). If the account is on an automatic monthly payment plan, payments will not be adjusted, but instead an “unscheduled makeup lesson” will be added to the student’s account, to be scheduled on a future makeup day. As always, payment for any missed lessons is due before the student’s next lesson. CMS does not offer makeup lessons for “no shows” or student cancellations, except as stated above. Makeup lessons are limited to 3 per year and students with past-due accounts are not eligible. When a CMS teacher is sick or must cancel a lesson, the office will offer the student a makeup lesson.
Leave of Absence: Students who plan on missing lessons because of participation in a play, seasonal sports, extended vacation, or other special situation must request a Leave of Absence (LOA) from the office at least 2 weeks in advance; otherwise, the student will still be charged for the missed lessons. For a LOA longer than 2 weeks, CMS cannot guarantee that the student’s existing lesson day and time will still be available upon the student’s return.
Weather Closures: In the event that CMS closes due to inclement weather conditions or other events, there will be no charge for cancelled lessons. Check our homepage, our Facebook page, or call 610-435-7725 to listen to our recorded message. CMS does not always necessarily follow the weather-related closures of the area school districts.
Changes in address, e-mail, or phone numbers: We ask that you notify us of any changes to your contact information so we can easily reach you when necessary. We will also email information to you regarding our recitals, special events, and any additional new programs added throughout the year.
CMS Recitals: CMS offers students numerous opportunities to perform once the student is ready to do so. All CMS recitals are free and open to the public. Recitals are an important part of becoming a well-rounded musician. We strongly encourage all students to participate. Click here for recital schedule.
Year-End GALA Recital Auditions: Each spring, CMS teachers recommend students to audition before an independent panel of judges who evaluate them based upon predetermined criteria. Students with the highest scores are invited to perform in the year-end GALA recital and may receive merit-based scholarships toward continued study at CMS. We suggest that students who feel they are ready to audition for the Gala Recital discuss the possibility with their teacher in early spring. CMS students at all levels are invited to audition. Students selected to perform in the GALA Recital are not guaranteed a scholarship. Recommendations from teachers are due in the office by May 1 each year. Click here for Gala Audition details.
Piano Accompaniment for Performances: CMS offers numerous public performance opportunities throughout the year. Piano accompaniment for instrumental and vocal students is available for CMS recitals. If your teacher is unable to accompany you, we strongly recommend that you use one of our professional accompanists who will help you prepare for the performance. There is a charge for this service; however, CMS offers one (1) free accompaniment each year and one (1) additional free accompaniment for students performing in the Gala Recital. See the office for a list of accompanists and to complete a request form.
Fees for additional accompanists
$18 Elementary Level
$35 Intermediate and Advanced Level
Discontinued Lessons: If a student discontinues within the first four weeks of lessons, CMS will apply a 50% refund. If the student discontinues after the first four weeks of lessons, there will be no refund. If you wish to discontinue lessons at any time during the year, please provide written notice two weeks in advance as a courtesy to your teacher. The registration fee and any credit on the account will remain available for use only until the last day of the current school year if the student chooses to resume lessons.
Code of Conduct: CMS reserves the right to suspend or discontinue any student at any time due to lack of interest, extreme absence, behavior problems, tardiness, delinquency in tuition payments, or parental noncompliance with CMS policies.
Child Safety: To ensure your child(ren)’s safety, we ask that you supervise your children at all times. All students must sign in at the front office upon arrival and should be picked up within 30 minutes of the end of their lesson. No student may leave the building unsupervised.
Photo & Recording Policy: CMS reserves the right, and may give permission to appropriate staff or outside media, to photograph and record (video or audio) classes, programs, and participants at all of our facilities and events. Please be aware that these photos or recordings are for promotional purposes and may be used in future print or electronic publications and media communications. By participating in CMS programs, you consent to the video or audio recording or taking of photographs for these purposes.