Private Music Lessons

Weekly Private Music lessons

tailored to your individual abilities and goals.

Our professional teachers provide high-quality individualized learning in piano, strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and voice, both in-person and online, for children ages 5+, teens, adults, and seniors.  CMS offers a solid foundation in note reading and music theory, as well as numerous free public performance opportunities.

SIGN UP FOR AN INTERVIEW LESSON

The interview lesson time selected here is a request only. Once we receive your inquiry, the office will contact you to confirm the interview lesson day and time. 

Inquire About Music Lessons

If you are not sure which path is best for you or your student, please complete our Inquiry Form and someone will contact you to discuss your options for private lessons and/or group classes.

From our families

gain confidence

“Joe is an excellent teacher. He shows that he is passionate about teaching. I also see how encouraging he is. I also can see the progress she done since starting lessons with him. Definitely a great teacher.  Our daughter is starting to progress and gain confidence with playing guitar. I am thankful she has a very kind and passionate teacher to help her learn.” 

- The Gonzalez Family

[/db_pb_slide]

We Love CMS!

“My daughter has been attending CMS for about 2 years and we love CMS. The staff are amazing, always friendly and are quick to respond to any questions. The instructors are AMAZING - - patient with the students and very professional. I am so happy this school was recommended to me. The great thing about CMS is that they are consistent with the services they provide, I would definitely recommend CMS to anyone. Really appreciate CMS - thank you.”
~ The Williams Family

[/db_pb_slide]

joy and compassion of music

“My grandson has been taking lessons for several years. I am proud and very happy with the progress he has made. The school shares the joy and compassion of music. Everyone is kind and helpful. One of the best connections we made.”

- The Magee & Rizzuto Families

[/db_pb_slide]

A healthy, supportive outlet

“My son found a healthy, supportive outlet for his love of all things musical and theatrical... he has come alive in amazing ways because of CMS.  This school and it’s programming has changed our lives. ❤️”
- The Coleman Family

[/db_pb_slide]

The instructors are AMAZING

“My daughter has been attending CMS for about 2 years, and we love CMS. The staff are amazing - - always friendly, and are quick to respond to any questions. The instructors are AMAZING - - patient with the students, and very professional. I am so happy this school was recommended to me. The great thing about CMS is that they are consistent with the services they provide. I would definitely recommend CMS to anyone. Really appreciate CMS; thank you.”
- The Williams Family

[/db_pb_slide]

fosters music culture

“An amazing place that fosters music culture and instills the basics of music appreciation in children for an astronomically low and affordable price.”

Ahmed I.

[/db_pb_slide]

look no further

“My son has been taking classes at CMS for 6 years. All the teachers have been kind, informative, and understanding. I can't wait until they're in the new location. If you have an interest in music or know someone who does, look no further.”

- Teresa M

[/db_pb_slide]

Amazing school

“My daughter enjoys her classes and loves her teachers. She has learned a lot in her singing lessons. Amazing school!”

- Georgina L.

[/db_pb_slide]

friendly atmosphere

“We love the friendly atmosphere of the staff and instructors, and how much info was given through email and portal. My daughter really liked how the lessons were set up. We are pleased!”

- Trish D.

[/db_pb_slide]
[/db_pb_slider]

Instruments & Teachers

All our faculty members are professional teaching musicians with at least a Bachelors degree in their chosen speciality.  Click on the instrument below to explore our available teachers, then click on their name to read their full biography.  Learn more about all our teachers here.

The safety of our students is our highest priority.  CMS teachers are employees who have all PA Act 153 Clearances including Child Abuse History Clearances, Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Checks for Employment, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Fingerprinting.  They have also completed mandated reporter training.

Private lesson students must supply their own instruments to practice regularly at home in between their weekly lessons. If you are not familiar with the instrument, please discuss the student’s needs with the teacher before purchasing or renting an instrument. Learn more about instrument options.

Tuition for Private Music Lessons

Students prepay for lessons on the first of each month.  Payments are automatically charged to the debit or credit card on file.  Financial aid is available for approved students 18 years of age and younger whose families cannot afford the full cost of tuition.

Interview Lesson, 30 minutes - $37

Annual Registration Fee - $45, per family, per calendar year

Monthly Tuition Payments

        • 30-minute lessons - $148 per month
        • 45-minute lessons - $216 per month
        • 60-minute lessons - $284 per month

Frequently Asked Questions about Private Music Lessons

WHY LEARN TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT?

Besides being fun, learning to play an instrument is a workout for your entire brain and body that can produce life-long benefits.  Research continues to expand our knowledge of how playing an instrument improves hand-eye coordination, math reasoning skillslanguage developmentmemory; it can also help manage anxiety.  Over time, these benefits can contribute to academic success, whether or not the student wants to become a professional musician.  Performing with a group helps enhance confidence, self-esteem, and connectedness with others. For adult students, keeping the whole brain active helps prevent cognitive decline and helps maintain finger strength and dexterity. 

HOW MUCH WILL I HAVE TO PRACTICE?

How long does it take to learn to play an instrument?  It is often said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in something.  While that may not be entirely true, if you want to get good, frankly, you have to practice a lot… correctly… and every day… even a couple of times a day!  Learning to play the guitar and read music is basically like learning a new language.  The more you practice, the more often you practice, and the more you practice accurately, the faster and farther you will progress. 

Practice doesn’t make perfect… PERFECT practice makes perfect!

Younger students tend to learn more quickly than older students, but learning an instrument is a long-term commitment for both child and parent.   For young beginners, start with focused practice of around 15-20 minutes per day and set a goal to work up to 30 minutes per day.  Depending on the age and attention span of the child, you can divide that daily practice time into several shorter segments.  Parents should also encourage “playing” time as well as “practice” time.  Your teacher will also use age-appropriate music games to help make practice fun and encourage steady progress. 

As you progress to more difficult material, you will need more time to practice.  If you plan to major in music in college, you should expect to practice at least one hour per day.  For casual adult students, daily practice is encouraged, but may not be realistic for students with families and busy work schedules.  You should practice as much as possible, with the goal of at least 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week.  Remember, you set the pace.  You will progress as much as you practice.

These are skills that will stay with you for a lifetime.  Be cautious of learning bad habits, such as poor posture and finger position, as this will only slow your progress.  This is why having a live teacher to provide individualized feedback is so important.  All students can hit a plateau in their progress more than once during their musical journey.  Persistence is key to pushing through to the next level.  As tedious as learning the fundamentals of music, such as scales and note reading may be, these fundamentals are crucial to developing life-long enjoyment of your instrument.

WHAT AGES CAN ENROLL?

Our professional teachers provide individualized learning, both in-person and online, for children ages 5+, teens, adults, and seniors.  About 20% of our students are adults, and many are discovering or rediscovering the joy of making music in their retirement years.  We also offer Kindermusik for ages 0-4.

While the maturity level varies from child to child, most children age 5 or older have an adequate attention span for a 30-minute lesson. CMS recommends piano or violin for beginners, because these instruments give access to the full range of the musical scale, allowing the student to develop a solid foundation for future musical development. This allows students to learn to read notes on both the treble and bass clefs and to develop hand/eye coordination.

Check out this great article about the stages of musical education.

MY CHILD LOVES TO SING. WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND?

We offer Kids Choir for children ages 6-11 to help them develop proper singing technique, read music, and listen to each other. Once the child’s vocal chords are more developed, we offer private voice lessons focused on the child’s interests.

WHAT INSTRUMENTS DO YOU OFFER?

We offer private lessons in strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and voice.  View all instruments or browse group classes and ensembles.

DOES MY CHILD NEED AN INSTRUMENT?

Private lesson students must supply their own instruments to practice regularly at home in between their weekly lessons. If you are not familiar with the instrument, please discuss the student’s needs with the teacher before purchasing or renting an instrument. Contact the CMS office for rental recommendations and information on discounts for CMS students.  CMS has a limited number of donated instruments available for rent

In the case of a piano, if space is an issue, a high-quality keyboard with at least 66 weighted keys is a good option for young beginners. A weighted keyboard will cost a little more, but the keys will feel more like a regular piano and allow for better volume control.

WHAT BOOKS DO I NEED TO BUY?

The teacher will determine the student’s goals/abilities and recommend study materials. 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.

CMS has a limited number of music books and donated instruments available for rent or purchase, but we recommend you rent or purchase your instrument from a reputable dealer. Please contact the office for recommendations.

WHEN CAN I START LESSONS?

Anytime! CMS offers open enrollment and monthly payment plans for private lessons. 

WHEN WILL MY LESSON BE?

Generally, the day and time of your interview lesson will be the same as your on-going weekly lesson schedule.  Once you are established with a teacher, your lesson will always be at the same time, once a week, unless there is a school holiday or you request a change.

HOW MUCH DO LESSONS COST?

Students prepay for lessons on the first of each month.  Payments are automatically charged to the debit or credit card on file.  Financial aid is available for approved students 18 years of age and younger whose families cannot afford the full cost of tuition.

Interview Lesson, 30 minutes – $37

Annual Registration Fee – $45, per family, per calendar year

Monthly Tuition Payments

        • 30-minute lessons – $148 per month
        • 45-minute lessons – $216 per month
        • 60-minute lessons – $284 per month
HOW DO I PAY FOR MY LESSONS?

All lessons are automatically billed at a standard monthly rate, based on an average of four lessons per month (a total of 48-weeks per calendar year).  If the student enrolls in the middle of the month, CMS will prorate the first tuition payment. CMS will automatically charge monthly tuition payments on the first day of each month to the debit or credit card on file in your TeacherZone account. CMS accepts all major credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, & Discover, as well as electronic check payments (ACH).

Learn more about Tuition Payments

IF I MISS MY LESSON, CAN I MAKE IT UP?

Scheduling private lessons is complex, and lesson days/times/teachers cannot be easily changed once students have committed to their times. CMS provides no refunds or credits for missed lessons, except for narrowly defined “excused” absences.  A maximum of two excused absences are stored as “banked” lessons in the student’s TeacherZone account for up to 60 days.

In-person students may request to reschedule a banked lesson as an online lesson, subject to the teacher’s approval.  CMS also schedules regular makeup lessons days before Spring Break, Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, and at the end of the summer, all subject to each teacher’s availability.

Learn more about Lesson Cancellations & Makeups

I AM IN A PLAY AND CANNOT MAKE MY LESSONS FOR THE NEXT MONTH. WHAT DO i DO?

Congratulations on your role in the play! Students enroll in lessons on an on-going basis with a monthly payment plan. CMS supports your performance aspirations, but cannot guarantee that the student’s existing lesson day and time will still be available upon the student’s return. A Request for Withdrawal Form must be completed by the student or parent and submitted to the office at least 15 days prior to the withdrawal. There are no credits or refunds given for missed lessons.

WHAT IF I CAN'T MAKE MY LESSON THIS WEEK?

If you are sick or have a last-minute scheduling conflict, please contact the main CMS office at 610-435-7725 or email us as soon as possible so we can notify your teacher that you will not be at your lesson.

Scheduling private lessons is complex, and lesson days/times/teachers cannot be easily changed once students have committed to their times. CMS provides no refunds or credits for missed lessons, except for narrowly defined “excused” absences.  A maximum of two excused absences are stored as “banked” lessons in the student’s TeacherZone account for up to 60 days.

In-person students may request to reschedule a banked lesson as an online lesson, subject to the teacher’s approval.  CMS also schedules regular makeup lessons days before Spring Break, Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, and at the end of the summer, all subject to each teacher’s availability.

Learn more about Lesson Cancellations & Makeups

WHAT KIND OF PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE?

Performing in front of a live audience is an important part of the Community Music School experience and is key to developing well-rounded musicians. CMS encourages students of all levels and ages to perform when they are ready, with permission from their teacher. Numerous free performance opportunities are available, including both in-house recitals and community programs. Thanks to our generous donors, all CMS recitals are free and open to the public; there is also no fee for students who perform.  View the schedule of upcoming student recitals and performance opportunities. 

HOW DO I APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID?

Financial aid is available for students up to age 18 who qualify, based on family need.  The annual financial aid award is based on a standard fee schedule and the student’s commitment to lessons.  All families pay the annual registration fee and a portion of the monthly lesson tuition.  

To apply, complete the online form and upload all required documentation here.

DO YOU OFFER SCHOLARSHIPS?

Yes, CMS awards a limited number of merit-based scholarships to selected students. Visit Gala Audition & Recital for details.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Sign Up Now to schedule your interview lesson.  If you are not sure which path is best for you or your student, please complete our Inquiry Form and someone will contact you to discuss your options.  The interview lesson is $35 for 30 minutes and must be paid in full at the time of scheduling, even if you intend to apply for financial aid.  

If you have a question, you can call the office at 610-435-7725 or email us.   We look forward to helping you on your musical journey! 

Learn more about the Interview Lesson.

If you are not sure which path is best for you or your student, please complete our Inquiry Form and someone will contact you to discuss your options.  We look forward to helping you on your musical journey!