Here are some of the questions our
Lessons Specialists are asked the most:
Frequently Asked Questions
- How does CMS choose teachers?
- Where are teachers located?
- At what age can my child study music?
- What instrument should my child or I study?
- How long and how frequent are the lessons?
- Am I obligated to stay with the teacher I have chosen?
- Do you have recitals?
- How much do lessons cost?
- What is your mailing address?
- Can I pay with a credit card?
- May I pay for each lesson as we go?
- My child has lost interest and/or is not practicing. Should we take a break?
- I need to cancel my child’s lesson for today and can’t find the teacher’s phone number.
- My question is not listed here.
CMS standards for teachers are very high. The interview process is lengthy and extensive, consisting of several face-to-face meetings. The majority of teachers have a degree in music with a vast teaching and/or performance background. Many have had professional recording careers in addition to their teaching. Many have teaching credentials with the school districts within the State of California. Every applicant is thoroughly screened. Well over 5000 potential instructors were interviewed to get the pool of 350+ teachers. CMS will find the right teacher for you.
Most children can start private lessons as young as 4 or 5 years old, depending on their attention span, interest, and developmental readiness. Some instruments, such as guitars, brass, or woodwinds, are more tailored to students 7 or 8 years old and older, mostly because of the size of the instrument and physical development of the student. We teach students of all ages, including adults.
If you or your child do not have a predisposition toward a particular instrument, it is recommended that all students begin with piano/keyboard in order to develop a solid foundation of music theory and technique. It has been proven that a student seriously studying piano for five or more years can more easily transpose knowledge toward playing other instruments. If you or your child have an interest in a specific instrument, and you/he/she are/is physically able to play that instrument, then by all means learn whichever instrument you like.
Beginning children (4 to 5 years of age) should start with 30-minute weekly or bi-weekly lessons. Beginning children (6 to 8 years of age) may start with either 30- or 45-minute weekly or bi-weekly lessons, depending on experience and developmental readiness. All other beginning students including adults should start with 45- or 60-minute weekly or bi-weekly lessons. Since the lessons are designed around each student, your teacher may recommend a longer lesson as the student improves, or multiple lessons within the same week. It is also recommended that students practice the same amount of time daily as the length of their lesson.
In a word – no. However, CMS has over a 98% success rate in matching students and teachers. More times than not, the student and teacher develop a rapport that will continue for years. At times, a change is necessary, when you feel you need a different teacher, or want to study a different instrument. It simply requires a call to highly qualified and informative CMS staff coordinators, and you will get a new instructor right away, if you wish. Of course, if you or a teacher move, you can be placed with another qualified instructor in your area. The connection between a teacher and student is the most important ingredient in developing a meaningful and successful educational partnership.
CMS offers many Formal Recitals, Mini Recitals, Honors Recitals and Music Clubs – totaling over 60 per year. Your teacher will inform you in advance of the times and dates. All CMS recitals are free to both participants and audience members, but are not mandatory. Recitals and performances serve as great motivation, and as an opportunity to demonstrate progress. Parents, relatives, and friends are all welcome. Programs and refreshments are provided at the Formal Recitals as well.
Lesson tuition varies depending on the length, location, and type of lessons. Family discounts are also available. Please complete the music lesson inquiry, or call for more information.
What is your mailing address and phone number?
California Music Studios
P.O. Box 130220
Carlsbad, CA 92013-0220
Yes. Credit card payments are preferred. Accepted cards are Visa or MasterCard, or debit cards with those logos. Simply call CMS toll free at 760-632-7577. An automatic recurring monthly charge/debit can be set up. If necessary, call in payment monthly when you receive your invoice. Please call for more details.
No, sorry. Teachers need to be reasonably certain of their income. Lessons are billed monthly, for the calendar month, and include four lessons in each month. Several times a year, there is a fifth lesson in a month. This is reserved as a make-up lesson to be used at the discretion of the instructor, if one of the four lessons in a normal month is missed. Tuition is billed one month in advance, and is due on the 25th of the previous month; for example, tuition for the month of June would be due on May 25th.
This is a common question. Occasionally, a child, for various reasons, is not willing to practice, and it becomes a battle of wills. This is extremely common, and will happen in every budding musician’s life from time to time. These plateaus are important to work through. A helpful article is “Practice Tips,” taken from a CMS newsletter. Feel free to print a copy for easy reference.
Call CMS toll free at 760-632-7577. You’ll be given your teacher’s phone number, and CMS will call them for you, as well. You will need to call the teacher 24 hours in advance of the lesson, in order for the teacher to schedule a makeup lesson. Lessons cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice may be forfeited.