Private Music Lessons
1Can I discontinue my lessons at any time?
Yes, students can discontinue lessons at any time. Withdrawal prior to the start of lessons will receive a refund for the amount paid minus the annual administrative fee. Students who withdraw after the start of lessons are required to make two installment payments beyond the termination date. Students who have paid in full will be given a refund minus lessons received, plus two months of lessons and the 5% discount for year-round students.
2Can we switch instructors at any point should we feel a change is needed?
The instructor/student relationship is very important for positive learning to take place. If a parent or student feels that a change is necessary, we first encourage a dialogue between student and instructor to discuss the situation. Generally a new plan can be worked out that will assist in moving forward in a positive fashion. If after discussion, a student still feels that a change is required, we are happy to assist with transferring to an alternative instructor.
3What is your make-up lesson policy?
Students receive one make-up lesson for an excused absence between Sept-Jan and one for Feb-June 15th. The office must be notified by noon prior to the lesson in order for lessons to be excused. Make-up lessons will not be given for lessons missed during the last two weeks of the partial-year contract period. Make-up lessons will be scheduled during enrichment class weeks or at a mutually agreed time between the student and instructor. Make-up lessons are not guaranteed during the summer.
4Do I need to own my own instrument to take lessons?
Yes, all music students should have an instrument to continue practice at home. Piano students are encouraged to have an acoustic piano that is tuned twice annually, though electronic instruments are acceptable with limitations. String and guitar students should discuss instrument purchase with a notable retailer or the instructor to ensure proper sizing. A list of local instrument retailers is available upon request at the PMA office.
5What is the next step should we choose to enroll?
Administrators are available to assist with those interested in registering for any PMA program. Registration can be completed through the online links on each program page. Once a registration is received, a PMA representative will follow-up to schedule a private lesson time or to confirm group class participation.
6What type of payment plans and contracts do you offer?
PMA offers a variety of payment plans. Private lessons are divided into short-term or year-round plans. Group program payments are required in full prior to the start of class.
7Do you offer Financial Aid?
Yes. Prairie Music & Arts believes in making opportunities in the arts accessible. A need-based financial assistance program is available up to age 18. Applications are due annually in early August. The 2018-2019 application period has closed.
Questions regarding Guitar and Voice Lessons
1What is the youngest age a student can take guitar lessons?
We offer private guitar lessons to students fourth grade and up. In order to be the most successful with learning the guitar, it is best to wait until a student can manage the strength required to play chords and concentration needed for maintaining a correct playing position. As such, we suggest that students younger than fourth grade take piano lessons or hold off until starting guitar lessons.
2What type of lesson should my student take in the meantime?
For children younger than fourth grade, we encourage first taking piano lessons, as learning piano provides a strong foundation for music reading and rhythm. Kyle Rightley, a PMA instructor states, "From personal experience, students who have even a little piano experience under their belt tend to learn guitar much more easily than those who don't."
3What is the youngest age a student can take voice lessons?
Unlike other instruments, a singer’s voice lies within the physical body. Singing requires an acute mental focus to breath properly and to manipulate sound and this can be challenging for most elementary age students. Children are typically not ready for vocal lessons until they near puberty, as this is when their voice will begin to naturally change. Starting lessons earlier than this point can lead to strain and damage to developing vocal chords. We believe that a choir, vocal group class, or piano lessons will best suit children younger than sixth grade.
4My child is not interested in choir or group voice lessons. What should we do in the meantime?
Learning music fundamentals such as reading and rhythm are crucial for vocalists. Though a group singing or general music class can assist children in gaining musical exposure, piano lessons will provide an even stronger musical foundation to children who are interested in future vocal lessons.
5Where can I find additional information regarding the timeline for a student to take Voice and/or Guitar Lessons?
Guitar Lesson Resource: http://www.kidsguitarworld.com/what-is-the-best-age-to-start-learning-guitar/ Voice Lesson Resource: https://www.nymetroparents.com/article/Voice-lessonsWhen-Your-Child-Should-Start. Feel free to call the PMA main office at (608) 834-9550 for additional questions regarding guitar or voice lessons.
Early Childhood Group Classes
1Why did you choose the First Steps as your curriculum?
First Steps is a holistic approach written by John Feierabend and is based on sound educational principles. The curriculum emphasizes a developmental approach that meets the specific needs of each developmental stage and balances quality music education while also offering opportunities that enhance the young child's social, motor, and verbal skills.
2What are the educational and social benefits of early childhood music education?
Each early childhood class targets the unique needs of the young child. Unlike other programs, our classes are divided into babies, toddlers, and pre-school age children and are sequenced to grow with the child. Activities lay a strong musical foundation and provide readiness for future instrumental lessons. The group approach also offers a safe and positive learning environment that develops the body and mind and prepares children for school-age learning.
3Can my siblings enroll in the same class?
Yes, absolutely! Our program is family friendly and siblings are charged a reduced rate when enrolled within the same class.
4Are materials required for classes?
No. Instructors do suggest online resources for home-continuation and if desired, can also suggest materials for purchase.
5Do we receive a refund should we miss a class?
Refunds cannot be offered for missed classes.
Group Programs (Music, Art, Drama)
1What are the withdrawal policies for group classes?
Students can withdraw from a group class at any time. A complete tuition refund, minus the annual administrative fee, will be given if a student withdraws prior to the start of a session. Once a session begins, tuition will not be refunded.
2Can we enroll mid session?
Absolutely! New students are welcome to join a group program at a prorated cost, though depending on the program, deadline limitations may apply. New students should always check with the office prior to registering for a group program past the start date to ensure that registration is still possible.