Frequently Asked Questions

Why should my child have music or dance lessons? 

The benefits of music and dance education are well-documented and more numerous than we can explain here.  Music education affects student performance in language, math, critical thinking and reasoning, just to name a few positives.  There are several articles on the subject of music and dance education that can explain these benefits, and we have included links to just a few on our For Parents page.  A student doesn't have to be a concert musician or a prima ballerina to benefit from music and dance education. We encourage you to look for a way to bring music or dance into your child's life any way you can, whether through lessons at HSMD or elsewhere. 

When do lessons start at HSMD?

Key dates at HSMD are noted on the School Calendar, both online and in your enrollment packet.  If there are changes made to the print issue of the calendar, we email currently enrolled students to notify them in addition to updating the online calendar. 
Music Lessons begin in late August, Dance Classes and Choir begin in September and Summer Programs begin in early June. 

How do I register for music lessons or dance classes?

We encourage all prospective students and their families to download and read the Enrollment Packet.  To register for any music lessons or dance classes, the last 3 pages of this packet will need to be completed and returned to our office.  Dance classes are listed on the dance page.  All private music or dance lessons must be scheduled through the office.  If your desired dance class is full, or you are unable to schedule a lesson with an instructor, your paperwork will still be required if you wish to be placed on a waiting list. 

If you have any questions during the registration process, we welcome you to contact the office at any time. 

How do I register for Homer Children's Choir?

We encourage all prospective choristers and their families to download and read the HCC Choir Handbook.  All Choir Registration must be completed online via our Choir Page.  The Choir Registration form will lead you to a payment screen that must be completed to ensure complete enrollment.  If you have any questions during the registration process, please contact the office. We are always happy to assist you.

How do I register for Summer Music & Dance Programs?

All participants in the Summer Music & Dance program must register online via our Summer Programs page.  Participants must have a payment form completed to ensure proper enrollment.  A deposit is collected at the time of registration.  The payment method you utilize for this deposit will be used to process any further tuition fees (due on the first of June or July, depending on the selected program).    If you need to make other arrangements, or have any questions regarding registration for summer programs, please contact the office.

For private lessons, we will contact registrants in May (or whenever registration information is received) regarding scheduling for the summer.  Lessons are scheduled in the order in which registration is completed (first come, first served).

Why is the tuition the same every month when I don't always have the same number of lessons? 

In order to make comprehensive music and dance education as accessible as possible, we collect tuition on a monthly installment plan.  This means we have added up the total costs of the school year (August through May) and divided it into ten equal payments (nine monthly payments for dance students).  This both lessens administrative expense for the school, thereby keeping the cost for lessons down, and keeps each month of lessons equally affordable for students.  Every month of tuition payments is a payment toward your annual total and is not related to the number of lessons in a given month. 

What if I can't make my regularly scheduled lesson?

Please let the office know as soon as you are aware that a lesson will be missed.  Music students are offered two rescheduled lessons per school year, one of which is customarily during a designated week in April.  Group dance classes cannot be made up, but our instructors can modify their lesson plans for group classes if given prior notice.  Thank you!

My child has an injury.  Should they still be attending lessons?

In most cases, the answer is Yes! There is more to music and dance than muscles!  You should first contact the office for guidance, depending on the nature of the injury and the type of music or dance instruction your student is participating in.  We are very cautious regarding head injuries, however, and all students should follow the recommendations of their physician. 

For music students, there are topics related to music fundamentals and theory, specific exercises that may be recommended, or one-handed practice if necessary. Most music students will be encouraged to come to their lesson if able to do so safely. 

For dance students, those unable to participate in any or all aspects of their dance class, should still attend and watch the class if possible.  This allows them to keep track of any new skills that their classmates are working on, or notes regarding choreography that may be important when they have recovered from their injury. Dance instructors may also be able to assist students in recovering strength and flexibility after an injury, so please be sure to speak to your instructor if you have been injured.

Students may be required to submit a note from their doctor before resuming lessons. 

How much should students practice?

A more important question, most of our instructors would say, is how should my student be practicing?  A student who plays for extended periods of time, but does not practice as their instructor requests, may not progress as fast as a student who practices for short amounts of time but does so efficiently and correctly. What to practice and how to practice is a topic covered during lessons and should be noted in a student's lesson notebook or on their music. Quality is always better than quantity. 

Actual practice time may vary from student to student, based on teacher recommendations.  If your student's instructor is recommending specific practice times, please check your student's lesson notes first.  You can also ask the instructor (during your student's regularly scheduled lesson) if they have any specific practice recommendations. 

My student isn't practicing. What do I do?

There is a lot of literature available on this topic.  We encourage parents to read The Practice Revolution by Philip Johnston or The Harmonious Child  by Beth Luey, if they want a comprehensive answer to the question.  Parents can also speak with their student's instructor if they wish to encourage more musical enjoyment in their student. 

The best step a parent can take to make music an important part of their child's life is to make it an important part of your life.  What is valued by the parent is what is valued by the child.  Pay attention to what music your child is working on, speak positively when they progress and set aside time and space in their day for music.  We strongly encourage parents to help their kids take ownership of their music education by making them responsible for their music and materials whenever possible, and rewarding self-initiated practice time.
Please feel free to contact the office with any further questions!