Community Music School

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the steps I need to take to get registered for lessons? For a class?

Your first step is to complete an inquiry form. Upon submission of an inquiry form, the office will reach out to answer any questions regarding the lessons and/or classes of interest that were selected on the form.

For lessons: The CMS Director will suggest a teacher and, depending on the child's age, will recommend that a lesson be observed or that a trial lesson be completed before making a final decision to commit to lessons. (Lesson observations are at no charge. Trial lessons count as the first lesson if a student decides to continue. If a student decides they will not continue with lessons, the trial lesson is at no charge.) After meeting with the teacher, if the student decides to commit to lessons, a registration form must be completed. In addition to collecting the necessary information for generating an invoice, submitting the registration form serves as your acknowledgment of CMS studio policies and semester fees.

For classes: If age requirements are met and all questions about the class have been answered, a registration form must be completed to hold a spot in the class. In addition to collecting the necessary information for generating an invoice, submitting the registration form serves as your acknowledgment of CMS policies and class fees.

After a registration form has been submitted, you are ready to begin lessons and/or classes! Invoices are mailed a few weeks following the start of the semester. Fall semester invoices are mailed mid-September (due by October 10) and spring semester invoices are mailed mid-January (due by February 10). CMS offers the option to split payments over the span of the months during the semester at no additional charge. Details about the payment plan will be provided on the invoice.

How young/old can a student be?

Please see the descriptions listed on the Class Information page.

How often are lessons and how long are they?

Lessons happen on a weekly basis and are either 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes. Fall and spring semesters are 16 weeks. The CMS summer session is typically 10 weeks; however, due to family vacations and/or teacher schedules, you may elect to register for fewer than 10 weeks. After you and your teacher confirm the number of lessons, the teacher will provide that information to the billing office and a summer invoice will be prepared accordingly.

Which instruments can I study?

We have many options! See our list on the Instrumental Lessons page.

Can a teacher come to my house?

Sorry, but no. Private lessons will be held at the Community Music School, or occasionally at the Oberlin Conservatory.

May I/we observe a lesson or class before registering?

We encourage all new students and parents to observe a lesson prior to registration. If the student is interested, a trial lesson is suggested (or may be required) before acceptance into the school. If after a trial lesson, the parent/student decides it is not a good fit, there will be no charge for the trial. If after a trial lesson the student registers for lessons, the trial lesson is billed as the first lesson. We work very hard to match each student with the right teacher based on the student's goals and interests.

What happens if I miss a lesson or a class?

For lessons: Lessons missed by the student will not be made up at another time. Teachers will make every effort to give the lesson during the scheduled lesson time via videoconferencing. Tuition fees will not be prorated for missed lessons.

For classes: For classes cancelled due to insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances, a full refund will be issued. For students withdrawing prior to the second scheduled class date, tuition will be refunded less the prorated fee if the student attended the first class. From the date of the second scheduled class, no refunds will be given. Students will be billed accordingly.

For a complete list of studio policies, including information about attendance, make up lessons, and withdrawals, please visit our Studio Policies page.

Can I pay per lesson or per class?

Lessons and classes are charged per semester, not per lesson or per class. When you register, you commit to paying for the lessons and classes selected. A few weeks following the start of the semester, you will receive a paper invoice detailing your semester charges. We offer the option of splitting the balance due into monthly installments: 4 (fall/spring) or 2 (summer). Paying by monthly installment is offered at no additional charge.

How do I pay?

CMS accepts credit cards, checks (made out to Oberlin College), and cash. Payments can either be mailed in to the Oberlin Community Music School, 77 West College St., Kohl 309, Oberlin, OH 44074, made in person in the Kohl Building located at 77 West College Street, Oberlin, office #309, left in the dropbox at the Community Music School, or paid online . Teachers will NOT accept payments. 

Lessons and classes are billed per semester, not per lesson or per class. We do offer the option of paying in monthly installments; however when you register and commit to lessons or a class, you are committing to pay for the entire semester. 

For withdrawal policies, please visit our Studio Policies page.

Do you offer financial aid?

Yes! Oberlin College is committed to helping families who need assistance to participate in our programs by offering scholarships. For more information, please visit our Scholarship Application page.

Where are you located?

Private lessons and most classes are given at the Community Music School - located at the historic Burrell-King House at 315 East College Street, Oberlin, Ohio. 

The Community Music School office is located in the Kohl Building #309, which is the silver building behind Lorenzos, located at 77 West College Street, Oberlin, Ohio. 

Please visit the Class Information pages for specific location details.