FAQ’s for Private Music Lessons at Valley Music Academy

 

1.       What is Valley Music Academy?

A. Valley Music Academy is the largest private music academy in the region, offering artist quality instruction on more than 30 instruments. VMA is a non-profit organization.

2.       Why should I choose VMA for private lessons?

A. VMA offers quality professional musicians and educators with many years of formal education and training. All of our teachers are active musicians, performers and teachers. All teachers complete a thorough background check and the facility is covered by closed circuit recording.

3.       Where is VMA located?

A. VMA is located at 500 S. Wayne Avenue in Waynesboro in the lower level of Grace Lutheran Church. Parking is in the rear of the building. From the parking lot, enter the first entrance on the left side of the building, descend the stairs and turn right.

4.       What ages do you teach?

A. VMA offers private music lessons to students from child to senior adult. VMA uses age 6 as a benchmark age to begin private lessons and we offer Musikgarten class instruction for children younger than 6.

5.       When can I enroll for private lessons?

A. VMA accepts new students for private music lessons at any time throughout the year.

6.       What is your minimum number of lessons for a new student?

A. VMA requires a minimum of 4 lessons for any new student. Payment must be received for the 4 lessons by the first lesson.

7.       How long is each lesson?

A. VMA offers lessons in lengths of 30, 45 and 60 minutes. Length of lessons is mutually agreed upon by the student and/or parent and the instructor.

8.       When are lessons offered?

A. Lessons are offered Monday through Saturday. Schedule varies by teacher.

9.       Can I take lessons in my home?

A. Unfortunately not. All lessons are offered at VMA at 500 S. Wayne St., Waynesboro, VA.

10.   How much do lessons cost?

A. Price is $22 for 30 minute lessons, $33 for 45 minute lessons, and $44 for 60 minute lessons. Longer lessons are available upon request.

11.   How are lessons billed?

A. Lessons are billed monthly. Generally this is 4 lessons per month.

12.   What if there are 5 lessons in a month? Or only 3 lessons in a month?

A. You would be billed for the number of individual lessons in that month (5 or 3 in this example).

13.   When do I pay?

A. Lessons are invoiced about the 3rd week of each month and are due by the first of the next month. All lessons are billed in advance. For example, lessons for the month of March will be billed around the 20th of February and payment is due by March 1st.

14.   Where do I pay?

A. You may make payment to the office administrator during office hours. VMA has a payment slot next to the VMA office door and payments can be dropped there during off hours. You can mail payments to VMA, PO Box 1712, Waynesboro, VA 22980. We also accept payments by credit card online.

15.   What forms of payment do you accept?

A. We accept cash, check and paypal and credit cards through our online processor.

16.   Can I pay online?

A. We accept payment online through paypal and credit cards.

17.   Are there any discounts available?

A. Financial Aid (scholarship) is available based on financial need. Please see the financial aid link for more information.

18.   How often do lessons occur?

A. Once each week.

19.   Do I have to take lessons every week?

A. Generally all of our lessons are weekly. If you have a special situation, we would be glad to discuss that with you and will work with you to make it possible to take lessons.

20.   Am I allowed to study more than one instrument at a time?

A. Yes. Students can take lessons on different instruments and from different teachers each week.

21.   Can I switch teachers?

A. All of our teachers are professionals and do an outstanding job in teaching their students, however, we are aware that everyone’s personalities do not always work well with each other. If there is a conflict, we do allow students to request to switch to another teacher. Please contact the Program Director to make this request.

22.   If I switch teachers, will my payments apply toward the new teacher?

A. Any payment made for unused lessons would transfer to a new teacher.

23.   What happens when I miss a lesson?

A. VMA requires a two (2) week notice for an excused absence. This can be submitted online through our student/parent portal. You may also notify the teacher or VMA office directly. If the two week notice requirement is met, a lesson credit will be added to your account if you have already paid for that lesson. If you have not previously paid, you will not be billed for an arranged absence. If you give less than the required notice, you will be billed for that lesson.

24.   What happens if the teacher misses a lesson?

A. The teacher will offer a make-up lesson or a lesson credit will be issued to your account.

25.   What happens if there is a weather related closure?

A. The teacher will offer a make-up lesson or a lesson credit will be issued to your account.

26.   What is your inclement weather policy?

A. Each teacher will decide if and when to cancel private lessons due to weather.

27.   Can I take off for a period of time and then come back?

A. The most progress of any student is made with consistent instruction and regular practice, however, if you do need to discontinue lessons for a time, you are always welcomed back to VMA at a later date. VMA cannot guarantee that the lesson time of your preference or preferred teacher will be available when you return.

28.   Is VMA safe for me and my family?

A. VMA is safe and family friendly. All of our teachers and employees of VMA undergo a thorough background check before coming on staff. Our facilities are located in the lower level of Grace Lutheran church and are recorded by closed circuit TV. All classrooms are visible from the hallway and parents can easily view the child during a lesson. VMA is the safe alternative.

29.   Is there a waiting area?

A. VMA offers a waiting area for family members located at the end of the hallway where the lessons occur. Free wi-fi is available for your convenience while you wait. We ask that families with small children remain in the waiting area so as not distract those who are in lessons.

30.   How do we get started with VMA private lessons?

A.      First we need to get you registered for lessons. The easiest way is to register online at ValleyMusicAcademy.org and complete the registration form. You may also register by phone. If your requested time matches an open lesson slot, you will be scheduled and receive notification. If a lesson time needs to be negotiated, a VMA staff person will contact you to work out the exact lessons schedule.

 

31.   Can more than one child in a family take lessons?

A.      Many of our VMA families have siblings studying with different teachers or the same teacher at VMA. Our faculty will work to coordinate times so that multiple students can study on the same day and time frame if at all possible. We cannot guarantee lesson days and times are available, but our faculty will do everything possible to make the schedule work for you.

32.   Can I sit in on my child's lessons?

A.      This is up to the teacher’s discretion, but most instructors will let parents sit in on lessons, however some may feel that this can become a distraction for the child.  All of the practice rooms have windows so you can look in on lessons without being in the room.

 

33.   Am I too old to start music lessons?

A.      It is never too late to start!  Music can be learned and enjoyed by students of any age.

 

34.   How often should students practice?

A.      Students should practice at least 30 minutes every day to see optimal results, however practice time can vary.

35.   What is the best learning method?

A.      There are many different learning methods in existence and no two students learn the same way, so it is important to look for an instructor that can teach multiple methods and who is willing to adapt their teaching style and lesson plans based on your specific musical goals.

36.   Do I have to learn how to read music if I take music lessons?

A.      It is recommended that you learn how to read music, however, depending on the instrument, most instructors will work with the students to find the best lesson plan suited based on the student’s needs and ability.

37.   How long will it take me to learn how to play?

A.      This depends on the instrument, the desire and effort of each student.