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Community Music School – FAQ Page

FAQ Page

The CMS building at 618 Tucker St. is partially accessible with an entrance ramp and ground floor classrooms. Our neighbor at 616 Tucker St., St. Saviour’s Center, is a fully accessible facility with an automated entrance door and accessible restrooms. With advance notice, we can arrange to teach lessons in that facility.

All recitals and CMS sponsored concerts take place in the St. Saviour’s Center auditorium which is fully accessible.

We expect our students to be dedicated to their music education and to make their lessons and practice time their top extracurricular priority. Students attend lessons one day per week for a half hour. Our year follows the school year, with semesters running September-December and January-May.

Students are expected to attend every lesson. They are allowed only two absences per semester. Students with excessive absences may not be allowed to re-enroll the following year.

Students should also plan to practice at home each week, as directed by their teacher. Students fill out practice logs and turn them in at their next lesson. Parents should help their students make practicing a priority.

There are two recital opportunities each year and students must perform in one, either in December or May. There may also be opportunities throughout the year for students to perform in the community. These opportunities will be shared with families as they become available.

Students must also attend concerts in the community to earn music appreciation points. There will also be opportunities for students to participate in master classes with professional musicians.

Observing a lesson is a great way to get a feel for our program, and we will do our best to accommodate these requests.

We follow the Wake County Public School System’s weather closings. If the schools are closed for the day, or if they cancel after school programming, we will be closed as well. The best way to check is to visit and look for closing notifications.

We do our best to build in a few make-up days at the end of each semester in case of weather cancellations, but cannot guarantee that we will be able to make up every lesson.

Private music lessons and fundamentals classes at CMS cost $1 per lesson. The cost of tuition for the year is $30, which is due on the first day of class.

Participation in an ensemble costs $10 for the year.

Instrument loans require a $25 refundable deposit.

We do not accept new students who do not meet the Wake County Free and Reduced-Price Lunch Program criteria. For returning students whose families’ financial circumstances have improved, we allow re-enrollment at an increased tuition rate.

To remain in good standing, students are expected to meet CMS standards for attendance, timeliness, practice, performances and enrichment activities. Families are expected to support the school’s mission and fundraising efforts. Details of these expectations are spelled out in the Student Handbook and will be reviewed at the in-person interview.

Applications are available online starting May 1 and the enrollment period runs for six weeks. For the 2015-16 school year, the deadline to apply is June 15, 2015. To learn more about the application process, click here.

A waiting list is used at CMS to fill private lesson vacancies that occur during the school year. Wait-listed students must already have sufficient music background (can read music and play an instrument or sing) to be eligible for private lessons. Students must take and pass a music fundamentals test in order to be approved to begin private lessons. To add your eligible child to the waiting list, click here.

New students at CMS must be at least six years old and must not be older than 19 years old by September 1 of the coming school year. We do not accept beginners with no music background after 8th grade.

Returning students must submit a new application each year. Returning students in good standing (i.e. fulfilling requirements for attendance, practices, performances, etc.) are given first priority for placement.

CMS maintains an instrument loan program for the benefit of actively enrolled students.  Instruments available for loan are piano/keyboard, percussion, flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and guitar. A small security deposit is required to complete the loan.


The purpose of the in-person interview is to explain all of the participation standards that are expected of CMS students and their families and to answer any questions you may have. We strongly encourage, but do not require, your child’s attendance.

A high level of commitment is required in order for your child to benefit from CMS programs. The in-person interview helps us select families that are able to support the required level of commitment, so we can maximize the benefit of lessons from our professional teaching staff.