You have questions. We have artistic answers.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions we receive. Private music lessons have their own section below. If you don’t find your question just contact us. Sometimes it is easier just to call, our office phone is 630.752.5567 and we are usually available during regular business hours
Q: How is the CSA calendar organized?
A: We have two 15-week semesters: September to mid-January, and mid-January to May. There is a 6-week Summer Session with enrichment courses in music and visual art beginning in mid-May and two summer day camps in June.
Most music students continue to take private lessons during the summer but with a more flexible schedule.
Q: What are the credentials of CSA faculty members? Do college students teach?
A: Our teachers are professional musicians and the majority of them holding postgraduate degrees in their respective disciplines. Biographical information is available for each faculty member click here.
Many Wheaton College Music Conservatory interns work at Community School of the Arts, but always under the supervision of a CSA faculty member.
Q: What performance opportunities are available for students?
A: There are numerous annual large-scale performance opportunities for music students as well as studio recitals every semester. Visual Art students participate in art exhibits, both on and off campus, at least once each semester.
Q: What is the difference between the Suzuki and Preparatory programs for private music lessons?
A: Refer the CSA Program comparison Chart (pdf) to help you understand the differences.
Q: Is there a waiting list to get in the program for private lessons? How long does it take to get in?
A: We do keep a waiting list of all students who register. Normally, we are able to place students by the start of the following semester, unless there is an exceptionally long list for the requested instrument. Students also are placed for the summer session. In general, the maximum wait is usually no longer than a few months.
When you enroll, your child’s name is put on the waiting list for the instrument requested. The Placement Coordinator will call you as soon as there is an opening for your child. We generally do placements at the beginning of a semester and at the beginning of summer.
Q: Can we pay our bill in monthly payments?
A: Yes. Billing statements for the semester’s tuition are sent out at the beginning of each semester. You may pay it all at once or choose to make monthly payments. If monthly payments are made the entire balance must be paid before the end of the semester. There is a 5% late fee on outstanding balances after the semester ends.
If you are registering for Suzuki lessons, you are required to observe two private lessons and one group class. An observation schedule will be sent to you from the office. There are no observations required or available for Preparatory lessons. You may request the teacher of your choice, however the wait may be longer for a particular teacher.
Q: If we will be out of town for a couple weeks, can our tuition be prorated?
A: Tuition is charged by the semester. There are no refunds for missed classes or lessons except in cases of serious illness or relocation. For additional details refer to CSA Policies and Procedures (pdf).
Q: If we have to miss our regularly scheduled class, may we attend the same level class on another day?
A: We do not encourage people to flip-flop classes because it interferes with the teacher’s planning as well as forming its own community feeling.
Q: Are there scholarships available?
A: Need-based scholarships are available for those students who qualify. A newly enrolled student cannot apply for scholarship assistance for private music lessons until one semester of a class is completed (Early Childhood Music or Choir). Download the CSA scholarship application (pdf) and CSA Scholarship Reference Form (pdf).
Scholarship application deadlines: Aug. 1 (fall semester), Dec. 1 (spring semester)
Q: Where should I park?
A: On the main campus, parking can be congested. It is always wise to plan to arrive early. There is some street parking and CSA student families may park in any campus lot marked “W”. The closest lots are at McAlister Hall, Blanchard Hall, and behind Edman Chapel. Student families are supplied with parking passes that must be displayed.
Our off-campus locations have plenty of parking.
Q: What is the typical schedule for a student beginning private lessons?
A: A beginning student comes once a week for a 30-minute lesson with a private teacher and is also assigned to a group class with students of the same level (not necessarily on the same day). Suzuki classes meet weekly for 30 minutes. Preparatory Program classes meet on alternating weeks for 40-50 minutes. Tuition for the semester includes the cost of both the private lesson and the group classes.
Q: If I put more than one child in lessons, can their lessons be scheduled back-to-back?
A: If your children are enrolling on the same instrument, you may request to have the lessons back-to-back and we will do our best to arrange that. We will not be able to accommodate such a scheduling request for students enrolling on different instruments.
Q: How is teacher placement arranged for private lessons?
After you have registered, a Program Coordinator will work with you to assign a teacher and a mutually agreeable time for the private lesson and the group class.
Q: May I choose my child’s private teacher to fit his/her personality?
A: You are welcome to express any specific concerns you might want to be considered in the placement process. This may be done on the registration form or verbally to the Program Coordinator when you are called for placement.
You may indicate a request for a specific teacher on the initial registration form, with the understanding that it may result in a longer wait to get into the program as we cannot guarantee when that teacher will have openings.
Q: Why are group classes required for all Suzuki and Preparatory students?
A: The group class is how we are able to most economically provide essential elements of music training, such as ear-training, performance, and theory, and still allow for the private lesson to be devoted to one-on-one instrument study.
Students up through Grade 8 are required to be enrolled in a group class. There is no tuition adjustment for a student who does not attend class.
Group classes for high school students are optional.
Q: Can a student register for a few lessons to get ready for a contest?
A: No; we enroll students for lessons as a long-term commitment.
Still have a question? Contact our office or call 630.752.5567. Sometimes it is easier to just talk.