FAQ About Music Lessons

Here are some of the questions our Lessons Specialists are asked the most:

Frequently Asked Questions


How does CMS choose music teachers?

CMS standards for teachers are very high. The interview process is lengthy and extensive, consisting of several face-to-face meetings. The majority of teachers have a degree in music with a vast teaching and/or performance background. Many have had professional recording careers in addition to their teaching. Many have teaching credentials with the school districts within the State of California. Every applicant is thoroughly screened. Well over 5000 potential instructors were interviewed to get the pool of 350+ teachers. CMS will find the right teacher for you.

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Where are music teachers located?

Instructors will teach lessons in your home or in studios located throughout Southern California: San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.

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At what age can my child study music?

Most children can start private lessons as young as 4 or 5 years old, depending on their attention span, interest, and developmental readiness. Some instruments, such as guitars, brass, or woodwinds, are more tailored to students 7 or 8 years old and older, mostly because of the size of the instrument and physical development of the student. We teach students of all ages, including adults.

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What instrument should my child or I study?

If you or your child do not have a predisposition toward a particular instrument, it is recommended that all students begin with piano/keyboard in order to develop a solid foundation of music theory and technique. It has been proven that a student seriously studying piano for five or more years can more easily transpose knowledge toward playing other instruments. If you or your child have an interest in a specific instrument, and you/he/she are/is physically able to play that instrument, then by all means learn whichever instrument you like.

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How long and how frequent are the lessons?

Beginning children (4 to 5 years of age) should start with 30-minute weekly or bi-weekly lessons. Beginning children (6 to 8 years of age) may start with either 30- or 45-minute weekly or bi-weekly lessons, depending on experience and developmental readiness. All other beginning students including adults should start with 45- or 60-minute weekly or bi-weekly lessons. Since the lessons are designed around each student, your teacher may recommend a longer lesson as the student improves, or multiple lessons within the same week. It is also recommended that students practice the same amount of time daily as the length of their lesson.

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Am I obligated to stay with the teacher I have chosen?

In a word – no. However, CMS has over a 98% success rate in matching students and teachers. More times than not, the student and teacher develop a rapport that will continue for years. At times, a change is necessary, when you feel you need a different teacher, or want to study a different instrument. It simply requires a call to highly qualified and informative CMS staff member, and you will be referred to a new instructor right away, if you wish. Of course, if you or a teacher move, you can be matched with another qualified instructor in your area. The connection between a teacher and student is the most important ingredient in developing a meaningful and successful educational partnership.

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Do you have recitals?

CMS offers many Formal Recitals, Mini Recitals, Honors Recitals and Music Clubs – totaling over 60 per year. Your teacher will inform you in advance of the times and dates. All CMS recitals are free to both participants and audience members, but are not mandatory. Recitals and performances serve as great motivation, and as an opportunity to demonstrate progress. Parents, relatives, and friends are all welcome. Programs and refreshments are provided at the Formal Recitals as well.

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How much do lessons cost?

Lesson tuition varies depending on the length, location, and type of lessons. Please complete the music lesson inquiry, or call for more information.

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What is your mailing address and phone number?
California Music Studios
P.O. Box 130220
Carlsbad, CA 92013-0220
(760) 632-7577

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Can I pay with a credit card?

Yes. Credit card payments are preferred. Accepted cards are Visa or MasterCard, or debit cards with those logos. Simply call CMS toll free at 760-632-7577. An automatic recurring monthly charge/debit can be set up. If necessary, call in payment monthly when you receive your invoice. Please call for more details.

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May I pay for each lesson as I go?

Tuition is billed by the month.

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My child has lost interest and/or is not practicing. Should we take a break?

This is a common question. Occasionally, a child, for various reasons, is not willing to practice, and it becomes a battle of wills. This is extremely common, and will happen in every budding musician’s life from time to time. These plateaus are important to work through. A helpful article is “Practice Tips,” taken from a CMS newsletter. Feel free to print a copy for easy reference.

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I need to cancel my child’s lesson for today and can’t find my teacher’s phone number.

Call CMS at 760-632-7577.

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My question is not listed.

Please call CMS at 760-632-7577. Or email Support Staff. Any one of the experienced CMS staff is more than happy to assist you. CMS is open seven days a week for your convenience.

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