California Music Studios

    • General Questions
      CMS offers Formal Recitals and informal Music Club recitals, totaling over 65 performances for our students each year. Students of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to participate, and parents, relatives, and friends are all welcome! Here are a list of our most commonly asked questions.

    • What types of recitals does CMS host?

      CMS hosts three types of recitals: informal recitals called Music Clubs, formal recitals (called Formal Recitals), and extra-formal invitational recitals called Honors Concerts.

    • Do I pay for recitals?

      No. All performances that CMS offers are 100% free to participants, teachers, and all guests.

    • How many recitals does CMS host each year?

      CMS hosts 65-75 individual performances annually, and averages hosting a day of performances once every three weeks.

    • Where are recitals located?

      CMS hosts recitals at several central locations in San Diego and Orange Counties. Each location is listed when recital dates are released.

    • How can I find out about recital dates?

      All currently scheduled recital dates and locations are listed on our website’s “Special Events” page. We also list all scheduled recital dates and locations on our monthly newsletter, “CMS Musical Notes“, which is emailed to all of our students and teachers each month, and included in all mail that we send out. You may also call the office at 760-632-7577 or email Support Staff to ask for dates or to request that a copy of the newsletter with recital dates be mailed to you.

    • Can I participate in any recital I want?

      For the most part, yes. Music Clubs are open to all students. Formal Recitals are divided by teacher last name, and any student who can play to the Formal Recital specifications is encouraged to participate. Honors Concerts are by invitation only. We also encourage students to attend recitals as spectators, whether they perform or not.

    • What time should I arrive for my recital?

      All performers should arrive 15-20 minutes prior to their scheduled recital time.

    • How long will my recital last?

      Each recital lasts about an hour.

    • Am I expected to stay for the entire program?

      We do request that all performers and guests remain for the entire program. There are many reasons for this. Several students perform at each recital, and all students deserve the support of a full audience. When audience members leave early, it can be distracting for the performer. Also, we have an onstage presentation for all participants after the program, and students who leave early will miss this.

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      • MUSIC CLUBS

      • What is a Music Club?

        Music Clubs are small, informal recitals, generally with a theme (Crazy Hair Day, Luau, etc). These informal recitals are intended to create a welcoming, casual performance atmosphere for students who may be nervous about performing in a formal setting, students who may not be ready to perform at a formal recital, or students who want to perform more frequently.

      • When can I register for a Music Club?

        Registration for Music Clubs generally begins 1½ – 2 months before the Music Club date. At that time, all teachers are notified via email that registration is open, and teachers are asked to send the office their list of participants via email. Teachers should make students aware of the available performance times so they may select a time preference to relay to the office during registration (performance times are not guaranteed, and will be assigned by availability). Students must register through their teacher, not through the CMS office.

      • When is the deadline to register for a Music Club?

        Registration cutoff for Music Clubs varies depending on participation, but is generally about two weeks before the performance date. The registration deadline date is listed on the information flier that is sent to the teachers. Teachers are sent confirmation within a week of registering students, and teachers are sent a final confirmation reconfirming the performance time their students will play at the week of the Music Club. Teachers should confirm their assigned performance time with their students.

      • How long of a piece may I play at a Music Club?

        Students may each perform one piece for up to two minutes at our Music Clubs.

      • Can I use my music at a Music Club?

        Yes, all students may use their music if they wish. Pieces do not need to be 100% polished.

      • Is there a dress code at Music Clubs?

        There is no dress code; students may dress as casually or formally as they wish.

      • Do I have to participate in the theme?

        Participation in the theme of the day is completely optional, but most students choose to participate. Every student that participates in the theme is recognized onstage at the end of the performance, and we award prizes to the top three participants (judged at the end of each show).

      • Is there a program at the Music Clubs?

        Due to the casual nature of the Music Clubs, we do not provide a program. Students are called up to perform one at a time by the emcee.

      • Is there assigned seating at the Music Clubs?

        No. Students, teachers, and guests may sit in any open seats they choose.

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        • FORMAL RECITALS

        • What is a Formal Recital?

          Formal Recitals are, as their name states, are a formal performance program. Students perform a memorized, polished piece of up to two minutes in length, and dress formally. All students are welcome and encouraged to perform regardless of skill level, provided their piece is memorized and can be played from beginning to end smoothly (without errors). A very young beginning student may play something as simple as “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, while an advanced student may play a complex sonatina.

        • When can I register for a Formal Recital?

          Formal recitals occur in the winter and summer of each year, and have dates for teachers with last names beginning with A-M and N-Z. Registration for Formal Recitals generally begins 3 – 4 months before the recital date. At that time, all teachers assigned to that recital are notified via email that registration is open, and teachers are asked to send the office their estimated number of participants via email. Teachers should relay a time preference to the office when providing estimates (morning, afternoon, mid-day, etc). Performance times are not scheduled until all estimates are received. Students must register through their teacher, not through the CMS office.

        • When is the deadline to register for a Formal Recital?

          Registration cutoff for Formal Recitals is about two months before the performance date. The registration deadline date is listed on the informational email that is sent to the teachers. At the time of the registration deadline, performance times are assigned and teachers are notified via email and mail, and are mailed a packet of recital invitations to hand out to their registered students. After the invitations are sent, teachers are required to provide the office detailed performance information about each student (piece name, composer name, song length, student skill level, etc). More information is sent to the teachers regarding this as the recital process is underway.

        • How long of a piece may I play at a Formal Recital?

          Students may each perform one piece for up to two minutes at our Formal Recitals.

        • Can I use my music at a Formal Recital?

          Using music at a Formal Recital is not permitted. Because of their formal nature, all pieces music be memorized and polished.

        • Is there a dress code at Formal Recitals?

          Yes, there is a dress code at the Formal Recitals, requiring that no casual clothes (shorts, t-shirts, sandals, etc) be worn. A detailed dress code is emailed to each participating student and teacher before the recital.

        • Is there a program at the Formal Recital?

          We do provide a complimentary program at our Formal Recitals listing all participants and pieces at the formal recitals, as well as a complimentary reception with refreshments afterward.

        • Is there assigned seating at the Formal Recital?

          Yes. Students all sit together in assigned seats, and must remain in their assigned seat for the duration of the program, including after they have performed. Students sit in order of the program and are directed onstage for their turn to perform, where they announce themselves, their teacher name, and their piece name. After the program is over, all students go onstage to receive a recognition certificate. Teachers, family members, and other guests may sit in any other unassigned seating.

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          • HONORS CONCERTS

          • What is an Honors Concert?

            CMS Honors Concerts are invitation-only concerts that share the same format as our Formal Recitals. Our Formal Recital participants of all skill levels who performed the most polished pieces, most interesting repertoire, and were most entertaining to watch and hear are invited to perform again at these special occasions. Generally, about 20 of our 300 students who participate in each recital series (ex. SD Formal Winter Recitals, OC Formal Summer Recitals, etc) are invited. Students are required to perform the same piece.

          • How am I notified that I am in the Honors Concert?

            CMS will send an invitation via mail and email to those teachers and students who have been selected to participate. Upon receipt of the letter, students and teachers will reply directly to CMS via email to let us know if the student will or will not participate, as well as other RSVP information.

          • When is the deadline to register for an Honors Concert?

            Registration cutoff for Honors Concerts is generally about two weeks before the performance date. The registration deadline date is listed on the invitation that is sent to students and teachers. Once all attendees have been registered, we mail all students and teachers a confirmation card in the mail as well.

          • How long of a piece may I play at an Honors Concert?

            Students may each perform one piece for up to two minutes at our Honors Concerts. This piece will be the same piece that was performed at the Formal Recital.

          • Can I use my music at an Honors Concert?

            Using music at an Honors Concert is not permitted. Because students are required to perform the same piece that they performed at the Formal Recital, the piece should already be memorized and polished.

          • Is there a dress code at Honors Concerts?

            Yes, there is a dress code at the Honors Concerts, requiring that no casual clothes (shorts, t-shirts, sandals, etc.) be worn. The standard of dress is slightly higher than that of our Formal Recitals.

          • Is there a program at the Honors Concert?

            We do provide a complimentary program at our Honors Concerts listing all participants and pieces at the formal recitals, as well as a complimentary reception with refreshments afterward.

          • Is there assigned seating at the Honors Concert?

            Yes. Students all sit together in assigned seats, and must remain in their assigned seat for the duration of the program, including after they have performed. Students sit in order of the program and are directed onstage for their turn to perform, where they announce themselves, their teacher name, and their piece name. After the program is over, all students go onstage to receive a recognition certificate. Teachers, family members, and other guests may sit in any other unassigned seating.

          • My question is not listed.

            Call CMS toll free 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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