Is it required for students to be in regular private lessons to participate in this program?
YES, if the student is in middle school (6th to 8th grade). Though not required for high school students (9th to 12th grade), it is highly recommended. Due to the nature of the program, it’s important for students to get outside help with music if needed. Chamber music is not a replacement for private lessons. If after registering and/or submitting a placement video, the Director of Education determines the student is not ready for the program a full refund will be given.
Is this program open to beginner and lower intermediate students?
No. For this program to be successful, and a positive experience for all involved, we are requiring students to be at an upper intermediate to advanced playing level. If a student registers and the Director of Education determines the student is not advanced enough for the program a full refund will be given. If you’re unsure if a student is advanced enough for the program, contact the Director of Education BEFORE enrolling to have a discussion.
How often and where do rehearsals take place?
Ensembles meet weekly with their assigned chamber coach as regularly as possible for one (1) hour at an ensemble member’s home, chamber coach’s home, or another location that works for everyone. Up to 10 coaching sessions will be scheduled throughout the semester.
Is the ensemble required to rehearse on their own outside of the weekly coaching session?
Though ensembles are not required to meet outside of the weekly coaching session, it’s highly encouraged when there is no coaching session scheduled on any given week or if the ensemble feels they need extra practice together.
Ensembles are particularly encouraged to meet outside the weekly coaching session regularly if they are going to be preparing for competitions… for example the Coltman Competition!
How does the ensemble schedule weekly coaching sessions?
ACMC’s Director of Education will assign a professional musician (chamber coach) to each chamber ensemble for the semester enrolled. Once the ensemble is introduced to their chamber coach, the coach will start working with the ensemble to determine a rehearsal schedule and location. It is up to the students (and parents) to communicate with the chamber coach regularly and effectively so all parties are on the same page.
What is the procedure for canceling or rescheduling weekly rehearsals?
This program is designed for students to be responsible and dependable ensemble members. Rescheduling can be difficult so being respectful of everyone’s time is crucial. All parties must communicate any scheduling conflicts AT LEAST 5 days in advance of a scheduled rehearsal. If a student misses a rehearsal, the chamber coach will contact the Director of Education. Students who miss more than one rehearsal for non-legitimate reasons will be withdrawn from the program without refund, or subject to pay for that coaching so a make-up coaching session can take place, if possible.
The exception is in the case of an emergency or illness. In these cases, the party contacts the other ensemble members and coach. The coach will determine if the rehearsal moves forward with the rest of the ensemble or to try and reschedule.
Is the 1-hour coaching session a strict time limit, or can we go over that time?
The 1-hour coaching session time must be followed. ACMC can only pay the chamber coach for the one hour and they have busy lives. Students must be on time, prepared, and dedicated to the one-hour coaching sessions. If a student(s) shows up late to a scheduled rehearsal the time will not be made up. It’s recommended that the students schedule a 15-minute set up time right before each rehearsal (if rehearsal times place in a student’s home) so that once the chamber coach arrives everyone is ready to start. Weekly rehearsals should be treated just like a private lesson.
What if the ensemble, or coach, wants have an extra coaching sessions after the 10 have taken place?
If the ensemble, or the coach, request more coaching sessions after the 10 allotted within the program per semester, the ensemble must clear it with the Director of Education first. The ensemble will be required to pay ACMC an $100 fee, per extra hour of coaching, before the coaching takes place. Any extra coaching session must be scheduled before the semester-end concert.
What are the roles of the parents and student ensemble members?
Ensemble members (and parents for middle school students particularly) are equally responsible for organizing rehearsal schedules alongside the assigned chamber coach. Students are required to learn their parts, and practice between coaching sessions, and adhere to the set rehearsal schedule. Families that may be hosting rehearsals in their homes can also help make the experience highly enjoyable for students by providing treats and allowing time after rehearsals for students to socialize. It is recommended that parents not be in the room during rehearsals and/or coaching sessions. It’s our goal that students learn how to communicate and work together as a team in and outside of coaching sessions.
What is the tuition refund policy?
Tuition is non-refundable unless a student has an extreme medical or family emergency. Failure to plan does not constitute a valid reason for a refund.