Frequently Asked Questions

student playing the drums in the drum lessons Austin TX

The Basics

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Do you accept beginners?

Yes, we teach all levels from beginners to advanced musicians. Complete beginners are welcome.

How often will I come for a lesson?

Most students come once a week, for a 30-minute private lesson. 45-minute and 60-minute weekly lessons are also available for students who desire longer lessons. For most students, one 30-minute lesson per week is sufficient if the student comes to his or her lesson prepared.

What ages do you teach?

The minimum age requirements are set by the individual teacher for each instrument. Most of our teachers accept students at 7 years of age and older.

What days and hours do you teach?

Most music lessons occur between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

What styles of music can you teach?

Our teachers come from a wide variety of different musical backgrounds. If you are an intermediate-advanced student that desires to learn a specific style, please let us know. We can direct you to the teacher best suited to your stylistic preferences. All teachers are qualified to teach a well-rounded curriculum of basic music to beginners.

Where do the lessons take place?

Our Northwest Austin is located at 8863 Anderson Mill Rd. We are conveniently located 1 mile off of highway 183.

What is the difference between taking lessons at a music store, a teacher’s house, and Northwest?

At Northwest, all of our attention and energy goes to ensuring that students get a high-quality music education. Unlike teachers at retail stores, our instructors do not waste lesson time trying to sell products to students. Our teachers are not music store sales people who teach lessons when they are not on the sales floor. Our teacher’s only job is to teach and play music.
We differ from at-home lessons in that we provide a safe and professional environment free from the many distractions commonplace in the home. Teaching is a professional occupation for our instructors, not a part-time hobby. At Northwest, you know you will be taught by a competent music teacher who has been thoroughly background-checked. Home based teachers also typically do their own scheduling, phone calls, tuition collection, advertising, facility maintenance and so on. We have desk staff so that our teacher’s can focus only on teaching our students how to play music.
Taking lessons in a music school environment also allows students to enjoy the benefits of learning in a musical community where students can meet others who share their passion for music. We dedicate a lot of time, energy, and resources into providing students with regular opportunities to perform for friends and family in student showcase events. Home-based and web referral-type traveling music teachers do not have the resources, staff and facilities to put on the kind of student showcases that we do.

Are instruments provided?

Northwest is equipped with acoustic pianos, full drum sets and amplifiers for use during lessons. We do NOT provide instruments for students to take home. Call us for recommendations of local retailers if you’re shopping for an instrument.

How much do lessons cost?

Tuition is as follows:
$150 per month for 30-minute private lessons, taken once a week. (Most students take 30 minute lessons.)
$215 per month for 45-minute private lessons, taken once a week.
$260 per month for 60-minute private lessons, taken once a week.
We do not offer sibling discounts for private lessons.
If your first lesson falls in the middle of the month, we will prorate your tuition for the 1st month to reflect only the lessons you actually receive. After that, we charge a monthly flat rate and tuition remains the same each month. Occasionally, a student will receive only 3 lessons in a month due to the presence of a major holiday. Months with 5 lessons balance out the occasional months where a holiday causes a student to receive 3 lessons.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards.

What are your additional fees?

Recital participants are charged a $20 non-refundable fee 1 week before the event. There are no other enrollment, administrative or office fees.

Will I need a book?

Yes! Books must be purchased by the student and photocopied music is not allowed. Your teacher will let you know which books to purchase.

How do I set up a lesson?

You can fill out the contact form or call us at (512) 258-9785, Monday-Friday from 2PM-8PM.

What are the teacher qualifications?

Each of the teachers that work at the Northwest School of Music was selected based on education, performance credentials and teaching experience. Our teachers come from diverse musical backgrounds. Whenever possible, we try to match new students to the teacher who will be most appropriate for their needs. Check the Teachers page for individual teacher bio’s.

What is a certified teacher and are your teachers certified?

Since there is no widely accepted certification process for private music teachers, we wondered the same thing. As far as we can tell, it’s just an arbitrary, made-up term to make it sound like their teachers are more qualified than other teachers.
Northwest School of Music instructors are University graduates and working professionals with many years of performing, recording, and teaching experience.

What if my teacher misses a music lesson?

Occasionally, a teacher will miss a lesson due to an illness, family emergency or other schedule conflict. Whenever this happens, the teacher and school office may choose to arrange for a substitute teacher or arrange a make up lesson. We have found that many students actually enjoy an occasional lesson with another teacher. It benefits the student by seeing another instructor’s perspective.

What is your cancellation policy?

Recognize that your lesson time is reserved specifically for you. This means that your lesson slot is unavailable to other students and the teacher has made a commitment to instruct you at that time. Please make every effort to come to your lesson and avoid scheduling other activities during your lesson time. Consistent attendance helps ensure good progress.
However, students may cancel for any reason (illness, schedule conflict, etc.) and attend a one-hour group music workshop. Workshops are held on the 3rd Saturday, every other month at 3pm. Specific dates and topics are posted on the school bulletin board. Workshops are applicable for all ages and instruments. Missed lessons are not refundable.
Never cancel a lesson because you have not had time to practice. It is better to come in and review the material so progress is not halted yet another week.