Common Q & A

A: It is beneficial to your dancer to begin as close to the start of the school year as possible as they will gain more experience and work as a team with the class however we accept registrations through out school year. Most families pre-register for the following school year in late spring and summer however, as long as there is a spot in a class a student may join in at anytime. Be aware there are participation deadlines for performances (beg of Sep for Holiday shows and mid Nov for the end of the year recital.) Call us today about a day and time you are inquiring about!

Can I register for classes anytime?

A: It is recommended during the first few classes that you stay to ensure your dancer is comfortable and relaxed in our school. Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to join a new group of people and while, our instructors are all super friendly, it is still best to have mom or dad there initially. Once your dancer has settled into their program, you are very welcome to leave. Please be sure to arrive 5 minutes before class ends to meet your dancer in the waiting room.

A: We offer large viewing windows for parents to enjoy. We do not have the parents watch from inside the dance studio. A parent may need to do this sometimes for the first lesson of a younger student however, after a few lessons we ask you to break that habit as early as you can by encouraging them to go in on their own. This way you can sit back, have a coffee and enjoy yourself.

A: During the first class, your dancer will be accepting the environment. The spacious studio, the new people etc.. It is very important that you give the process some time and allow them to settle in. Sometimes this can take up to a month. The more encouraging you are, the better it will be. Younger dancers especially need time to warm up to their surroundings and their instructor. It is recommended that if your child is having a hard time listening in class that you encourage them to come out for a moment in the waiting room to regroup and try again. Doing this explains to them that there are certain expectations within the classroom and encourages them to develop good listening skills. If after at least 4 classes, you still feel that your dancer is not a good fit for the class, we encourage you to speak to our staff about other programs within the school. We have a 30 day money back policy to ensure that there is no risk to try dance for every new student! When you register, you also sign a policy agreement that states that you may withdraw at any time for a refund.

A: In addition to saving dance parents time and money, the dress code: 1) Helps a young dancer understand they are going to a structured class (compared to unstructured playtime). 2) Ensures that the clothing is not a distraction during class. 3) Ensures that the dancer is appropriately dressed to be necessarily covered. 4) Ensures that each dancer has the same brand, style and color of shoes and tights for on stage performances. The SDM Dress Code is mandatory; however several times per season, dancers may wear whatever they choose to class. Click here to shop for your dancer's dance wear or come visit our studios for a shoe fitting today!

A: Yes, most like youth sports and dance studios you are able to make-up classes you missed. Here at SDM however instead of needing to make-up your class within 4 to 8 weeks, dancers have the full school year to make-up their classes. Please note make-ups do not carry over our summer session.

A: We are always up front about costs and you can expect the regular monthly fee as well as the mid November costume and participation fee for our June recital. Company classes do have extra fees. Please do not hesitate to ask our front desk staff about any questions you may have. They are always very helpful.

A: You can register on-line and over the phone.

A: Adults can start any instrument at any time. Their success is based on how willing they are to commit to practicing. For children, starting at the right age is a key element to the success of their lessons. The following is a list of instruments & their minimum ages: Piano and Violin (4½ yrs. – Adult), Voice and Drums (7yrs. – Adult), Guitar & Bass (8yrs. – Adult).

What instrument should I learn & How Young Is Too Young?

A: Yes, if you split up your lessons time with Piano along with Voice. This option is great if you have an interest in both, or are trying to decide between the two for your younger musician. We recommend a student to be 7 yrs old to begin focusing on vocal training however, taking Piano and Voice together provides a basic foundation of music, such as ear training, while keeping the student engaged.

A: Beginning music students should take a 30 minute private lesson once a week and may add more time depending on how much they can devote to practice each week. As the student progresses throughout the years to intermediate and advance levels, their lesson time increases. 30 minutes can be taken twice a week instead of once a week or the student's lesson time can either increase to 45 or 60 min. weekly, based on their teacher’s recommendations.

A: It is ideal if you do have a piano at home, but you can start lessons by using an electric keyboard to practice on. Most of our students rent or buy small electric keyboards to practice on at home. We recommend a keyboard that has regular-sized keys and a touch sensitive response. A touch sensitive keyboard means if you press a key harder it will play louder and if you press a key softer it will play quieter.

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A: There is no set answer on how long it takes to learn an instrument. With regular practice, a basic level of playing can be accomplished in a few months. Most of our students take lessons on a long term basis because they want to be constantly improving and they find the lessons enjoyable.

A: Yes. Even if you don't have a musical background you can ask the teacher for advice on how to help your child practice. By simply monitoring that they are doing exercises a certain number of times per day the student will progress. Many parents occasionally observe their child's music lesson from the viewing window to get an idea of the proper way a song should sound or how the student should be positioning their hands.

A: We differ from in-home lessons in that teaching is full-time occupation for our teachers, not just a hobby or side-line. Learning music is not just a matter of having a qualified teacher, but also having an environment that is focused on music education. In a professional school environment a student cannot be distracted by T.V., pets, ringing phones, siblings or anything else. With only 1/2 to one hour of lesson time per week, a professional school environment can produce better results since the only focus time is learning music. We offer music programs taught by extremely qualified and personable staff with many of our students coming back year after year.

A: Yes. All of our teachers are highly qualified professionals and many have extensive performance experience. All instructors are required to be licensed, university or have college degrees in the programs and instruments they teach. Our teachers are experienced teachers and are chosen not only for their qualifications, but for their ability to relate to the students.

A: This is one of the advantages of taking your lessons at our school – we have other teachers for most instruments so if a problem occurs – which is extremely rare – we can switch you over to one of the other teachers. If you think you may get more out of lessons from a teacher with a different teaching style, we have the flexibility to change you to another instructor.

A: They can try another instrument. Our students are free to switch over to another instrument at any time. It is better to try something else than to end up disliking music! However, it does take several months to develop a basic level of playing. It is best to try and give it a minimum of 2 months before deciding to change instruments or to quit. Students are not locked into taking lessons with us, you are free to remove your child from lessons and discontinue payment anytime. All you need to do to discontinue lessons is to let us know 30 days in advanced that the student will be withdrawing and while student may finish out their 30 days the tuition will be refunded the rest of the month.

A: In one lesson or even a month of lessons you really don’t have enough time to give the lessons a fair chance. It takes time to have a student translate what they are learning into a physical skill. Much like going to the gym, it takes time to see results. However, our school does not require semester minimums for lessons. Every student here is on a month to month basis. All you need to do to discontinue lessons is to let us know 30 days in advanced that the student will be withdrawing and while student may finish out their 30 days the tuition will be refunded the rest of the month.

A: Yes, we have an open door policy. It is your choice when to sit in. However, please keep in mind that while some students work better with a parent in the room, others may find it distracting. The teacher will give you some advice on this after they get to know your child. Each classroom has a viewing window so parents can see into each room.

A: Yes. In the beginning the half hour gives the student a lot to practice at home. They could mentally cope with a longer lesson, but playing an instrument also involves a physical skill. To get the physical side down takes spaced repetition. In a half hour they will get enough material to be able to learn well and develop proper technique. As they progress, and at the advice of the teacher, you can go to a longer lesson time addition lesson times weekly.

A: We recommend a minimum of 15 minutes per day, six day’s per week. Although this is the absolute minimum recommendation, students will progress faster and remember more if they are able to practice more often. Short practice sessions done several times per day, every day, works out much better than longer practice sessions a few times per week. For young children, the practicing goes much better if the parent supervises. Many of our students love out motivational practice token reward program!