Preparatory Program FAQ's

How can I get my child into the young children’s classes?
These classes usually remain full and are limited to 12 children each. Children are grouped according to their ages, and planned activities are appropriate for specific age groups.   Since these classes are teaching cumulative concepts, children must be able to respond and interact at an appropriate musical level to be able to participate in an existing class for their age group.  If a vacancy does occur in a class, Ms. Buchman usually selects a child whom she has observed during summer day camps that will be able to keep up with the appropriate class.  The best way to get into these classes is to take part in the summer program.

My child wants private lessons.  How can I get him or her into the program?
There is a limit on the number of children who can study through the preparatory program.  Since the majority of requests for lessons revolve around piano or string instruments, potential students must pass an audition.  Children will be selected from the audition to fill any vacancies that have occurred.  For more information regarding auditions, information can be found here.  There is no audition for other areas of study (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, harp, voice, theory, and composition).

I've registered for the semester but I want to add a few more lessons.  Can I do that?
Yes, you can.  However, an additional registration fee of $25 will be charged each time an addition is made. 

How old does a child have to be to take private lessons in this program?
Children must be at least six for instrumental study.  For voice lessons they must be at least fifteen.

"My child will not be able to take lessons over the summer.  
Does this mean he will loose his place in the program?"
No.  Students who do not enroll for the summer will retain their place in the program and may register in the Fall without re-auditioning.

Do you teach Suzuki?
No.  However most teachers are very familiar with the Suzuki books and do use the materials along with other traditional selections.  But the Suzuki Method is not taught in this program.

How much do lessons cost?
The cost for private lessons varies with teacher and may be found here.

Can I just give my teacher the registration form and payment?
No. The teacher can not and will not turn in your forms for you. You are responsible for turning in, on time, your form either by postal mail or in person.

I am a Rice employee.  Do I get a discount for any of your programs?
No, we do not offer Rice employees any kind of discount.

Can my child take part in the chamber music program without being a preparatory student?
No.  Chamber music participation is reserved for students taking private lessons in this program.

Can my child take part in the theory classes without being a preparatory student?
Yes under certain circumstances.  Theory classes are grouped by age and the information being taught is cumulative.  Children must be studying an instrument privately, but not necessarily through this program.  These classes are not appropriate for children who are not currently involved in instrumental study.  Children between the ages of six and seven may enter either the primary one or primary two classes without taking an entrance exam.  Children over the age of seven must take and pass an entrance exam before they can be admitted to a class.  Call the office to schedule an entrance exam.

Do you take beginners?
Sometimes, yes.  If there are still openings in the program after the auditions have been considered, then those places will go to beginners who have come for an interview.  Interviews are scheduled on the same day as auditions.

Do you offer lessons in guitar or saxophone?
No we do not.  We offer lessons in flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, harp, piano, strings, voice, theory, and composition.