Information and Policies
Welcome to the Georgia Southwestern State University Community Music Program (CMP)! We are committed to offering the best and most diverse music study programs for children and adults and endeavor to provide students with the highest quality teaching and learning experiences. We offer private and group classes in piano, voice, winds, and guitar. We believe that music study is one of the most self-motivating, life affirming and enjoyable activities available to students and strive to provide a positive and encouraging environment for all persons.
Please take a moment to read the following policies regarding music study in the CMP. These policies are enacted to provide a user-friendly and misunderstanding-free environment for students, parents and teachers.
All lessons take place in the GSW Music Department, Jackson Hall.
Minimum Age Requirements
Due to the natural physical requirements of various instruments, the age of a student may be a deciding factor in choosing a musical instrument to study. It is recommended that students are the following ages or grades to study the various instruments. Exceptions can be made, but those exceptions must be discussed with the instructor, and the final decision is solely in the hands of the instructor.
- Piano: 4 years old - This may vary from student to student.
- Voice: 14 years old - This may vary from student to student.
- Winds: Grades 4th / 5th - This may vary from student to student.
- Guitar: 9 years old - This may vary from student to student.
Student Practice Policies
All students should have access to the instrument they wish to study. The instructor will be able to offer advice as to appropriate brand, model, and types of instruments that would be most appropriate for each student. Students will receive a lesson assignment detailing what is to be practiced during the coming week in preparation for the next lesson. Students are expected to practice their lesson assignments daily. Music study and practice can be a wonderful sharing time for students and parents. While parent involvement is encouraged, parents are urged to be supportive and not overly aggressive in their demands on students.
Parking is available close to Jackson Hall in various locations. Although campus police regularly issue parking tickets, the lots are usually safe to use after approximately 5:00pm. The CMP does not have any control to waive University parking tickets.
Lesson Absence Policies
The CMP maintains a policy that teachers must receive 24-hour notice of lesson cancellation. Messages for teachers should be left directly with your teachers’ voicemail and/or email. Make-up lessons for cancellations will be at the sole discretion of the CMP instructor. *See studio policies for each instructor for specific details.
Tardiness is highly discouraged. Students should arrive early for lessons and parents should be available to observe lessons, or to pick up children immediately following the lesson. The student’s scheduled lesson time will not be altered to accommodate tardiness. Teacher supervision of a student begins at the assigned lesson time and ends promptly at the end of the lesson. The CMP, CMP teachers, Georgia Southwestern State University, or the GSW Department of Music or Faculty will not be responsible for unsupervised students outside of scheduled lesson times.
The Community Music Program recognizes all University, State and Federal Holidays. Lessons may be available during these holidays. However, lessons during these times will be at the discretion of both the parent/student and the instructor. See the following web site for University Scheduled Holidays.
CMP teachers reserve the right to discontinue or terminate lessons for student disciplinary reasons. All CMP students are expected to behave with the highest respect to the Music Department facilities, CMP teachers, and other CMP students. CMP teachers reserve the right to immediately end any lesson due to disciplinary problems of any student. Disciplinary infractions of any kind will be referred first to the parents, and, if continuing, CMP reserves the right to terminate the student immediately from the CMP.
In an effort to keep parents and students apprised of success, progress, and areas that may need improvement, CMP parents and students will receive end-of-semester reports detailing progress and recommendations in the CMP. This may be received orally, written or both.
The CMP sponsors required end-of-semester recitals once or twice a year in the beautiful Jackson Performance Hall. Students are expected to prepare and perform on these recitals as a celebration of their accomplishments during the year. Students will perform at the discretion of the CMP instructor. Failure to prepare at a high level for the recital will result in cancellation of the student’s performance.
The CMP will present one or two master classes during the academic year, typically during the Spring semester. These formal instructional performances are designed to provide performance and learning opportunities for students and parents. The master classes will be arranged at the discretion of each individual instructor.
Payment of lessons is set by each individual instructor. *See individual studio policies.
CMP maintains a rolling enrollment policy. Therefore, students may enroll in lessons anytime during the school year. While the CMP endeavors to create positive growing experiences by maintaining student/teacher relationships throughout a student’s study in the CMP, there may be situations or conflicts where a change of instructor is necessary. Continuing students receive first priority in re-enrollment and teacher assignments.
Lesson books and materials are available at the following locations:
Concerts and Recitals
The GSW Department of Music, Rylander Theater, and local churches and schools all sponsor music events of varied kinds. While many events are free of admission charge, you should call for schedules and ticket information. Part of a musical education involves hearing and seeing live music. Therefore, parents and students are highly encouraged to attend concerts.
Please do not enter the concert hall while a performance is in progress. If you arrive after the music has started, please wait at least until the movement is over and there is a brief pause. Then quickly and quietly find the nearest, most easily accessible seat. Ask your teacher about reading a classical music program. In classical music concerts, the audience applauds only at the end of the piece, not between movements. If you are bringing young children to a concert, please be sensitive to others in the auditorium and choose a seat with easy access to an exit should your child need to leave early (preferably at the end of an aisle, near the door). It is better to bring your child to an event with the understanding that they may not make it through the entire concert at first. Perhaps you may plan to attend only half a recital at first, but it is still worth the effort to expose your children to live classical music.
Thank you for your cooperation with these policies and we look forward to a terrific year of fun, learning, and music-making!
If you have additional questions about the program, please contact the CMP Coordinator:
Dr. Mark Laughlin
Associate Professor of Music
Coordinator, Community Music Program