Private lessons FAQs
What are your hours of operation?
The Royal Academy’s Administrative Offices are open from 9:00am to 9:00pm and Lessons typically run from 10:00 A.M. until 9:00 PM, Monday through Friday with Saturday lessons available from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. We often coordinate schedules to help accommodate our parents and students schedule, so, you can always call us to arrange a custom schedule if these times are not convenient by calling us at 508-755-7373 or 508-792-1221. Although administration is in from 9:00 AM it is important to call first as the school is locked during the hours of 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM.
What if I miss a lesson?
The Royal Academy offers make-up lessons through out the year as long as the lesson is cancelled before 11:00 am on the day of your first lesson. Make-Up Lessons do not expire, so you can take as much time as you need in order to arrange for a convenient time for a make-up lesson. In Addition, the academy credits or pro-rates tuition for missed lessons due to holiday or school closings.
How do I know how well my child is doing ?
The Royal Academy is the only music school in Massachusetts that requires all instructors to not only give parents a brief verbal summary after each lesson. we also hand every parent a written “student lesson report” after every lesson which highlights what your child’s instructor and your child did in their lesson, how well your child did, suggestions the instructor has, and their homework for the week. In addition, the Royal Academy for Music also offers a more detailed monthly evaluation of how your child is progressing and what material the instructor plans on covering in the coming months.
Is the Royal Academy a member of any other organizations?
The Royal Academy is an A+ Better Business Bureau Member as well as a member of many well known music and education related organizations such as the National Guild of Community Schools for the Arts, The Massachusetts Music Teachers Association. The Music Teachers National Association, as well as affiliations with some of the worlds leading conservatories, universities and music schools.
Do you offer student recitals or special performances?
While most schools hold from on average one to two recitals per year, The Royal Academy offers over 8 student recitals per year held in WPI’s historic Alden & Spaulding Recital Halls equipped with a Steinway Model D 9′ Concert Grand Piano, Artist Green Room, fully set stage and lighting. Recitals are non-mandatory and are free for Royal Academy students, parents, families and friends. They are also designed to be non-competitive. The Royal Academy also offers its critically acclaimed Professional Artist Series concerts also held at WPI College. An annual performance series consisting of world renown concert musicians in recital, all concerts are free to the public. The Royal Academy is also known for performing in a number of other venues such as malls, various music halls, hospitals and outreach programs.
When just starting out, do I need to purchase a piano, violin or invest in an expensive instrument?
It is important of course that your child or yourself have a good reliable instrument to practice on. However, investing in an instrument can sometimes be the most costly part of taking music lessons. There are many alternatives to purchasing an expensive instrument, especially if you are unsure as to your child’s future in studying music. During the first year of lessons a child can practice on a keyboard or digital piano instead of an acoustic piano. Although a piano is the instrument of choice, it might be wise financially to go with a keyboard or digital piano only for the first year or two. If a keyboard or digital piano is used, you should make sure that the instrument has at least 61 keys and that it is touch sensitive. These two features play a large role in your child’s feel and touch of the instrument. If a keyboard has 61 keys, this will ensure that the keys are full size (the same size as a piano key) and will play a role in the intervallic relationship or distance of keys and will also affect technique and feel of the instrument. If the keyboard is touch sensitive, it will at least have some sort of action or response which will also affect the feel of the instrument more closely related to that of a piano. For all other instruments such as violins, cellos, flutes, etc. These instruments can be rented very inexpensively through the Royal Academy’s music rental program Conbrio by calling 508-842-1221. please feel free to contact us for information on where to rent or purchase an instrument.
How often should I get my piano tuned?
It is recommended that a piano be tuned twice a year and that regular inspection be made by a qualified piano technician to avoid possible long term problems. Technician referrals are available by calling 508-842-1221.
What type of facilities does the Royal Academy offer?
The Royal Academy’s two convenient locations consisting of a 11 sound proof practice studios at each location, three large chamber/voice studios, The Royal Academy also offers a beautiful environment to our parents consisting of antiques and collectibles dating back as far the 19th century. There are several waiting areas at the Royal Academy and all studios consist of open-glass French doors so parents may view their children anytime while in their lessons. So, cuddle up with a nice book or a nice magazine in one of our several waiting areas. When at the Royal Academy, we hope that you find you can kick back, relax, listen to beautiful music and make yourself at home. All of the Royal Academy’s studio’s consist of open-glass french doors so parents may view their children anytime while in their lesson, and/or sit in the lesson whenever they would like to. In addition, waiting areas are designed to also seat parents just outside the studio’s.
What is a good age to start my child for music lessons?
This is an often debated question. however, it is a fact that some instruments are more difficult to play than others at first, so age may vary. Based on our experience and current studies indicate that the earlier a child is exposed to music, such as playing an instrument, the better the future outcome of progression. The Royal Academy accepts children 4 for piano & strings and 6 for vocal training.
Can my child be evaluated to determine if they are ready for private music lessons?
The Royal Academy offers a trial lessons with no obligation to commit other than to attend the scheduled trial lesson. Each trial lesson is broken down to $27 per lesson. Once a trial lesson has been attended, a student must notify the music office after the lesson if they wish to register for lessons. In the event the student does not notify the music office after a trial lesson, unfortunately the time slot must be made available to other incoming students.
I know nothing about music or choosing an instructor. Are there any specifications I should look for when choosing an instructor for my child?
Like all professions there are very skilled and professional instructors however (unfortunately) their is no criteria or certification needed to teach music. When choosing an instructor you may want to ask for a copy of the instructors artist biography to review, it is important to ask about their teaching experience and the length of time instructing at an institution or instructing in general. You should look at education first, followed by experience, be very thorough in the questions you ask, remember, you are paying for these lessons and your hard earned money should get you an experienced and reliable instructor, settle for no less. Along with educational background, the instructors personality, presentation of material and the environment in which they teach, can all make a world of difference in the whole learning process and music experience for your child. The Royal Academy’s instructors are required to hold a minimum of a Bachelor Degree in Music with a the majority of our faculty population holding a Masters Degree in Music and/or conservatory equivalent. We also require a minimum of 8+ years experience teaching. All Royal Academy faculty bio’s can be viewed on this site or at the Main School located at on 560 Boston Turnpike Rd., Shrewsbury, at your convenience. Please call us anytime if you have questions, even if you are not attending the Royal Academy and are skeptical about an instructor you are considering on your own, or if you would just like to know what questions to ask, we would be more than happy to help in any way we can.
How is the Royal Academy’s tuition structured?
The Royal Academy’s tuition policy is structured on a “month to month” basis. Because we understand you should feel both comfortable and confident before making any type of investment, we want you to be able to enjoy our services without feeling committed to a lengthy 16 week semester. We are confident that we will earn your trust, knowing that at anytime you can discontinue our services if you are at all displeased or feel you are just not ready. We also structure our tuition on a “month to month” basis to help make it possible for those students who (at anytime) are experiencing financial hardship. Our registration fee of $25 per student is once per year, no more than $40 per family. Admission to the Royal Academy is rolling so new incoming students can conveniently be scheduled anytime through out the year.