Frequently Asked Questions

From the very beginning, we started Portland School of Music & Dance with the goal of providing a quality, supportive and caring music experience for our students. Our private lessons offer specialized, focused instruction. Our quality lessons are offered year-round, providing consistency to help our students learn and progress in the best way possible.

How much are lessons?

Private lessons are offered year-round and are based on a semester system: 

  • Fall (Sept - Dec)  
  • Winter (Jan - Mar)
  • Spring (Apr- Jun) 
  • Summer (Jul - Aug, lessons a-la-cart)

Lessons meet weekly for 30, 45, or 60-minute lessons based on the age, level, and needs of the student. Adults may have lessons scheduled for every two weeks, depending the teacher's availability.

Average tuition:

  • 30-minute lesson = $132 monthly 
  • 45-minute lesson = $198 monthly
  • 60-minute lesson = $264 monthly

Please note that the amounts listed above are on average. For example, let's say there was a student who had lessons for the fall semester on Mondays.  There are 14 Mondays in the September - December semester, and each 30-minute lesson is $33.

14 weeks x $33 per lesson = $462 for the semester or $115.50 per month

Portland School of Music & Dance does NOT charge for holidays and breaks in the schedule. The pro-rated tuition amount depends upon which day of the week a student is scheduled. Due to holidays, some days of the week will have more lessons throughout the year than others. This means that the pro-rated amount may be slightly more or less than the tuition stated above. See our tuition page for more information.

How do I sign up for lessons? 

You can register online for a trial lesson with one of our teachers.  A trial lesson is an opportunity for you to meet with your teacher, get a sense of how they teach and how your child responds to their personality and teaching style.  This also gives your teacher the opportunity to assess your child’s natural ability, learning style and the best course of action for future lessons or classes.

What is the best month to start lessons? Is it too late?

The best month to start lessons is when you and your family are ready! Our enrollment is on-going, year round. You can register online or feel free call or text us at 503.287.5028 to get started and have your first trial lesson.

How often are the lessons? How long are they?

All private lessons are once a week. Typically lessons range in length from:

  • 30 minutes for beginners in their 1st – 3rd year of lessons
  • 45 minutes for intermediate students in their 3rd - 4th years of lessons
  • 60 min for advanced students in their 5th year & up of lessons 

If we miss a lesson, can we make it up?

We require a 24-HOUR NOTICE for a lesson to qualify for a makeup lesson, with a maximum of 2 per semester. Failure to do so will result in a forfeited lesson that cannot be made up. 

We will allow one emergency cancellation per student per term.  An emergency cancellation is a lesson that we have been given less than 24-hour notice.  If a student fails to show up for a lesson, it will be considered a no-show and will not be able to be made-up.

Portland School of Music and Dance provides make-up lessons strictly as a courtesy. Make-up opportunities are provided on the terms of the school's availability and convenience. No refunds will be given for missed lessons, including lessons that qualify for make-ups.

Courtesy lessons will be given in the event of inclement weather or a teacher cancelation in which a substitute teacher cannot be found. 

Does your school offer performance opportunities?

Yes! All of our private lesson students are encouraged to perform in our optional Spring Recital, which is a more formal atmosphere and is a fantastic motivator for those students who love to perform!  

We also encourage our private lesson students to perform in our optional Showcases, held twice a year. These optional, small performances are informal with a friendly, encouraging atmosphere. Parents and friends are welcome to attend the 45-minute or less weekend performance!  These small settings provide a nurturing experience for students, which is both fun and naturally boosts their confidence!

How much do you expect the student to practice?

We recommend practicing at home for 5 days of the week, as this provides consistency for the student. When the student comes to practice with fresh eyes the next day, it creates more results more quickly. 

The lesson is a very small part of the week. It is the responsibility of the student and the parent to see that the remainder of the week is productive. Suggested daily practice times (times can be split into two shorter sessions each day):

  • ages 4-7: 15 minutes
  • ages 8-11: 30 minutes
  • ages 12-15: 45 minutes
  • age 16 and older: 60 minutes

We help students create practice goals to ensure progress each week as much as possible, while giving grace to students when other activities overlap with practice time.

How does the parent know what the student is to practice each week?

For private lessons, your child’s teacher creates customized, weekly action steps to aid the student in reaching their practice goals.  Clear, attainable goals create success-based practice!  When students recognize what they have accomplished, it creates confidence and better self-esteem in every child.

How qualified are your teachers?

All of our professional, qualified teachers are fantastic communicators with both students and families alike.  Many of our teachers are musicians who perform internationally.

Our teacher recruiting process and safeguard checks ensure that all teachers that are hired are:

  • Hold a University Degree in Music; some with Masters Degrees
  • Background checked
  • Professional, qualified and experienced teachers
  • Auditioned for music knowledge and skills

What books/methods do your teachers use?

We do not use any one method. We research the best methods out there and, depending on the student’s interests and learning style, connect them to the method that we feel will give them the tools they need to excel.  We also use a variety of fun teaching aids and tools to help students learn challenging concepts.

How long has Portland School of Music & Dance been in the community?

Portland School of Music & Dance began in August 2014, but merged with MusicWerks Studio which was established in 2001.

What about summer lessons or camps?

Private Lessons are year-round enrollment. Summer lessons are included in your membership and tuition. We currently do not offer any summer camps.

    What if we want to discontinue lessons?

    If you feel for any reason that Portland School of Music & Dance is not the right fit for you, you may withdraw at any time.  If you wish to discontinue lessons, a 30-day written notice is required to discontinue any lessons/classes. All automatic payments will stop after the 30-day period.

    Do you offer scholarships or financial assistance?

    Currently, we don’t offer any scholarships or financial assistance; however, we are in the process of creating a scholarship program based on the needs of our community. Please contact us for more information.


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