Frequently Asked Questions

Enrollment is on-going! It is never too late to join our music or dance lessons and classes. Call us at 503.287.5028 to find a class time or register online today!

How do I start lessons or classes?

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

What does “Year-Round School” mean for private lessons?

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. A year-round curriculum helps our students learn and progress in the best way possible. This format optimizes the membership process, and maintains the schedule that works best for students and their families. No more repeated re-registrations year after year, summer after summer. We are providing a quality year-round program, offering consistency for everyone in our community — students and families, teachers and staff alike.

Private lessons are 12-month, year-round programs. Summer classes for private lessons are included in your 12 month membership, and your reserved lesson times carry into the summer. No separate registration will be necessary. Your lesson time will not change from the previous school year, unless you wish to change it.

How much are private lessons?

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

Portland School of Music & Dance does not charge you for holidays and breaks in the schedule. The pro-rated tuition amount depends upon which day of the week a student is scheduled. Because of holidays, some days of the week (like Wednesday) will have more lessons throughout the year than others (like Monday). 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 on tuition and billing.

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

Our courtesy lesson (make-up lesson) program is generous, surpassing industry standards in the Portland area. Students enrolled in our 12-month, year-round program have the opportunity to enjoy 8 courtesy lessons within a 12 month period per student, provided advance notice is given prior to each absence. Courtesy lessons carry over year-to-year for actively registered students and do not expire for these students.

If we receive notice by 12:00PM on the day of your missed lesson, you will be eligible for a courtesy lesson. Maximum number of courtesy lessons allowed per student is 8 total per 12-month period, from Sept 1 - Sept 1 of the following calendar year. View our available courtesy lessons.

We value our teachers' time.  Teachers are allowed to leave if the student does not show up for the first half of the lesson.  At that point, it is assumed that the student will not be coming to his or her lesson and the lesson will still be charged should the student not inform the school of the absencse prior to the lesson. 

Group lessons cannot be made up, nor will there be a refund for a missed class.

My child doesn’t like to perform. Does he have to do the recitals?

We never ask a child to perform in a school event if they are not comfortable performing in public. They will be encouraged to perform in our Workshop Weeks, which is optional and includes only a few other students and their teachers.

Does your school offer performance opportunities?

Yes! All of our private lesson students are encouraged to perform in our Workshop Week, which includes only a few other students and their teachers. There are no parents at these events and they are much more low-key opportunities for students. Helpful feedback and encouragement in a peer setting gives motivation to students, as does an event they know they will be performing at for peers.

We also have Showcase, 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!

We have our big Spring Concert, which is a more formal atmosphere and is a fantastic motivator for those students who love to perform!  Made up primarily of Intermediate and Advanced students, this concert is exciting and invigorating for all involved!

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 much do you expect the student to practice?

For private lessons, we recommend beginners practice about 10-15 minutes per day, 5 days a week. This provides consistency in their practice and always coming to practice with fresh eyes the next day creates more results more quickly.  For intermediate and advanced students, it is important that the student have some responsibility in the decision of the amount of practice time, along with the teacher’s guidance and encouragement.  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 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.

How qualified are your teachers?

All of our professional, qualified teachers have a University Degree in Music, with some having Masters Degrees as well.  They are all 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:

  •     Background checked
  •     Professional educators that are experienced teachers
  •     Auditioned for music knowledge and skills

Can we come in and try a trial lesson with more than one teacher?

All of our teachers are excellent educators, but we understand that every student learns differently.  If, after your first trial lesson, you would like to try out a different teacher, you may schedule another trial lesson with the front desk. Each trial lesson is a separate payment.

What if our teacher is ill?

Portland School of Music & Dance will provide another qualified teacher from our staff if your regularly scheduled teacher is ill or otherwise unable to attend a lesson. If we can't arrange an alternate teacher, we will credit the lesson or class, which will be applied to the next billing cycle.

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 is the best month to start lessons?

Our enrollment is on-going, year round. Register online or call our desk staff anytime to get started and have your first trial lesson or class.

How often are the lessons? How long are they?

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

  • 30 min for Beginners — Elementary students in their 1st – 3rd year of lessons
  • 45 min for Late-Elementary – Intermediate students in their 3rd - 4th years of lessons
  • 60 min for Intermediate – Advanced Level students in their 5th year & up of lessons

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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