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1146 Greentree Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220
The Pittsburgh Music Academy

Our parents say it best
Policies

REGISTRATION:

We require new students and families to either enroll in one of our Pre-Twinkle Camps for young beginners or to observe at least one lesson and one group class before registering for weekly or flex plan lessons. We would like to meet you, show you around, and try to match you with a teacher who can best meet your needs. If you have already studied elsewhere, you can purchase a 30-minute trial lesson with one of our teachers. A family non-refundable annual fee is charged at registration for enrollment in all of PMA’s programs. Family members are not permitted to share lesson times but must be registered separately. Students of other private teachers can become Associate Members of PMA in order to take part in group classes, chamber music ensembles, recitals, or any other programs of interest. This does not apply to registration for occasional courses such as (but not limited to) the Concerto Workshop, Sonatina Celebration, Masterclass Series, Chamber Music Intensive Camps, Introductory Courses, or Pre-Twinkle Camp.

WITHDRAWAL:

At PMA we feel that one semester of lessons is a minimum amount of time to establish good working relationships among parent, student, and teacher. If for some reason things are not going well, it is possible to change teachers, change instruments, or withdraw before the second semester. Please let us know by December 15 if you want to make any changes for second semester. If you choose to withdraw before the semester ends, we reserve the right to refund tuition already paid at our discretion, minus an administrative fee. For special courses (like Concerto Workshop, etc.), refunds are unlikely or can be applied to other PMA offerings. Please discuss your situation with the administration.

CHANGING TEACHERS:

We recognize that all teachers don’t work well with all students and parents. Please feel that you can use some of your child’s lesson time to discuss any issues of concern to you, like practicing at home, motivation, or progress. If you feel like things still aren’t going well, there may come a time when you would like to change teachers. In order to show respect for all the parties involved, please speak to your current teacher first and then to the Academy Director. Contact another teacher only after those steps have been taken.
The school reserves the right to suggest another teacher for a student under certain circumstances, such as scheduling conflicts. We may also provide a substitute teacher in case of a regular teacher’s absence.

PARENT EDUCATION:

Parents who participate in a Pre-Twinkle Camp automatically take part in a one-hour seminar discussing our philosophy and teaching methods, as well as some practical information on how to work successfully with a young student. In addition, we hold parent education sessions giving parents of new students important information on Suzuki philosophy, practicing at home, and how to play your child’s instrument well enough to be able to help him/her. For veteran parents, we occasionally offer special Parent Education Seminars on specific topics like practicing and recognizing progress. We have found that these sessions are extremely helpful for ensuring your child’s success and we strongly recommend that the parents of new students attend.

CALENDAR:

The year at PMA is divided into three parts: Semester One, Semester Two, and Summer. There are 18 weeks in each semester. There are also 2 weeks of make ups scheduled for excused absences. (Please see the explanation of “excused absence” under Absences.) There are three scheduled vacation weeks over the course of the year: one at Thanksgiving, one over the Winter Break, and one for Spring Break. Those students in Book 3 and beyond will play an audition for the faculty during Achievement Days in Semester Two, in place of one private lesson. They will receive comment sheets from the faculty members present at their audition and will discuss them with their private teacher at a subsequent lesson.

COMMUNICATION:

A lot goes on at our school! We ask that you read our WEEKLY NEWS so that you are aware of concerts, special projects, changes to the regular schedule, and new programs. We publish the memos at the beginning of each week of the semester and in the summer. If you are on our e-mail list, you will receive them electronically. We also post them at all of our locations. Our website, www.pghma.com, is updated weekly with the memos, the calendar, and other pertinent information. Also look at our blog, The PMA POST. If you are the parent of an older student and don’t attend lessons regularly, please make an extra effort to stay in touch with your child’s teacher to help support his/her musical activities. 

ABSENCES:

You must pay for all lessons for which you have contracted. There is a makeup week at the end of the each semester when one excused absence each semester can be made up. THERE ARE NO MAKE UPS FOR SUMMER LESSONS.  An excused absence would be an illness or injury that you called us about in advance, or a family emergency. Vacations, field trips, appointments, or sporting events are not excused. If you know in advance that you have a scheduling conflict, you may be able switch lesson times with another one of your teacher’s students. Flex Plan students must give 24 hours notice when canceling a lesson that has already been scheduled or else that lesson is forfeited. If your teacher is absent, the lesson will be made up at a mutually agreed upon time or a substitute teacher will be provided. Please discuss this policy with your private teacher so that there is no confusion about absences. The teacher is obligated to offer you three possible times for make-ups. If you can’t do any of them, you will have to forego the lesson. Music education classes and ensembles that are cancelled by PMA may be made up at the discretion of the school.
PMA rarely closes for bad weather. Unless you hear from your teacher personally, assume that we are open. If we are closed, we will put a message on our answering machine, on our website, social media, www.pghma.com, and on KDKA-TV and radio.

TUITION:

Tuition for private lessons, which includes group classes and performance classes may be paid in full at the beginning of the year, by the semester, or by the month. Discounts are available for those who pay by the year or by the semester, but please note that tuition must be paid in full by the deadline in order to receive the discount. We also have a Flex Plan for older students who are already well-established musicians, in which 10 lessons at a time are purchased for use over the course of a semester or year. There are other discounts available, all of which are spelled out on our price list found on the Home Page. Tuition is due on the first day of the month and is considered late if we do not receive it by the 10th of the month. If there is an overdue balance at the end of the semester or the summer session, we will ask you to pay it in full before continuing. You may pay by cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Amex or using PayPal. There will be a $30.00 fee for NSF checks. If you are having problems paying your tuition, just talk to us. All billing questions should be referred to our Financial Administrator. Payment for special programs offered occasionally (like Concerto Workshop, etc.) is due upon receipt of the Statement Invoice.

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Why choose PMA?

The cornerstone of our school is the conviction that every child can,with careful teaching and parental support, become a successful musician able to make music a part of his or her life. We believe music study will enrich their lives through appreciation of beauty, development of disciplined work habits, and increased self-esteem.