We want to ensure a wonderful learning experience, so let's get your questions answered.
How is WSM structured to provide consistent and committed instruction?
WSM is a School which runs on an annual calendar just like most other educational institutions, from mid- September through early June. Each student has one specific teacher for the entire year allowing a student to build a consistent, trusting relationship with one instructor who guides, encourages and monitors their progression throughout the year, and many times, from elementary through high school.
New students starting in the Fall have the option to register for either one or both semesters. All returning students must register for the entire year of 33 lessons. Registration reserves your teacher’s time for that specific period each week, and obligates the student to complete the entire year (or all remaining fees must be paid for the semester if the child withdraws for any reason until, that student is replaced).
Do I need a piano at home for family members taking piano lessons at WSM?
Yes, you need a piano or a full-sized keyboard with 88 keys and weighted action so that the piano student may begin practicing daily after their first lesson. Parents are strongly urged to have the piano tuned twice each year.
What do lessons cost?
30 minute lessons start at $55 and are also available for 45 and 60 minutes, with fees dependent on the length and the individual teacher. For more information, please call the school at (203) 227-4931.
Does the WSM issue any kind of report card?
Evaluation reports are sent to parents in February and in June.
What happens if a lesson is missed? Are there makeup sessions?
POLICY: Make-up Lessons
Each full year student is entitled to two make-up lessons per school year for lessons cancelled for any reason as long as the school is notified by 10 a.m. on the day of the lesson. Lessons cancelled by the teacher for illness or professional engagement will qualify for an equal number of make-up lessons. Lessons cancelled by the school because of bad weather will qualify for an equal number of make-up lessons.
POLICY: Lesson Cancellations
Students who notify the school of a cancellation prior to 10 am. on the day of the lesson qualify for a make-up lesson (note each student is entitled to two make-up lessons each school year.) Lessons cancelled or missed by students without notification before 10 a.m. on the day of the lesson do not qualify for make-up lessons. These lessons will be considered forfeited.
Special Notations Regarding Make-Up Lessons
Make-up lessons will be scheduled on designated make-up days or when a period becomes available by the absence of another student. If a make-up lesson is offered to a student 24 hours or more before an available time, and if these suggested make-up lessons are twice refused, the lesson will be considered forfeited. If scheduled make-up lessons are cancelled by the student, they are considered forfeited.
When is the WSM open and how can I reach someone after hours?
The School Office (227-4931) is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday during the School year. After hours, messages are taken and promptly returned.
Is the WSM open during the summer?
YES, WSM offers a six-week summer school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from late June through the first week of August. New and beginning students should register for as many lessons as possible to keep up their skills, but returning more advanced students may take as many or few as they are able. Even one lesson during the summer is better than none at all!
How do I learn of special events, WSM news and calendar changes?
“Notes from the WSM” is a monthly e-newsletter sent to parents, adult students, donors and other friends of the School. Also, this website is regularly updated with news, special events and calendar changes.
What kind of special student activities are available at the school?
Faculty Chamber Recital
Student Chamber Music Concert
WSM Gives Back
Students have the opportunity to perform 5-6 times a year and to see and hear their teacher perform in our annual Faculty Chamber Music Concert each fall. Kaleidoscopes are held on a Saturday afternoon in the winter for students to play for just their peers in a relaxed, informal atmosphere in our School living room. Students are able to give back to the community by performing in nursing and health care facilities twice a year, and annual Spring Recitals give each student the opportunity to show what they have accomplished for the year by playing for their families and friends. Every other year, WSM presents its Student Chamber Music Concert at the Pequot Library (usually in March) when duos, trios and quartets of students who have rehearsed with each other throughout the winter, perform for families and the general public – a wonderful opportunity to learn about team work, individual responsibility, musical sensitivity and cooperation while receiving coaching from various faculty members.