Common Questions & Answers
How do I go about registering for private lessons?
To register for private lessons you must first contact the PCM Office. Please let the Registrar know what instrument(s) you are interested in studying and whether or not you have a specific PCM Faculty member in mind. The Registrar will ask a Faculty member to contact you (the parent, guardian, or adult student) to set the day and time of lessons.
Is there a registration fee?
All students must register with PCM and pay a yearly registration fee of $35. This is a one-time (non-refundable) fee that covers the entire academic year, including summer, and allows students to take any number of private lessons and/or group classes, as well as free master classes and other special offerings.
When does the tuition have to be paid?
All private lessons at PCM must be paid for in advance. We therefore encourage students to reserve their timeslot by paying for the entire semester. However, you may purchase lessons in smaller increments; a minimum of four is appreciated.
Are there any discounts for multiple family members taking private lessons at PCM within the same semester?
PCM offers a multiple family member discount on private lessons (but not for group classes). If more than one person in an immediate family is taking private lessons at PCM, the second student in the family receives a 5% discount on private lesson tuition. The third and any additional family members receive a 10% discount.
Is there a Senior Citizen Discount?
The Portland Conservatory of Music also offers a Senior Citizen Discount. Adult students 65 and older will receive 5% off their private lessons. There is no discount for Group Classes.
What if I am a new student and I want to begin private lessons after the semester has already begun?
No worries! We can pro-rate private lessons accordingly for students who begin their lessons after the semester has begun.
What is PCM’s tuition refund policy for Private Lessons and Group Classes?
Students who wish to withdraw from lessons and receive a refund for the remaining tuition may do so by the 4th lesson, however no refunds will be given after the 4th paid lesson of that semester. There are no refunds for Group Classes.
What if I want to begin a Group Class once it has begun for that semester?
Generally you will not be able to join a group class after the first class of the semester has begun, however, exceptions may be made at the discretion of the group class instructor and the PCM Executive Director.
What is PCM’s attendance policy?
By registering and paying for private lessons, students reserve their teacher for a designated weekly timeslot. As such, students are expected to attend all scheduled lessons and to give as much notice as possible when a cancellation is necessary. All students are entitled to one excused absence (requiring 24 hour notice) per semester to be made up free of charge. We specifically designate a Make-Up Week at the end of the semester for this purpose. Any additional lessons missed by the student will not be made up or reimbursed. All lessons cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will be considered unexcused and will be charged.
What if the teacher is absent from a Group Class?
If at all possible, a substitute teacher will teach the class. If this is not possible, students will be notified that the class has been cancelled for the day. The class will be made up at the end of the semester during the Make-up Week.
Where do I wait if I arrive a few minutes early for my lesson or class, or if I am waiting for my child?
Students and parents who are waiting for a lesson to begin or who are waiting for a family member to finish their lesson may wait in the 2nd floor waiting area or on the 3rd floor. Please be quiet and respectful while waiting due to the business being conducted in the offices around the waiting area. We ask that you do not stand in the 3rd floor hallway during lessons as this is against building and fire regulations. We also ask that you do not wait in the Faculty Lounge, as this room is for the sole use of PCM Faculty.
Does PCM offer Financial Aid?
PCM has a limited amount of funds available for Financial Aid, and it is given only to those students who submit a completed application form, IRS tax documentation, and whose family income falls within the current income limits. Financial Aid, if granted, can only be applied toward private lessons for one instrument per semester. Financial Aid cannot be applied to group classes.
Does PCM offer Scholarships?
PCM offers Extended Lesson Scholarships. Current registered PCM students can audition for a fifteen minute Extended Lesson Scholarship at no additional charge during an academic year. Decisions are based on a combination of audition results and teacher recommendations. Extended Lesson Scholarships are made possible through the Karger Endowment Fund at PCM. Extended Lesson Scholarships, if granted, can only be applied toward 16 private lessons with one instrument, per Fall and/or Spring semester. Extended Lesson Scholarships do not apply to the Summer Semester. Current students who have earned extended lesson time during the previous year must re-audition for the new school year.
Additional scholarship funds may be available for those in financial need, and are decided upon at the beginning of each semester by the PCM Board of Directors and the Executive Director. For more information about these opportunities please inquire in the PCM Office.
What is PCM’s School Cancellation Policy for inclement weather?
If PCM closes due to inclement weather, an announcement will be made via email and/or posted on PCM’s website. All private lessons missed because of a PCM closure or an instructor’s absence will be made up free of charge.
Can currently-registered PCM students book studio space for private practice and/or rehearsals? Does PCM rent studio space to the public?
As a benefit to our students, PCM studios may be used for up to two hours at a time for private practice and/or rehearsals, however reservations must be made in advance by emailing PCM. All students under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during scheduled private practice and rehearsal times.
Those wishing to use PCM studios for practice and/or ensemble rehearsals who are not currently registered for lessons or classes must agree to pay $15/hr for practice space in one of our regular studio rooms. (Our larger rooms may be rented out at higher costs, depending on the function.) To discuss reserving a space for practice, contact the PCM Office via email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does PCM hire out musicians (faculty and/or students)?
It is against PCM policy to book any outside performances for faculty and/or students.
I don’t own an instrument. Where do I find one?
PCM maintains an updated bulletin board that has instruments posted for sale, in the area. Also, you may speak to your private lesson teacher for suggestions on where to purchase or rent an instrument.