Frequently Asked Questions



Why should my child study music?
- In addition to the enormous personal enjoyment music brings, music study helps children learn how to learn.
- Attending lessons and practicing an instrument each day teaches focus, concentration, patience, critical thinking and reflection – skills we use throughout our lives.

Why should my child study at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music?
- A school environment creates a community of musicians who inspire, motivate and befriend each other.
- Students benefit musically and psychologically from the expertise of our excellent faculty, the School’s warm, nurturing atmosphere and hearing other students make music at different levels of musical development.
- The Thurnauer School offers a stimulating variety of classes, performances, workshops, and recital opportunities.

Why can’t my child just take private lessons at the Thurnauer School?
- Our goal is to enable our students to learn enough about music so that they become skilled listeners and players; a comprehensive, individually tailored music education makes that possible.
- Children in a full program of music study are “stretched”, musically and intellectually, as they learn new things and exchange musical and verbal ideas with their peers.
- A program that is limited to private lessons lacks the richness of learning about music, not just about playing an instrument. The more we understand, the more joy there is in playing and listening.

When should my child begin the study of music?
- Learning about music can begin at birth. However, the best age to start an instrument varies with the instrument and the child’s physical development.
- For voice study, one-on-one lessons are not advisable until a child has sufficient lung capacity, at about 10 years of age. While children of any age can certainly have the pleasure of choral singing, for 8 year olds it is wise to start with classes that help develop the singing mechanism in a natural, relaxed way, concentrated private study can begin about two years later.

How should we help our child select an instrument?
- The choice of instrument depends on the child’s interests, temperament and size. Most children have a natural affinity for a particular instrument or sound and, if given the chance to choose, will know what they like.
- We encourage sitting in on lessons and classes at our School. Attending professional concerts and student recitals with your child can also spark interest in a particular instrument. 
- For pre-schoolers, try Kangaroo Koncerts for ages 3-6; children ages 5 and above can attend Thurnauer Chamber Music Society concerts.

How do we select an instrumental teacher for your child?
At the Thurnauer School, a great deal of care is given to finding the best “match” from among our fine faculty. Music School Director Dorothy Roffman meets individually with each new student and parent(s) prior to enrollment, observing the child and learning about the family before assigning a teacher.

What is the registration process for new students?
The process includes completing the registration and scheduling forms, submitting a nonrefundable registration fee and tuition deposit and, if you are enrolling in an instrumental program, scheduling a meeting with the Music School Director.

What is the registration process for returning students?
Re-registration forms are mailed to all currently enrolled students in late May/early June. Completed forms with tuition deposits received by the re-registration deadline will receive priority for scheduling. The Director is always available to answer any questions or respond to concerns.

Do I need to reregister for the second semester?
Yes. While the commitment is for a year, payment is made twice a year.

Does the Music School offer Financial Aid?
Yes. The Music School has a number of endowed funds earmarked for this purpose, and nearly 20% of our students receive some form of tuition scholarship. Parents may request a financial aid form from the Registrar.

How many private lessons or classes are there each year?
- The Music School has two 15-week semesters. However, as the class curriculum is designed to be completed over a full school year, it is expected that students enrolling for lessons or classes in the fall will continue through the spring semester. Holidays are factored in when planning the yearly calendar.

When will I find out the time and date of my child’s lessons and classes?
Schedules will be mailed out two weeks prior to the start of classes.

Why should I bring my Pre-Schooler to Thurnauer?
-Our classes for young children stand on their own, but they are also developmental, and will introduce skills to help your child with further musical study if it’s desired. “Developmental” also means dynamic; each week builds on the previous lesson.
-All our teachers are musicians with extensive training in early childhood music pedagogy. Your child will love them, and so will you!
-Be part of a nurturing environment where a happy start may lead to future musical opportunities in an already familiar setting.

What is Dalcroze Eurhythmics?
Emile Jaques-Dalcroze was a Swiss musician and educator who believed that rhythm is the primary element of music. Through movement and singing, children experience and internalize musical concepts such as meter, tempo, and dynamics. Movement and singing then translate into an awareness of melody, phrasing and form that leads to ear training and improvisation. Games, stories, props and percussion instruments add to the fun.

For more information Contact:
Thurnauer School of Music x1465
thurnauer@jccotp.org