Early Childhood Music Program Policies

Registration 

ACMS can reserve space in any Early Childhood Music class only when full payment has been received. 

  

Class Confirmation 

Your confirmation will be made at the time of your registration.  You will receive a reminder email approximately one week before classes start. 

  

Class Changes 

ACMS will allow two class transfers without penalty. 

  

Class Cancellations

Classes that do not enroll the required minimum number of students 5 days prior to class convening may be cancelled. Students that have paid for a cancelled class will receive a refund or may apply credit to another class or private lesson.

  

Make-up Classes 

Although many music schools do not offer make-up classes, we will provide opportunities for make-ups when feasible. Due to limited space, we allow only two make-up classes per family in each session. In order to maintain the quality for each of our classes, please be sure that you do not show up for a class unannounced! 

Before reserving your space in a make-up class, please be certain you can attend. Reservations can be made after the first week of class and should be arranged at least 24 hours in advance. If you find that you cannot attend your reserved time, please let us know so we can allow others in the class. Reservations can be made online. 

If you have an unusual circumstance that causes multiple absences, please discuss this with the Registrar. It is important that your child attends class on a regular basis. We will do all that we can to help facilitate regular attendance. 

  

Tuition Assistance 

As a nonprofit institution, ACMS is devoted to raising funds to provide tuition assistance for our Early Childhood Program. If you would like this service or know of someone who does, there is a simple form to fill out to apply. Our Registrar will be happy to help with this process. This assistance can be applied to available classes at the Westlake or Travis Heights locations. 

  • To apply for tuition assistance, a form must be submitted to the Registrar for the Director of Finance and Administrations’ review.  
  • Assistance will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  
  • Applications are kept confidential and must be updated each semester.  
  • Continued assistance is dependent upon attendance and instructor/staff evaluation.  
  • ACMS reserves the right to discontinue any financial aid award because of frequent absences, tardiness, or delinquent payments. 

  

Payments 

  • Payments for classes are due at the time of enrollment. ACMS cannot reserve space in any Early Childhood Music class until full payment has been received. 
  • For new families, a one-time $35 Registration Fee is due at the time of registration.   
  • We accept cash, check, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express).   
  • Please make checks payable to Armstrong Community Music School or ACMS, Inc.   All returned checks are subject to a fee of $25.00. 
  • All accounts are periodically audited by ACMS Staff.  Any discrepancies will be resolved as soon as they arise. 

  

Refunds 

  • If a family needs to drop a class, ACMS will refund the classes missed only if the class is dropped within the first 3 weeks of class. There will be no refunds for materials that have been signed for and taken home. 
  • Notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to the ACMS Registrar.  Email to Registrar@ACMSAustin.org is acceptable.  However, students should confirm by telephone that the email was received. 
  • Tuition paid will be refunded in full if notice of withdrawal is received at least 7 days before the first scheduled lesson or class.  Registration fees are non-refundable. 

  

Weather Cancellations 

To get the latest information regarding closures or cancellations due to inclement weather, please check our website or check our voicemail message by calling (512) 474-2331. We will also provide updated information via direct email notifications, but we advise checking the website or voicemail before leaving your home. 

  

Early Childhood Music Program Policies 

  • Please keep your child home if they have a communicable illness or an episode of vomiting, diarrhea, or fever 24 hours prior to attending class. Two make-up classes are provided per child, per semester. 
  • Because we respect the special bond that often occurs within each class setting, we allow only those enrolled in our program to attend class. Grandparents, relatives, or special friends are the exception. Please check with your child’s teacher prior to their attending class. 
  • Let’s keep talking to a minimum and singing at a maximum! Keeping focused on the teacher and class activities will lead to success. Your child’s music experience will benefit most from your modeling of musical behaviors. 
  • Cell phone/electronic device usage during class is not allowed unless previously discussed with your teacher and agreed upon by the other families in the class. 
  • Diapers should be changed only in the bathrooms.  Changing stations are located in both restrooms in the large stalls 
  • Keep food items out of the classroom. This includes paper coffee cups. Bottles, cups, or sealed travel mugs with secure lids are allowed. 
  • Running is for outside!  Alternate ways to move are walking, galloping, dancing, skipping, wiggling, tip-toeing, etc. 
  • To maintain a respectful environment for all of our students, it is important that our hallways remain quiet. 
  • The pianos in our classrooms are beautiful examples of high quality musical instruments. Please us this opportunity to teach your child how to respect instruments of this quality by following their teacher’s example. 
    • Gentle playing on the keys after class is permissible 
    • Please do not set anything on the pianos 
    • Please redirect your child from under the pianos and back into the open classroom 

  

  

Making the most of your Early Childhood Music Class

Arrive on time for your child to participate in the “Hello Song.” 

The ritual of the “Hello Song” signals to your child that class has begun. Exclusion from the “Hello Song” can sometimes make children feel disconnected from the rest of the group. 

  

Children have different learning styles. 

It is important to respect the fact that each of us, including our children, has different learning styles. Some children learn best through watching, some learn through listening, and others learn through moving. Most of us learn best through a combination of styles. Therefore, if your child needs to move while others are sitting, that’s fine. However, your teacher may suggest that you also get up and move with your child in order to keep your child engaged. Be a detective!  Observe how your child takes in and processes information and then tailor your responses accordingly. 

Each of our Early Childhood Music teachers at ACMS has had years of experience in working with children of all ages. If you need suggestions on how best to guide your child in these classes, please ask! It is proven that children whose parents actively participate in our classes are more tuned-in, more attentive, and therefore have more meaningful experiences. Thus, the key to many discipline issues is parent participation. Because children learn best from those to whom they are most bonded, you are your child’s best teacher. It is your job to sing, move, dance, and play instruments with joyful abandon! In doing so, you are giving your child permission to do the same. 

  

Participate, participate, participate! 

The design of our Early Childhood Music classes is based on the belief that you are your child’s first and best teacher. Therefore, the success of your child’s experience depends on YOUR involvement.  These classes are not a passive experience, but rather a partnership between teacher and caregiver to provide the best experience possible for the children. 

  

MOVE, Dance, Clap, Wiggle, Play Instruments, Tap, Sing!  

If you are engaged and “in the moment,” your child will have permission to do the same. Even if your child simply sits and watches, as some children do, respect that choice and concentrate on YOUR efforts. Remember, you are also a role model to the other children in the class. The children will watch for your reactions, so have fun! 

  

Allow your child the space and opportunity to explore music in his or her own way. 

Just as a child needs practice in holding a spoon, they also need practice in learning to hold an instrument. Please resist the urge to hold it for them unless they are very young infants. 

For accurate pitch and rhythm to happen, audiation must occur.  Audiation is the brain’s ability to hear music without music being actively played. Audiation can occur more readily if there is silence between songs. 

  

Ask questions! 

Your child’s teacher has a wealth of information and experience to help guide and teach you about your child’s developing musical abilities. 

  

Make the lullaby a special time. 

Please allow a respectful, quiet environment during the lullaby. The lullaby is an important transition which signals to your child that music class is drawing to an end. Some children may not be ready to rest quietly for a few minutes for the lullaby. In those cases, we suggest walking around the room or finding some other quiet activity to do during this time. A quiet environment allows class members to participate in the restful mood of the moment. Please, no loud talking during the lullaby… but sing along as much as you want!

 

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