Private Lessons FAQ

Why does the band program encourage private lessons?

Private lessons are strongly encouraged for all band students, as they provide consistent one-on-one instruction for students, which is crucial at all times in a student’s development as a young musician.

Private lessons allow students to reinforce and receive personal insight on the fundamentals that will help them be successful as a musician, as well as allow them to move at an accelerated pace beyond that of the normal band class. Private lessons also help our students to prepare for additional band events, such as the Region/Area/All-State Band audition process, Solo and Ensemble contest, chair tests, and additional auditions.

Collectively, private lessons insure a solid musical foundation for our students, and encourage a diligent, progressive approach to improving musicianship and organizational skills.

How can I enroll my child in the lesson program?

All lesson enrollment will occur through an online enrollment form. Simply complete this form and a filled version will be emailed to the private lesson coordinator and the respective private lesson teacher.

What length of lesson is recommended for my student?

For most students, we typically recommend at least 30 minutes. Older students are typically working on more advanced concepts/music, and they benefit greatly from having a full lesson once a week.

How is my student assigned to a teacher?

Once your enrollment form is received by the private lesson coordinator, we determine which of our private lessons faculty would be best suited for your student. Your contact information is then sent to the private lessons teacher, and they will contact you via email or phone to schedule your child’s private lesson.

If your student took private lessons from one of our teachers last year, you may request to keep that same teacher.

When do lessons start?

Lessons can start as early as the first week of school, depending on how quickly your registration is received. As soon as we have received your registration information and your lesson is scheduled, lessons can begin.

Most students that are registered the first week of school will begin around the third week of school.

How often do lessons occur?

Lessons occur once every week.

When may lessons occur?

Lessons may occur before school, during your child’s band class, or after school in the McNeil HS Band Hall.

How do I pick a day/time for my lesson?

Most of our private lesson teachers teach at other schools as well as McNeil HS. Because of this, they usually determine which days of the week they will be at McNeil before school starts.

When the private lesson teacher contacts you, they will let you know what their schedule is and will help you select the best time for your child.

How are private lesson teachers hired?

Private lesson faculty go through a careful screening process with the McNeil HS band directors. We interview qualified candidates in order to insure our students will receive consistent instruction that aligns with the pedagogy of the band staff.

All private lessons faculty have completed an undergraduate degree in either music education or music performance. Several of our teachers perform professionally, as well as teach privately full-time.

We select our faculty based on their knowledge of their instrument, their teaching capabilities, and most importantly, their ability to communicate and interact with our students in a positive and professional manner.

Can I enroll my child later (not at the beginning of the school year)?

Absolutely! The advantage to enrolling at the beginning of the school year is convenience in scheduling your lesson time. Private lesson teachers begin the school year with greater flexibility in their own schedules, making it easier to fit your child into your requested times.

You are ALWAYS able to enroll your child at a later date; however, be aware that teachers’ schedules can reach their maximum capacity or they may be unable to accommodate your requested times.