FAQs
 

What ages do you serve?
For group class and ensembles — All ages! We have group classes for infants and toddlers with their caregivers, children’s programming, teen classes, mixed age ensembles, and programs for senior citizens.
For private lessons — ages 6 and up for private lessons, or ages 3-4 and up for Suzuki method lessons and classes.

 

What instruments do you teach?
We offer lessons for over 25 different instruments. See the full list here.

 

Do you offer financial aid?
Yes! We offer need-based scholarships to qualifying applicants. Learn more or apply here.

 

Can I try out a lesson before committing?
Yes! Private lessons students register for the full academic year. When new students register, they may take and pay for an initial lesson before deciding if they will continue for the full year.

 

Are parents allowed to watch/stay in the room?
For younger children this is highly encouraged. For the Suzuki program it is mandatory. For older children, check with your individual teacher for their recommendation and see what works best for your family.

 

Is NCMC accessible via public transportation?
Yes. Located on South Street in Northampton, we are on a PVTA bus line the R41. We are also just a 10-minute walk from downtown Northampton’s main bus stop at the Academy of Music.

 

What happens if I don’t click with my teacher?
We encourage you to be honest with your teacher about your thoughts and concerns. Our teachers want this to be a good experience for you and them. If you have a conversation with your teacher and still don’t know if it’s the right fit, talk with the registrar to see about other faculty who might be a better fit.

 

Does NCMC provide accompanists for students?
For certain classes, an accompanist is provided by NCMC. However, students are generally asked to pay a shared portion of the fee for an accompanist at their teacher’s studio recital if one is needed.

 

Where should I park when visiting NCMC?
NCMC has an adjacent lot behind it’s building with ample parking. However, at times when the lot is full, visitors may park on surrounding streets where signage permits. We request that if you are going downtown, please remove your car to make space for other visitors. 

 

If I don't own an instrument and I'm not sure what I want to commit to, can I rent one?
NCMC doesn’t rent or sell instruments, but we can direct you to a number of great local music stores who do!

 

Is NCMC handicap accessible?
Yes, we are. We have two lifts in the building to grant access to all three floors.

 

Are animals allowed inside?
Supervised and leashed dogs, and service animals are welcome when necessary. If any animal exhibits inappropriate behavior or triggers an allergic reaction, we may request its removal from the premises.

 

If I'm enrolled as a student, am I able to come anytime and practice in a free space? 
Studio spaces will gladly be made available to registered students during the morning and early afternoon hours. It becomes more difficult to offer practice space during NCMC’s prime program hours, but will will accommodate where we can. Always call ahead of time before to inquire about studio availability.

 

Can I observe a class before signing up?
If you would like to observe a class, please contact the Registrar to obtain permission from the teacher.

 

Is there a specific number of lessons I'm required to sign up for?
Students are required to register for the full 34 week academic year, or whatever ever number of lessons remain if registering mid-year. Extenuating circumstances will be considered if brought to the attention of the Executive Director upon registration.

 

Does NCMC provide the sheet music for lessons and classes?
NCMC is not responsible for the purchase of materials for your private lessons or classes. There are certain classes and ensembles in which the instructor provides the sheet music. 

 

Is NCMC tobacco-free? 
Yes, NCMC is a tobacco-free facility. Please no smoking on the premises.

Are there any instruments that you don't teach? 
You can see a list on our website of instruments we do teach here. If you don’t see the instrument you’re interested in, we might be able to recommend a teacher in the area.

 

Who do I talk to about my bill/lessons?
You can speak to our Registrar for questions regarding your account. 

 

What music stores in the area carry the supplies and rentals I may need?
Downtown Sounds in Northampton
Gerry’s Music Shop in South Hadley
Falcetti Music in Springfield
Birdhouse Music in Northampton
Mill River Music in Northampton
Goat Peak Strings in Easthampton
Stamell Strings in Amherst

 

Policy-related:

 

If I have to cancel a lesson, do I still have to pay for it?
Yes. Students are responsible for all lessons. In extenuating circumstances, your teacher may offer a make-up lesson, but they are not required to do so.

If my teacher has to cancel a lesson or the school is closed due to weather, do I still have to pay?
Lessons cancelled by NCMC or faculty will be made up at a later date that is coordinated between the teacher and student.

 

What happens if I withdraw?
If you withdraw within 48 hours of your first lesson with us, there’s no penalty.
Otherwise we require two weeks notice (you can opt to attend those two last lessons or not), and a percentage of the cost of the remaining lessons, depending on when you withdraw. See our policies page here for more details.

 

Can I do biweekly lessons?
Most of our students do weekly lessons. We only allow biweekly lessons if the teacher expressly agrees to the arrangement.

 

If I join a class or ensemble midyear, is the fee prorated?
For most programs, yes, but there are exceptions. Depending on when you join, the Registrar will calculate the prorated cost for you.

 

If I join a class but know I’ll have to miss some classes, can the fee be prorated?
No. The class runs based on the commitment of everyone involved — students and teachers. If you have to miss certain days, we understand and ask that you let us know what dates you can’t make so our teacher can factor that into their lesson plans, but we cannot adjust the fee.

 

If I begin lessons midyear, is the cost prorated?
Yes. We will calculate the number of lessons left in our academic year for you and only charge for those.

 

If you have any other questions, please call NCMC’s main office directly at 413-585-0001.

Northampton Community Music Center

139 South Street

Northampton, MA  01060

(413) 585-0001

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NCMC is a proud member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

NCMC programs are made possible in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Chamber music at NCMC is supported by a grant from ACMP (Associated Chamber Music Players).

Due to COVID-19, our building is closed to visitors, but you can reach our Registrar Kim by phone during these hours:

Mondays  9:00-2:00

Tuesdays  9:00-2:00

Wednesdays  9:00-2:00

Thursdays  9:00-2:00

Alternatively, you can email NCMC's administrative staff at any time and we will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible:

Kim Hoff, Registrar

Jason Trotta, Executive DIrector