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Policies & Procedures

REGISTRATION (Academic Year)

The academic year begins the Monday after Labor Day, and ends sometime between the last week of May and the third week of June, depending on the day of the week and its corresponding holidays and snow days.

Students must enroll for the full academic year, or for the full length of the course for which you are enrolling. New students may enroll at any time during the year for most programs and tuition will be prorated. A non-refundable registration fee is required for most courses of study at NCMC, as follows:

Private Lessons (academic year): $40/student; $65/family (per year)

Private Lessons (summer only): $20/student (waived for students continuing from previous academic year)

Group Classes, Ensembles & Workshops: $15/participant (per registration form)

Summer Group Classes, Ensembles & Workshops: $20/participant (per registration form)

A completed and signed registration form, registration fee/deposit must be received by NCMC prior to the student attending any lessons or classes. Students wishing to apply for financial aid should do so prior to registering, as scholarships are not awarded retroactively.

Tuition may be paid in full or in installments using a credit or debit card (through our secure online Stripe terminal). Students enrolling for seasonal classes or ensembles must pay in full upon registration. Recipients of financial aid and/or multi-enrollment households who would like to arrange a modified payment plan should contact the Registrar.

Quarterly Payment Due Dates:

25% of tuition, plus registration fee due upon enrollment 25% of tuition due Nov 10

25% of tuition due Jan 10

25% of tuition due Mar 10

Overdue balances that cannot be rectified by NCMC with a valid credit card will accrue surcharges at a rate of 5% per month. To avoid suspension from a program, students are urged to contact the Executive Director promptly to discuss any problems with payment. Students with outstanding balances may not register for any additional programming at NCMC until full payment is remitted.


Regular attendance is expected of all students. It is common courtesy to give teachers 24 hours notice if you cannot attend a lesson for any reason. Students are financially responsible for all lessons, including those for which they are absent. Students who miss two consecutive lessons without notification will be withdrawn at the Director’s discretion and no refund will be issued.

Lessons or classes canceled by the teacher or by NCMC will be made up at a later date. Make-up lessons that are scheduled but then missed by a student will not be rescheduled, and that lesson will be forfeited by the student without a refund. 

Again, you are required to pay for all scheduled lessons/make-ups, whether you attend or not.

In cases of inclement weather, lessons and classes held prior to noon at NCMC will be canceled when the Northampton Public Schools close. For cancellations after noon, please call the NCMC office for recorded announcements. Teachers may offer students online instruction as an option during inclement weather.

Students are expected to avail themselves through the month of June for make-up lessons. Students who anticipate being unavailable in June must notify the Registrar upon enrollment, so other

arrangements for make-up lessons can be made earlier in the year, where possible.


PRIVATE LESSONS: Within 48 hours of a student’s first private lesson with a teacher, the student may withdraw without further financial obligation. Otherwise, students may, with two weeks’ notice, withdraw from private lessons without penalty before October 31 (or within 30 days of a student’s first lesson of the academic term). After this date, an early withdrawal fee equal to 25% of the tuition for the remaining lessons will be applied.

GROUP CLASSES: Group classes (choruses, ensembles, young child classes, etc.) can only run when a minimum enrollment is met, so once registered all participants are expected to regularly attend classes, rehearsals and/or performances, practice at home, and complete the term for which they have enrolled. Out of fairness to others, withdrawals from group classes and prorated refunds will not be granted.

If a medical condition prevents a student from continuing, a written request for a withdrawal without penalty must be made to the Executive Director immediately. In-house credits issued by NCMC’s Registrar or Executive Director must be used within the academic year they are issued (or specified window), after which they will be nullified.


Students with limited financial resources are strongly encouraged to apply for financial aid.

It is the intent of the Music Center that no serious student should be unable to study because of financial constraints. Financial aid is awarded on an annual basis and is applied to all remaining lessons

and classes for the academic year, plus the subsequent summer. Until an application has been processed, full tuition applies. NCMC cannot award financial aid retroactively.

Returning students reapplying for financial aid must be in good standing to be considered for a financial aid award. Unpaid account balances, excessive absences, or other issues may result in an application denial.


NCMC admits students of any race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical ability, religion, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. NCMC does not discriminate in its hiring of faculty or staff, or in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship programs, and other school-administered programs.


NCMC routinely documents its programs and events, including individuals partaking in them, for promotional purposes. If any student objects to being photographed or filmed, we ask that they submit this request in writing upon registration ー please include a note at the foot of the registration form and notify ー and we will do our best to honor their request.


PRIVATE LESSONS: Studio recitals may be scheduled by teachers, and are free and open to the public. Students who are interested in performing should make arrangements with their teachers. Tuition fees do not cover the cost of accompanists to rehearse or perform with students. When necessary, an equal portion of the required fee will be collected from each student who requires this service.

NCMC faculty members and students are encouraged to engage in special community outreach opportunities organized by NCMC (for example, student performances at local nursing homes as part of NCMC’s Beverly Pickering Music & Alzheimer’s Project). These opportunities benefit fellow non-profit organizations and individuals, while at the same time providing a unique educational experience for the students participating. On occasion, with NCMC’s permission, a teacher may substitute a student’s regular lesson for their participation in such an event.

ENSEMBLES: By default, NCMC ensemble programs require member participation in public performances. Absences from these events will not be punished; just tell your instructor ASAP if you're not available. If you are not comfortable performing in public, please reach out to your program director  in the first two weeks of the program to discuss whether your choice can be accommodated, or if withdrawal from the program is necessary.


It is highly recommended for parents to accompany their children into the building for their lessons and classes. NCMC staff and teachers cannot assume responsibility for the safety of children who are left unsupervised. Please look out for each other ♥︎


Should the fire alarm go off at NCMC, everyone should use the nearest emergency exit and convene on the front lawn, beyond the play structure, for safety until emergency personnel arrive and deem the facility and parking lot safe to re-enter.


In situations of a medical emergency: 

Unless an adult family member is present to respond to a student's emergency medical situation themselves, NCMC faculty/staff will call 911 and an emergency contact, and stay with the student until emergency response arrives and attends to them.

In situations of a mental health emergency: 

Unless an adult family member is present & equipped to respond to an individual's mental health crisis themselves, NCMC faculty/staff will call 988 and an emergency contact, and stay with the individual until emergency response arrives and attends to them (or until the situation has de-escalated).

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