Our community guidelines have been established to ensure that students and teachers have productive musical experiences. Registration in a Community Music School program indicates understanding and acceptance of these guidelines. 


Code of Conduct

The Community Music School promotes a safe learning environment for all students and a supportive teaching environment for its faculty.  Therefore, we ask that students and their families respect their fellow Community Music School students, teachers and staff, studios, rehearsal facilities, and musical equipment and supplies. Firearms, knives, and weapons of any kind are strictly prohibited at all times. Students must arrive on time for rehearsals or lessons and be picked up promptly at their conclusion. The Community Music School is not responsible for the supervision of children outside of regular rehearsal or lesson time.


Registration in a Community Music School program indicates your understanding and acceptance that our office will communicate via the email you provided upon sign-up. Families are responsible for checking their email for important announcements and updates. To ensure our emails are not sent to your junk/spam folder, please add cms@lawrence.edu to your email contact list. If your family has a Gmail account, our emails may feed to your “Updates” or “Promotions” tab. 

Role of Parents/Guardians

Communication to and from the teacher or ensemble manager is a critical component of both student and program success. Please be sure to read all email messages from the Community Music School office and your teacher or manager; ensemble announcements and other important materials also are posted in their Google Classrooms. Volunteer opportunities are available in most ensembles and include tasks such as uniform fitting, concert poster distribution, checking tickets at concerts, and music collection.

Concerns about student progress should be communicated directly with a teacher. Although these conversations are often difficult, clear communication is the path to resolution. If the problem is not resolved after conferring with the teacher, a meeting between parent/guardian, teacher, and Community Music School director may be scheduled to determine the best course of action.

Electronic Devices

Cell phones, iPods, electronic readers, and other electronic devices are strictly prohibited during ensemble rehearsals and backstage during concerts. If a family emergency takes place during a rehearsal or concert, please contact the ensemble manager.


Payment is due before each term of lessons or classes begins. Payment is accepted by cash, credit card, or check made payable to the Lawrence Community Music School. Your canceled check or credit card statement is your receipt. An installment plan for private lessons and ensembles is available by request at the time of registration for an $12 per semester surcharge. An annual, non-refundable $19 registration fee is assessed for each Community Music School student. This registration fee covers all registrations for that student for the academic year. Enrollment is complete only when registration form and payment have been received and processed by the Community Music School office. Students will not be permitted to attend lessons, ensembles, or classes until tuition and the registration fee have been paid. Please see our Registration & Billing page for more information.

Tuition Assistance

Need-based scholarships are available for all Community Music School lessons and programs, excluding summer programming. Call our billing office at 920-993-6278 or see our Financial Aid page for forms and information.

Installment Payment Plan (optional)

Full Year Programs

  • Aug. 20: 25% plus registration and installment fees due
  • Sept. 20: 25% due
  • Oct. 20: 25% due
  • Nov. 20: remaining 25% due

Fall Semester Lessons and Classes

  • Aug. 20: 25% plus registration and installment fees due
  • Sept. 20: 25% due
  • Oct. 20: 25% due
  • Nov. 20: remaining 25% due

Spring Semester Lessons and Classes

  • Jan. 20: 25% due
  • Feb. 20: 25% due
  • Mar. 20: 25% due
  • Apr. 20: remaining 25% due


Attendance Policy

Promptness at lessons and rehearsals is expected. Students who are late for their private lesson cannot be guaranteed their full lesson time. Teachers who are tardy for a student's lesson are required to make up the time by extending past the scheduled lesson time or by arranging to make up the time on another occasion. Ensemble members should note that a maximum of two absences is allowed per semester in order to perform in the corresponding concert; dress rehearsals are mandatory.

Missed Private/Studio Lesson

Make-up lessons are given only in cases of illness or family emergency. If a student awakens ill, please contact the teacher by 8 a.m. to notify them of that day's absence. (Contact information is provided in the front of your student notebook.) Teachers are not required to make up lessons without this notice. A student may receive a maximum of two make-up lessons per semester. If a scheduling issue arises due to other activities, family travel, etc., please contact another student in the teacher's studio to switch lesson times. Teachers are not required to make up lessons missed in these situations, nor is tuition refund or credit given. Private lessons canceled by teachers or by the Community Music School will be rescheduled.

Piano and string students attend a weekly private lesson. Approximately three times per semester, a group class is substituted for a private lesson. The group class may include informal student performances, topics in musicianship, duets or chamber music, or music theory. Makeups for group lessons are not given, nor are private lessons substituted for group lessons.

Missed Ensemble Rehearsal

When a student commits to an ensemble, they commit to not just the day and time but to the community of musicians in that ensemble. Community Music School teachers believe that the rehearsal process is often where the most meaningful musical experiences take place and is as important as the final concert. Therefore, we respectfully request that rehearsals remain a priority throughout the year. To report an ensemble absence, please fill out our online absence report form.

In some cases, assignments and rehearsal notes are posted to the individual ensemble's Google Classroom or sent via email. Please check before the next class or rehearsal to see what the student missed.

If a student has two absences, they may be required to demonstrate readiness by singing/playing individually for the ensemble teacher. In deference to the ensemble, a student who misses more than two rehearsals will not perform in that semester's performance(s). Those with more than two absences will, however, be encouraged to attend subsequent rehearsals.

Dress rehearsal attendance is mandatory; ensemble members who miss a dress rehearsal may not perform in the corresponding concert(s). So as not to compromise the ensemble experience, Girl Choir members are not allowed to sing only one concert on performance day. Ensemble rehearsals canceled due to weather or teacher illness are not rescheduled due to constraints of rehearsal locations.

No make-up, credit, or refund is given for students who miss classes or ensemble rehearsals.

Inclement Weather

Severe weather conditions often prompt area schools to close. Community Music School lessons, classes, and ensembles are not automatically canceled because of weather. In the event Community Music School classes or lessons are canceled, a message will be left on our answering machine and posted to the Community Music School website. A student’s individual lesson teacher will notify students of cancellations. The Community Music School will notify ensemble members if a rehearsal is canceled via email and will also post a notification in their Google Classroom.

We encourage families to use their best judgment regarding travel conditions and to let their teacher or ensemble manager know if they will not be attending. Ensemble rehearsals canceled due to inclement weather are not made up. Lessons canceled by Community Music School teachers due to inclement weather will be made up. If a teacher does not cancel lessons due to inclement weather, they are not required to make up the lesson for families who choose not to attend.

If the Lawrence University emergency alert system is initiated during a rehearsal or lesson, all Community Music School students and faculty must follow the university’s emergency protocol. This includes instances of fire, tornado, or other severe storms.

Student Progress

A successful learning experience involves three parties—the student, the teacher, and the parent/guardian(s). We take very seriously the communication between all involved. Progress reports for private lessons are provided after fall semester, offering a detailed written report and recommendations from the teacher. The teacher will discuss the progress report with parents/guardians during a conference scheduled in January. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to remain in close contact with the teacher throughout the year regarding student progress. Teachers are always happy to discuss student progress as well as any other needs or concerns, as is the director of the Community Music School.

On rare occasions, a parent/guardian or student may have a concern about a teacher or pedagogical approach. These situations are uncomfortable, but clear communication is necessary route to resolution. Although these conversations are difficult for all parties involved, the proper course of action is to communicate concerns directly to the teacher. Sometimes, at this stage, misconceptions can be clarified or expectations discussed more fully. If the problem is not resolved after conferring with the teacher, a meeting between parent/guardian, teacher, and Community Music School director may be scheduled to determine the best course of action.

Withdrawals and Dismissals

Please notify the Community Music School office when requesting withdrawal from lessons during a session. Tuition refunds will be considered only when full tuition and fees have been paid and the student withdraws before the halfway point of the semester. There is a charge for one additional lesson. The registration fee is not refundable. 

The Lawrence Community Music School reserves the right to dismiss any student due to lack of interest or progress, frequent absences, behavioral problems, delinquency in payment, and/or failure to abide by policies.

Media and Publicity

Posting of Videos and Pictures on Web/Social Media

Please do not post video or audio recordings of the Community Music School concerts and public presentations on YouTube or social media sites. The music performed is copyrighted material and such postings are illegal. Families may record performances for their own personal use and enjoyment. In addition, please do not post identifiable videos or pictures of students on social media sites. Similarly, please refrain from recording any portion of rehearsals.  This policy is in place to maintain the confidentiality of our students in the rehearsal process. Thank you for respecting the privacy of others.

Per Lawrence's license, ensemble concerts will be professionally recorded with the audio made available for purchase to participating families at the conclusion of the semester; information will be sent via email and posted in the Google Classroom.


Please be aware that the Lawrence Community Music School uses professional photographers during performances, rehearsals, and events to capture images for promotional purposes. In addition, Girl Choir evening concerts are webcast via Livestream but not archived. Community Music School staff and students may be photographed during Lawrence Community Music School events with images published in print or on the Community Music School website and social media channels. Names are never published with images unless a parent/guardian gives express, written permission, and there is no compensation for photographs. Completing registration for a Community Music School program indicates your understanding of, and agreement to, this photo policy.