Q: Does my child have to take private lessons to play in your ensembles?
A: No. Although we recommend private lessons, our programs have been designed to support and encourage students to delve further into their musical studies. With our low student to teacher ratio, all students receive a great deal of support regardless of outside private lessons.
Q: Does my child have to take private lessons to play in your ensembles?
A: No. Although we recommend private lessons, our programs have been designed to support and encourage students to delve further into their musical studies. With our low student to teacher ratio, all students receive a great deal of support regardless of outside private lessons.
Q: Can my younger student in 2nd or 3rd grade participate?
A: At this time, our ensemble programs are only for students in grades 3 through 8.
Q: We see there is a tuition fee, but we cannot afford to pay the total amount. What can we do?
A: We have never turned a family away because they cannot pay the full amount. Students may apply for and receive financial aid for one (1) ensemble program. Please fill out a financial aid form, located on the right side of this page, and our staff will help you figure out what is manageable for your family.
Q: What is your tuition policy?
A: Tuition for our 17-18 season is $800. There is a nonrefundable deposit of $150 due by June 1 for enrollment. Students enrolling after June 1 are expected to make their deposit upon enrolling. The remaining $650 balance will be billed at the start of classes in the fall. Questions about tuition should be directed to Programs Manager Emily Senchuk
Q: What is the refund policy if we withdraw from the program?
A: Refunds for withdrawals from Elemental Music programs will be issued through November 2017. We will refund the amount paid proportional to the number of rehearsals that were attended. After that, no refunds will be issued except in the case of extreme emergencies and full tuition payment is expected from all students, even students on payment plans. Students enrolling in Elemental Music are expected to make a commitment for the duration of the school year.
Q: Are there fees for late tuition payments that are past due?
A: All tuition payments are expected upon receipt of invoice. A $10 late fee will be assessed per each week that a payment is past due. We understand that, in rare instances, situations may arise that prohibit timely payment. If there are extenuating circumstances that will cause a late payment, please contact Emily Senchuk
Q: How is Elemental Strings different from other youth orchestras in town?
A: We have two things that make our program particularly special. First, our programs have supported the SMMUSD for nearly fifteen years. Many of our staff work for the district, either as full-time staff, or teaching artists for the different sites. We consult district staff on a regular basis to ensure that we can help enrich the already strong music programs that students get at school, and help prepare them for middle school. Second, we have a great formula for our teaching artists. In addition to being great teachers, many of our teaching artists are also active performers in southern California, providing students with a unique opportunity to work with professional musicians. Add to that our low student-to-teacher ratio, and you get expert and inspiring instruction that allows students to receive personalized attention to help them develop as musicians.
Q: We are interested in signing up. What should we do?
A: All Elemental Music students need to audition in May for participation in audition-based ensembles. Non-audition programs have rolling admission through the fall. Please visit our Auditions page for more information. We generally do not accept new students mid-year, but please contact our staff with any inquiries. If you have missed the auditions, please email Josephine to see if there are still openings available.
Q: We also want to participate in a sport that has practice that overlaps with rehearsal. What are our options?
A: Since our rehearsals are only 2 hours a week, every part of rehearsal is crucial. Students put together concerts in 8-9 rehearsals. Our attendance policy is that students are allowed 2 total absences. We unfortunately cannot permit students to come to rehearsals late, or leave early, on a regular basis for other activities.