Cambridge Studio is a facility committed to providing the highest quality of teaching to students of all ages. We believe that music is an essential part of a person’s total development, and is a critical asset to individual and community life, bringing, joy, higher learning, greater focus, team skills, and discipline to all who engage in it. Cambridge Studio offers group and private piano lessons in Aurora, IL. The studio is located in at 3831 McCoy Drive, Suite 109, three blocks west of Rte. 59 and one block west of Fox Valley Shopping Mall.
An exploratory lesson is a chance for a student and their family to come and tour our Studio facility, meet one of our experienced instructors, and participate in a brief 15-minute lesson. This opportunity gives the family a chance to see if the studio/instructor will make a good fit for their student’s music education. This also gives our instructors a chance to audition the student in order to place them in the appropriate student class according to their musical abilities. There is no cost for an exploratory lesson. If the student and teacher complement one another, lessons will be scheduled as soon as possible. If the student would like to meet a different studio teacher, another exploratory lesson may be scheduled.
All students are asked to participate in an Exploratory Lesson in order to determine the student’s music educational level and also to find a compatible instructor. All new students pay a one-time registration fee of $30.00 by their first lesson. 100% of the registration fee goes back to the studio. The registration fee will contribute to studio costs, materials, music library, studio recitals, community outreach events, studio events, and more.
We have 4 studio quarters: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer, and students may enter a session at any time. We highly encourage students to commit to at least 12 weeks of lessons in order to give them a clear understanding of their instrument and instructor. Unlike many other things in our current culture, learning to play a musical instrument requires extended periods of time and attention in order to gain mastery of it. In other words, students may not find it immediately gratifying, but if they stick with it, they may find their musical journey both gratifying and enjoyable. Therefore, we encourage a commitment of three months to help ensure that your child establishes new routines and has enough time to adapt to their new instrument/teacher. We are committed to building your student’s musical skill if you are willing to commit to Cambridge Studio!
All lesson fees must be pre-paid or paid on the first day of the lesson package, including single lesson payments. If lessons have not been paid for, the lesson will not be given. Cambridge Studio accepts cash (no change), check made out to “Cambridge Studio Aurora” or credit card. There is a ‘returned check’ fee of $35.00 if a check does not clear the bank. Each student will receive a receipt for payment via e-mail. Any questions regarding payment should be directed to studio management.
Upon completion of their level/lesson books(s), your student will move on to the next level/lesson book(s). As your student progresses through his/her books, he/she will eventually progress through our studio grade levels. As the student advances to the next grade level, his/her tuition will increase by $5-$10. See our levels and how they relate to the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program below:
(please keep in mind that these are loose descriptions of our levels. Every student learns differently and at their own pace. Their abilities and musical knowledge will determine if they are ready to advance to the next level. Their teacher will aid in the determination of your student's advancement.)
Explorer – students begin to learn an instrument and to joyfully and curiously discover all that music has to offer! Explorer students range from beginners through successful completion of the Preparatory Level Assessments of the Music Development Program or through approximately 2-3 years of study.
Apprentice – students are committed to laying a solid musical and technical foundation to enhance learning, growth and enjoyment of music. Apprentice students range from successful completion of Level One through Level Three of the Music Development Program, or approximately 3-6 years of study.
Performer – students continue to mature and perform in both technical and musical facility. Performer students range from successful completion of Level Four through Level Eight of the Music Development Program, or approximately 6+ years of study.
Pro – students are advanced in technical and musical proficiency and are preparing to transition into the professional world of music. Pro students range from successful completion of Level Nine through Level Ten of the Music Development Program.
Students are expected to attend all scheduled lessons and classes, preferably on a weekly basis to maintain consistency. If your student is sick and cannot come to the lesson, you are expected to contact the studio and your instructor 24 hours in advance. If the studio is not notified of sickness in advance, then the missed lesson will not be rescheduled and there will be no refund. Please remember to always leave voicemails at the studio or for your instructor, or send an e-mail if they do not pick up. Although notification of absence in advance allows make-ups to be scheduled, it does not excuse payment for contracted lessons.
If you forget about your lesson or fail to call 24 hours in advance, your instructor will call you after 10 minutes have passed from your lesson time. If you are going to come to the lesson late, be sure to communicate that on the phone to your instructor. Instructors are only required to teach until the time agreed upon in your studio registration form. If the instructor has not heard from you after 15 minutes, they are authorized to leave the studio if they choose. If you choose not to come to your lesson late, you are agreeing to miss the lesson with no make-up and without reimbursement.
Students MUST schedule a make-up lesson within a month of the missed lesson, or during the designated make-up week for the current quarter. If the lesson is not made up during that time, the lesson will be forfeited. This is to insure consistency in weekly lessons for our students to better their musical education.
You are responsible for contacting your teacher and working out a make-up plan which may include: scheduling lesson on another day that week, scheduling a lesson with a substitute instructor, or if you missed a 30 minute lesson, adding 10 or 15 minutes onto subsequent lessons until missed lesson is made up. However, these options are only available upon your instructor’s teaching schedule, so please contact your instructor or the studio as soon as possible after you’ve missed a lesson. In the event that, at the beginning of each 12-week semester, parents are aware of dates that they will be unable to attend a scheduled lesson, the teacher may schedule lessons in advance on a day that will be mutually agreeable.
Any lessons missed by the instructor will be made up at a time mutually agreeable to both parties. It is the instructor’s responsibility to contact you to make those arrangements. If your instructor has to miss a lesson due to sickness or an emergency, you will be contacted 24 hours in advance if possible. In the event of a last minute instructor emergency, if you arrive and your instructor is not present, please call the Studio Manager and we will make sure that you receive another make-up lesson in some capacity. Your understanding and flexibility is most appreciated.
In the event that your instructor is unavailable to teach for an extended period of time (3 weeks or more), there will be a meeting called between the teacher, student and studio director to discuss possible future arrangements for the student.
If bad weather conditions are forecasted for your lesson date/time, please call the Studio number or visit our website in order to check if our studio is closing. If our studio is closed, there will be a voicemail message or a website alert informing you not to come for your lesson. If your lesson is cancelled because of bad weather, your teacher will call you and work with you to make up the lesson as soon as possible.
There will be no make-ups for any group classes.
Cambridge Studio uses a variety of curriculums determined by the each instructor.
For young beginner piano students, we highly recommend the Music Development Program developed by The Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada. The Royal Conservatory Music (RCM) Development Program provides a recognized national and international standard of musical success through an effectively sequenced course of study from beginner to advanced levels. Students are inspired to excellence through this highly comprehensive curriculum and individual student assessments that allow students to celebrate accomplishments and track their progress with others across the country. Please ask your instructor for more details.
Parents are responsible for ordering their student’s lesson books within the first 2 weeks of lessons. Lesson books are very important to your student’s music education. Without books, your student is only receiving a small portion of the information that is needed to learn a musical instrument. In order to avoid wasting your time and your teacher’s time, please order your student’s lesson books as soon as possible. If your student already has lesson books from a previous teacher, your Cambridge instructor is at liberty to use those books for the first 2 weeks of lessons in order to gauge your student’s musical level and ability. After 2 weeks, your instructor is not required to teach from old books and he/she may ask if you would like switch to a new curriculum that is a better fit for your student.
In addition, your instructor is authorized to offer supplemental materials to your student. If your student is excelling or struggling with a certain element of their instrument, your instructor may suggest that you order an additional piece of music or lesson book in order to compliment your student’s learning skills. Additional materials are not required; however, they are highly recommended since your instructor is a professional musician and educator with your child’s best interest in mind. Your instructor is also encouraged to promote local competitions and festivals for your student to perform in, although they are not required.
The Music Development Program includes two different types of assessments: practical (performance) and theoretical. Both create an opportunity to recognize achievement and receive meaningful and relevant feedback. These assessments are not required, but recommended.
Assessments are given by examiners who are qualified by the Royal Conservatory of Music to do so, and are local. Your instructor is responsible for preparing your student for their grade-level assessment upon the completion of a lesson book. Examination dates are pre-determined by the Royal Conservatory of Music and are listed on their website for Chicago area locations, including Oswego. They are held three times per year; however, students are not expected to be assessed that often. Please talk with your student’s instructor if you are interested.