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School of Music

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Time to Begin Piano Study

Time to Begin is our most comprehensive program for early beginners at the piano. It is sure to inspire and educate the budding musician!

Program Description

26 weekly 45-­minute group classes Wednesdays 4:30–5:15 p.m., 26 weekly 30-­minute private lessons, and 2 recitals

This two-semester program for elementary school students is taught by Dr. Sara Ernst. The academic year includes weekly group lessons, in which the children explore new concepts together, perform music, and participate in dynamic, musical activities. Weekly private lessons provide individualized attention and goals, and these are taught by instructors who are mentored by Dr. Ernst. Students receive weekly practice assignments, which are augmented through online video tutorials.

The children will perform in the semester recitals in December and May, and may also participate in the CMTA Achievement Day. Enrollment is for the duration of the academic year, September through early May.

Cost: 2 payments of $435 or 6 payments of $145. 
See Policies and Tuition for details. Register online.


To be eligible for Time to Begin, students must be enrolled in first or second grade and must be able to read simple words and write basic numbers and letters. Students with prior study may transfer into the program, pending an interview to ensure correct placement.

Student piano requirement: Acoustic piano (preferred) or 88-key digital piano with stand and bench
Practice requirement: 30 minutes a day, five days a week

Enrollment and Weekly Schedule

Time to Begin Weekly Class Wednesdays at 4:45 p.m. Beginners (primer method)

Private lessons can be scheduled at 4:15 p.m. (prior to group class), 5:30 p.m. (after group class), or on an alternate day of the week. Private lessons are scheduled in consultation with the private teacher. Classes will be enrolled on a first come, first serve, basis; registration will be available by July 1. 

Class Content

During weekly group lessons, the children explore new concepts together, perform music, and participate in activities designed to increase abilities in music fundamentals. This includes the study of rhythm, pitch, music reading, listening skills, and music theory. During weekly private lessons, students explore technique and repertoire. Students receive weekly practice assignments, which may be augmented through online videos.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.