Program Policies

View program policies regarding tuition, attendance, and expectations.



Teachers must be notified of known absences (concerts, sporting events, vacation, etc.) at least one week in advance of the lesson. If a student is ill, a call must be made to the teacher’s phone at least two hours prior to the lesson to be considered excused.

Only one make-up lesson is allowed (for excused absences only) per semester. If more than one lesson is missed, the lesson and lesson fee are forfeited.

If a call is not received and the teacher was not notified beforehand, that absence will be considered unexcused and the lesson fee will be forfeited. In certain cases (family emergency, extreme weather, extended illness), efforts will be made to reconcile lost time in the best interest of both parties.


Lessons cancelled by an instructor will be made up at the earliest convenience of both the teacher and the student.

The Academy of Music only cancels lessons due to weather when the University of Northwestern cancels events for that day. Call 651-631-5310 to find out if the campus is closed. If the student decides to cancel the lesson due to bad weather but the Northwestern campus is still open, the instructor is not obligated to make up the lesson.

Late Arrivals

Students are expected to arrive on time for their lessons/classes. Instructors will wait 15 minutes before assuming that a student is absent for a lesson. Instructors are not required to make up the lost time as a “no-show” is considered unexcused. However, an instructor who arrives late will arrange to make up any missed lesson time.

Make-Up Lessons

Only one make-up lesson is provided for excused absences. See Absences, above, for more information. If more than one lesson is missed, the lesson and lesson fee will be forfeited. The week of recitals at the end of each semester is also known as “make-up lesson week,” and is a great time to fit in the make-up lessons needed!


Withdrawing a student from lessons or classes requires written or verbal notification to the Academy of Music office. Students who discontinue and do not provide notification of withdrawal will continue to be considered officially enrolled and be held responsible for any tuition charges associated with an official enrollment.

Refunds will be given on a prorated basis if a student withdraws from lessons prior to the sixth week of the semester. No refunds will be given if notice of withdrawal or cancellation is given after the sixth week of the semester. In the event that all lessons need to pivot to virtual, no refunds are allowed after the sixth week. Outstanding balances must be paid in full upon cancellation.


  • Keep a regular practice routine as outlined by the instructor and (when applicable) in consultation with the parents/guardians
  • Attend all lessons, classes, rehearsals, and recitals
  • Bring instrument, music, and all appropriate materials to lessons, rehearsals, classes, and recitals

Behavior in the Building

The lobbies and hallways serve as both a waiting area for students prior to lessons and a meeting place for parents, students, and instructors. Students are expected to speak quietly in these areas to prevent interference with instruction in nearby studios, classrooms, and/or offices. They are also to be respectful of a professor’s property hung outside their doors and on bulletin boards. Parents/guardians are responsible for curtailing, running, loud play, and any dangerous or disturbing behavior. Children must be supervised by a parent or another adult at all times.

Academy Property

The Academy provides drawers labeled “books and toys” located in the practice room hallway in Totino outside the Academy office and on the third floor music hall in Nazareth hall. These drawers are stocked with books, coloring books, games, doodle boards, and more. All Academy families are welcome to use these items while waiting for a music lesson to finish. Parents are responsible to help their children respect the property of the Academy and ensure that they return everything to the drawers before leaving the building.

Student Dismissal

Students who do not meet the expectations outlined above may be dismissed with lesson tuition forfeited.

Address Change

Changes of address, telephone, or e-mail address must be provided to the Academy of Music office in a timely manner.


By registering with the Academy of Music, families agree to pay all fees related to lessons and/or ensembles. Parents give the right to use the student’s photograph or image without his or her name for Academy publications unless the office is otherwise notified.