Community Music School
Hugh Hodgson School of Music
250 River Road, Room 230
Athens, GA 30602-7287
(706) 542-2894



Important Policies
for All CMS Students

Academic Year Registration

CMS offers year-round registration for all types of private lessons. The CMS schedule is broken up into Fall, Spring and Summer semesters, each consisting of 14 weeks of lessons. Students who register in the Fall have the option to register for both Fall and Spring at once, eliminating the need for an additional registration process in January. See the Fees page for payment plans. New students are welcomed during the Spring and Summer semesters as well. Students who register in the Fall for Suzuki and Keyboard Kids programs are expected to register for the full academic year - from August through April. Once a student is registered, it is expected that the student will continue with lessons through the remainder of that semester. Mid-semester withdrawal will result in an administrative fee (see below under Cancellations).

Home Practice

Daily home practice is a must. Students will progress much faster by practicing 10 minutes every day rather than practicing 35 minutes one day a week. Retention of the skills learned in music study are best acquired through short but consistent practice sessions rather than one long practice the night before the next private lesson. Parents and students should consider how this practice time will be accomodated into their daily schedules before registering for lessons.

Parent Participation

It is strongly recommended (required in Keyboard Kids and Suzuki) that parents of students under the age of 10, be in attendance in the lesson each week to observe, listen to the suggestions of the teacher, take notes in their own parent notebook, understand the practice assignments and specific goals for practice for the coming week, and to ask any questions you or your child might have about the assignment. Effective music practice is truly a skill that needs to be taught by the teacher, practiced by parent and student, and supported by the whole family. CMS teachers will take the time in lessons to discuss effective practice strategies as well as ways to make practicing fun and motivating for the student. When parents are aware of these strategies, success is much more likely.

Required Forms for Minors

Due to new University policies regarding the treatment and protection of minors, parents are requested to submit the HHSOM minors authorization form to the CMS office prior to the beginning of lessons. It is an electronic form, and an electronic signature is acceptable. Please assist us in returning this form as soon as possible after registration. The official policy can be found here.


As per the new University policies regarding minors, students under the age of 18 should not walk in or out of the building without being accompanied by a self-designated approved adult. Please be sure to walk your child in and come in the building to pick them up. Be sure any caregivers are listed as approved adults on the HHSOM minors authorization form.


Please be considerate of the beautiful new facilities and do not bring food or drink into rehearsal rooms, practice rooms, or classrooms.

Practice rooms and classrooms are for UGA School of Music students ONLY. CMS students are not permitted to use the practice rooms for daily private practice although private lessons with their teachers will occur in the music building practice rooms and/or classrooms.

Required Materials

Students are expected to provide their own instrument for lessons and daily home practice. Please contact the CMS office if you need assistance finding reputable instrument dealers. In some cases, it might be best to talk with your private teacher first before purchasing or renting an instrument.

Students may be required by their private teacher to purchase music books and some accessories for their instrument. It is expected that the student will acquire these materials in a timely fashion. Your teacher will advise you in purchasing materials.

Each student should come to lessons with a notebook for the teacher and student to write weekly assignments and practice goals and to aid with more effective home practice.

Students in the Suzuki Program and Keyboard Kids curriculum will be required to purchase some materials before lessons begin. These materials are listed on the Fees page .

Parents of students enrolled in the Suzuki and Keyboard Kids programs will be required to attend a Parent Orientation meeting prior to the start of lessons. Information, including dates for these meetings, can be found on the Suzuki and Keyboard Kids pages or through the CMS office. Timely registration, fee payment, and orientation attendance are MANDATORY for all students in these programs.

Cancellations and Make-up Lessons

1.) If a teacher needs to cancel a lesson, every effort will be made to give the student as much warning as possible. If a teacher cancels a lesson FOR ANY REASON, it WILL be made up as soon as their schedules allow. If this is not possible, a refund or credit will be issued by the CMS office.

2.) CMS has a NO MAKE-UP and NO REFUND policy for students who cancel or ask to reschedule lessons for any reason. (why?) Please be sure, when scheduling a lesson time with your teacher at the beginning of the semester that the lesson time you settle on is going to be consistently convenient for your schedule. Your teacher will NOT be required to make-up a lesson you ask to reschedule for any reason. Depending on the teacher, students may be able to swap lesson times with other students, rather than cancel. In those cases, the teacher must be notified in advance of the swap. Exceptions to the no make-up and no refund policy can be made at the teacher's discretion for absolute emergencies.

3.) Once a student registers for lessons in the Community Music School, it is understood they will continue study through to the end of that semester. In the case of a mid-semester withdrawal request, students will be expected to pay for all lessons received (including any cancelled by the student), plus a $50 administrative fee. Please contact the CMS director prior to registering if you cannot participate for the entire semester. Exceptions can be made if the teacher is aware of the situation in advance, or for extreme circumstances only (moving out of the area, or extreme illness).

4.) Students are expected to be on-time for their lessons. Teachers are expected to wait 10 minutes for a student who might be late. If the student arrives LESS than 10 minutes late, they will receive a lesson for the remainder of their time slot (the lesson will still end on-time). If a student does not arrive after 10 minutes, the teacher is NOT required to stay any longer to wait. This lesson will be considered a "no-show", will not be made up, and the student will be charged.

5.) Students under the age of 18 should not be left unsupervised within the School of Music building or outside grounds for any reason at any time. CMS and HHSOM will NOT assume responsibility for your child should an accident occur while they are unattended.


The policies above are put into effect so that the time and financial commitments of every teacher and student is respected. Termination of lessons may occur for, but is not limited to, any of the following reasons: excessive absences, excessive lateness, no calls/no shows, consistently not paying fees on time, and lack of practicing over extensive periods. There will be a 3-step process for dismissals:

1. Teacher will explain the difficulties to the student/parent and will alert the director of the situation. The teacher will give a time-frame for their expectation of improvement in the behavior.
2. If the situation is not resolved by the specified time-frame, the teacher will write an email explaining the ongoing difficulty and will copy the director on this email. A final deadline for improvement will be given.
3. If the difficulty is not resolved by this second request, the teacher or director will call the parent/student to terminate lessons. Dismissed students will be required to fulfill their tuition responsibilities for all lessons received, plus the $50 administrative early-termination fee if applicable.

Policy for Videos and Photos
(on the Internet and Print Media)

CMS reserves the right, and may grant permission to the media, to photograph classes, performances, events, and participants. Please note that these are for promotional purposes and may be used in future promotions and media publications. By participating in CMS classes and programs, you consent to the taking and publication of your photograph for these purposes unless your unwillingness is specifically expressed to the Director in advance.

In an Emergency
If UGA closes due to weather or any other emergency, CMS lessons and classes will be cancelled. These lessons and classes are NOT required to be made up by CMS teachers although those that can, may try. Every effort will be made to notify students as soon as possible of the cancellation. If you are unsure whether classes have been cancelled, please contact CMS at or 706-542-2894.




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