Parent’s Questions

What age students do you teach? 

The core demographic of the school is 10 years old to 18 years old.  However, we take students of all ages, as young as 7 and as old as 70.

Do you take beginners?

A common misconception about the Collective is that we only take kids who can already play. Actually the fact is most of our students start out as absolute beginners. We prefer to get them while they are just starting out, making sure that students avoid bad habits, develop correct technique and gain confidence by playing with others.

How do I know if my kid has talent?

The truth is… usually you don’t. Many of our most talented and successful students and alumni started out struggling for years to master the most basic fundamentals before their talents shone through. The opposite is often the case as well, in-spite of the ringing endorsements of their families, many “talented” students struggle as well. In the end, if they are patient and work hard enough, they all succeed.

How long are the lessons?

The majority are 30 minute lessons, once a week.  We do also offer 60 minute lessons, as long as a teacher has a 60-minute opening in their schedule.

Do you offer anything besides private lessons?

We offer free classes and workshops when you enroll in private lessons. Enrollment in classes and workshops without lessons is also an option.

  • Classes are lecture based and taught in a traditional classroom setting.  Classes we offer are: Music Theory, Harmony, Stage Craft, Music Business and Music History. 
  • Workshops are usually either instrument or genre based.  They revolve around playing with other students that are at the same ability level; to teach students about playing with others. They are interactive and involve group performance situations.

How much do lessons cost?

Students enroll in lessons through the UMC Program which offers a half hour lesson once a week, plus 1 hour class and 2 workshops for $125 a month. An hour lesson, once a week, is $230 a month.

Are there any other fees?

Every student is charged a $35 registration one time per school year (September-August).

If you are taking a class such as a music theory, there is a onetime charge of $25 for a book that goes along with the course.  This book will be used for the majority of the theory classes you will take at the UMC.

Are there any discounts? 

Yes, we do offer sibling and multi-lesson discounts.  Please ask the Admissions Director for more information at the time of enrollment.

Do you offer scholarships or any kind of financial assistance?

We currently have two scholarships: the Alice Heilman Scholarship and the Lew Gilberti Scholarship.  Each of these scholarships are for a full school year (3-16 week semesters).  Students who receive these scholarships are required to take full advantage of the UMC Program which means taking 1 half hour private lesson, 1-hour class, 2 one hour workshops a week, otherwise the scholarship will be revoked.

We do also have a financial assistance form for students who cannot afford tuition and have not been selected for a scholarship.  The form is filled out and reviewed by a committee who determines if the students qualifies for lower lesson rate tuition or probono status.

What kind of time commitment is my student looking at?

If the student takes full advantage of the UMC Program, it calls for 3 ½ hours a week (1 half hour private lesson, 1-hour class, 2 one hour workshops).  However, while students are encouraged to take full advantage of the UMC Program, students can only do what their personal, school and extracurricular schedule allows.

What is your policy on make-up lessons?

  • If the student/parent cancels a lesson by giving notice ahead of time, the teacher will try to schedule a make-up lesson.
  • If the student/parents cancels last minute or just does not show up to the lesson, no make-up will be provided.
  • If the teacher cancels a lesson, a make-up lesson will be provided or credit given.

Can we just take lessons?

You can, it’s the same price either way. The cost of the classes and workshops is covered by the UMC’s Fundraising and so are offered free to all students. You can take advantage of them or not.

Why are your classes and workshops such a focus?

We believe the total package we offer is the reason for our success with hundreds of students. Immersion in a system that provides so much, seeks excellence from it’s students. This package ecourages team teaching, performance participation, and immersion in a student peer group that expects the same excellence from each other. It truly changes people and creates incredible results.

Why is your price higher then other local teachers?

Bottom line, we offer more than anyone else, our services are top notch, and our facilities provide an amazing and diverse set of musical experiences that can’t be matched in central Pennsylvania. We hope that our students and their parents find that we provide value that far exceeds the price.

What are the qualifications of your teachers, and are they required to have clearances?

All of our teachers are highly qualified, with college degrees or an equivalent amount of knowledge obtained through extensive professional musical experience. All Uptown Music Collective staff, teachers and volunteers are required to have a Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check, ChildLine (Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance through. All must be renewed every 3 years.