Academy FAQs

How can I sign up for private lessons at the Academy?  New students should contact our office to be placed with a teacher.  The Academy offices can be reached by phone at 816-235-5448 or by email at Returning students may click here to register online or download a registration form.

How can I sign up for classes at the Academy?  New students do not need to be placed in a class, but we recommend new students contact our office to confirm which classes will be a good fit, and to confirm the desired class has space available. The Academy offices can be reached by phone at 816-235-5448 or by email at Registation can be done online by clicking here

Where do lessons and classes take place? All Academy lessons and classes take place on the UMKC campus, in one of three buildings:

  • James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry St., Kansas City, MO 64112
  • Grant Hall, 5227 Holmes, Kansas City, MO 64110
  • Charlotte House, 5301 Charlotte St, Kansas City, MO 64110

Can a teacher come to my house for lessons?  Academy lessons cannot be held off-campus.

Will my teacher be a college student?  Academy faculty members are experienced professional music educators and performing artists. They include UMKC Conservatory alumni, graduate students, and faculty.

How can I pay for my lessons or classes?  Payments may be made via check, money order, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express.

  • mail: Checks or money orders can be mailed to our office, 5227 Holmes, Kansas City, MO 64110
  • online: Credit card payments for lesson plans and must be made online 
  • in person: Checks and money orders are accepted at our offices. Payment dropboxes are also located in lesson locations: the Performing Arts Center (located on the 4th floor, outside the Conservatory Business Office), and Grant Hall (located in the main lobby, outside the Grant Hall Main Office) 

Do I need to come in to your office to sign up for a class or lesson?  It is not necessary to register in person. Registration for classes can be submitted online.

Where can I park on campus?  UMKC offers metered parking in several locations that are close to Academy lesson locations. The Academy is not responsible for any parking tickets given to illegally parked cars. View the campus maps here:

  • For Grant Hall and Charlotte House, there is a metered lot located on the South side of the building. If this lot is full, there is parking in the residential neighborhood south of the building. Please note that some streets in this neighborhood are reserved for those with special residential permits. Read all signs carefully before parking.
  • For the Performing Arts Center, there is a metered lot located just southeast of the building. Make sure that your spot is a metered spot. This lot also has spaces for student permits and faculty permits. Do not park in spaces reserved for a permit that you do not have. You may be ticketed.

The Academy is not responsible for any parking tickets given to illegally-parked cars. 

What is your policy for cancelation due to inclement weather? When the University cancels classes due to severe weather or other emergency circumstances, the Academy is closed. In these cases, the instructors may choose to make up the lesson or compensate the student in the form of a credit. If the University remains open, the Academy is open as well, and lessons will continue as scheduled. University closings will be indicated at  

Can I get a refund?  There are no refunds for any of our lessons or classes.

Do you offer sample lessons? The Academy does offer the option of a sample lesson before signing up. If a student registers for a sample lesson, it give them the opportunity to make sure the instructor is a good fit before registering for the whole semester. To receive a sample lesson students must contact the Academy office first to be matched with an instructor. Lesson rates are $27.50 for 30-minutes, $41.25 for 45-minutes, and $55.00 for 60-minutes.

What performance opportunities do you offer?  The Academy hosts a number of recitals annually in our outstanding White Performance Hall. These recitals are open to all Academy students by instructor nomination. The Academy also offers a Spring Festival, which provides an opportunity for performance at all levels. Additionally, many Academy instructors hold studio recitals at which they feature their own students. 

Why is there an age limit for certain types of lessons?  Learning to sing or play a musical instrument involves many different skills, including fine motor coordination, concentration, breath support, and more. Academy age limits are set by professional music educators and are based on best practices in the field.

  • Children younger than the age of 4 generally have not yet developed the fine motor skills and the concentration needed to study the violin, the cello, or the piano.
  • Children younger than the age of 8 generally have not yet developed the physical size necessary to play woodwind and brass instruments with sufficient breath support.
  • Girls under the age of 12 and boys whose voices have not yet changed are still developing their vocal chords and are generally not ready for the significant physical challenges of voice lessons.

If my child is too young for lessons, what other options are available for him/her?  The Academy recommends programs such as Musikgarten and Piano-Readiness for young students interested in music.  Additionally our children's choir is available for grades 3 - 6. Children ages 4 and up who are interested in instruments such as the guitar, or woodwind and brass instruments, are encouraged to enroll in piano lessons, or any of the above programs.

Where can I get an instrument?  There are many options for purchasing or renting musical instruments in the Kansas City metro area. The Academy recommends Meyer Music and KC Strings, but there are other good options as well.

Do I need to have a piano at home in order to take piano lessons?  Any student taking lessons must have an instrument available for home practice. If you do not have a piano at home, purchasing a digital piano or electric keyboard is one option. Any keyboard used for practice should have 88 keys that are weighted to produce a realistic feel. 

Do you offer lessons for adult beginners?  Yes! Beginners of all ages are welcome. Academy faculty members' studios feature quite a few adult beginners, and Academy teachers are experienced in working with students of all ages. The Academy also offers adult group classes in piano and guitar.

Do I have to audition for lessons?  The Academy does not require auditions for any lessons, and very few classes. 

Do you offer financial aid?  Yes, there is limited, need-based financial aid available, as well as a number of merit-based scholarships. Applications for either are accepted on an annual schedule. More information about financial aid can be found on the Scholarships and Financial Aid page.

Can I sign up for just a few lessons?  Pedagogically, music lessons are most helpful and beneficial when they are carried out over many weeks, months, or years, rather than "a few here and there." For this reason, Academy lessons are scheduled on a semester basis, similar to most academic school years. Students who sign up for lessons must commit to a full semester, or any portion remaining if registering mid-semester. The Fall and Spring Semesters run for 18 weeks, and the Summer Semester runs for 9 weeks. 

Do you offer any discounts?  The Academy offers full-time UMKC faculty and staff members a 15% discount on all private lessons.

Graduate teaching assistants, full-time UMKC students who are not also full-time UMKC employees, and on-campus workers not employed by UMKC are not eligible for the discount.

Can I take lessons over the summer?  Yes. The Academy offers lessons throughout the year, including the summer months.

I am a UMKC student, but I am not in the Conservatory of Music and Dance.  Can I earn credit by taking lessons at the Academy?  UMKC students are welcome to take lessons through the Academy, but these lessons cannot be paid for from UMKC tuition fees, and credit is not available for any lessons taken here. The Conservatory does offer several classes that are open to UMKC students who are not majoring in music.  Look on Pathway for class availability.