FAQs
How long are your lessons?
What are your rates?
Do you require a specific payment schedule?
To whom should I make out the check for my upcoming payment?
What is your cancellation policy?
How do I cancel a lesson?
What if our teacher needs to cancel a lesson?
Can I schedule lessons on an every-other-week basis?
Can I schedule a joint lesson with another student?
What should I bring to my lesson?
May I choose what music I study?
I want to make a career for myself as a musician. Can you help me?
I’m not a serious musician, I just like to play for the enjoyment. Can you help me?
I don’t play saxophone or clarinet, but I want to study jazz. Can you help me?
I’m interested in writing music. How do I know if you are the right fit for me?
I have never played clarinet or saxophone, but I would like to start. Can you help me?
I play sports and anticipate scheduling conflicts over the coming season. How do I handle this?
Where should I park when I arrive at the studio?
School was cancelled today. Do I still have a lesson?
Is the studio open during school vacations?
Is there a studio recital?
I’m just over the flu or a cold. Should I clean my instrument?
I’m sick with a cold or the flu. Should I come to my lesson?
My instrument is broken. What should I do?
I need to buy some music. Where is the best place to do so?
I need to buy some reeds or other supplies. Where is the best place to do so?
I’m ready to buy a new instrument or mouthpiece. Where is the best place to do so?
What if I didn’t get to practice this week? Should I still come to my lesson?
Important resources

How long are your lessons?

Lesson length is dependent on the age and ability level of the student. In general, we recommend 30-minute lessons for beginners, 45-minute lessons for intermediate players, and 60-minute lessons for advanced students. We will help you select the most appropriate lesson length for your unique needs.
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What are your rates?

Our pricing is $30 for a 30-minute lesson, $45 for a 45-minute lesson, and $60 for a 60-minute lesson.
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Do you require a specific payment schedule?

Yes. We require payment in advance for the upcoming calendar month. Lesson payments not used (per our cancellation policy) will automatically be credited to the next month’s payment. Cash and check are both accepted. We will send out an invoice via email at the beginning of each calendar month to detail your payment balance.
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To whom should I make out the check for my upcoming payment?

Checks may be written out to either David Schumacher or Monica Duncan.
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What is your cancellation policy?

Our cancellation policy is among the most lenient in the area. Except in the case of emergency or sudden illness, we require 24 hours notice when canceling a lesson. More advance notice is greatly appreciated when possible. All other missed lessons will be charged to you and payment will be expected. We do reserve the right to require more advanced notice if we feel the policy is being abused.
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How do I cancel a lesson?

Please call or text the CELL phone of your teacher as soon as you know you will not be in attendance. Monica Duncan at 978-417-1458 or David Schumacher at 617-970-1177.
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What if our teacher needs to cancel a lesson?

Monica Duncan and David Schumacher are both performing musicians who maintain active schedules outside of our teaching studio. In the event that we need to cancel your lesson, we will make every attempt to provide you with advance notice and to reschedule the lesson when possible. You will never be charged for lessons we cancel. You will simply be credited the lesson fee for the following payment period. Your patience is appreciated, as our professional experience translates directly to our students’ learning experience, and positively distinguishes our studio from others in the area.
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Can I schedule lessons on an every-other-week basis?

No. For a variety of reasons including continuity of instruction and retention of material, we do not offer lessons on these terms.
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Can I schedule a joint lesson with another student?

While we do occasionally bring students together in a lesson for chamber music or other specific performance-related purpose, we do not offer regular joint lessons. Students mature at their own rate and our instruction is at its most efficient in a one-on-one environment.
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What should I bring to my lesson?

Aside from your instrument, please be sure to bring a notebook for assignments and whatever materials you are currently working on. A folder is also recommended as we do occasionally hand out materials to take home.
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May I choose what music I study?

We are ultimately at your service and will incorporate your requests as appropriate. Upon listening to your goals and assessing your proficiency we will then set a course of study based on our expertise that will most efficiently meet those goals.
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I want to make a career for myself as a musician. Can you help me?

Yes. Our students have been accepted into some of the most prestigious music schools on the East Coast and have earned spots in the area’s best high school enrichment programs and ensembles along the way. We will guide you in your college application process and prepare you for the auditions at your chosen schools.
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I’m not a serious musician, I just like to play for the enjoyment. Can you help me?

Yes. We are happy to keep things light and fun so that you can feel comfortable and confident in your music making without the pressure of a teacher-driven agenda.
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I don’t play saxophone or clarinet, but I want to study jazz. Can you help me?

Yes. David Schumacher accepts jazz students on most instruments at all ability levels. Email us with details on your specific instrument and background, and if he feels you would be best served by another teacher we will make a recommendation for you.
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I’m interested in writing music. How do I know if you are the right fit for me?

David Schumacher accepts composition students in most styles at all ability levels. Email us with details on your specific goals and background, and if he feels you would be best served by another teacher we will make a recommendation for you.
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I have never played clarinet or saxophone, but I would like to start. Can you help me?

Yes. We typically start students in 4th grade with exceptions based on physical growth, but we also accept beginners picking up the instrument later in life. We do not provide instruments, but will be happy to make a rental or purchase recommendation for you.
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I play sports and anticipate scheduling conflicts over the coming season. How do I handle this?

Please notify your teacher with a comprehensive list of conflicts for the season and we will work out a suitable resolution. With advanced notice we can often reschedule your lesson and fill your open time slot with another student. Payments and scheduling will be determined on an individual basis.
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Where should I park when I arrive at the studio?

When dropping off, picking up, or parking your car, please make use of our driveway (our car will be parked there but it’s OK to block us in) or the street directly in front of our house (on either side of the street). Our neighbors thank you!
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School was cancelled today. Do I still have a lesson?

In the event that Newburyport public schools are cancelled due to weather, lessons in our Newburyport Studio are automatically cancelled for the day. In the event that Hamilton/Wenham public schools are cancelled due to weather, lessons held on that campus are automatically cancelled for the day. If you ever have a question about conditions feel free to text or email us.
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Is the studio open during school vacations?

Lessons are NOT held on Massachusetts public school holidays or vacations. Please consult our studio calendar for a comprehensive list of studio closings.
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Is there a studio recital?

We hold a studio recital each spring. This is a required element and an important (and fun!) piece of your child’s musical development. When appropriate, we supply an accompanist(s) for your performance. The recital fee is $25 and payment can be made upon confirmation of your child’s participation. The recital is held at The Governor’s Academy Wilkie Center for the Performing Arts, 1 Elm Street, Byfield, MA. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to start of the recital.
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I’m just over the flu or a cold. Should I clean my instrument?

Yes. Be sure to thoroughly clean (with soap and cold water) your mouthpiece and discard any reeds used during your illness.
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I’m sick with a cold or the flu. Should I come to my lesson?

Let’s work together to prevent the spread of flu and illness this year. Common sense prevails. If you have cold or flu symptoms please notify us and we will make every effort to reschedule your lesson. If unsuccessful, you will be credited for the lesson on the next month’s invoice.
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My instrument is broken. What should I do?

We can often make adjustments and small repairs to your instrument for you. Please bring the instrument to your next lesson and we will attempt to fix it at no additional charge. If the instrument is beyond our ability to repair, we will refer you to the most appropriate repair shop for your particular instrument. Please wait for our referral before selecting a repair shop as some instruments require special attention not necessarily offered by every facility. We might refer you to Albert Alphin, HimmelMusik Instrument Repair, Rayburn Music, Northstar Music, or Music & Arts.
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I need to buy some music. Where is the best place to do so?

Online vendors for music include: Music Espresso, JW Pepper, and Sheetmusic Plus. You can also find or order music from local music stores such as Music & Arts.
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I need to buy some reeds or other supplies. Where is the best place to do so?

Online vendors for supplies include: Woodwind & Brasswind, and Albert Alphin. You can also find supplies at local music stores such as HimmelMusik Instrument Repair in Amesbury, Rayburn Music in Boston, Northstar Music in Plaistow, or Music & Arts in Peabody.
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I’m ready to buy a new instrument or mouthpiece. Where is the best place to do so?

While there are a great many places to find new and used instruments, we strongly encourage you to consult with us before making any purchases. We will guide you both in the decision of what to buy and from whom to buy it. There is often a substantial difference in quality of product and quality of service between vendors, and we will refer you to the one best suited for your needs.
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What if I didn’t get to practice this week? Should I still come to my lesson?

Absolutely! There are a great many things we can do to make productive use of your lesson time.
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Important Resources

Customize and print your own staff paper. Online metronome. Fingering charts for saxophone, clarinet, and flute.
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