108 Fine Arts

Martin, TN 38238


(731) 881-7413




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Who are the Community Music Academy teachers? How do I know they’re qualified?

The Community Music Academy has two types of teachers: master teachers and apprentice teachers. Our master teachers are UTM music faculty, who have earned graduate degrees in music and have substantial teaching and performing experience.


Our apprentice teachers are select UTM students who excel in their area and have the potential to become excellent teachers. In addition, all apprentice vocal teachers have completed the Voice Science and Pedagogy course to ensure a broad knowledge base when teaching your child. All apprentice teachers are mentored and evaluated by UTM faculty (via video) to ensure a quality learning experience for your child.


For more information, please click HERE


How are teachers assigned?

The Community Music Academy director will work with both you and the UTM faculty member in your child’s specialty to choose the teacher who’s the right fit for your child and your wallet.


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How much is my child expected to practice?

Teachers set their own practice expectations, especially for singers based on your child’s age and level.


Most instrumental teachers adhere to the following minimum practice times:

5th-7th grade 30 minutes/day
4 days/week
8th-9th grade 45-60 minutes/day
4 days/week
10th-11th grade 60-90 minutes/day
4 days/week
12th grade* 90-120 minutes/day
5 days/week

*If preparing for college auditions; otherwise, follow the 10th-11th grade guidelines.


What should my child be practicing?

Your child’s teacher will discuss this in his/her lessons, and they’ll use the weekly Lesson Journal to write down assignments.


Where do I get the Practice Journal that my child’s teacher keeps talking about?

It’s available on the Forms page.


Are parents expected to monitor practicing?

It depends. In general, younger students may need a parent’s assistance while practicing. You don’t need to have a musical background to help them, though! Your role is to help them stay focused and to be supportive. Your child’s teacher will use the weekly Lesson Journal to write down assignments and notes from the lesson.


How can my child make the most of his/her practice time?

First, your child should practice in a quiet room (no tv, radio, siblings) with an appropriate chair, a music stand, and a metronome, if needed. Before they begin practicing, they should take a couple minutes to think about what they’re about to practice and what they’re trying to accomplish. They should also review their Lesson Journal to see what music and concepts they’re working on.


Your child should always record their practice time (and any concerns) on the Practice Journal, which is available here.


While practicing, if your child just can’t seem to play something (a specific measure, a certain scale, etc…) and is getting frustrated, they should write it down on the Practice Log and move on. They should come back to it the next time they practice and make sure to mention it at their lesson if it doesn’t seem to be getting better.


Lastly, remember that making music is FUN! (And that includes practicing!) No one’s perfect, and no one practices perfectly, so they shouldn’t beat themself up for making mistakes. At the same time, make sure they don’t “practice mistakes”. They should try to fix them on their own or talk to their teacher in their next lesson.


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Can my child take lessons?

YES! We currently offer lessons in most areas (we do not yet offer cello lessons or adult violin/viola lessons). We do require your child to be physically capable of performing without injuring him/herself. Children in 4th grade and younger are often too small to physically play an instrument correctly (with the exception of piano and quarter-sized string instruments), and singers in the 6th grade and younger typically don’t have a strong enough voice to take lessons.


Do lessons count for college credit?

NO. Community Music Academy lessons do not count for credit at UTM or any other college.


What happens in my child’s lesson? What can (s)he expect?

While each teacher has a different approach, lessons will generally address fundamentals (tone, posture, breathing, tonguing, scales) and repertoire (solos, etudes, ensemble music). Your child’s playing level and performance commitments will determine exactly what skills and music are covered.


Do I need to purchase music and/or supplies?

Yes. Your child’s teacher will address this in the first lesson, but in general, your child will be expected to have:

  • A metronome or metronome app
  • Music, as decided in the first lesson
  • A small binder to organize Practice/Lesson Journals and Payment Records
  • For instrumentalists, an instrument in working order, with necessary accessories (reeds, mouthpiece, neckstrap, etc…)

Where do lessons take place?

All lessons take place in UTM’s Fine Arts Building, at the corner of University Street and Mt. Pelia Road. Master teachers will generally teach in their offices, and apprentice teachers will usually use the second-floor practice rooms. Your child’s teacher should confirm the lesson or drop-off location before the first lesson.


Where can I park?

There’s a parking lot just to the west of the Fine Arts Building; if it’s full, other lots are available nearby. Anyone parking on the UTM campus needs a permit; while we're working with Campus Safety to find a long-term solution, you currently have two options. If you're able to arrive early for each lesson, you can visit Campus Safety and get a free visitor's pass. Or, you can just park in the lot, and if you get a ticket, you can return it with a notation that you're a visitor to get it removed. (Again, we're working for a better long-term solution to this issue.)


Are parents expected to come to lessons?

Parents are invited to attend any and all lessons, but they are certainly not expected to do so. The UTM library contains a coffee shop, for parents who are looking for something to do during lessons.


Can (fill in name here) pick up my child after his/her lesson?

The only people who can pick up a student are his/her parents/guardians and anyone you list on the Enrollment Form. If you’d like someone else to pick up your child, you need to provide them with a note.


My child is preparing for an audition/solo. Can (s)he get extra lessons?

Teachers are usually happy to offer extra lessons. Ask your child’s teacher directly to make sure their schedule can accommodate extra sessions.


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I know my child will need to miss a scheduled lesson in a week/month/whatever. What do I do?

Just let your child’s teacher know. If possible, try to find a time to reschedule as soon as you can. There’s no charge for lessons missed with over 24 hours notice.


My child is sick. -OR- There’s a family emergency. What do I do?

Contact your child’s teacher ASAP to let him/her know. There’s no charge for lessons missed due to illness or family emergency.


There’s bad weather in the area. Will my child still have a lesson?

If UTM is closed, all lessons are cancelled. UTM closures will be announced through local media and posted at www.utm.edu.


If UTM is open, then lessons are on! If you cannot make it to campus, please let your child’s teacher ASAP. There’s no charge for lessons that are missed due to weather, as long as you notify your child’s teacher. However, if your child just doesn’t show up for his/her lesson, you’ll be charged for it, even if there’s bad weather in the area.


My child’s school is closed. Does (s)he still have a lesson?

Lessons are only cancelled if UTM is closed, not surrounding public schools. UTM closures will be announced through local media and posted at www.utm.edu. If UTM is open, then lessons are on! If you cannot make it to campus, please let your child’s teacher ASAP.


UTM is closed for a holiday or break. Does my child still have a lesson?

Lessons may be held on holidays and breaks, depending on whether the building is open and if everyone is available. Please check with your child's teacher to see if (s)he is free.


We’re running late. What should I do?

Call your child’s teacher ASAP. They may be able to move the lesson back to accommodate your arrival time; if not, they’ll at least know that you’re coming, so they won’t leave the building.


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How much do lessons cost?

Apprentice teachers (UTM students): $15 for 30 minutes / $25 for 60 minutes


Master teachers (UTM faculty): $25 for 30 minutes / $40 for 60 minutes


There is a $10 enrollment fee, due at the third lesson. If paying by check, the check should be made out to UTM Music.


Are there any other fees?

There is a one-time enrollment fee of $10 to cover administrative costs. This fee is due in the third lesson so that you can make sure lessons are right for you. The enrollment fee should be paid separately from the normal lesson rate, and checks should be made out to UTM Music.


My child started taking lessons from someone at UTM before the Community Music Academy existed. Do we have to pay more now?

No. If your child started lessons prior to September 2014, his/her teacher may choose to continue charging you the old rate.


What types of payment do you accept?

We accept cash and check only. Checks for lessons should be made out directly to your child’s teacher, not to the Community Music Academy. If paid by check, the one-time enrollment fee ($10) should be made out to UTM Music.


When is payment due?

Payment is due at the beginning of each lesson or at the beginning of the month – you get to choose. You’ll mark your choice on the Enrollment Form. If you change your mind, just let your child’s teacher know.


My child missed a lesson. Do we owe money for it?

It depends. You do NOT owe anything if:

  • You provided over 24 hours notice (for any reason), or
  • UTM was closed, or
  • You cancelled with less than 24 hours notice but your child was ill, there was a family emergency, or the weather prevented you from safely traveling to UTM.

However, you DO owe the normal fee if:

  • You cancelled with less than 24 hours notice for any reason except illness, family emergency, or weather, or
  • You didn’t provide any notice for missing, regardless of reason.

Interest Form

Interested in taking lessons? Want more information?

Click Here to Let Us Know! >



Unless otherwise noted, all performances are in the Blankenship Recital Hall, located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building.

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108 Fine Arts

Martin, TN 38238


(731) 881-7413