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School Policies

Welcome to the MSU Community Music School.  CMS understands the importance of music for all students and music therapy clients.  By working together, successful music experiences and personal growth can be achieved.  It is very important that all parties (faculty, staff, parents/guardians, students and clients) clearly communicate and work together to bring about positive and successful music experiences.


The CMS academic year consists of two 17 week semesters (with an inclusive 5 week mini-semester for Early Childhood Music Program classes) and a 10 week summer session.  Some classes run for fewer than 17 weeks, typically 10, 12 or 15 weeks.  Fall semester begins September 3, 2013 and ends January 18, 2014.  Spring semester begins January 20, 2014 and ends May 24, 2014.

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance is expected.  Full tuition is due for all scheduled lessons/classes/sessions, even those missed by the student or client.  Lessons/classes/sessions missed due to faculty absence or school closings caused by weather will be rescheduled at a mutually convenient time.  Faculty are not obligated to make up lessons/classes/sessions missed by students or clients.  Refunds will not be granted for student/client absences.

Tuition Payment Options

Option I    (1 payment):  All tuition is paid at the time of registration.

Option II   (2 payments):  Tuition is paid at the beginning of each semester.

Option III  (Monthly Payments):  The first payment is due at the time of registration.  Remaining payments by check, cash, or credit card are due by the first of each month September – May.  Spring registrants pay one-fourth tuition at registration with remaining payments due on the first of March, April, and May. 

  • Statements are mailed on the 15th of the month and payments are due on the 1st of the following month. 
  • A processing fee of $20 will be added to each account using the monthly payment option.
  • All registrations include a non-refundable registration fee of $20 per student.
  • A $25 late fee is assessed on all past-due accounts.  Accounts overdue by 90 days will be sent to collections.


A notice of withdrawal by phone or in writing must be submitted to the Community Music School Registrar for a student to be withdrawn.  Notifying the teacher or therapist is not sufficient.  Students/clients may not withdraw from group classes or ensembles for credit or refund once the semester begins.  Students/clients who withdraw from lessons must pay for the first half of the semester.  If students/clients withdraw from the second half of the semester before November 1 (first semester) or April 1 (second semester) they do not need to pay for the second half of the semester.  Students/clients who stop attending lessons during the second half of the semester are still obligated to pay for the entire semester. 

Financial Aid

The Community Music School awards limited financial aid to students/clients based on need. The CMS Financial Aid Fund is supported by the proceeds from CMS benefit concerts, sponsorships, and donations. Aid funding is limited each semester and awarded in order of application.  Documentation of household income on a 1040 tax form from the previous year must be submitted with the application form. 

Fall Financial Aid application deadline:  September 9, 2013

Spring Financial Aid application deadline:  January 27, 2014

Summer Financial Aid application deadline: Two-three weeks before lessons/program begins

Withdrawal from any program during the semester for any reason except for special circumstances approved by the Community Music School Director will result in revocation of the financial aid award.  Approved withdrawals will result in prorated aid according to the number of lessons/classes/sessions received at the date of withdrawal.  In some cases, an additional payment may be required.  Early withdrawal without the approval of the Director will result in revocation of the financial aid and full payment will be required.  This is based on the CMS refund policy: withdrawal from lessons/sessions before November 1 will result in a refund or credit of 8 lessons/sessions for the fall semester tuition and no charge for the spring semester.  Withdrawal from lessons/sessions for the spring semester before April 1 will result in a refund or credit of 8 lessons/sessions.  Refunds for group classes or ensembles are not possible after the first class/ensemble meeting.

Office Hours

The Community Music School office hours are Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m., Friday 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., and Saturday 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. 

School Closings

In the event of inclement winter weather, lessons, classes and sessions will be rescheduled when possible or account credits will be arranged.  When the Community Music School is closed, announcements will be posted on the website and outgoing phone message as well as on school closing lists with local radio and television stations. Please remember that CMS closes independently of area schools, including East Lansing Public Schools. If you have any question about whether or not CMS is closed, please check the website (www.cms.msu.edu) or call the office at (517) 355-7661. 

Media Release

CMS uses photography and video to document lessons, classes, sessions and events. These photos may be used in brochures, advertising or public relations activities. Photographs featuring registered students/clients are considered eligible for publication or public use unless a student/client (or parent/guardian of a student/client under age 18) submits a Request for Non-Use Form, available through the Registrar.

H1N1 Policy

Students, clients and faculty should stay home if they have symptoms of possibly severe illnesses that they might be able to spread to others. Students/clients with influenza-like-illness, which is a fever of 100° Fahrenheit or higher plus a sore throat and/or cough need to stay home until they have been fever-free (temperature below 100° Fahrenheit without using fever medicines) for at least 24 hours.

Contacting a Student During Class via the CMS Office

If at any time during program hours a parent/guardian needs to contact a program participant, please call the office at (517) 355-7661 stating the student’s name, activity and/or instructor/therapist. A CMS staff member will then notify the instructor/therapist that the student’s parent/guardian has requested contact with the student/client.

Student/Client Drop-Off / Pick-up Policy

Each student/client age 10 and under must be escorted to his/her classroom by a parent, legal guardian or other responsible adult who is listed on the student/client’s information card. A student/client will only be released to his/her parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult listed on the student/client’s information card. Individuals (other than parents/legal guardians) must be 18 years of age or older in order to be designated on the student/client information card as having drop off/pickup privileges. All changes to the student/client information card must be made in writing by a student/client’s parent or legal guardian and provided to the CMS office.

All students/clients are expected to arrive on time for each lesson, class or session. Please do not arrive more than 15 minutes before the start time of the activity.  CMS faculty and staff do not supervise children who arrive too early.  Please make sure that students/clients are picked up from CMS on time after their activities.

Approval of Policies and Procedures

By submitting your payment and registration form, you are agreeing to abide by the policies of the MSU Community Music School.  CMS reserves the right to change any curricular offering, policy, procedure or fee. 

Children and Youth Medical/Behavioral Incidents or Emergencies

In case of a medical or behavioral incident/emergency, the parent/guardian of the participant involved and/or the emergency contact listed on the student/client registration form will be contacted via phone by a CMS staff member. All phone numbers on file will be called until someone is reached.

The CMS staff may be unable to contact a parent/guardian or emergency contact to consent for emergency care. If this is the case, the signed medical treatment authorization gives CMS staff consent to contact emergency medical services. Minor aged students/clients will be taken to Sparrow Hospital, 1215 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI 48912 by EMS. Parents/guardians will be notified via phone by a CMS staff member. 

Adult Emergencies

In case of an emergency concerning an adult student/client, the contacts listed on the student’s registration form will be phoned by a CMS staff member. If medical treatment is necessary and the medical treatment authorization was signed by the student/client/legal guardian, CMS will contact emergency medical services immediately.

General Guidelines and Conduct Rules

  • General Rules:
    • There is no gum, candy, food or beverage allowed in classrooms, studios, therapy clinics and performance spaces.
    • Please do not use cell phones outside of studios and classrooms.  Use the lobby on the first floor to make phone calls. 
  • Conduct Rules:
    • Misuse or damage of University property/building is prohibited and participants who are found misusing or damaging University property may be financially responsible for all damages. (i.e. destroying instruments, writing on walls, etc.). 
    • Hazing and bullying, which includes physical, verbal or cyber-bullying will not be tolerated by MSU or CMS.
    • MSU and CMS prohibits the possession and use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, fireworks, guns and other weapons.
    • No violence, sexual harassment, sexual conduct or other sexually inappropriate conduct of any kind will be tolerated at MSU or CMS.
    • No harassment in violation of the University Anti-Discrimination Policy will be tolerated. The University Anti-Discrimination Policy can be found at http://www.com.msu.edu/Admissions/Anti_Discrimination.pdf.
    • MSU and CMS prohibits the use of cameras and other digital recording devices (i.e. cell phones, tablets, etc.) in bathrooms and other areas where privacy is expected by participants.

If a participant or any other individual associated with the CMS program is alleged to have violated any of the University policies or conduct rules of the program, the participant is subject to dismissal and/or removal as a CMS student/client/family.

The CMS faculty and staff are committed to treating students, clients, parents/guardians and fellow faculty/staff with respect. Likewise, to continue to cultivate a safe and welcoming environment, we expect all of our students and clients to be respectful of other CMS students and clients, faculty and staff.

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