Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Prep School FAQs

Below are answers to questions frequently asked by our students and their families. If you have any additional questions please contact us at 412-268-3667.

The Fall 2021 semester begins on Saturday, August 28, 2021 and ends on Saturday, December 18, 2021.

The Spring 2022 semester begins on Saturday, January 15, 2022 and ends on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

The Summer 2022 semester begins on Saturday, May 14, 2022 and ends on Saturday, July 30, 2022.

The Prep School follows CMU guidleines regarding COVID-19 mitigation and safety protocols.  This includes:

    • For programs involving minors at CMU— including the Prep School— it is expected that all participants (i.e., students) aged 12 years and older attest that they have either received a COVID-19 vaccine OR will complete a COVID-19 test and provide a negative test result within 72 hours of coming to campus.  Regarding the Prep School, specifically, this means that for those participants over the 12 who are unvaccinated, they will be expected to complete a test each week prior to their campus visit for the duration of the program.
      • If a student turns 12 during the 2021 – 2022 school year, they will be subject to these rules regarding vaccination and testing.  Please contact Nomi Marcus if your child(ren) meet(s) this criteria. 
    • Those with an exemption from vaccination due to either a disability or a strong religious/moral conviction are still required to undergo weekly testing.
    • For minor participants under the age of 12, it is highly recommended that they receive a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to coming to campus, but it is not required.
    • Parent/guardian drop-off/pick-up of minors is not subject to these requirements at this time.  If guardian(s) are staying on or at campus for the duration of their child(ren)’s campus visit (i.e., lessons/classes), then they are subject to the requirements as outlined in the current CMU Visitor Protocol.
    • All Prep School students ages 12 and older must have a COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation Form on file with the Prep School Office.  Please contact Nomi Marcus if you have not yet submitted a form.  Students under the age of 12 do not need to have a form submitted on their behalf.

Additionally, all visitors, students, faculty and staff in the Prep School must be masked at all times while on campus regardless of vaccination status.  The Prep School will continue to follow the guidelines put forth by the CMU COVID Coordination Team.

An important note for the Spring semester: The Prep School rarely cancels classes due to snow. In general, we only cancel in cases of EXTREME winter storms. It is possible that your private teacher will cancel lessons even if the Prep School remains open. If that happens, they will contact you directly and will inform you of any make-up lessons. 

In the event of an extreme storm that warrants closing the Prep School, we will email all families of the closure as soon as we are able, will post the information on our home page: and will post on local news station WTAE (and their website).

For any questions regarding classes or lessons, feel free to contact the Prep School office at 412-268-3667.

Admission is determined by an audition or interview. To schedule an audition or interview, submit your information on the Contact Us section of our website.
After admission, students must register at the start of each semester. Students may register for classes or private lessons after a semester begins only with the teacher’s permission. To pay online with a credit card, go to our online registration page.  To pay with check, please contact the office directly for instructions.
Tuition is due in full before the first week of each semester. (Contact the office for exact tuition deadlines) A late fee of $25 will be added to registrations received after the deadline. We accept cash, check, or Master Card/Visa/American Express. See registration forms for lesson and class fees.
Extra lessons may be arranged between the teacher and student. Fees will be pro-rated based on current tuition, payable to the Preparatory School Office.
  • Family Discount: When 2 or more siblings enroll for private lessons, a 5 percent discount is applied to the overall tuition.
  • Double Major Discount: When a student enrolls in two different programs (e.g. piano and string lessons), a 15 percent discount is applied to the overall tuition.
  • CMU Faculty/Staff Discount: When 1 or both parent/guardian(s) are current CMU Faculty or Staff members, a 10% discount is applied to overall tuition.

We expect students to attend all scheduled sessions. If a student misses a private lesson, the instructor is under no obligation to reschedule. The instructor will reschedule lessons missed due to instructor illness or professional engagements. Please inform instructors of any travel plans or other conflicts as early as you can to facilitate rescheduling, if necessary.

Beginning Piano: Students who are unable to continue their participation in the Beginning Piano Program due to illness, relocation or other extenuating circumstances (at the discretion of the Preparatory School), will receive a pro-rated refund of their tuition less a $50 cancellation fee.

Private lessons: Students who discontinue their private lessons during the semester will receive a refund on a pro-rated basis from the point at which they notify the Preparatory School office that they will no longer take lessons.

We conduct most lessons and classes on the Carnegie Mellon University campus:
• Private lessons and elective classes in the College of Fine Arts (CFA) and Hall of the Arts (HOA)
• Eurhythmics classes are held in Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall (MM)