Community Music School Musicianship Guide

Your teacher will work with you to establish a suitable practice routine based on your age, experience and musical goals. Learning an instrument is very individualized, depending on the type of music you want to play and Our Community Music School Musicianship Guide provides an outline of the things you will encounter over time depending on your age and experience. We encourage students to discuss this musicianship guide with their teacher. Parent involvement in the early years is highly recommended and beneficial for a young musician’s musical development. 

Community Music School Calendar

The Community Music School Calendar is where you can find all holidays, make-up days and other important dates across all of BKCM. Here are some key dates to keep in mind throughout the year that are important for all community music school students. 

  • Sept 5: Start of School
  • Oct 18: CMS Music Share 
  • Nov 15: CMS Music Share 
  • Jan 10: Faculty concert
  • Jan 11 – Feb 6: Winter Recitals
  • March 21-22: Performathon
  • April 4: Jazz Jam
  • April 25: CMS Music Share
  • May 3: Large Program Recitals (BBA and Jazz Program)
  • May 17: Chamber Bash
  • May 29 – June 22: Recitals
  • Sept 12th: High School Audition Information Session

CMS Recitals

Recitals are an integral part of the experience at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. We encourage all CMS Students–no matter what level they are–to participate in recitals. Students who are not ready to perform are encouraged to attend and support their fellow musicians. 

How to Prepare for your Recital

Recitals at BKCM, while they take place in our concert hall or other neighborhood performance venues, are designed to be intimate and safe experiences for all students. We are all there to support each other on our musical journeys. We would never force a student to perform, but we do highly recommend that all students attend, whether or not they perform. 

Preparing to perform in a recital can be self-motivating and the recital season becomes something that many students look forward to at BKCM. It’s important to speak with your teacher about what you will perform well in advance of the recital. These are joyous occasions meant for sharing music, building community and to be inspired and supported by your peers. You and your teacher will choose the repertoire you are going to perform. 

Student Growth

Each week your private lesson teacher will set short term and long term goals and practice suggestions to match your age, level and experience. Near the end of the annual or semester term, your teacher will fill out a growth report which is designed to capture student growth in four areas.

  • Musical Skills: What musical skills are continuing to be reinforced? What are some new skills that have been learned this year?
  • Repertoire: What repertoire have you been working on this year? What are some examples of repertoire you are continuing to refine?
  • Participation: What performance, playing and listening opportunities did you participate in this year? 
  • Growth and Practice: What foundational skills are we hoping to grow? What practice supports do we need to grow these skills?

If you have any questions about these reports please do not hesitate to reach out the community music school administrative team at

Frequently Asked Questions

Annually registered students are allowed one makeup lesson per school year. If you know you will be absent in advance, please call the registration desk at 718-622-3300 or email to explaining the date you will be absent. 

It’s great to let your teacher know that you will be absent, however only the registration reschedules your excused absence. If you know you will be absent in advance, please call the registration desk at 718-622-3300 or email to explaining the date you will be absent. 

If you are going to be absent because of illness, please call the registration desk at 718-622-3300 or email to Makeup lessons can only be scheduled if the registration desk is notified of the absence at least 24 hours in advance. Telling your teacher is helpful, but the registration team must be notified to approve a makeup. 

The BKCM database only permits one email address to communicate with students. You can change the email address BKCM has on file by contacting the registration team at and if you need information forwarded to multiple addresses, we suggest using a mail forwarding feature from your personal email provider.

Your private lesson teacher and group class teacher sets the curriculum for each student individually. We encourage you to do the following:

  • Let the teacher know that you would like to attend a lesson. 
  • Arrange to speak with the teacher at the beginning or end of a lesson for a few minutes.
  • Check your student’s notebook to see what they are working on. 

***If you would like to speak with your teacher and are unable to attend a lesson, please contact the community music school admin team at and they will set up a time to discuss the progress with you and your teacher. Please note, that the community music school faculty is not generally available for consultation, outside of teaching hours.

Firstly, find a time to speak with your teacher and let them know your concerns. Secondly, please reach out to the CMS admin team, Brian Drye (Director) and Lisa Consolacion (Program Coordinator), at . They will set up a time to speak with you directly and get your feedback on the teacher and the situation in the lessons. Most importantly, don’t wait very long to have this conversation. The earlier we can discuss as a team, the earlier we can make an adjustment to get back on track. 

From time to time, our faculty may be absent for a professional or personal reason. In the event that a teacher is absent, the Community Music School will provide a highly qualified substitute for your lesson, class or ensemble. Your regular teacher is responsible for finding the substitute and communicating all the details about what you are working on. 

In the event that a teacher is absent and there is no substitute available, the student will either be provided with a makeup lesson or the appropriate refund or credit to their account will be issued.

Pre-Registration allows students to reserve a time slot prior to open registration. While pre-registration does not guarantee that your current scheduled lessons will be held from year to year, the CMS administrative team will do their best to accommodate your requests. The timeline for the pre-registration is as follows:

  • April – Students and families fill out pre-registration request
  • May – Students receive a proposed lesson schedule and must call the front desk to pay and secure their schedule.
  • June – Open registration for all students. 

Schedules change and we understand that reality. To request a change please call the registration desk at 718-622-3300 or email to They will work with you directly to find a suitable solution. 

Firstly, we’d like to know a little more information about why you would like to make a teacher switch. In order to better assess what you may be looking for, please send an email to the CMS administrative team at

  • Speak with your teacher for suggestions on practice techniques.
  • Set a routine that works for you, your goals and your level.
  • Visit our resources page for practice guides and suggestions
  • Set up a time to speak with your teacher during the lesson. 
  • If you are unable to connect with your teacher during the lesson time please contact the community music school administrative team at

Your teacher will make recommendations of what and where to purchase materials. Students are responsible for purchasing method books, music and supplies for your instrument. 

Please visit our student resources page for more information on your instrument.