Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I sign up for lessons, ensembles, or group classes? And when do I start?

Please email the CMS at or call 620-229-6188. Please include the student's name, instrument (piano, violin, viola, cello, flute, or voice), and if you have a teacher preference.

Students may register for private music lessons at any time for the current academic school year. New students are advised to call (620-229-6188) or email CMS ( prior to online registration to ensure teacher availability. Once a student is ready to begin weekly lessons or register for a class or ensemble, the student should submit an online registration form accompanied by a $20 annual, non-refundable registration fee which is required of all students (each additional family member fee is $12 annually with a $50 cap per family.) Students who wish to enroll in one of our class offerings should also submit a registration form and fee. 

2. Who should take lessons at the CMS?

Anyone who:

  • Is interested in learning to play a new instrument
  • Wants to improve singing abilities or skills on a current instrument
  • Wants to try out private lessons for the first time – we have instruction for students of ALL ages and ability levels!

3. How long will my lesson be?

Lesson length will vary and be determined between you and your instructor. The minimum is 30 minutes and the max can be up to 60 minutes. Pricing for lessons can be adjusted to any length.

4. How do I pay for my lessons?

CMS accepts online payments for all tuition. There is a .$50/transaction fee. Please add $.50 to your total invoice if paying online.

CMS also accepts checks and cash. Please either mail your payment to the CMS office, or if you are paying in person, use the envelopes provided and slip under the CMS office door. 

Community Music School at Southwestern College
100 College St.
Winfield, KS 67156

6. What if I want my child to take lessons and we don't have an instrument?

You can rent instruments through the following:

Dam Music Center, 8945 W. Central, Wichita 316-773-9060

Senseny Music, Inc, 2300 E. Lincoln, Wichita 316-262-1487

6. What are the benefits of teaching for the CMS if I want to gain more experience?

  • Creating a personal studio policy
  • A location for lessons & recitals
  • Free publicity for the independent teachers
  • Money is handled by the CMS administrator
  • Numbers of students
  • Protection of a public place
  • Lobby/waiting area for parents and students
  • Advertise studio recitals on-campus
  • Organize studio events
  • Bring guest artists on-campus
  • Variety of spaces to work in

7. How do we handle books for lessons?

Music and method books are not included in tuition and the student will be required to purchase them as needed throughout the year. Your teacher will choose the books that will best fit your child and their competency level.

8. What ages does the CMS teach?

We typically can start someone between the ages of 6 and 8, and there is no age cap for lessons. Our goal is to appeal to all age ranges in the community and want to make sure everyone has the chance to learn music.

9. How do I know if my child is ready for piano lessons?

SIZE OF HAND: A child who is taking piano lessons should be comfortable placing five fingers on five adjacent white keys. For some five-year-olds, that’s literally a big stretch! Before beginning piano lessons, make sure your child’s hands are large enough to comfortably use a keyboard.

MANUAL DEXTERITY: Before a child begins taking piano lessons, he or she needs to be able to move individual fingers independently of one another.  A child who can only play by picking out a tune with one finger is probably not yet ready.

INTEREST IN MUSIC AND DESIRE TO LEARN: At any age, motivation is an important factor of readiness. If a child does not want to take piano lessons, then it’s probably best to spend time simply cultivating interest in music.

10. How do I apply for financial aid?

The CMS offers a limited amount of financial aid to those who qualify. For more information about financial aid, please contact, call 620-229-6188 or download an application to apply for financial assistance. 

CMS Financial Assistance Private Student 

Please fill out the form in its entirety and email to the CMS at . The Director will then look it over and email you back with the results. 

For our full list of policies, please read the CMS Parent/Student Handbook

If you don't see your question here, please email us at and we will respond at our earliest convenience. 

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