Handbook - Community Music School


Welcome to the Community Music School!

This handbook contains the information you will need to know as a student of the Community Music School. When you submit your registration and payment to the Community Music School, you are agreeing to abide by these terms and policies, so please read this handbook carefully before registering. 

Additional components of the Handbook:

The Community Music School reserves the right to change any curricular offering, policy, procedure, or fee, but we will notify you by email or on our website of significant changes that affect you. 

Thank you for joining us! If you have questions that are not answered in this handbook, please contact Lisl Doughton, Program Manager, at doughtonlk@appstate.edu.

Please click the sections below to view the policies for your program(s). Click the title of the section to close it. 

CMS Policies

Policies for All Programs 

General Program Dates

  • The CMS program year begins on August 16, 2021 and ends on July 31, 2022. 

  • The year is divided into three sections: Fall, Spring, and Summer. 


Broyhill Music Center (Boone)

813 Rivers St, Boone, NC 28608

The HUB Station (Hudson)

145 Cedar Valley Rd, Hudson, NC 28638

COVID-19 Policies

By submitting your registration to an in-person CMS program through Conference and Event Services, you agree to follow these COVID-19 Guidelines.  These apply to students/participants, teachers, staff, and any family members or visitors.

Withdrawals and Refunds 

  • Group Classes: If a student plans to stop attending a group class, the parent must email a notice of withdrawal to Lisl Doughton, Program Manager (doughtonlk@appstate.edu).
  • Private Lessons: Private lessons are typically not eligible for refunds except in extraordinary circumstances. If a student needs to withdraw from private lessons, the student (and parent/guardian if applicable) must email a notice of withdrawal to Lisl Doughton, Program Manager (doughtonlk@appstate.edu).
  • For lessons, classes, or rehearsals missed before officially withdrawing, no refunds will be given and no charges will be waived.
  • If a student withdraws from a CMS program and receives a waiver or refund, the following will be subtracted from the waiver or refund:
    • a $30 processing fee
    • the full value of any previous class sessions lessons (based on the regular price even if tuition assistance was received or “Pay What You Can” options were selected)
  • CMS reserves the right to cap enrollment for a program. Registering early is recommended.

Weather or Emergency Closures

  • If inclement weather affects your circumstances so that you must reschedule or miss a session, please notify your teacher as soon as possible. 
  • Rescheduling a private lesson due to weather will not be penalized, but a no-show (with no notification to the teacher) may cause the lesson to be forfeited. 
  • If App State closes due to weather or any other emergency, CMS lessons and classes at the Broyhill Music Center will be cancelled. These lessons and classes will be made up by CMS faculty.
  • Every effort will be made to notify students as soon as possible of the cancellation. If you are unsure whether App State classes have been cancelled, look for announcements on the Appalachian State University Homepage at appstate.edu
  • If CMS is open for in-person instruction and you cannot travel to your class/lesson, please contact your teacher and email asucommunitymusic@appstate.edu
  • CMS may be open when the Watauga County Public Schools are closed, so do not assume that lessons are automatically cancelled before contacting CMS and your teacher. 

Media Release

During registration, participants will agree to the media release policy. For online adult programs, CMS may record video or audio for the above purposes. These materials may be used in brochures, advertising or public relations activities. Media featuring registered students/clients are considered eligible for publication or public use unless a student/participant (or parent/guardian of a student/participant under age 18) submits a Request for Non-Use. Please email Lisl Doughton, doughtonlk@appstate.edu, if you would like to submit a Request for Non-Use. 

Student Discipline

CMS teachers reserve the right to discontinue or terminate lessons for student disciplinary reasons. All CMS students are expected to behave with the highest respect to the Hayes School of Music facilities, HUB Station facilities, CMS faculty, and other CMS participants. CMS Faculty and/or the CMS Director reserve the right to immediately end any lesson due to disciplinary problems of any student. Disciplinary infractions of any kind will be referred first to the parents, and, if continuing, to the CMS Director for disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may involve termination from the CMS program; in this case, no refund will be given. 

Dress Code Policy for Concerts 

  • Students are expected to comply with CMS concert dress requirements for all performances. Instructors will inform students on appropriate dress for recitals/concerts.
  • Students who are unable to comply must notify their instructor at least one week prior to the event. Those failing to arrive in concert dress for performance will not be allowed to participate in the recital. 

Policies for Minors (Youth)

  • In June 2020, the University implemented a set of policies to protect minors participating in on-campus or virtual programs.
  • These Minors on Campus policies affect all participants under 18 who are not matriculated college students.
  • The parent/guardian must complete registration in Iris and submit the appropriate permission form(s) in order for a minor to join their CMS program.

Supervision of Lessons

  • App State's Minors on Campus policies do not allow one-on-one contact between a minor participant and a program staff member. One staff member may not be alone with one child or two children. 
  • For this reason, we require an additional adult to be present either in person or virtually (over Zoom) in a private lesson for one or two minors. Parents and guardians should consider this when scheduling lessons. 
  • To supervise online private lessons, the parent or guardian should be in the room or within view of the minor child at all times during private lessons. If the parent is at a different location, the parent may supervise by joining the same Zoom meeting as the student. The teacher must inform the parent of the need for supervision, but then it is the parent's responsibility to supervise at that point. 
  • All program staff are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse or neglect; this includes a duty to report if children 7 or younger are found to be home alone.
  • If these policies prevent you from registering or affect your ability to take lessons, please email Lisl Doughton, Director, at doughtonlk@appstate.edu

Lessons for Minors in the Broyhill Music Center

  • For face-to-face lessons held in the practice rooms during regular CMS lesson hours (Monday-Thursday 4:00-8:00 and Friday 4:00-6:00), a CMS staff member will be present to supervise lessons. Family members of the minor student do not need to supervise if a CMS staff member is in the hall. 
  • For face-to-face lessons held in faculty offices, the CMS teacher may request a CMS staff member to supervise. If a CMS staff member is not available, an adult family member must remain through the duration of the the lesson in one of these ways:
    • Sit in the practice room or faculty office.
    • For an office or practice room that has a window to the hall, the supervising adult may sit in the hall immediately outside the room.

Minors on Campus Policies Affecting Online Activities

  • Program staff may not record audio or video of minors in online programs. 
  • Program staff may not text with minors, nor communicate on social media. 
  • However, a staff member may email a minor as long as a parent/guardian is cc'd to all communication.

Official Policies and Resources

Students or other children under the age of 13 should not be left unsupervised within the School of Music building, the Community Music Building, or outside grounds for any reason at any time. CMS, CMS Faculty, App State, or the Hayes School of Music will NOT assume responsibility for your child should an accident occur while they are unattended.

Group Program Policies 

Agreement for Parents/Guardians of Minor Participants

  1. I agree to make my payments by the due dates listed in the CMS handbook and registration page.
  2. I will escort my child to the rehearsal room on time for each rehearsal, making sure that the Administrative Assistant knows that the child is present.
  3. I will pick up my child in a timely fashion (within 10 minutes of the end of the rehearsal) and make sure that the Administrative Assistant knows that the child is leaving.
  4. If I am unable to bring or pick up my child, the people I have listed in the pick-up form have my permission to do so in my absence. They understand the safety requirements and will identify themselves to the Administrative Assistant. If they are not listed on the form, I understand that an email must be sent to asucommunitymusic@appstate.edu PRIOR to rehearsal to authorize permission.
  5. I understand that all class meetings/rehearsals are required and will try not to schedule doctor’s appointments or other conflicts within the class time.
  6. If my child is ill and unable to attend, I will call or email the teacher before the rehearsal. (The teacher's email will be sent before class begins.)
  7. I understand that excessive absences/tardiness may result in my child’s dismissal with no refund.
  8. I understand that this is an educational opportunity and that my child will act responsibly. Repeated discipline problems could result in dismissal from the group.
  9. I understand that for any performance, my child will need to be present at least one hour before it begins and is to stay for the entire performance.
  10. I understand that I will be responsible for some parts of costumes for performances.
  11. I give my permission for video/photo/recordings to be made of my child and possibly used for publicity, including but not limited to CMS/Hayes School of Music/App State websites, social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
  12. I may be asked to serve on one of the committees that will be announced.

Missed Classes

No make-up classes will be given for individual student absences. Students who miss a class session are encouraged to contact the instructor for information on topics and activities covered during that session.

Pick-up and Drop-off Permissions

For each minor participant, a parent/guardian must complete the Youth Participant Pick-up and Drop-off Form along with registration.  CMS staff will not release students to adults not listed on the form. If you would like to add an adult not originally listed on the form, please email the Director at asucommunitymusic@appstate.edu. 

Building Policies

  • Please follow directions on seating and spacing given by your teacher or staff.
  • Please leave the room promptly once your class session or rehearsal has ended.
  • CMS reserves the right to cap enrollment for a program. Registering early is recommended. 
  • Other rooms in the Broyhill Music Center (such as practice rooms or other classrooms) are not available for use by CMS participants.

Policies for Specific Group Programs

See our Programs page to find the specific information for your group program(s).

Policies for Online Programs 

By registering for a class, each participant agrees to the Virtual Youth Program Code of Conduct below:

Virtual Youth Program Code of Conduct:

I agree to conduct myself in a manner that will be a credit to me, my community, my fellow campers, and family.

I will:

● Understand and obey all rules and regulations issued by the youth program director and the University.
● Join class on time and be prepared to learn.
● Dress appropriately for class and show up for class fully clothed (shirts required).
● Will have a parent/guardian visible on camera during private instruction(s).
● Keep my personal information private and will not ask others to share personal
information (e.g., email address, mailing address, phone number, gamer tags, etc.).
● Treat my instructor(s) and fellow classmates/campers with respect.
● Contribute to a class environment in a way that is safe and welcoming for all.
● Show respect for the rights, privacy, and property of others. This includes refraining from
harassment – unwelcome or unsolicited speech or conduct – of all persons associated with the youth program regardless of their race, religion, color, creed, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.
● Take responsibility for making each class a great learning experience for myself and fellow classmates/campers. This includes full participation, staying on topic, and avoiding distractions.
● Report any threatening or inappropriate conduct (such as cyberbullying, chat messages) immediately to a trusted adult — parent/guardian, camp director, etc.
● Recognize that hazing of any kind is strictly prohibited.
● I understand that if I do not follow the rules, regulations, and code of conduct for this youth program, I may be dismissed from the youth program with no refund.

By submitting my registration, I agree to follow the Code of Conduct developed for this youth program held at Appalachian State University.

Online Safety

ZOOM will be the platform used for online lessons and programs. As you participate in lessons or classes over a video platform such as Zoom, remember never to post a link to your video lesson on a public forum (such as a Facebook page), nor to invite anyone else to join who is not registered for the lesson or class. Your session will remain private as long as you and your teacher do not pass your meeting link on to others.

Private Lesson Policies 

See "Policies for Minors (Youth)" above for additional policies about private lessons for minors.

Faculty and Instruments 

  • Visit our Private Lessons page to read about our instruments, faculty, and pay rates.

  • Email the CMS team at asucommunitymusic@appstate.edu and we will put you in touch with your desired teacher. We can also recommend a teacher for you. 

  • CMS is not able to provide instruments at this time. Please visit your local music store for more information about instrument rentals and purchases. If you have any further questions, please email CMS at asucommunitymusic@appstate.edu. Your teacher may be able to recommend instruments and supplies to purchase.

New Students

  • New students are defined as the following:
    • Students new to CMS
    • Current CMS students trying out lessons on a different instrument
    • Current CMS students trying lessons with a faculty member they have not learned from before
  • As a new student, you can initially register for a 4-lesson package and then add more lessons if desired. To learn more and sign up for your first lessons, please email Lisl Doughton, Director (doughtonlk@appstate.edu). New students can also choose to register for a full semester.
  • If you wish to add more lessons later, you can add a custom amount to finish out the semester. You will not be charged another registration fee to add more private lessons for the semester.

Make-up Policies for Private Lessons

  • A lesson missed or rescheduled with less than 24 hours’ notice will be charged as a regular lesson. 
  • A teacher will reschedule one lesson without penalty if the student/family provides over 24 hours’ notice. 
  • Even with advance notice, a teacher may not be able to reschedule frequently due to their other time commitments. For this reason, a teacher is not required to reschedule more than one lesson. Students and families are recommended to ask their teacher if and when a lesson can be rescheduled before planning to reschedule a lesson for a vacation, appointment, etc. Please note that unfinished lessons may not roll over to future semesters and are not refunded. 24 hours’ notice is necessary to reschedule a lesson without penalty. 
  • If a student is late, the teacher will still need to end the lesson at the original ending time. A teacher will wait 10 minutes for a late arrival before marking the lesson a no-show, which will be charged as a normal lesson. 
  • Any lesson missed by a CMS teacher will be made up. If the teacher must reschedule a lesson, the teacher will notify the student at least 24 hours in advance. The missed lesson may be made up by moving it to a different date or by adding time to one or more future lessons. 

Teacher Assignment

While CMS endeavors to create positive growing experiences by maintaining student/teacher relationships throughout a student’s study in CMS, periodic teacher reassignments may occur due to graduation of CMS teachers. Continuing students receive first priority in re-enrollment and teacher assignments. Please contact the CMS Director, Lisl Doughton (doughtonlk@appstate.edu) with any additional questions or concerns. 

Student Practice Guidelines

All students are required to provide their own instruments for study. Your teacher can offer advice on instrument rental and/or purchase.

At each lesson, students will receive a lesson assignment detailing what is to be practiced during the coming week. Students are encouraged to practice for shorter periods each day (as little as 10 minutes each day will make a difference for a beginner) rather than one longer session the day before the lesson. 

Parents are encouraged to help students develop a weekly practice routine. Music study and practice can be a wonderful sharing time for students and parents. While parent involvement is encouraged, parents are urged to be supportive and not overly aggressive in their demands on students.

Basic Supply Checklist

  • Instrument (in good playing condition)
  • Pencil
  • Book or music assigned by instructor
  • Additional supplies (rosin, reeds, oil, swabs etc.) as recommended by the instructor
  • If a student wishes to read music from a device, it is recommended to read off a separate device than the one being used for the video lesson

The student and/or parent/guardian is responsible for purchasing music books or supplies.