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2019-2020 Handbook

2019-2020 Handbook

If you don't see your questions answered on this page, we're more than happy to help! Give us a call or drop us a line here.


We have our parent handbook for the 2019-2020 school year available here

Video by Gary Hilton, Jazmin Granger, Josiah Meece, recent graduates Defense Information School at Fort Meade. Created for Opus Community Music School in Eldersburg, MD

Why Choose Opus?

The quality of our faculty is unmatched.  

This isn't just something we say - check the bios of our faculty, and compare them to other music schools. All of our teachers have a minimum of a Master's Degree in music (or are completing one currently) in the instrument they are teaching. You'll notice that our website doesn't list a "string" teacher or a "brass" teacher - our faculty are experts on their primary instrument, and we work hard to provide excellent faculty members for each instrument.

Location, location, location.

Tired of driving 30 minute or more to get quality music lessons? We established our primary studio in the Sykesville/Eldersburg area after specific research on the needs of the county. We chose to focus our teaching in an area of the county that didn't have these opportunities available close by.  

Start out on the right foot

Getting the right teacher from the beginning means that you don't have to go backwards later to fix your technique or hand position. Starting out on your instrument with an expert alongside you means that you'll learn faster, better, and have more fun!

Summer Lessons

See our summer lessons page here

Snow & Sick Policy

Snow Policy/Inclement Weather

If the Carroll County Public Schools and/or the Carroll County Snow Emergency Plan is in effect, all Opus activities are cancelled.  If in doubt, contact your teacher.  Decisions will be made about cancellations and will be communicated through email and My Music Staff.

Make up lessons will be held for up to 2 snow days.  

Sick Policy

In case of illness, please notify us at least 24 hours in advance to request an excused absence.  If you have a fever, then less than 24 hours may be given.

Students will be allowed to make up one excused lesson* (due to student absence) each semester. If student must miss more than one lesson and the school has been notified, the student may attend ensemble or group classes for additional make-up lessons.  Make-up weeks are scheduled at the end of each semester.

*Excused Lessons

Excused lessons include (but are not limited to) illness, family emergency, mandatory school events or family illness.  All other absences are unexcused.  For more information, read our Student Handbook.  

Please respect your lesson time. If you find that you absolutely must request a mid-semester rescheduling of your lesson time, we will do our best to work with you.  However, all changes are at the discretion of the teacher, and cannot be guaranteed.  


How does pricing work?

The prices you see listed are per semester, unless otherwise noted. Occasionally we'll run a four-week "short session," but these will always be clearly marked.

Do I have to pay the full amount up front?

You certainly can!  But you also may take advantage of our installment plans, which feature payments in two or four equal payments for only a small additional charge.  

How does the Sibling discount work?

Great question!  The first student you register pays the normal tuition.  But each additional child you register gets a 10% discount on private lessons.  It's our way of saying, "Thanks!" to our most involved famililes.  

How do scholarships work?

The amount of scholarship is dependent upon the funds available in the OPUS Scholarship Fund and the number of students who apply for financial assistance. Scholarships must be applied for each semester and are not automatically granted for continuing students. 


What size violin/viola/cello will my child need?  How do I know?

Children beginning to play string instruments have an advantage over other instruments, because there are smaller sized instruments made especially for children.  The size of the violin is determined by the size of the child, and our instructors will help you know what size instrument you need.  

Does Opus rent instruments?

Not yet! We are working to build an instrument library for the Carroll County area. If you have instruments and or technician services you can donate, please drop us a line! For now, please give us a call for instrument rental referral.


What day and time will my lesson be?

The time and day of your lesson will be arranged directly with your teacher. Most often, the teacher will let you know what open times they has in their schedule, and you may choose the one that fits your schedule best!

How do I know who my teacher will be?

If you do not already have a teacher at Opus, you can make an appointment for a FREE trial lesson with any of our teachers.  We will recommend a teacher that we think might suit you best by instrument and teaching location.

What length of a lesson should I sign up for?

In general, we recommend a 30 minute lesson for beginners, 45 minutes and hour lessons for older or advanced students. A good goal for home practice time is to practice at least half as long as your lesson length. 


How do I know which recital my child is in?

As a general rule, this is how the recitals are laid out:

  • Late afternoon recital is for Elementary School Students

  • Early evening recital is for Middle and High School Students

But wait, then I have one child in each recital!

Please let us know!  If we haven't done so already, we will be happy to put both of your children into one recital, so your whole family can be together.

We have a conflict with our assigned recital time.

No problem!  Just let us know - we will schedule your recital spot accordingly.

How do I know which dress rehearsal my child is in?

It will be the same as your recital time. Exceptions can be made as necessary.

About the Dress Rehearsal...do we have to dress up?

Not unless you want to!  Just come prepared to learn where to stand, how to get on stage, and run through your piece. And then cheer on others as they practice the same things!

What are the performers supposed to wear to the Recital?

Dressy clothes are expected. No jeans, flip flops, or torn clothes.  Often, musicians will wear all black, or black on the bottom and white on the top. Ask your teacher if you are not sure!   

Are we supposed to bring something to the reception?

Yes! The reception is a great time to relax, congratulate other musicians, and get to know each other.  Please plan to bring a drink or a snack big enough to feed approximately eight to ten people.  


Do you offer lessons to help prepare for Festival?

Yes!  Just contact us.  Group or private lessons can be set up just to help you prepare for festival auditions of every kind.

I need an accompanist for an event I'm playing outside of the String Project.  Can you help?  

Yes!  We have accompanists who can coach and accompany you.  OPUS faculty charge $25 for each 30 minute rehearsal, and $50 for each performance. Typically one rehearsal is plenty to prepare, but sometimes for more difficult pieces, two or more rehearsals will need to be scheduled.  For events outside of Carroll County, a destination surcharge of up to $100 may be charged.  


My child needs an auxiliary aid or service.  What do I do?

The Americans with Disabilities Act applies to the Carroll County Government and its programs, services, activities, and facilities.  Anyone requiring an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or who has a complaint should contact Madeline M. Morey, the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator, 410-384-3800, 1-888-302-8978, MD Relay 7-1-1/1-800-735-2258 or email mmorey@ccg.carr.org as soon as possible but no later than 72 hours before the scheduled event.