What is Valley Music Academy?

Valley Music Academy is the largest non-profit music academy in the region, with over 15 professional faculty, offering artist quality instruction on more than 30 instruments.

Why should I choose VMA for private lessons?

VMA offers quality professional musicians and educators with many years of formal education and training.  All of our teachers are active musicians, performers and teachers.  All teachers complete a thorough background check and the facility is covered by closed circuit recording.

Where is VMA located?

VMA is located at 500 S. Wayne Avenue in Waynesboro in the lower level of Grace Lutheran Church.  Parking is in the rear of the building.  From the parking lot, enter the first entrance on the left side of the building, descend the stairs and turn right. 

What ages do you teach?

VMA offers private music lessons to students from child to senior adult.  We use age 6 as a benchmark age to begin traditional private lessons.  We do offer Suzuki piano and violin lessons where students can begin as young as age 3.  VMA also offers Musikgarten class instruction for 6 months through 6 years.    

When can I enroll for private lessons?

VMA accepts new students for private music lessons at any time throughout the year. 

What is your minimum number of lessons for a new student?

VMA requires a minimum of 4 lessons for any new student.  Payment must be received for the 4 lessons by the first lesson.

How long is each lesson?

VMA offers lessons in lengths of 30, 45 and 60 minutes.  Length of lessons is mutually agreed upon by the student and/or parent and the instructor.

When are lessons offered?

Lessons are offered Monday through Saturday.  Schedule varies by teacher.

May I take lessons in my home?

With VMA Board Approval, certain VMA Faculty may choose to offer private lessons in student's homes or locations other than VMA studios in Waynesboro, VA.  There is an additional fee of $3.00 per lesson that will be charged for this service.  For more information, contact the VMA Office.

How much do lessons cost?

Price is $22 for 30 minute lessons, $33 for 45 minute lessons, and $44 for 60 minute lessons.  Longer lessons are available upon request. 

How are lessons billed?

Lessons are billed monthly and will be based on the number of weeks in a given month.  Monthly invoices are usually four lessons, however, some months may have up to five lessons.

When is payment due?

Lessons are invoiced on or about the first of each month and are due by the 10th of the month.  All lessons are billed in advance.  

What payment options do you offer?

  • Credit Card Auto-Pay - Sign up for auto payment online through your student portal login.  Your credit/debit card will be charged upon the issuing of the invoice.  Never miss a lesson or receive a reminder because of late payments.
  • Credit Card - You may pay by credit card through the online portal login simply by clicking on the "Pay Now" link on your inovice.
  • Check in person - You may make payment at the office in person or by placing your check in the secure payment slot next to the office door.
  • Check by mail - VMA, PO Box 1712, Waynesboro, VA  22980. 
  • Cash - We do accept cash payments when someone is present in the office to receive payment and issue a cash receipt at time of payment.

Are there any discounts available for Home school students?

VMA offers a home school discount for private lessons scheduled before 3 PM each day.  

Do you offer financial aid?

We do offer Financial Aid (scholarship) based on financial need. Scholarship awards are awarded for students up to age 18 for September through May of each year.  For more information and to download an application, visit the financial aid section of this website.

How often do private lessons occur?

As a general rule, students receive one lesson each week.

Do I have to take lessons every week?

Generally all of our lessons are weekly.  If you have a special situation, we would be glad to discuss that with you and will work with you to make it possible to take lessons.

Am I allowed to study more than one instrument at a time?

Yes.  Students can take lessons on different instruments and from different teachers each week.

May I switch teachers?

All of our teachers are professionals and do an outstanding job in teaching their students, however, we are aware that everyone’s personalities do not always work well with each other.  If there is a conflict, we do allow students to request to switch to another teacher.  Please contact the Program Director to make this request.

If I switch teachers, will my payments apply toward the new teacher?

Any payment made for unused lessons would transfer to a new teacher.

What happens when I miss a lesson?

VMA requires a two (2) week notice (336 hours) for an excused absence.  This can be submitted online through our student/parent portal.  You may also notify the teacher or VMA office directly.  If the two week notice requirement is met, a lesson credit will be added to your account if you have already paid for that lesson.  If you have not previously paid, you will not be billed for an arranged absence.  If you give less than the required notice, you will be billed for that lesson.

Is there a maximum number of make up credits issued?

Yes.  Students are allowed a maximum of two (2) credits per semester (Fall, Spring).  Summer session is more flexible and students may pre-arrange more than two absences.

What happens if the teacher misses a lesson?

The teacher will offer a make-up lesson or a lesson credit will be issued to your account.

What happens if there is a weather related closure?

The teacher will offer a make-up lesson or a lesson credit will be issued to your account.

What is your inclement weather policy?

For private lessons, each teacher will decide if and when to cancel private lessons due to weather. 

May I take off for a period of time and then come back?

Yes.  If you schedule off for an extended period of time, we cannot guarantee you will be able to return at the exact same lesson time as we are regularly adding new students that may fill the open time slot.

Is VMA safe for my family?

VMA is safe and family friendly.  All of our teachers and employees of VMA undergo a thorough background check before coming on staff.  Our facilities are located in the lower level of Grace Lutheran church and are recorded by closed circuit TV.  All classrooms are visible from the hallway and parents can easily view the child during a lesson.  VMA is the safe alternative to receiving lessons in a private home or other unsecured facility. 

Is there a waiting area?

VMA offers a waiting area for family members located at the end of the hallway where the lessons occur.  Free wi-fi is available for your convenience while you wait.  We ask that families with small children remain in the waiting area so as not distract those who are in lessons.

How do we get started with VMA private lessons?

Step 1:  Get registered for lessons.  The easiest way is to register online at ValleyMusicAcademy.org and complete the registration form.  You may also register by phone.  If your requested time matches an open lesson slot, you will be scheduled and receive notification.  If a lesson time needs to be negotiated, a VMA staff person will contact you to work out the exact lessons schedule.  

May more than one child in a family take lessons?

Many of our VMA families have siblings studying with different teachers or the same teacher at VMA.  Our faculty will work to coordinate times so that multiple students can study on the same day and time frame if at all possible.  We cannot guarantee lesson days and times are available, but our faculty will do everything possible to make the schedule work for you.

May I sit in on my child's lessons?

This is up to the teacher’s discretion, but most instructors will let parents sit in on lessons, however some may feel that this can become a distraction for the child.  All of the practice rooms have windows so you can look in on lessons without being in the room.  

Am I too old to start music lessons?

It is never too late to start!  Music can be learned and enjoyed by students of any age.  We have many adult students at VMA that are beginning for the first time, or beginning again after a long period of not playing their instrument. 

How often should students practice?

Students should practice at least 30 minutes every day to see optimal results, however practice time can vary.

What is the best learning method?

There are many different learning methods in existence and no two students learn the same way, so it is important to look for an instructor that can teach multiple methods and who is willing to adapt their teaching style and lesson plans based on your specific musical goals.

Do I have to learn how to read music if I take music lessons?

It is recommended that you learn how to read music, however, depending on the instrument, most instructors will work with the students to find the best lesson plan suited based on the student’s needs and ability.

How long will it take me to learn how to play?

This depends on the instrument, the desire and effort of each student.