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  • Writer's pictureJulia Pinckney Jones

Getting Ready for Back to (Music) School!

Where Did The Summer Go?

Arizona is "ahead of the curve" again - kids head back to school in less than a month, which gets us thinking about getting ready to start up music lessons! We at Desert Home Music have had a fantastic, action-packed summer, including plans to move into a new place (only a few minutes away)! We'll update you with the new address as soon as we're officially moved in, which should be in late August. But for now, we remain at our current location just off Cortaro, and we're so excited to welcome all our students!

Some of you, of course, kept up with (or started) your lessons during our summer session, but for those of you who took the summer off to have other adventures, we're excited to hear all about them, and then to get back to the business of learning and making music together! You will likely hear from us in the next few weeks to make sure you get your first choice of day/time and to tell you about all the news!

And to those of you who are still looking for lessons, or who have just found us, WELCOME!!! We're thrilled to be able to offer you some of the best, most student-centered music lessons in Tucson, and we're sure you're going to love us!

What's New This Fall?

Interactive Scheduling:

Desert Home Music, thanks to our partners,, are excited to be able to offer you a way to manage your own lesson schedule. This is a pilot program, so help us test it, please!

All you need to do is ask us to send you an email with "login" information to the Student or Parent Portal. Once you've signed in, you'll see your current lesson information, and a list of all your teacher's open lesson slots. If you know you're not going to be able to attend your regular lesson, you can cancel it yourself online and pick an alternative makeup lesson time.

The 24-hour notice policy still applies, so you'll have to make whatever changes you need to within the allowable window. Also, be aware that your makeup lesson is an additional lesson - it takes the place of the lesson you missed, not your next scheduled lesson.

We hope that by using this system, you will be able to maintain your progress, while having more control over your schedule.

New "Music School Supplies":

One of my favorite things about back-to-school time was going out to get all my shiny new school supplies (I mean, what little doesn't like an excuse to shop? Also I admit to being kind of a nerd!)

Included in your paid lesson package (either the introductory package or the monthly tuition package) will be a fancy new Desert Home Music personalized binder for your weekly notes, extra sheet music, theory pages etc. I've had a great time planning these out for you, and I love being able to give you a little "first lesson present!"

Once we've used up all the assignment pages in your book, you will be able to print more from the Parent/Student Info page of Desert Home's website!

As we move forward, I'm sure I'll be creating other fun stuff to give to my students, so I guess the takeaway here is: stick with me and get presents!

Music Parties! (Because the word "Recital" can be scary)

Making music doesn't have to be a solitary pursuit... in fact, it ought to be shared! We know that some people are stressed out about performing, which makes them feel too self-conscious to perform at a traditional recital. Which is why we at Desert Home Music are excited to be able to offer a series of "Music Parties" this year, which will take place at our new "desert home" starting this winter. We will play music with and for each other, in a low stress, informal setting. We're planning to do separate parties for our younger students and our adult students, with snacks and treats for all! We'll let you know once we set a date!

Fall Enrollment in Music Lessons is Happening Now!

When should I enroll in Music lessons?

It's tempting to wait "until things get settled" to start up with lessons. But to be honest, right now, before school even gets started, is the best time to schedule your lessons. Even if you're not going to start right away, getting registered and reserving your time is the best way to make sure that you will get one of the prime slots. While I am opening up a new day for teaching this year, my available hours fill quickly and I hate to turn people away. If it turns out that another of your child's extracurricular activities conflicts with their music lessons, don't worry - as soon as you know about the conflict, let us know and we'll arrange a different, more workable time. Remember, current paid students get scheduling priority!

Don't forget to schedule Desert Home's "Readiness Assessment" for students seven years of age or under. We want to make sure that your child is really ready for lessons before you commit to monthly payments!

For adult students, of course you can start anytime, but if you need an evening (after work) time slot, those are the times that fill up the quickest once school lets in. If you don't mind taking a morning, early afternoon or later evening slot, those will likely remain available for you!

What do I need?

At enrollment, really all you need is a method of payment for your first month (or your introductory package. Desert Home Music accepts credit, debit, PayPal, Venmo, Apple or Google Pay, Zelle, and of course check and cash.

If you have taken lessons before, bring the last book(s) you were working in, and you might choose to pre-order the next method book in the series (if you finished the old one, or if you're getting pretty close to being done). If you haven't had lessons before, or if you didn't like the old books, we will discuss your needs and your teacher will either recommend some material for you to purchase or we can buy books/music for you and add them to your next invoice. We will, of course, provide your Desert Home binder and assignment sheets, as well as supplementary material as required. We have pens and pencils, but prefer that you bring your own.

Of course, you need an instrument at home to practice on. We currently have an electronic piano for you to play at your lesson (and we will soon have a beautiful acoustic piano) but if you're playing another instrument, you will need to bring it to your lessons as well. If you're a vocalist, you will need a music stand at home (so you don't have to hold your music in your hands - putting it on a table will negatively affect your posture, and music stands can be very inexpensive).

If you have any other questions about music lessons from Desert Home Music, contact us anytime! We look forward to hearing from you!

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