Frequently Asked Questions
There are many factors to consider when committing to musical study. TMI offers a nurturing environment for students of all ages and we welcome you to explore creating Music for Your Lifetime!
Here, we try to answer some frequently asked questions. But, if your question is not answered, contact us directly. You may also click here to review our current academic catalog and student handbook; it has the most in-depth information.
Tuition and Fees
Please read the Tuition and Fees page for information about payment, amounts, and scheduling.
General Questions Answered
A: Howard Community College (HCC)is conveniently located just a couple of miles from the intersection of US Route 29 and MD Route 175. TMI is in the Peter and Elizabeth Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center (Horowitz Center or HVPA) on HCC’s Columbia campus. Directions to TMI can be found on the college website and a campus map is available here.
TMI students may park in any lot marked Visitors, with the West Parking Garage being the preferred lot (no permit needed). When parking on these or any other lots on campus, please be considerate of our handicapped students and refrain from parking in spaces reserved solely for their use.
A: No, enrollment does not automatically “roll-over” when your registration term comes to an end. For those wishing to continue their lessons or classes, students or parents must speak directly to the teacher in order for the registration process to begin again.
A: Yes, lessons can begin at any time, availability permitting. Get started with lessons here.
Q: Can I start group classes or ensembles after the semester begins?
A: Most group classes or ensembles do not permit new students after the 2nd scheduled session of the semester, but there may be exceptions. Contact the TMI Program Manager if you are hoping to join a class or ensemble already in session.
A: Yes, lesson tuition is always pro-rated, but each student is required to register for lessons in groups of 4. No, tuition is not pro-rated for classes or ensembles.
A: Yes, it is absolutely possible to customize your schedule provided that your desired schedule is amenable to the teacher assigned to you. TMI offers lessons in groups of 4, roughly equivalent to each month of the year. If you are concerned about getting in all the lessons, you can always register for fewer than you think you’ll be able to schedule definitively and tack on a section when you arrive at the end of the term!
A: Yes, tuition payment options are available. One may pay in full for the registered set of lessons or pay on a monthly basis. Learn more about tuition and fees.
A: As a courtesy, students are expected to directly notify their teachers of any impending absence from lessons. Instructors are not required to make up lessons missed by students but are required to reschedule lessons cancelled by the teacher or due to inclement weather or other emergency. Learn more about Policies and Procedures.
Q: If I have to miss a class, what is the make-up policy?
A: Only those classes that need to be cancelled by the teacher or are a result of a TMI or HCC closure will be made up. Learn more about Policies and Procedures.
A: All withdrawals, stating the circumstances that make the withdrawal necessary, must be submitted to the TMI office in writing (email is accepted). Verbal requests will not be accepted. In addition to your request to withdraw, the teacher must acknowledge receipt and authorize the drop. Please refer to the withdrawal policy to learn about refunds and credits.
A: Yes, it is possible to change instructor. We strive to pair students and teachers to achieve the best results, but we understand that goals and perspectives change. If a change is desired, student/parents must first discuss this with the current teacher; then the TMI Program Manager must be notified in writing (email is accepted). Students desiring to change teachers must give one month’s notice – no exceptions. Please refer to our Policies and Procedures to learn about abrupt withdrawal penalties.
A: Students enrolled in individual instruction must have their own instruments and/or have regular access to an instrument for practice unless other arrangements are made with the teacher. If required, students should purchase any additional materials as soon as possible in order to facilitate instruction.
A: Please take a look at the local music resources page to find businesses that rent instruments, sell sheet music, and more.
A: There are practice rooms available for TMI students in the Horowitz Center at HCC. Instructions and regulations are posted on practice room doors and online. Students wishing to reserve a regular practice time should go to the Arts & Humanities Division Office, HVPA 200, during office hours and show proof of registration or a Practice Room Pass (available at the TMI Office, HVPA 160A).
Registration Questions Answered
A: You may register for lessons at any point throughout the year.
Q: When can I register for classes or ensembles?
A: TMI’s Classes and Ensembles follow HCC’s academic calendar. Enrollment for fall semester classes and ensembles takes place in August and September; for spring classes and ensembles, in December and January.
A: All students must have a current Student Information Sheet on file in the TMI office and should notify TMI of any changes. Student Information Sheets can be found in the Music Suite, in the TMI Office, or by clicking here.
All students must also have a Consent Form related to the current registration on file in the TMI office. A Consent Form must be completed with each registration. Consent Forms are also available in the Music Suite, in the TMI Office, or by clicking here.
A: While The Music Institute is a program housed within the Howard Community College system, we do not currently have a method for processing online registrations. Because of this, we require students to be registered by their assigned teachers.
A: All TMI students must register for lessons in groups of four, called a section. TMI offers 12 sections throughout the course of the year. You may register for as few as 4 lessons or as many as 48 lessons, depending upon what you and your assigned teacher have agreed. Click here for more information on enrolling in private lessons.
A: Once the instructor submits the registration, the TMI Office staff processes the registration. An e-invoice with payment information is sent to the student/responsible party via e-mail. A paper bill is mailed monthly by HCC's Finance Department according to the college’s billing schedule. Lessons may not begin until payment for the first section has been received. Ensembles must be paid for in full before a student may participate. Teachers will be notified by TMI staff when lessons may begin.