Skip Navigation

Return to Campus Information ››

HCC Main Campus
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia MD, 21044
Laurel College Center
312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
Training & Development Solution
Maryland Innovation Center
6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia MD 21046
Take a Virtual Tour
Take an interactive look at HCC's campus

Information Every Prospective Student Should Know

So you've decided you're ready to enroll either yourself or your child in private music instruction. Congratulations! You've taken the first step.

But what do you actually need to know? How do you enroll? Concerned whether you or your child is really ready for private instruction? No problem. Check out the information below to find the answers to these simples questions and more! For the most in-depth information, though, be sure to click here to review our academic catalog and student handbook.

Are you a returning student? Click here.


Parents frequently ask how to determine whether their child is ready to learn to play an instrument. Readiness is dependent on a variety of factors including age, physical development, and ability to focus, and may vary by instrument.

Most traditional private lessons begin at age 6 or older, although there is a range based on the instrument. Certain elements are consistent from instrument to instrument:

  • Students need to be able to remain focused for 30 minutes
  • Students need to have a true desire to learn (not just a desire to please their parents)
  • An ability to read and write is helpful in all cases and necessary in some.

A consultation with the discipline Coordinator is the most important tool for determining your child’s readiness for private lessons. This meeting, whether over the phone, via email, or in-person, will provide an assessment of the child’s musical preparedness, ability to handle the instrument physically, and his or her ability to focus.

Recommended Beginning Age of Student:

  • Piano, Strings, Ukulele: 5 years
  • Guitar: 8 years
  • Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion: 9-10 years
  • Voice: 14 years

TMI offers private lessons in all orchestral and band instruments, voice, and piano to students of all ages and levels of playing ability. Students can start private lessons anytime during the year.


TMI offers weekly or bi-weekly lessons in 30, 45, or 60 minute lengths.


For new students, TMI offers the option of choosing a 4-week trial period before committing to an extended lesson plan. For questions, please contact the TMI office by phone at (443) 518-4297.


Be sure to read our Frequently Asked Questions section. To enroll, we encourage parents and those adults interested in studying to contact the TMI office in order to initiate the registration process. You can email James Bailey, TMI's Program Manager, or you can make a 5- to 10-minute phone call (443) 518-4297.


  1. Start by filling out the Student Information Sheet. Registration for lessons can begin at any point during the year, but all classes begin at set times throughout the year.
  2. Next, you’ll talk with the area coordinator for your instrument, who will recommend the right teacher for your interests, skills, goals, and schedule. Click here for our area coordinators, faculty, and staff listing.
  3. Before starting your lessons, you’ll meet your teacher (by phone or in person) to make sure the fit is right and to set a schedule.
  4. Then, you will complete a Consent Form for the agreed upon set of lessons and return it to your teacher. If you need help, you can ask your teacher or contact the Program Manager, James Bailey.
  5. Lastly, once your teacher receives your Consent Form, s/he will submit the TMI Registration Form online.
  6. Keep in mind that lessons may not begin until payment for the first set of lessons has been received. And ensembles must be paid in full before the student may participate.

TMI/HCC Student Information Form TMI@HCC Consent Form


  1. All TMI students must have a Student Information Sheet on file. Fill out the form and return it to the TMI office.
  2. If the program requires an audition, be sure to contact the TMI office to schedule your date and time.
  3. Each summer program has its own registration form and is usually available in January on the program’s website. (Click through for information on the Little Patuxent Opera Institute or the Gemini Piano Trio Chamber Music Workshop.)


Our Tuition and Fees section gives you the low-down on tuition, fees, and the billing process.


Our Policies and Procedures section gives you information on things like missed lessons, refunds, cancellations, and making changes.


Check out our Academic Calendar to plan the pursuit of Music for Your Lifetime.


Be sure to Contact Us at any time with questions or to discuss any special requests you might have. We’re happy to help!

Giving makes a difference! Your support helps students along their pathways to success.