Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQs for You

Find out how to schedule your free lesson, how old your child should be to start learning an instrument and more

Click on a question and the answer will be revealed, or use our searchable knowledge base to find your answer more quickly. 

If you have a question that isn't answered here, please feel free to email us.

General Questions

Do you teach adults?

Absolutely -- we can teach students as young as 4 and as old as 104! Seriously, if you have the time and attention, we're here to teach you how to play music.

Do you offer lessons in a student's home?

No. We have a fun, inspirational school in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle, and all of our lessons take place there. On occasion, we may hold lessons in other locations, as determined by the program, but we don't offer in-home lessons at this time.

How old does my child need to be to start lessons?

We recommend the following minimum ages for learning different instruments:

  • Piano: 5 years old (children as young as 4 may be scheduled with select teachers; to do so, please email us.)
  • Violin, Viola, Cello: 7 years old
  • Guitar, Bass, Ukulele: 7 years old
  • Drums: 7 years old
  • Voice: 7 years old

How do your lessons work? Are they boring?

Boring isn’t even our vocabulary!

Our teachers are educated in various styles of music and can help you learn in a way that is fun and exciting. You'll work together to choose music that you enjoy and that is suitable for your current skill level, and then they'll coach you toward successfully learning to play it.

In addition to class time at the school, you'll have a weekly assignment so you can practice at home.

What if I'm unhappy with my lesson?

We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

If you're ever unhappy with any part of your lesson, please contact our office and we'll make it right.

Do you offer regular progress reports so I know how my child is doing?

Yes! Teachers will send your student home with a progress report each quarter, on the following schedule:

  • Last week of March
  • First week of June
  • Last week of September
  • Second week of December

During the week progress reports are due, your teacher will save the last 5 minutes of your lesson to fill out the report and go over it with you.

I don’t own a piano, how will I practice?

To get started, you can rent a keyboard from us for $20 per month, plus $5 per month additional if you'd like to rent a bench. Ask us about availability during your next lesson.

We also offer practice time here at the school, for $10/hour. If you'd like to book a session, you can do so here.

Piano is percussion?

Yep! It doesn't look like a drum set, the bongos or even a tambourine, and it has strings, right? But, if you look inside any piano, you'll see that the sound from the piano is made when little hammers strike the strings.

If you think of your fingers as little hammers that strike the keys that then activate other little hammers that hit the strings to make the sound ... well, you can get yourself pretty confused.  But, in that way, think of the piano as a doubly percussive instrument -- finger drums and hammer drums!

Can I stop by and tour the school?

We are available by appointment only. The free lesson is offered to allow you to come check out the school, meet a teacher and see how lessons work.

If you would like to check out the school, sign up for a free lesson online and come on in!

Where are you located?

We're located in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle, WA. Here's our address and contact information.

Where do I park?

We don’t have a dedicated parking lot, but there is plenty of street parking around the school.

We've created this parking guide, which highlights the streets around the school that often have the most street parking options available:

Where to Park near Off the Wall School of Music

Where to park near Off the Wall School of Music

Do you offer any classes in addition to private lessons?

We do offer Rock Band Classes and Garage Band classes. Classes are available according to demand and by request only.

How does the free practice time for the first month work?

To help you get started, we offer free practice time for the first month of your lessons with us. You can schedule 1 free hour of practice time for every lesson that you take during your first month. 

If you'd like to take advantage of this opportunity, let us know and we can help you schedule time on the calendar; even though you'll be working on your own, we will need to schedule it to make sure the room is available and that someone will be here to help you get setup on the equipment.

Do you have a summer camp?

Yes! We run weekly camps throughout the summer. Scheduling and availability is based on demand.

Classes run from Monday through Friday, 9am - 2pm, and have a final performance on Friday for friends and family.

Scheduling Questions

How do I schedule a lesson?

You can easily schedule your lesson with us in one of the following ways:

  • Schedule a single appointment using our online calendar
  • Contact us via email or by phone (206-407-9610) and we'll coordinate it for you. Please provide us with the following details:
    • Preferred days / dates / time
    • Instrument you're learning
    • Preferred teacher, if applicable
  • Request a recurring lesson to setup a regular session with your teacher each week

Can I reschedule my lesson?

Yes. If you need to come in at a different time than your regularly scheduled lesson, you can cancel your lesson outside the 48 hour window and reschedule a new one in an available slot.

You can reschedule your appointment in one of the following ways in one of the following ways:

  • Online via our scheduling software
    • Login using the email address you used to schedule the original appointment
    • Click 'Appointments' to view your upcoming lessons
    • Find the lesson you'd like to cancel and click 'reschedule'
  • Send us an email with the date of the session you'd like to reschedule and a few preferred days / times that will work for you
  • Call us at 206-407-9610

If you have a regular recurring lesson and you need to cancel more than one occurrence, please send us an email with the date range you need to cancel. Please note that we cannot hold recurring lesson spots open for longer than 3 weeks.

How do I set up a recurring lesson, or change an existing one?

Students who have a recurring lesson each week make much more progress toward their goals!

If you'd like to reserve the same lesson time and instructor each week, please fill out this form and let us know your availability. Our office will work with you to schedule a regular lesson that meets your needs.

What if the time I want isn’t available?

Our most popular times are Monday through Friday, 4pm - 6pm, and these slots tend to fill quite quickly.

If your preferred lesson time is taken, we will put you on a waitlist and let you know if that slot becomes available. Until that time, we encourage you to schedule single lessons online.

I would like to schedule multiple students and would like them at the same time, is that possible?

We work hard to make schedules more convenient for families and siblings, and try to schedule you within the same half hour or hour. This largely depends on the time and day that you prefer, and the availability of teachers.

Please send us an email to let us know your needs and we'll work with you to find the most convenient recurring lessons for your family.

I have a recurring slot and am planning an extended vacation. Can I keep my spot?

We can only hold spots for 3 weeks. If you are taking a longer vacation, you may lose your spot and have to find a new one upon your return.

I have a very busy schedule, do I have to set a regular time slot every week?

We offer lessons seven days a week and work hard to be flexible enough to accommodate even the busiest of schedules.

When available, we can setup every-other-week lessons, although weekly recurring students are given scheduling priority during our 'primetime' hours of Monday through Friday, 4pm - 6pm.

If your schedule changes quite frequently, you may also elect to schedule one-off lessons on a regular basis, but please note that this may result in working with more than one teacher.

For billing purposes, we invoice in advance for a set number of lessons each month, and provide you with a credit for any unused lessons on the following month's invoice.

Who can schedule practice time at the school?

Any current Off the Wall student may book practice sessions at the school, dependent upon availability.

Practice sessions are a great resource for new students who want to work on their skills but aren't yet ready to invest in their own equipment.

Please note: If you book a practice session, you must be able to work without supervision. You'll be greeted and shown to your specific practice room when you arrive, but we won't be able to provide any further guidance, assistance or instructional feedback. This service is provided for free to new students for their first month, and at a discounted rate to other students, with the assumption that a member of our staff will not be required to supervise you. If you need additional supervision, please book a regular lesson instead.

Free Lesson Questions

How do I sign up for my free lesson?

We offer one free, private 30-minute lesson per family. No experience is necessary!

You can schedule your first lesson online; simply select your instrument of choice and then pick a time that will work for you. Our calendar shows available free lessons for the next 3 weeks. More questions? Just email us!

How do I know which teacher to pick for my free lesson?

First, check out our Teacher Directory to get an overview of which teachers specialize in students of your age, abilities and interests.

You can learn more about them by reviewing their individual bio pages, too. If you're still not sure, please send us an email or call us at 206-407-9610 and we can help you select the right instructor that will meet your needs.

Do I need to bring anything to my first free lesson?

Just your smiling face and a desire to learn.

If you're taking violin, bass, guitar or ukulele and have your own instrument, please bring it with you. If you do not own one of these kinds of instrument, we do have one available for you to use.

If you're taking a brass or woodwind instrument such as the trumpet or the saxophone, we do have clean mouthpieces at the school that you can use in order to share the instrument with your teacher. If you decide that you'd like to continue with lessons, we suggest that you rent before buying.

Where do I go for my first free lesson?

If your lesson is at the main school at 4509 Midvale Ave N, you enter the school via the deck stairs on the 45th side of the building. There’s a piano mural you can’t miss! Walk up those stairs and take a seat in our waiting room; your teacher will come get you when your lesson is about to begin.

If your lesson is at the satellite school at 1201 N 46th Street, you enter via the basement door at the bottom of the driveway. Once you enter, you can hang out in the waiting room; your teacher will come get you when your lesson is about to begin.

I loved my free lesson! How do I sign up for more?

After your free lesson, we'll send you an email to find out how it went and to provide instructions on how to signup for more lessons.

Basically, we'll need you to send us an email letting us know that you'd like to continue lessons and how many lessons you anticipate you'll take each month. We'll provide instructions on how to schedule a regularly recurring lesson, setup your billing and then send you your first invoice.

What do I do if I can’t make my free lesson?

We have a 48-hour cancellation policy, and can only offer one free lesson. If you can't make your scheduled free lesson, please do one of the following:

  • You can cancel 48 hours in advance via the link included in your lesson reminder email.
  • If you need to cancel with less than 48-hours' notice, please let us know via email or by calling us at 206-407-9610. In the event of an emergency, we will consider making an exception and help you reschedule your free lesson.

Billing Questions

How much do lessons cost?

Check out our Pricing & Policies for the most up-to-date lesson fees.

How does billing work?

At the beginning of each month, we'll bill you in advance for that month's number of anticipated lessons (1, 2 or 4). 

Any excused, cancelled lessons become credits on the following month's invoice; similarly, any lessons you take in addition to your regularly billed amount will be added to the following month's invoice.

Your invoice will be emailed to you by the 5th of each month, and are due within 20 days of receipt. We do charge a late fee of $10 on all past-due invoices.

To ensure that you receive your monthly invoice, please add the email address maildelivery@freshbooks.com to your email software's whitelist.

Can I pay as I go? Do I have to pay in advance?

We bill for all lessons in advance, and cannot do so individually.

When you sign up with us for regular lessons, please let us know how many lessons you anticipate taking per month; we'll bill you for that amount and then credit you the following month for any lessons that you didn't use.

How do I pay my invoice?

You can pay your invoice in one of the following ways:

  • Online: Your invoice contains a direct link for you to pay using your debit or credit card
  • In Person: Drop a check in the dropbox in the school's waiting room
  • By Mail: Send a check to us at 4509 Midvale Ave North, Seattle, WA, 98103

If paying by check, please make it out to Off the Wall School of Music.

Please remember that you must pay within 20 days of receipt of your invoice to avoid the $10 late fee.

I am going to be cancelling a lesson this month. Does that mean I only have to pay for the lessons I know I will be attending?

 No, we bill in advance for the same amount of lessons each month.

If you regularly take 4 lessons each month, you will still receive an invoice for 4 lessons, despite holidays, vacations and advanced cancellations. These will appear as credits on the following month's invoice.

Cancellation Questions

What is your cancellation policy?

We require 48 hours’ notice to cancel a lesson without forfeiting your lesson or incurring a charge.

How do I cancel a single lesson?

If you need to cancel an upcoming lesson, do one of the following:

I want to take a break from lessons, how do I do that?

You can hold your lesson time slot for three weeks. If you need more time, then please notify us no later than the 20th of the month for discontinuation effective the following month.  When you are ready to come back, we will work with you to find a convenient time slot.

To discontinue lessons, do one the following:

Any credit balances can be refunded, or we can keep them on file for future use.

How do I permanently discontinue lessons?

We are sorry to see you go, but understand that circumstances change and hope to see you back again soon.

If you need to discontinue your lessons indefinitely please notify us later than the 20th of the month for discontinuation effective the following month.

To discontinue lessons indefinitely, you can do one the following:

Any credit balances can be refunded, or we can keep them on file for future use.

My child was sick, and we didn’t know that they would be sick 48 hours in advance. Do we still have to pay?

Yes.

We understand that kids get sick, and that you can’t predict this, but out of respect for our teachers, their time and livelihood, we have to charge for any cancellation made with less than 48 hours' notice. We appreciate your understanding.

I told my teacher I wouldn’t be at the next lesson, does that qualify as a notice of cancellation?

No.

While it's nice to let the teacher know that you won't be coming the next time, they're focused solely on teaching and don't handle scheduling.

Please contact the office directly regarding cancellations or rescheduling requests.

What happens if my teacher cannot make a lesson?

We know that it's important for you to keep a consistent lesson schedule, and that you can also benefit from learning from different instructors. If your teacher is unable to come in for your scheduled lesson, we will make every effort to find a skilled substitute -- either one of our other regular teachers or someone with whom we've worked in the past.

When we schedule a substitute for your teacher, we will let you know via email so that you'll know what to expect. To ensure that the lesson is positive and successful for you, we will also follow-up afterward to get your feedback on the experience.

If we're unable to schedule a substitute, we'll cancel your lesson at no cost to you.