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How to Choose a Music School in Oahu, Hawaii

Updated: Aug 26

Music and studying music are important things. Making time in your life, and your child’s life, for music is one of the most important gifts you can give them. And we know it takes time to get children to lessons, make patient and ample time for practicing. Here’s our tips on choosing a music school in Hawaii to help you and your family get the best results, in an efficient manner.

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Traffic: On Oahu, one of the biggest concerns of the day is traffic. So choosing a music school for yourself or for your child can be more of a a geographic decision rather than an actual choice of best teacher or school. Most music schools are open for after-school hours between the hours of 3pm - 8pm. This means you will be fighting the after school / work traffic which begins on Oahu around 230pm and ends around 730pm. Try to choose a music school that is convenient to your home or child’s school.


Hours of operation: As mentioned above, most schools are open for after school or work, so finding a school that has flexible hours would be a very positive attribute. Schools around the country are changing their hours to accommodate home-schooled students. If you can find a school on Oahu that is open for lunch hours such as 12 noon til 2pm, you will be able to skip the late afternoon rush, get your music education in, and get back home before the congestion begins. Chuck James Music School has these types of hours. We have heard of some families that take a few kids from school, bring them in for lessons at lunch, and then take kids back to school. That is dedication, but, could work well for your schedule.


Variety of instruments available with instruction: Many music schools in Oahu focus on one or two instruments. This can be positive aspect because you can count on the teachers to specialize in that field. However, finding a school that offers a wide variety of music and instruments with instruction can have its advantages. Many families are looking for a couple of different types of instruction for one child or for a few different instruments for all of their children. A school that offers many instruments can allow you and your family to experience a wider range of musical education experiences at one location.


Cancellation Policy: Cancellation policies can be one of the trickiest aspects of taking lessons at a music school as compared to taking lessons from a musician friend down the street. Most music schools have a very strict cancellation policy. This is to protect the value of our instructors time, and to encourage students to take their commitment and practice seriously. Discussing the cancellation policy with the director of the school before the semester gets started is important. At Chuck James Music School on Oahu, we offer a common policy: "Only two cancellations per semester". This means that per semester (3 to 4 months), you will be allowed two cancellations which will allow a makeup lesson to be scheduled.


Long Term Contract: Commonly music schools will force students to commit to a long term contract such as per semester, per 6 months, or per year.

Finding a music school who has shorter term commitments may be easier for the modern day family who has several commitments such as sports, dance, martial arts and music.


Recitals: Why take lessons if you never get to see your child perform. Having at least one recital per year is an absolute necessity. Not all students are excited about this due to stage fright, but many students thrive and are excited to perform in front of their family and friends. Giving the students this opportunity to prepare and perform is an exciting event for students, parents and teachers


Established in the community: Music schools hire musicians, BUT not all accomplished musicians are good music instructors. One should find an establishment that has found their formula for hiring quality teachers. This is only one part of the formula. Another part of the formula is all the above mentioned aspects:

Accessibility, Policies, Contracts, Recitals, Variety of instrumental instruction, Hours of operation, and more.


We wish you luck in finding that music school that works for you! We welcome any questions you may have about learning music, music lessons, or the experience you can expect at Chuck James Music School. We offer lessons for kids and adults in piano, ukulele, voice, guitar, trumpet, and more.


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