- What age students falls into this ECM Department?
Our Early Childhood Music programs include babies from 12 weeks through 8 years, and special needs students to age 16 years. We also have prenatal curriculum for parents-to-be!
- When is the best time for me to enroll?
Glad you asked! Welcome to Perfect Praise, Inc.
We have two types of ECM lessons… on-going and sessions. Entry points differ by these class types.
Open Enrollment in our On-Going ECM Classes: In our on-going structure, new students may enroll at any time based on availability of openings. These class types include: Bounce N Baby, Tots N Time and Music N Motion. (The Music N Motion class has curriculum changes three times a year (January, June and September) but even with those, you are welcomed to enroll at any time.)
Progressive Sessions: Some of our ECM class types are progressive and require session commitments. The best time to enroll for a session is before it starts, as the study is progressive. ECM session- type lessons include: Music4Me, Pre Kids N Keys and Kids N Keys.
- What is your Weather Cancellation Policy?
One thing that is certain about Alabama weather is that we experience all the variances that Mother Nature has to offer! Our Weather Policy is that if the Huntsville City School System has announced closing due to anything except snow, we will follow their lead. So if they close at 2:00 for all after school activities, we will close also. If they open at 10 a.m., we will open at 10 a.m. also.
HOWEVER, in the case of a snow forecast, and snow has not fallen, then we will wait until the radar shows that threatening weather is moving into the Muscle Shoals area and will make an announcement by changing the voicemail greeting on our office number. So in that case, you make one phone call to us … at 256-348-6634. Make this call about an hour before your class time for updated information. But … even if we are open. Please do not try to attend class if the weather doesn’t permit safe travel in your area.
If the weather related question occurs in the summer, then call the office for information.
Weather-related tuition for cancelled classes are neither rescheduled (due to full schedules) or refunded, since those cancellations are out of our control. When possible we post a Perfect Praise TV link for a few weeks after the cancellation to give our families a bonus for the cancelled lesson. We also offer virtual proficiency for our students taking private and piano lab lessons.
- Do I have to set up Recurring Billing?
We have structures in place to save us money and in the long run, will also save you money. We do not take monthly payment by cash or checks. We ask that each family provide us with a Visa, MasterCard, Discover debit or credit card for your account to run automatically monthly.
Our recurring billing structures are safe for you and simple for us. We do recurring billing with Quick Books. Once you are in our system, your bank account is charged early morning on the 1st, even if it fall on a Sunday. Quick Books posts your payment directly to your account with us. If it is declined for some reason, they will notify us. We give you until the 10th of the month to get your account current again to avoid a late penalty.
- We operate a paperless system so you will not receive a tuition invoice.
- Tuition is charged by the month, in advance.
- You are charged for lessons that you miss or cancel as we are holding a space just for you.
- Tuition is not refunded for any reason.
Session Advance Check: Parents may pay a full Pre KnK or Kids N Keys session ahead by check. At the start of the session we will invoice you for the full session including materials. You write one check for all, due to the office before start date of that session. $35 returned check fee applies.
- I'm going to be out of the country for two months, can I hold my space in class?
We are open year round. You have two options should you desire to take time off for any reason, including summer breaks.
- Remain Enrolled: If you desire to hold your class time, full tuition is charged until you attend again. Most families choose to remain enrolled because they don’t want to lose their space or go through the enrollment processes again just to take a break for the 8 weeks of summer. Just remain enrolled and attend when in town. That keeps their space secure for fall lessons, and takes a light touch to their summer studies. Remember that we have virtual lessons for the Kids N Keys and do virtual proficiency even while you are away so you can continue in the same class once you return.
- Terminate: If you don’t want to pay fees during the summer, then you must terminate following our normal termination guidelines. When ready to return to class, you must process paperwork following enrollment guidelines (including application fee), and you’ll be placed in class based on current availability of openings.
- On-Going: Remember to give one month advance notice if in an on-going program. For summer breaks, that means you must give written notice by end of April to withdraw the last of May.
- In a Session: You must pay for the length of the session commitment, regardless of whether or not you attend. So plan ahead!
- I noticed that your preschool lessons are group. I would prefer private instruction for my 5 year old. Isn't that better?
On the surface we can understand that thinking. For instance, private swim lessons may be better than class swim lessons because of the individualized attention. However, that is not true for music class for children under age 8. Here are some of the differences between private instruction and class piano in our ECM Kids N Keys classes.
- ECM involves the piano, which is the number-one instrument for brain function enhancement, but also includes the recorder (a pre-band instrument) and the guitar. Younger classes includes all types of rhythm instruments and drums.
- ECM involves open windows of opportunity for brain function enhancement while the brain is actively wiring. Successful private instruction starts at an age when these windows of opportunity have already closed.
- ECM involves singing. Singing enhances and trains the listening ear. Singing enhances our immune system and engages the brain. Usually private instruction does not include singing or ear training.
- ECM involves the partner in the learning process. This gives the child a built-in tutor at home. This is very important for a young child, and the partner has the opportunity to learn right along with the child. They experience it together. In private instruction usually a parent is not present.
- ECM involves friends, and this brings up a powerful element we call positive peer pressure. The importance of class time dynamics is something that cannot be overly-stressed. Children are extremely competitive; if a child is struggling with something, they look over at another child who is excelling at it, which motivates him/her to work harder not to be outdone, whereas in private lessons, the student has no one to compare themselves to, so the learning pace is usually slower.
- ECM involves performance skills. Right from the first month of Kids N Keys classes, the students perform for each other—for a reward, of course. Then when it is time to perform on stage, it is easy for them to do so because they are performing with their friends. Whereas private students don’t have the opportunity to perform in front of others on a frequent basis, so stage fright is more of an issue.
- ECM involves rewards and fun. We encourage hard work! Children learn that if they work hard they get rewarded. We praise their accomplishments and gently guide them into proficiency. Private instructors can gear towards having fun, however who will have more fun ,,, when there are two in a room (one adult and one child) or a classroom full of children?
- ECM involves worship. The Bible tells us “To worship Him with stringed instruments and organs.” “Sing and make music to the Lord,” etc. When we are obedient to those commands, we are the benefactors. Even in a worship school, private lessons makes the worship component more difficult because of time constraints limiting students from picking up a tambourine and praising the Lord.
- ECM involves composing. God has placed inside each of us the ability to create. Those God-given gifts are brought into action by composing songs in each level of Kids N Keys. Usually private instruction does not include composing because of time constraints.
- ECM involves transposing. Transposing is the ability to change a song into a different tonality to enable a singer to sing. This ability is typically very difficult to learn, but our young students are able to do it because of the internalizing elements of our program. Most traditional private lessons do not include transposing.
If you had a set of 6-year-old twins and placed one in traditional private instruction and one in our KnK program, you would not believe the difference in their abilities in two years. In our Kids N Keys department, your child will learn to perform in five different keys, transpose and compose their own songs. You, as the partner in class get to learn right along with them … all you have to do is practice!
- What is your Referral Policy?
A satisfied customer is our best advertising, and we are pleased that most of our new students are referred to our program by other students. That’s exciting for us; it’s also exciting for you! When you refer someone to our program, you earn a free lesson. It’s our way of thanking you for spreading the word.
To get this credit, the registering family must name you on their application, or you may send our Student Account Secretary an e-mail to notify us of your referral within 30 days of the start date of the new family. Your credited lesson is awarded the next calendar month after your referred family has attended the Partner Workshop and began classes.
There are no limits to the number of friends you can refer, so help us spread the word about our program. The Referral Credit has no cash value and cannot be transferred.
- My 3 year old doesn’t seem interested in class time, but loves the virtual lessons. Should I force her to participate?
Especially the first few weeks with very young children, if your child doesn’t want to participate, it’s okay; don’t force her to. As soon as you attempt to force a child, there is a battle of the wills and it is no longer fun for them.
YOU participate, and it won’t be long before your child will be ready to join in, because she doesn’t want you to have fun withouther. If your child has been in the program for a while, and wants to go sit down and not participate, we ask that you re-engage her in the class time activities. You might also give her a treat or reward for participating in the early days to motivate her until the joy of participating takes over.
- My 4-year-old child didn’t want to attend class today. Should I force him, or do we need to quit for a while?
It is very normal for a child’s interest to fall off for short periods of time. Usually we see this happen after students have missed lessons for some reason, or have just changed departments. Or it may have more to do with activities that they were involved in when it was time to go to music class.
Keep class time fun and light, something that they look forward to.
It is our opinion that a preschool child doesn’t have the ability to make the decision as to whether music class should be continued or not. Sometimes, if they are tired or having fun while involved in another activity, they would rather continue that activity than attend music class. At times like this, remind yourself as to who is the parent! You know and understand the benefits of music, but your child doesn’t.
Make music day something to look forward to; maybe even reward them! Do something special after music class to encourage good attitudes. You might try going to a favorite restaurant or to the park after music. Find little ways to keep music upbeat and a good experience.
Make music a priority and a commitment in your life—they will pick up on your attitude.
- I have a child in Tots N Time. It seems that we sing the same songs over and over. Is all this repetition really necessary?
Yes. Young children need repetition of songs, although we do add new songs frequently. At any age, all-new songs overwhelm and are not enjoyable. Repetitions of “Twinkle, Twinkle” may get boring for the adults, but the kids thrive on it.
It’s through repetition that the ear is developed and musical skills are learned.
- Recently my child promoted into a new department. She loved music class before, now she doesn’t want to attend. What is going on?
When a child changes departments, she may be overwhelmed a little at the beginning. The class length is longer, with new concepts and experiences being offered. The child may become unsettled, just like when you began the program.
But the biggest issue is that her class friends and even her favorite teacher may remain in her former class. This is a very normal reaction. Keep reinforcing her abilities, keep your attendance regular and she will soon grow to love the new class.
Children are more social than you would believe. You might also invite a few of her new friends to the park on a sunny day.
Encourage and reward her efforts … and soon she will feel right at home.
- My 5-year-old is in the Kids N Keys class. I feel that she could move faster in private lessons. What do you think?
Our Kids N Keys classes are basically “class piano.” In class piano, we aim at the center of the class. Some children can move faster, while some need a slower pace, but we developed the program that aims for the middle student, and it is a process that works!
Your child will learn to play with hands together in five keys, three major and two minor, as well as transpose and compose. She will typically not receive those skills in private instruction. Also, most children her age are unsuccessful in private lessons; and even learning to perform at the piano is difficult.
Then we also add beginning guitar and recorder. These are instruments that are not usually offered at her age in private settings, so once again you would have to wait.
Positive peer pressure works…. so sit back enjoy and watch your child excel.
Watching our students develop musical skills is an amazing process, and it happens in the group environment.
- My 6 year old son is in the Kids N Keys department and is just not enjoying the piano. What should I do?
Has your attendance been regular? Do you have daily practice sessions at home at a time when he is not tired? Is he behind?
We have seen, based on past experience, that one of these three reasons may be the culprit for uninterested or overwhelmed students. We have seen that if you maintain good daily practice sessions and keep your attendance regular, all students succeed in the program. But we know that sometimes “life hits”. Things occur that make your child behind in the program.
We can help.
- The Kids N Keys department has its own video Parent Guide. Refer to it for more information and tips.
- If your child is struggling, notify your teacher.
- We may suggest that you set up a tutor lesson to get an opinion and a strategy to catch up. Sometimes this little nudge of encouragement saves a lot of frustration. Studying music is like learning a new language: it’s not easy, but just look at the rewards!
- Encourage your child. Reward every effort that is given without tears. Make practicing something that you look forward to, not dread! Keep regular practice time fun and positive.
- Do I have to attend music lessons with my child?
In our Early Childhood Music program, we ask that all children be accompanied by an adult to music class. We call you “Partner”. A Partner can be a parent, grandparent, nanny, babysitter or therapist. We do recommend that the Partner for the Kids N Keys department be the one who practices with the child at home.
Your role changes as you move through our ECM program, and you will graduate right along with your child from the Kids N Keys department. You will learn to play the piano, guitar and recorder!
We ask that all Partners attend a Partner Workshop before attending class with your child. Partner Workshops are usually held once a month. Call the PPI office for more information and to register for the next PW.