Frequently Asked Questions
Is there an age requirement for students at the NCSP?
Students of all ages are welcome at the school. Parents/guardians of children younger than 7 years of age are asked to contact the school for guidelines in evaluating their student's readiness for percussion study.
Can I join a community ensemble without being part of the private study program?
Yes. All community members of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to participate in the NCSP’s performance ensembles.
Do I need to own an instrument or can I just use one at the school?
In order to fully participate in the learning process, each student enrolled in the private study programs must have access to an appropriate instrument for daily practice outside the school environment. In most cases this will require the student to rent or purchase their own instrument. In the case of drum set students, the school has rental instruments available to get started in the first 30-120 days. Keyboard students are encouraged to purchase their own instrument, purchase a suitable practice instrument, and/or make arrangements with their school program director to have access to a school instrument. NCSP has unique "Keyboard Practice Pads" available for sale as well as a Rent-To-Own keyboard program. Details are available from the school. Timpani students are encouraged to make arrangements with their school program director to have access to a school instrument set. Summer students preparing for auditions may be able to make arrangements to use instruments at the school for practice. Please contact the school to inquire about special circumstances.
Do I play on real instruments during my time with my instructor at the school or do I play on pads, low-volume, or electronic facsimiles?
All instruction at NCSP takes place in studios or rehearsal/performance rooms designed and outfitted specifically for percussion instruction including professional quality instruments on a par with what is found at universities and professional performance groups across the country.
How are instruction sessions paid for?
Invoices are sent out each month covering the following month's instructional sessions. The invoices must be paid in full by the first day of the instructional month. Payment may be made by credit/debit card, cash, or check directly to the school.
What is the cost of private instructional sessions?
Weekly private instructional sessions are available at the following costs:
30-Miunte weekly session - $32
60-Minute weekly session - $64
Under some circumstances bi-weekly 60-minute sessions are available at $70 per session.
Other session arrangements, lengths, and frequencies can be arranged for summer sessions, audition preparation, etc. Please contact the school with special requests.
Can I just get help preparing for an audition?
Yes, customized “Audition prep” packages are available. These include ensemble, honors ensemble, marching unit, and college entrance/placement auditions. NCSP keeps up-to-date audition requirements and repertoire materials required by most North Carolina university and college percussion studios as well as community groups and middle school / high school honors ensembles. Please contact the school to enquire about your specific needs.
Can I learn more than one instrument?
Absolutely! The NCSP curriculum is designed to allow interested students the opportunity to begin developing skills on a second percussion instrument area once an intermediate level of skill is developed on their initial instrument. Certain instructional tracks such as Concert Percussion and World Music employ multiple instruments throughout the track.
If I already play some, do I have to start over?
No. During your first few weeks of study your private instructor will evaluate where your skill set currently lies in relationship to the appropriate NCSP instructional track and guide you through the process of “filling in the holes”, if needed, to connect the student fully to the progressive skill development while continuing to move forward in overall skill development.
Do I need to be able to read music to enroll?
Reading music is a critical skill needed to develop performance mastery on percussion instruments. While no reading skills are required to begin instruction, all of the instructional tracks at the school assist the student in becoming adept at reading music
What are students, parents and directors saying about us?
"My daughter took lessons for almost three years somewhere else and wanted to quit. One of her friends told her about NCSP. She is now part of the NCSP “family” and her coaching sessions are the high point of her week. Both of us are thrilled with the results…"
"In 9th grade my son wanted to try out for the drum line at school with all his friends. He had never played any instrument before but loved the drums. The band director told him he would have to learn how to play and read music and suggested he enroll for the summer at NCSP. We did and he made the drum line that fall. Two years later he is still at NCSP and is now the Drum Captain at school."
"My son always wanted to play timpani. In 6th grade he joined the band but they never really played timpani. We enrolled him at NCSP so he could learn. Since then he has been the timpanist in five honors bands and will be the timpanist in high school next year as a freshman. (NCSP also got him a paying gig playing timpani at a church this Christmas with an all-adult orchestra!)"
"It’s so nice to be able to see and hear my daughter’s progress on the website. I wish all schools operated like this!..."
"I decided to enroll for a month or two at NCSP to work on my reading skills and explore some other drum set music styles in order to get more gigs. Two years later I’m still here! Never had so much fun learning. You guys rock!"
"I play in a band and I wanted my son to learn to play Mexican pop music so we could play together. He is doing very well at congas and has taught me some things about the music as well! He plays at church too and is only 8. He is now teaching me how to read music better."
"…Solid instruction for serious students…and the facilities are gorgeous! Nothing else like it around here!"
"It seemed like we changed instructors every 6-8 months where we were before. At NCSP we have had the same instructor for three years and my son is making much better progress. I finally feel like I am getting my money’s worth."
"Wow, what a difference! No more playing on a cheap, “low-volume” electronic drum set in the “back-room” of the music store. Top-notch instruments set up in a professional teaching studio with full audio and video recording and playback capabilities. I really wish I had known about this sooner."
"I wish I would have started here. I feel like I wasted a year-and-a-half of my life where I was before."
"It’s fun! The other kids in my class at school can’t believe how much better I am. The teacher has me teach them now!"
"The students in my program that study at NCSP have quickly become the best percussionists in my program."
"Having a curriculum driven school that syncs to my curriculum is awesome!"
"I can’t believe how much easier my job is when I have a few percussionists in each ensemble who are really well trained. Thank You NCSP!"
Have more questions? Ready to get started?
Offering quality music lessons in : Snare Drum, Drum Set, Marching Percussion, Timpani, Congas, Djembe, Afro-Cuban Percussion, Brazilian Percussion, Marimba, Steel drum, and Vibraphone.