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Frequently Asked Questions

This area is designed help you quickly find an answer to your question about our program. We have tried to include answers to as many frequent questions as we have gotten (or could think up). You can browse through this area to find the information you need, or you can use the search box at the top of the page. If you can't find what you need PLEASE contact us. If you need an answer right away please use the live chat option - if we are available you'll see that option at the bottom right of the page. You can also drop us a note using the CONTACT US menu option above.


Please click here to review our full list of programs


Please click here for a complete list of our program leaders/directors.


There are many reasons that all youth should be involved in some sort of performing arts as a part of their education. Here are a few specific reasons to include it in your home-school programming.

How does this help my child cognitively?

There are many research studies that go back many years that have shown how participating in any sort of performing arts programing helps develop not only right-brain (logical) development and left-brain (creative) development, it develops both of those at the same time - in ways that other academic disciplines do not do.

How does this help my child spiritually?

Our program is specifically designed to promote a Christ-Centered, Biblical world view throughout our entire program. All of our instructors/leaders are commited Christians that follow a traditional Biblical world view and are free (and encouraged) to share Biblical references and allusions during rehearsals and performances in ways that are natural. Directors may also pray during rehearsals and performances as is deemed appropriate. We also incorporate at least some 'church music' content throughout the year. (A short introduction of each leader's Christian/Religious background is included in their bios. These can be found by viewing our list of leades as well as directly on any program/group information page.

How does this help my child learn leadership skills?

Our desire is not just to have students sit in a chair and play or sing, we want to give each student the opportunity to take on leadership roles within the various groups. This includes opportunities for both musical leadership as well as 'organizational' leadership. The opportunities vary from group to group. We also focus on allowing them to learn through assisted 'trial and error'. Learning to lead is more quickly and effectively done when the student is able to take risks, and potentially have some minor failure, while guided/mentored by directors/leaders who can help them learn through those experiences. The atmosphere of the groups will always be maintained as supportive of students when they are learning to lead - without undue pressure or a critical atmosphere.

What types of performing arts are best for my child?

There really isn't any way to answer this in a 'general' manner. Each student is different and most students can 'grow into' whatever program they connect with early in their experience. However, as each student has their own personality, so do different groups. Some students excel in large-group instrumental settings, some do better in smaller groups. Our program is specifically designed to start students in larger-group experiences first and then help them try and find different opportunities as they mature.

We strongly recommend directly connecting with us, usually in-person or via online meeting, to have a conversation about where your student would best fit in, based on personality, existing skills, as well as their other academic and personal schedules.

Why are 'group' performing arts important (compared to private lessons)?

 Although private performing arts learning (i.e. piano lessons, voice lessons, acting lessons etc.) are a GREAT starting point for learning basic musical skills, they lack a very key cognitive process that is important for brain development and for preparation for 'the real world'. That is to have the abilities to use those cross-hemisphere/brain cognitive processes in real-time interaction with others doing the same.

Learning to play a piano piece by oneself, where it is all up to you when all the notes are played, is vastly different than learning how to learn what seems to be a simpler musical part (i.e. just a single melody line) and needing to be able to play that part at exactly the same time as the person next to you (or possibly in an echo format back and forth with that person). When you take that to a full band or choir experience where you have to do that with many other musicians and you are doing it over many songs and styles, the cognitive benefits are expanded exponentially.

What is required?

Are there prerequisites?

Although we encourage parents to include some form of music education in elementary grades, it is NOT required to have any experience before joining our program. However, some of the groups have skill level expectations.

No previous experience required

  • Man Choir
  • Academy Chorale (girls choir)
  • Beginning Band (NOTE: percussionists are expected to have 1 year of piano prior to starting band)

Some experience required

  • Concert Band
  • Symphonic Band
  • Pep Band

Advanced groups requiring advanced skills and open by audition

  • Jazz Band

What are the age groups?

All our groups are generally open to those in grade 6-12.

What is expected of the students?

  • Be present at rehearsals
  • Practice regularly during the week (average 15-30 min. per weekday; although more for advanced groups)
  • Participate in all public performances (usually 3 per year, some advanced and smaller groups may have more)
  • Take proper care of their instrument
  • Take proper care of their music
  • Treat everyone else in their performing groups with respect

What is expected of the parents?

  • Provide the student with the necessary instrument
  • Provide the student with private lessons (optional)
  • Volunteer to be a 'band monitor' (sit in the band room during rehearsals) several times throughout the year
  • Help with performances
  • Get the student to rehearsals and performances on-time
  • Encourage the student in their practicing and performances

What are the costs?

The average cost per semester, per student, per band is $240. There are some ensembles that are a bit less, some are a bit more. Additionally there is a $100/year per family program fee to cover general operation of the programs (including performances, etc.).

Also, the parents are responsible for the cost of the student's instrument. We have made arrangements with Groth music for a 'package price' for most instruments, but paying for the cost is the responsibility of the parent/family.

Also, each band member will be required to provide the proper concert attire. It is possible that the student already has the needed clothing/shoes/etc; however, if not then they will need to be purchased.

Where do I start?

What program should we be considering?

  • Choir
    • Man Choir - for guys in grades 8-12
    • Academy Chorale - for girls in grades 6-12
  • Band
    • No experience playing a band instrument*
      • Beginning Band
    • Some experience playing a band instrument*
      • Concert Band
      • Pep Band
    • Several years experience playing a band instrument*
      • Symphonic Band
      • Jazz Band

How do we get started/registered?

The first thing to do is sign-up for our emails for the group/s for which you are interested (using the Get Email Updates link above).

Then go to and follow their instructions for getting registered for classes and register for the appropriate groups.

PLEASE NOTE: If you're not sure about what group to join use the contact us form above to ask us what band your child should be in.

AUDITION GROUPS; If your child is interested in being part of one of our audition groups, after you have signed up for the appropriate email list (per above), go to the Mid Metro web site and register for that group but DO NOT PAY for the course until after the auditions happen and you have been notified that you will be in the group.

What do we need to do before the program begins?


I have concerns

How do I know that my son/daughter will like it?

To be honest, although we try to make it fun, there ARE going to be times that they might not like it. Being part of a group playing or singing together, although fun at times, does take work. And if you don't do your work at home (i.e. practicing), everyone around you will likely know.

Additionally, being part of a performing arts group takes a bit of time to get 'used to'. It is unlike any other type of group - even different than most group sports. The best way to approach it is to plan to stick it out for the entire year and make a decision at that point.

Also, because this is our first year with our larger groups, they will be changing a bit throughout the year, so if you don't like it this week, within a few weeks things might be significantly different.

And being part of a band/choir should not be entered into just based on how much you like it. Band and Choir ARE academic programs and go on your school transcript. You avoid math classes because your student doesn't like math. Just like math, some students take a bit of time to learn to like band/choir.

Can we switch instruments / groups?

We don't encourage switching instruments because students don't 'like' an instrument; however, especially with beginning band members, it may take a bit of time to determine what instrument is best for the student. If you use our 'package deal' program for instruments with Groth Music, we can relatively easily make a switch of instruments.

Any switching should be done with the approval of the director.

There also may be reasons that we might suggest that students switch from one band to another. This is usually done within the first couple weeks of rehearsal or at the semester brake. We understand that there may be conflicts with other classes so we will work with students and parents to find the best solution for the situation.

This seems like a long/big commitment

To be honest, it can be. If a student starts in band in 6th grade, it may be the ONLY class that they have for 7 years in a row. And if they choose to continue into college - for 11 years or more!  Many home school students might be involved in many different classes at different co-ops and organizations and other activities over the year. Band and Choir can be a common and familiar thing for them throughout many transitions. Most band/choir members develop close relationships with those in their performing groups and many  develop life-long friendships there.

It takes a lot of effort, esp. on the part of parents, to make participation in band or choir work within the home school family structure; however, it can bring many rewards for those efforts.

Other misc questions

*What instruments are included in what groups?

  • Beginning Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band
    It's easier to say what is NOT included - Keyboard instruments (i.e. piano/organ/accordion); String instruments. All other 'wind' instruments and percussion are included
  • Jazz Band - Trumpet, Trombone, Saxophone (all), Keyboard (piano), Guitar (electric), Bass (electric or upright), Percussion (drum set; hand percussion)
  • Pep Band - Same as Concert/Symphonic Band

Where do you rehearse?

All rehearsals for this year will be at the St. Marks school building, 1983 Dayton Avenue in St. Paul (just off highway 94 at Snelling). It's VERY easy to access from the highway and centrally located for most of the twin cities.

Where will performances be located

We're still working on those details. Some may be at the St. Marks school building, some may be at other locations within the metro area. Our aim is to keep them as centrally located as possible.

How many students will be in each group?

It is very hard to say with most of our groups as 2021-2022 will be our first year. We have had significant interest so we are expecting small but viable groups for each band.

What about COVID?

We follow the raw science related to the infection as well as how our playing/singing might impact the group and we review recommended methods to keep everyone safe. That applies not only to COVID but all other illnesses. We have reviewed the statistics and, as it stands right now, most students the age of our programs do not get seriously ill from COVID, any more than other regular diseases we face. Additionally our directors are not at high risk and will continue to direct as long as legally permitted.

Studies have been done that show that wind instruments don't significantly increase the transmitability of most viruses. Additionally, the 'mitigating solutions' that have been deployed over the past year in some band rooms (instrument 'masks', player 'tents', etc.) do not eliminate the presence of virus in the rehearsal space. Because of this we do not require or recommend their usage as there are potential significant other health risks or potential damage to instruments by using them.

If your student (or you or other family members) have compromised immune systems then band and choir might not be a good choice for you student if you are concerned about health risks related to participation in these groups.


 My question isn't answered here - where can I find out more?

  • Review the specifics of each group by selecting ABOUT US >> PROGRAMS above, then click on the title of the group
  • Us the Contact Us form to ask us you questions