FAQ

Do I need to be a songwriter?
No. Whenever possible, student songs are used as examples for learning chart writing and lead sheet writing techniques and the entire class participates. Any assignments given in addition to the workbook exercises will be customized depending on the students. In chart writing workshop, pop songs may be used instead of original songs.

Do I need to be a singer?
No.


Do I need to play an instrument?
No. However, you may face an extra challenge if you do not. It is recommended that you try to use a keyboard or other instrument so you can hear what you are working on. Garageband and other apps that allow you to play and hear pitches and chords can be used if you don’t have access to a keyboard.


I’m a lyricist,can I take this class?
Absolutely! We want you!


Will I be required to perform in class?
No, you will not be required to perform for the class. “Real World Assignments” are given in addition to workbook homework. These are creative exercises designed to get you using what you’ve learned right away. If you prepare something for the class, you have many options:  play your creation for the class using a guitar or the piano, bring a simple recording, have your instructor play it for the class, or give it to your instructor to review privately.


I already know some theory, do I need to take the Basic Theory 1 Workshop or can I go straight to Basic Theory 2?
In order to answer this question, how would you assess your skills based on these statements:
1) You are not super fast, but can read and write notes on the staff. YES / NO
2) You understand time signatures. YES / NO
3) You can tell if your song is “in 4” or “in 3.” YES / NO
4) You are comfortable using rhythmic notation such as quarter notes, eighth notes, dotted notes and ties. YES / NO
5) You can build a major scale. YES / NO
6) You can hear and understand the difference between major and minor chords. YES/NO
7) At least most of the time, you are correct about the key of your songs and the chords you are playing. YES / NO
8) If you were asked to play or name the notes in any chord — even one you’d never played before — could you?
9) Are you comfortable identifying song sections and determining the number of measures in each section?  YES/NO
10) Are you familiar with repeat signs and numbered endings?  YES/NO

If you answered “yes” to question number 8 and to some or most of the other questions, you can probably skip to Basic Theory 2. 


I already know a lot of theory through practical experience, but I don’t actually read music. Which class is for me?
Read the answer to the previous FAQ question. If you answered “YES” to all but the first question about reading, you may be able to skip Basic Theory 1 and take Basic Theory 2 or take the Basic Theory Express Workshop. Call 212-330-8980 or email tamara.hey@gmail.com; let’s be sure.


REFUNDS: What if I miss a class?
If schedules permit, a make-up session may be arranged, but this is impossible to guarantee in advance. If you know that you will miss classes, you might want to consider waiting for the next round of workshops or sign up for one-on-one sessions. There will be no refunds for missed classes.


What is your refund policy?
Class sizes are kept small for the benefit of the students, therefore, every student counts. If you register for a class and decide not to take it, 50% of your registration fee will be kept as a deposit. You may apply the deposit toward a future workshop.


Which workshops are available online?
All of the workshops are available online except for the Chart Writing Workshop.  Online workshops are LIVE (not pre-recorded). Participate as a virtual student in a workshop taking place in NYC or join a group of online students. Skype, Google Hangouts, etc. are used for online workshops.


Are private lessons available? How do I know if they would be better for me?
Yes, private lessons are available in person and online. If your schedule is too inconsistent to allow for a weekly workshop and/or you would like to learn the material at your own pace, the one-on-one option may be better for you. The cost of private lessons will be determined by the length of each lesson and you may study for as many weeks as you like. Call 212-330-8980 or email info@alphabetcitymusic.com to inquire about private lessons.


Are one-one-one sessions available online?
Yes, private lessons are available online. Call 212-330-8980 or email info@alphabetcitymusic.com to inquire.

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