Conservatory Handbook

Each student’s success in the Barthelmes Conservatory is absolutely dependent upon consistent parental support, interest, guidance and supervision. The parent, the child and the teacher must work together to achieve success. Although the teacher meets twice a week with the student, most of the work occurs at home. For best results, a minimum required practice schedule of 40 minutes per day, seven days a week should be established. However, the instructor may recommend increasing practice time as it becomes necessary for each student’s progress.

Conservatory students and their families should note the following:

Regular attendance at lessons, daily practice, and parental support are the essential elements necessary for educational progress and skill development. Therefore, students are expected to attend all lessons/classes as scheduled. Lessons missed by the Conservatory will be rescheduled at a mutually convenient time. The Conservatory assumes no obligation to make up or reschedule lessons missed by the student. Parents must ensure that students bring all necessary musical materials to the lessons, Including music books, string instruments, Repertoire Portfolio, Practice Journal, handouts and any other materials that the Conservatory finds necessary.

Lessons/Classes must start on time. It is suggested that you arrive 10 minutes prior to the lesson so that the student can warm up (if a room is available) or simply get mentally prepared for the lesson/classes. Parents are expected to be present and guarantee the punctual arrival, transition and departure of their child(ren), especially for those young students who may not be able to understand the necessity of being “on time.” Please be aware that there are various classes and lessons preceding and following your child’s lesson. Punctuality – except for emergencies – is a necessary prerequisite for smooth operation of the Conservatory. Please note that if your child fails to appear on time, the teacher will have to proceed with the rest of the schedule as is, which will result in reduced lesson time for your child(ren). Our teachers are very dedicated and find it disappointing when the lesson time “runs out” due to tardiness.

Conservatory parents are required to attend the individual lessons during the beginning 1-2 months in order to receive guidance on how best to supervise their child’s lessons.

Parents are responsible for escorting their children to and from the floor of the assigned classroom. The Conservatory is not responsible for students outside the Conservatory premises.

By signing the registration form, students/parents give permission to the Conservatory to use photo and audio/video materials for documentation, publicity, and marketing purposes.


The Conservatory currently offers specialization in the following instruments: piano, violin, viola, cello, bass, and flute. The Conservatory loans string instruments free of charge for the entire seven years of study to all Conservatory string students. Periodically, it might be necessary for a student to change the size of the instrument. When the individual instrument instructor requests a change of the instrument, the old instrument is returned and the new instrument is issued. The Conservatory provides for the maintenance of the loaned instruments.

Note: In instances in which damage to the instrument results from negligence, parents (not the Conservatory) are responsible for the ensuing repairs/replacement. Before a string instrument is loaned, the parents sign an Instrument Loan Agreement and students are taught how to take care of said instrument.

Piano Students

Parents whose children are assigned to piano must own a standard piano or be prepared to purchase or rent a piano. Parents must consult with the instructor to ensure that the student has the proper instrument at home.

Instrument Placement

At the initial audition, each student states his or her instrument preference. The final determination for instrument placement, however, is made after considering the faculty recommendations and scholarship availability on a particular instrument.

Withdrawing From the Conservatory

All students at the Conservatory are required to compete the entire school year (August – May). If for any reason the parent chooses to withdraw a student from the Conservatory prior to the completion of the Open Concerts at the end of the academic year, the parent agrees to pay an Early Withdrawal Fee equal to 20% of the dollar value of the scholarship that the student was originally awarded.

Parents of Conservatory Students

Parents are an integral part of the Conservatory program. As part of the program, the parents contribute significantly by monitoring during the lesson/class time, by chaperoning Conservatory events, by carpooling students to and from the Conservatory, by organizing fundraising events, and by providing receptions at the end of Open Concerts.

Inclement Weather & Holidays

In the instance of inclement weather it may be necessary to cancel lessons and classes.  Closings due to inclement weather will be announced by recorded message at 918-794-0330. Any classes that are cancelled due to inclement weather will not be made up. Regular Holiday closings and breaks are listed in the Calendar of Events and on the website.

  • A Student making music experiences "simultaneous engagement of senses, muscles, and intellect. Brain scans taken during musical performances show that virtually the entire cerebral cortex is active while musicians are playing."

    – Source: Educational Leadership, November 1998 Retrieved August 16, 2011 from the Americans for the Arts Web site