Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Audition time
Audition repertoire
Financial aid

Grouping process and requests

Repertoire guidelines

Orientation meeting

Refund policy

Being prepared for rehearsals

Rehearsals and coaching

Master classes

Summer scholarships

Scheduling conflicts
Getting the most out of JCM





Can I change my time later? You can log in anytime up to 48 hours before auditions to switch your time. Changes made after that likely not be on the Check-In document at auditions.




What is the minimum level? String players should be at least level 5 in Suzuki. Pianists should at least be able to perform Classical Sonatinas (Clementi, Kuhlau) accurately and up to tempo. Chamber music repertoire for vocalists are usually very advanced and require ability to sing in French or German.


What's required for auditions? Students prepare two contrasting pieces (demonstrating technical and musical range of applicant). Piano accompaniment is not required. Sight-reading may be asked. Two movements of the same piece or one major work that demonstrates both technique and musicality, (for example, a major Romantic Concerto) is acceptable.





To apply for Financial Aid, please email susan@juniorchambermusic.org for the application. You may complete this online form also. Tax returns will be required with financial aid application. Financial aid ranges from $100-450 for families making under $75,000.





How can I join the Honors Program? At auditions, judges will select students who demonstrate an advanced level. If you want to be in Honors, prepare very well for your auditions. Having a piece memorized is helpful.


How can I request a particular coach? At Auditions, you will will be able to lists any requests on your Audition Sheet.

Can I request to be grouped with friends? Please request to be placed with friends on your Audition Sheet. JCM judges will need to approve that the match is optimal regarding level.




Requesting repertoire: At Auditions, you can request particular repertoire on your Audition Sheet.


Learning multiple works: Due to the length of time available for studying, many groups will choose to learn multiple movements or works. Those planning to do the VOCE chamber competition will need two contrasting pieces. If you would like help selecting another work, please communicate with your coach or your director.


Final Concert - length of piece: Due to limited time at the Final Concert, pieces should be maximum 8 minute. Groups on the Honors program may play up to 10 minutes. We request groups not take long repeats. If you are unsure about your piece length, please contact your director.




What if I can’t attend? It’s very crucial that the student AND the scheduling parent attend the meeting. If there is an absolute emergency, please contact your Director immediately.




There are no refunds for students who decide not to audition or drop out of JCM. In the case of a justifiable emergency, JCM will refund a students’ tuition minus a $75 administrative fee. Application fees are not refundable.



How long should it take to learn the part? Students should learn the entire piece within 4 weeks of receiving the music. Piano parts are notoriously difficult in chamber music, so pianists should plan to work intensively on their parts with their private teachers to learn the piece for the first rehearsal.


What should I do if a member in our group isn’t prepared? Please contact your director if your team member comes to the first rehearsal unprepared. It often takes some time for students to adjust to playing collaboratively, so this needs to be considered. Furthermore, pianists typically have much more difficult parts to learn, so non-pianists need to allow for this. Students who do not make reasonable advances on their piece may need additional lessons or the repertoire or grouping may need to be altered. If the problem is a lack of effort, the student may need to be replaced.


Studying with private teachers: All JCM students must have a private teacher and need to work on their chamber piece with their teacher.


Can I study a private lesson with the coach? Coaches are not able to teach students privately until a year has passed. The only exception is if the private teacher requests this.




How often and where do we rehearse? Most groups meet weekly for approximately one hour at a member’s home. Some groups choose the most centrally located home, while others may decide to switch between homes.


How do we schedule rehearsals and coachings? Before meeting, each member provides a list of all the times and days they are available to the group. At the beginning, it’s helpful to choose a main Parent Contact who can coordinate the rehearsals and coachings. After the group’s first rehearsal, the Parent Contact will email or call the coach with several options for coachings. Generally, most coaching is done at the coach’s studio, but some prefer to meet at the regular rehearsal home.




How can our group get selected? At JCM auditions, judges will select groups that they feel are of an advanced level. These groups will submit a YouTube video for Honors Auditions as well as request particular master classes to be considered for.


What if I can’t go? Performers must of course attend. However, if you are not performing, there will be several master classes for you to choose from. Students MUST attend at least one masterclass to be considered for scholarships and to have a Seal of Excellence on their certificate. If you cannot attend a master class, you can attend the Finals for the Chamber or Concerto competition for credit.




How can I sign up for a particular summer festival scholarship? If you are interested in a particular scholarship, please email your director.


Can I win the same scholarship two years in a row? Festivals will not award a scholarship to a student two years in a row.




Canceling Rehearsals: Students must contact all other students within 24 hours to cancel. Canceling should only be done because of an emergency, as it creates hardship on the group. The student who cancels needs to be responsible for scheduling the next rehearsal. We would suggest bringing treats to apologize. Students may not cancel more than one rehearsal. If they do, the group needs to contact the director immediately.


Canceling Coachings: It is very difficult to reschedule coachings as the coaches have very active performance and teaching schedules. All changes need to be 5 days in advance. If a team changes within this date, the whole group will forfeit that coaching. If a student misses a coaching, please contact your director immediately. Students who miss coachings may be replaced by the director without refund.




What if we can’t afford the tour? Many groups fundraise for their tour fees. They hold house concerts and invite family and friends to all contribute.


How can I request to be on the tour? Please note your interest in going on the tour at auditions.




Role of parents: Parents are responsible for organizing the schedule and transportation. It is critical that students NOT be in charge of this. Parents need to enforce that the students learn their parts, and adhere to the rehearsal schedule. Parents can also help make the JCM experience highly enjoyable for students by providing treats and allowing time after rehearsals for students to socialize. We recommend that parents not be in the room during rehearsals.


Making rehearsals fun: We suggest allowing for social time after rehearsals so that students can get to know one another better. Many groups have a year-end dinner party.


Organizing the schedule: Adhering to the schedule will make the experience positive for everyone.