Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating the world of music education can raise many questions, and we’re here to provide the clarity you need. Our Frequently Asked Questions section is a carefully curated resource designed to address the most common inquiries we receive. From details about our programs and classes to information on registration, scheduling, and studio policies, we’ve got you covered.

Questions & Answers

What is the age range of students at Key to Change?
Our Studio serves middle and high school students ages 12–18. We will accept students who are age 11 as long as they are in 6th grade. Many of our students enroll in middle school and continue until they have graduated from high school.

Key to Change serves students in all of South King County, including Auburn, Black Diamond, Burien, Covington, Des Moines, Federal Way, Enumclaw, Kent, Maple Valley, Muckleshoot Reserve, Normandy Park, Rainier Beach, Renton, SeaTac, Skyway, Tukwila, and White Center.

We also welcome students from Seattle based on a market-rate pricing structure. See Tuition section for details.

Lessons are offered Monday through Thursday from 2-8 p.m. We do not provide lessons on the weekends, except for some rehearsals that are scheduled in advance.

All lessons are held at our String Studio, which is located inside Hope Church NW. Our address is 200 SW Langston Road, Renton, WA 98057.

We offer viola lessons as well. Students may sign up for private lessons or group lessons with other violinists. We do not teach any other instruments.

No, students with no playing experience are welcome to register for lessons.

Private lessons are one-on-one tutorials with an instructor, while group classes are 6–15 students working with one instructor. Private lessons allow for the instructor to gauge progress and set a pace that meets the individual student’s skills, abilities and interests. Group lessons are more peer-centered with students learning in a community environment. Group lessons are our most popular classes in our string studio. Students may also do a combination of group and individual lessons.

Key to Change will only reimburse families 100% of the tuition paid if the student decides to stop taking lessons prior to the end of the first week of lessons. No refunds will be issued after the first week of lessons. Families are responsible for paying the remaining balance of the trimester, even if they discontinue attending class.

If you do not have access to an instrument, you are welcome to rent an instrument from our violin library for $30 per month.

For students in group lessons, books and other supply fees are included in the cost of tuition. Other expenses may arise depending on the individual need of the student and will be discussed directly with the parent on a case-by-case basis.

For students in private lessons, students are responsible for purchasing books and music for their lessons. Costs can range from $20–$100 per trimester.

There are approximately 14 weeks in a trimester. The chart below outlines the number of lessons by type of lesson: 

Group Lessons 

28 lessons (60 or 30 minutes, depending on level)

Private Lessons 

14 lessons + 7 studio classes 

Group + Private Lessons

28 group lessons + 7 private lessons

Young Artist Academy

28 lessons + approximately 7 studio classes and 4 masterclasses with guest artists 

Studio classes are mandatory for all private lesson and Young Artist Academy students. There are approximately 7 studio classes per trimester that each last one and a half hours. Additionally, our masterclasses feature professional musicians, who teach in a guest capacity providing wonderful opportunities for students to receive performance experience and feedback.

Both our Studio classes and masterclasses are  open for observation to all other students and provide a great opportunity for beginner students to deepen their learning and to see what is possible.

Students are required to perform at all end-of-trimester concerts. These concerts will be held at our Studio  on Saturday, December 16, 2023 (fall), June 22, 2024 (spring), and August 17, 2024 (summer). All concerts begin promptly at noon.

Both our Studio classes and masterclasses are  open for observation to all other students and provide a great opportunity for beginner students to deepen their learning and to see what is possible.

Students who enroll in group classes are placed in the appropriate course based on their skill level, not their age. Some group classes have both middle and high school students in them, although most classes tend to have students in the same grades and/or age range. The goal is to properly place students in the appropriate class so they may make continued progress in an organic and musically fun way. The instructor reserves the right to move students into other group classes if they advance or fall behind in course content.
The Solo String Festival is an annual event at Benaroya Hall that allows students to perform, participate in masterclasses, and compete for prizes. The festival is adjudicated by professional local and national musicians. Participation is optional, however, students who receive both merit and need-based scholarships are required to participate. The Solo String Festival will be held in the spring of 2025.
Students enrolled in our String Studio have opportunities to engage in activities for free, sponsored by the Seattle Symphony. These activities include observing Young Artist Academy students perform in masterclasses, receiving tickets to Seattle Symphony performances, attending an open dress rehearsal and various workshops. Students may only participate in the concerto competition or perform in the Pre-Concert Recital if they are Young Artist Academy students.
Absolutely! If a student is denied admission into our Young Artist Academy, they may still take group or private lessons. A student may re-audition at the end of each trimester for reconsideration.
An opportunity like this can be really nerve wracking, but we can assure you that we aren’t expecting students to sound amazing when they first audition. What we’re interested in are students who are self-motivated and disciplined to practice and do the assigned work. If a student is dedicated to improving and puts in the required practice time, we are confident that they will do well in our program and will excel.