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For parents: Frequently Asked Questions


My child needs to practice. What is the practicing situation like?

An excellent question! Firstly, we would like to state that students of the JPA Festival should come to the festival with their repertoire well prepared. Students will inevitably receive a much higher level of artistic development by studying already learned pieces with our guest artists and faculty. Furthermore, because of the amazing artistry of our guest artists and faculty, students are often encouraged to sit in lessons of other students, attend masterclasses and lectures during the day. Of course, the evening masterclasses with John Perry are unquestionably mandatory.

Therefore, students can expect to practice approximately 3-4 hours a day on a grand piano. We will have Sign-Up Sheets for students to practice during the day and in the evening. Students are expected to keep to a 2-hour limit in signing up for practice. Despite this limit, should certain rooms be vacant and nobody has signed up, students will not be limited in that regard to practice some more. Please bear in mind that practicing is by no means the sole source of enrichment for a pianist and musician. Hearing a teacher demonstrate during a masterclass, hearing other students interpret pieces, attending a lecture by our guest artists, and discussing music with fellow musicians can often be just as nourishing and stimulating.


What is the Lecture Series? Does my child need to go to this?

The Lecture Series, curated by our Director, Mina Perry, is a mandatory one-hour session in the middle of the day featuring presentations in a range of topics designed to give the aspiring musician a holistic education. Past speakers include professionals in the fields of conducting, composing, medicine and physical therapy, entrepreneurship and philosophy, and individuals with careers as piano technicians, concertizing musicians, conductors, and improvisers. Students are given the opportunity to ask questions and enquire further following each lecture/presentation session.


How much repertoire should my child prepare for the festival?

Your child is welcome to prepare as much repertoire as they would like. However, it is important to have a performance-ready piece that is approximately 7 minutes that can be brought to faculty of the John Perry Academy and for performance in the Final Concert.




My child loves to perform, and I love to watch them perform. What can I do to guarantee that they get to perform?

Each student must bring a piece of music, approximately 7 minutes in length, that is ready for performance. This will ensure that your child has a chance to perform in the Final Concert.


I see in the Academy Program schedule that the evening masterclasses end at 9:00pm.  What is my child to do after the masterclass?

After a long day of lessons, masterclasses, and practicing that generally begin at 9:00am in the morning, students have the two options. They can either continue to practice, and if they are under 18, will be chaperoned back to the dormitories afterwards. Alternatively, our wonderful student assistants may organize social events such as Ice Cream Socials, Games Nights, Movie Nights, etc. Although practicing is indubitably an important priority, students are encouraged to socialize with other members of the festivals. Friendships and discussions about music and life formed by socializing are often just as important in the development of a musician and artist.

What is the time frame for activities for the Chamber Program?

Typically, activities for the Chamber Program will take place between 9:00am-3:00pm on weekdays, with the possibility for students to spend additional time in the facilities until 4:30pm. There will be no activities on weekends, with the exception of guest artist/faculty member concerts during the program and the Final Concert(s) for all participating students at the end of the festival.

My child would like/I would like my child in the Academy Program would like to have extra lessons with a guest artist/faculty member. How can this be requested?

Another great question – extra lessons for Academy Program students are definitely a possibility. Firstly, guest artists/faculty members often do not stay for the full duration of the festival. On top of teaching, giving masterclasses, and having to eat and rest during their time at the festival, they are often also practicing for upcoming concerts and other engagements. As a result, extra lessons can only be offered within consideration of the guest artist's personal schedule and availability.

Students are required to inform both our Director's Assistant and the guest artist regarding extra lesson requests, and upon paying a fee of $220 (2023) will be scheduled for an extra 45-minute lesson within the guest artist's availability. This does not apply for both directors.




How is it decided which guest artists/faculty members my child will study with?

All students will learn from a variety of teachers – each Academy Program student will receive 2 masterclass performance opportunities and 3 private-lessons with a wide range of guest artists/faculty members. Should students wish to have an extra lesson, or have a lesson with one of the guest artists/faculty members that the student does not have a scheduled masterclass performance or lesson with, that option is available as well (see above).


What options does my child have in terms of breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

There are a variety of restaurants on campus in an area called "Campus Town". Campus Town is located about a 3-5 minute walk from the music building.


Students can also purchase a $250 meal plan in advance if the student will be staying on-campus in the dormitory. Meals under the meal plan are available through the TCNJ camp menu (geared toward children/younger people) as well as limited selections at the Student Center. Please note that meal plan cards cannot be used for restaurants in Campus Town, cannot be loaded with additional funds. Additionally, any balance remaining after the two-weeks cannot be refunded or credited toward other purchases on campus.

For restaurant information on-campus and near the campus, please visit:




My child will attend from out of state and he/she needs a place to stay. What options do we have?

Housing in the on-campus dormitory or in a nearby hotel (for students 18+; with a reduced rate) can be arranged, and a roommate can also be arranged upon availability. The on-campus dormitory is about a 5-7 minute walk from the music building. Please contact us at, or contact our Director's Assistant directly at

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