A Top 3 Rated Music School in Des Moines, IA
A Top 3 Rated Music School Accreditations

Arrow Academy of Music

Studio Policy


To help you best manage your own schedule and your child’s involvement in our program we will provide you with the tools you need for your child’s group lessons, in person or online. This includes: practice instructions, recordings for practice, free Learning Labs, evaluations, awards, incentives, at home learning manipulatives for kinesthetic learning, parent information, teacher support, and fun performances.

To help you best manage your own schedule and your child’s involvement in our program we will provide you with the tools you need for your child’s group lessons, in person or online. This includes… practice instructions, recordings for practice, free Learning Labs, evaluations, awards, incentives, at home learning manipulatives for kinesthetic learning, parent information, teacher support, and fun performances.

Parent Connection

Families starting lessons at Arrow Academy for the first time will be required to attend a Parent Connection meeting to learn about the resources and tools available to help their student succeed.


If your student is in first grade or younger, please plan to sit with them during lessons.


Students are expected to complete assignments on their practice sheets. Students are required to have an instrument at home for practice.  Parents are asked to sign each practice sheet as a witness to their student’s fulfillment of their practicing goal.

Student and teacher at piano keyboard

Metronomes Are Required

Each family must have a working metronome at home for practice. Most electronic keyboards have one, or you can use the application Tempo from Frozen Ape on your smartphone or tablet.

Missed Lesson

We take the possibility of a teacher illness or inclement weather into consideration in creating our calendar; there are extra weeks built into the schedule each session to allow for canceled classes. If a class is canceled, students are to continue to practice their current practice sheet and the next number lesson will be taught the following week. Lessons will continue in order. Students who miss a lesson can schedule a learning lab, request a video to cover missed content, and begin work on the next practice sheet.  


If for any reason you need to stop lessons at our studio, notify us in writing at least 2 weeks prior to your next tuition payment. Material fees and prepaid tuition are non-refundable.

Arrow Academy FAQs

Why Arrow

We have found that like athletics or mathematics, the fundamentals of music are best learned in a group. Just as a coach can teach, encourage, and push players to be their best, music teachers can do the same. Students are accustomed to learning new things with their peers! In the same way, we believe that music stays longer when it is fun, approachable, accountable, rewarded, and learned alongside friends. Students want to progress when they see and HEAR their peers progressing. There are TONS of benefits to playing with other people. Group lessons are the best way to establish a love of music early on, and learn the most from your lessons.


We’re glad you asked! We believe that by making the hard concepts fun to learn, students generally stick with an instrument longer, and like to learn. At Arrow, classes are a high-energy group setting to encourage kids and build the long-term musical skills they need. Lessons are structured to include group playing and listening skills, team games to practice a concept learned in class, and individual attention. Arrow’s curriculum moves at a pace that encourages consistent growth, and doesn’t remain on any one song for too long, which can be discouraging for a student. Our practice tools and progress tracker offer unique ways to gain the most from class. We reward students for practicing weekly with points that can be exchanged for items in our incentive store, and celebrate accomplishments with ribbons, pins, and trophies at the end of each session. Basically, Arrow Academy is the most fun way to learn music, and you accomplish more over time.


Because we believe our group lesson format is most beneficial, we do not offer individual lessons, though we believe individual attention is essential. Every student spends time with a teacher in class to cover specific material and receive unique feedback. If extra time is needed, it can be scheduled in one of our flexible one-on-one Learning Lab sessions.

Yes! Transfers are welcome at Arrow Academy! Your first step will be to schedule a trial lesson and we’ll assess them for placement in their best fit class.

Students may shop at the store using “punches” they earn by practicing, participating in performances, and participating in class. For in-person students, their punch card is kept at the studio, and for online students, teachers keep track of punches. Online students can either come in to shop at the in-studio store, or redeem punches for Amazon gift cards.

The material fee covers music books, solos, ensembles,  practice sheets, game pieces, study cards, specialized music whiteboards and other tangible materials. It also covers awards, shopping rewards, and concerts (we never charge admission for parents). Due to the expense and commitment of materials for our students, the material fee is non-refundable.

Each level has its own set of books, goals, and concepts to reach throughout the year. Students start at 1A and progress through 8 unique levels, ending with graduation, a showcase performance, and several awards. After graduation, students may continue to our advanced program that builds further into college theory prep, professional writing and performing technique, and multiple contemporary and classical genres.

Other Common Questions

At Arrow Academy of Music, we strive to create a conducive learning environment for all students. To ensure the best experience for everyone, we have established the following requirements that we believe are necessary for students to successfully attend a 55-minute group lesson:

Student Requirements:

  • Age: Students should be at least 6 years old (or 5 years old if prepared) to participate in group lessons. 
  • Mobility: Students should have the physical ability to sit for 15-minute increments within the lesson and use both hands independently to play their instrument.
  • Concentration*: Students should possess the ability to focus and concentrate for 15-minute increments within the lesson, as group lessons require active participation and engagement.
  • Discipline*: Students are expected to show discipline during lessons by following instructions and outside of lessons by practicing their instrument daily.
  • Respect: Students must show respect towards their peers, the teachers, and the studio environment. Disruptive behavior or disrespect towards others will be corrected.

Evaluation and Adaptation:

  • Assessment: Prior to enrolling in group lessons, new students may be required to attend a trial lesson to determine their readiness for the group setting.
  • Individual Needs: We understand that each student is unique, and we strive to accommodate individual learning styles and abilities within the group setting. However, if a student’s needs cannot be adequately met in a group lesson, alternative options, such as private lessons, may be recommended.

By adhering to these requirements, we aim to create an environment that fosters growth, learning, and enjoyment for all students!

*Because our youngest students are still developing their concentration and discipline skills, we ask that all students ages 5-6 (or older if deemed necessary) be accompanied by an adult at each lesson. This allows the students to have extra help to stay on track as they develop these skills, and allows the entire class to be productive and successful.

All beginners are placed in a group class with other students of similar age and skill. Students progress through the levels each session, much like school. Transfer students are assessed and placed in one of our levels that reflects their skills.

We understand that sometimes a schedule change is needed. We will work with you to find an opening in a class that works for your schedule.

Beginners will need to practice about 10 – 15 minutes per day, for 6 days a week. Students will follow a weekly practice sheet with instructions on exactly what needs to be accomplished that week. Parents are asked to sign each week’s practice sheet as a witness to their student’s fulfillment of the practice goals. Students who practice 6 days each week for an entire session, will receive special recognition at the end of the session. Students must turn in their practice sheet no more than 2 weeks after the original due date to earn recognition. As the lessons increase in difficulty each level, the amount of time spent practicing will increase and be dependent on each child’s individual progress.

Yes, definitely. Home practice is absolutely necessary for success in music. We can help you choose a good one for your child that fits your budget.

Your child will need a device that will accommodate Zoom, and an internet connection. They will also need a second device (a smart phone, iPad, or tablet) to access their practice materials.

Individual adaptations within set goals is the job of a master teacher. The goals themselves shouldn’t change because of a busy week or a period of illness. Slowing down steady progress for whatever reason leads to kids getting bored, stalled, and wanting to quit. Therefore we work with students to learn all the concepts needed while adapting assignments and providing additional help through Learning Labs and Practice Pals, so students can catch up and feel good about their progress.

Learning Labs are 20-minute, 1-on-1 sessions for students – either online or in person, focusing on a concept or song of the student’s choice. Students can sign up for up to 2 Learning Labs each month. They are included as part of tuition. 
Practice Pals: Weekly practice sessions with an instructor can be purchased separately to help give support between lessons.
Our classrooms are formed with similar age, same ability students. Sometimes a student really clicks and excels within the group. These students are rewarded for their hard work, and given Extra Credit opportunities to earn rewards and awards, and students who play ALL the songs in the books get a particularly large trophy! Arrow Academy is concept-based instruction, which means that students do the best when they stay in their level and do not skip up too soon – avoiding gaps in their knowledge.

Usually children want to quit when they are feeling incapable, unaccepted, or hopelessly behind. We work with students and parents to have measurable goals, as well as help if there is trouble reaching those goals.  We offer free Learning Labs for one-on-one additional help, or our Practice Pals program which helps students stay on track. Teachers are very aware of students’ progress and involvement, and will be proactive to address and solve any issues before students feel like quitting. 

That being said, if for any reason you and your child want to stop lessons, let us know in writing within 2 weeks of the end of the month, and you will no longer be charged moving forward.

At Arrow Academy of Music, our students’ safety is our number one concern. We trust our parents to communicate with their children regarding their health prior to lessons, to ensure a sick child is not brought into the studio alongside other students. 

We offer all of our lessons via Zoom, so students are able to attend from the comfort of their own home, without the risk of spreading an illness. Simply send an email by 3:00 pm that day to let us know this is your intention. Then access the Zoom link in our Google doc by identifying your child’s classroom color, which can be found on their progress tracker. Click on the link and set your Zoom audio settings to “Use Original Audio” to join the lesson.

Alternatively, students can also make up a missed lesson with an individual Learning Lab.

If a child who is noticeably ill does come to their lesson, their parents will be notified to return to the studio as soon as possible. The child will be isolated from other students during that time.

The following criteria will be considered in determining if your child must go home:

  • Fever of 100 degrees or more
  • Red eyes, glassy eyes, or eyes with discharge
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Unidentified rash
  • Excessive nasal discharge
  • Excessive coughing
  • Pain
  • Evidence of a communicable disease, as defined by the Department of Health Services/Center for Disease Control (measles, mumps, chicken pox, head lice, etc.)

Please contact the Arrow Academy of Music studio for additional information.