Welcome to the Olive Tree Music Academy

We offer private lessons on most instruments, not limited to but including piano, guitar, bass, violin, viola, cello, drums, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, french horn, mandolin, voice, and more. We also teach principles of music in composition, conducting, and music theory classes. We’re constantly adding more as the demand increases so if you don’t see the instrument you want to study please contact us and we may have a teacher for you!

Please call us to schedule a half price trial lesson at 973-786-1655 and/or complete this short form to see right now what time slots are available for your instrument of interest in a location near you.

Try before you buy

First you start by taking a half price trial lesson, one-on-one with one of our teachers. Once you’re feeling good about committing to weekly lessons we’ll find a weekly time slot that works and get you started on monthly tuition payments.

Any contracts or commitments?

No! The only thing you commit to is the month for which you’ve paid for. With notice you are free to cancel at any time.

Fill out my online form.

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Private Lesson Times

Music lessons at the Olive Tree Music Academy are available between 9am-9pm Monday-Saturday by appointment. However, different instruments are only offered during certain days of the week. We will do our absolute best to give you a lesson time that works best for your busy schedule.

Summer Lessons Too!

We are making just as much music over the summer as we are the rest of the year. The exception is that our scheduling and tuition policies are significantly more flexible around your summer activities.

Schedule your trial lesson

Please call 973-786-1655 to find out times and days available for your specific instrument, and/or fill out the “Interest Form” by clicking on the link in the left column.

How Young?

We start private music instruction for children as young as age 3.5, which is hard to find elsewhere. Violinists may enroll in the Suzuki Violin program starting at age 3.5, piano starting around age 5, most other instruments between 5-9 years old depending on how well the instrument modifies to their body size.

How Old?

Adult students also love us, and we love adult students! It really is never too late. We have so many adult students, beginners and experienced alike, that we have recitals for adult students only twice a year.

Will I or my child like my/his/her music lessons?

We can’t promise that we know everything that you or your child may or may not like, but we can promise you this – Our number one priority in finding the right teachers to hire is that they have really fabulous, likable, positive personalities that shine with pride and joy in what they have to offer to their students and the world of music. We also work hard to make sure we treat these teachers well because they’re so unique in what they do we consider them irreplaceable, and we anticipate that you will feel the same.

What about credentials?

We’re so proud of this. Not only are our teachers very wonderful likable people, but they’re also very experienced and very well educated. Most of our teachers have masters degrees in music and all have bachelor’s degrees in music and graduated with high recognition.

When you’re comparing different locations to take music lessons, please ask about education. There are no standards for who can teach music lessons and not all teachers out there are degreed. It is important that you or your child’s teacher is a master at the craft at which they teach.

Our teachers come with at least ten years of teaching experience and are established performers, performing regularly throughout the NJ/NY region. Really and truly, our greatest pride comes from the great teachers we have teaching in our school.

 

The reward – Our Favorite Part

Recitals! The Olive Tree Music Tree is excited to host recitals about twice a year. Music lessons should always be preparing for a performance. Recitals are a really important part of a music education and lessons are incomplete without it. Music is meant to be shared!

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Far beyond the recital…

The impact of an education in music has been proven time and time again to be far beyond what can be measured. For instance, 66% of music majors who apply to medical school are admitted – the highest percentage of any group – surpassing even pre-med and science. Music brings together all the primary school disciplines (ie. math, art, language, science, etc.) and it does so in a deeply meaningful way. Besides its just a lot of fun and it feels great when you can pick up an object and make it sing, or be able to sing well yourself!

What Now?

To Enroll:

Depending on your requested instrument, you may be able to talk to your prospective teacher over the phone when you call. You and your teacher, or at least the owner of our school, can then discuss that level of musicianship you are at currently, and what you are hoping to achieve. We will talk about desired musical style, what length of lessons you should be taking, where and how rent or purchase an instrument if needed, and decide what time slot best works for your schedule.

Interested?

If you are interested, even if you are just looking for more information, please fill out the short form above, or just give us a call.

Please call us any time from Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm or Saturdays 2:30-9pm (We’re open at 9am on Saturdays, but it’s a busy teaching morning for everyone). Alternatively you may also email any inquiries to Trish, the owner of the Olive Tree Music Academy.

tricia@olivetreemusicacademy.com

We hope to see you at the Olive Tree Music Academy soon! Thank you for visiting!

Frequently Asked Questions

My child takes music lessons at school. Why take private lessons?

There are many benefits to taking private lessons in addition to school lessons. In group instrument classes there are frequently areas of instruction that cannot be adequately addressed in a group lesson, such as technique. Individualized instruction allows your child to progress much faster and further and have the pride in being one of the better musicians in class. It has be demonstrated so many times that when a child finds a class that boosts their confidence in their ability, it will inevitably spill over into other classes as well. Being the best in their class also leads to additional opportunities, such as solos, which will in turn lead to more benefits, such as leadership experience.

What do private lessons cost?

15 Minute Lessons Weekly

$10Trial
$10Trial
  • $20 weekly thereafter, billed monthly.$85 per month, cancel any time and you are only obligated to the month you've already paid for.
  • Recommended only for children ages 3 to 4.

30 Minute Lessons Weekly

$16Trial
$16Trial
  • $32 weekly thereafter, billed monthly.$135 per month, cancel any time and you are only obligated to the month you've already paid for.
  • This is the best time span for most children.

45 Minute Lessons Weekly

$24Trial
$24Trial
  • $47 weekly thereafter, billed monthly.$195 per month, cancel any time and you are only obligated to the month you've already paid for.

60 Minute Lessons Weekly

$31Trial
$31Trial
  • $61 weekly thereafter, billed monthly.$255 per month, cancel any time and you are only obligated to the month you've already paid for.
  • Recommended for all adults.

Do you offer lessons in the Summer?

Yes! And there is actually nothing different about the summer as the rest of the year except that we slightly change the way we handle billing. We expect that if you or your child took lessons and will be taking lessons in the fall that, minus a couple weeks vacation or so, you will be coming in the summer. The results of skipping a whole summer can be a real bummer for all. The result can be spending all of fall relearning what we taught you in the spring.

On the other hand we also get a lot of people who come for the summer only to keep fresh on what their child learned during the school year at school. Frequently after experiencing the value of getting more individualized attention at our school they stay with us when the fall rolls around!

Why not take skype or online pre-recorded video lessons instead?

Facetime and Skype are great tools to keep in touch with people we can’t be with in person otherwise, but usually when the option to communicate in person is there we seldom do video chat, for several reasons. Video lag time impairs natural communication. The audio can be of such low quality that it is difficult to tell sometimes if a student is out of tune or it is just distortion in the audio connection. Also, think of a guitar lesson. A teacher needs to have a good view to see if they’re using good general posture, but they also need to see their finger positions to correct a chord that doesn’t sound quite right. There is no way to position the camera to accomplish all this, and constantly adjusting the position takes away from valuable lesson time. On the other hand, pre-recorded teachers can’t make any corrections at all. This limits the extent the pre-recorded lessons can take them to, and they may find when they ultimately take private lessons that they’ve been teaching themselves incorrectly which can be difficult habit to unlearn.

Does one have to be musically gifted to take music lessons?

While some students advance in their lessons at different speeds than others, most frequently this has more to do with a sense of determination and a commitment to regular practice at home than to what one might call “musical giftedness”. We find that the opposite is true as well. Struggling in lessons can often be solved by a renewed commitment to practicing. A lot of this task lies in the hands of the students and parents, however, we are passionate about hiring only the most motivating inspirational teachers who will do everything they can to encourage the love of music in you or and/or your child.

Am I allowed to sit in on my child's lessons?

Yes!  Many educational institutions lock parents out but we actually prefer as much of your involvement as possible.  Your child’s teacher is only present one day of the week. The rest of the week their teacher is you, so it is important that you know what they learned in class so that you can remind them to fix their posture or technique, or can answer as many questions as possible. Taking notes is great!  We only ask that you resist the urge to say anything to your child during lessons so that your child can focus on their teacher as hearing instruction from multiple directions can be difficult and sometimes discouraging.

Can your teacher come to my home?

We understand how appealing this option is to parents.  However, we do not know many, if any, good teachers that are willing to do it.  Children are tough to keep focused at home, cancellations happen too often, and traveling lesson to lesson is too much wear and tear on a teachers’ energy and enthusiasm.  The best teachers teach at schools or independently but don’t travel for every lesson.  Our teachers all teach in our classrooms where their space, equipment, and professionalism environment can be consistent.

Do you offer makeup lessons?

Reporting Absences

The best way to cancel a lesson is to log onto our website using your user name and password, click on the class on the calendar you wish to cancel, and choose “Request Cancellation”. This will instantly send an email to both the teacher and an administrator of the cancellation. We also ask out of courtesy that you call us if you are canceling the same day as the lesson, just in case we don’t receive the email in time. aPlease contact the studio if you need help with your user name and password.

24 Hour Cancellation Policy

In order to be eligible for a make-up lesson, you must have notified us of your absence at least 24 hours in advance of that lesson. This is important and is strongly enforced because it is written in teachers’ contracts that if a student cancels within 24hrs or is a no-show, that they are still paid for the time they set aside to be there. Advanced notice gives us time to fill in your slot with make-up lessons or trial lessons for new students. We know that not all events and illnesses can be foreseen, but we hope you understand. We are very flexible when given advanced notice.

What is your snow cancellation policy?

Our cancellations for snow days are not the same as the local school districts’ because our usual hours run opposite to theirs. Snow day cancellations will be notified by email no later than 12pm on weekdays or 8am on Saturdays, but you may also call if you are unsure if lessons are running as usual that day.

If lessons are canceled, then we will make sure that there are more available lesson make-up lessons times than usual listed on the make-up lessons online form so that you may be able to choose a time that works best for your schedule.

If lessons are not canceled, but you still can not make it for any reason, then the usual 24hr notification and make-up lessons policy is in effect.

Tuition refunds are not offered for snow days. If there are ever any exceptions to this they are listed below.

Do you offer refunds for missed classes?

If ever we can not meet our obligation to any regularly scheduled music lessons, you will be first offered a make-up time, but if one can not be agreed upon then you may request a refund for that day, which will always be in the form of a Paypal refund through the same account as your tuition payments. Typical reasons for this are that your teacher is ill and there will not be a another teacher taking his or her place that day, or he/she had car trouble on the way to lessons, etc. Refunds are not offered if your teacher or a substitute teacher is there for your regular time, but you are not due to vacation, or snow, or any other reason. Make-up lessons or doubling up on a future week is an option if 24hr notice is given.

What forms of payment do you accept?

There are two options
1) Pay the flat monthly tuition amount as automated monthly payments using a credit/debit card or Paypal account through our website.
2) We accept checks if it is to pay for the whole school year (or rest of the school year) in advance. This option comes with a 10% discount. This amount would be equal to the number of months between your start date and June, times the monthly tuition amount, minus 10%.

We do not offer any other options such as paying monthly by check. We apologize for any inconvenience. Our schools are made up of 100% music professionals and money is not something we want to have discuss every week or month. This policy allows us to focus on the music and never have to chase anyone for payments.

Can I cancel any time?

Yes.  Most students pay monthly so you are only committed to the lessons within the month you’ve already paid for.

Are you a music store?

We are only a school. We focus 100% of our energy on educating.  This is definitely a good thing.  Our lesson rooms are spacious and are the center of studios rather than in the back corner of a retail store, and our teachers are professionals whose careers are dedicated to teaching and performing and are not involved in any sales..  Please see our instrument pages for our recommendations on where to find an instrument or materials.

Do you offer studio recording/mixing/mastering services?

Our Flemington location doubles as a recording studio.  Please contact Gregg at Erypsus Studios at www.erypsus.com
Trish

Trish Gruswitz

VIOLA TEACHER & CO-FOUNDER
Andy

Andy Gruswitz

CO-FOUNDER

Our Teachers

Rebecca
Sue
Sarah
Gregg
Terrence
Molly
Christine
Zach
Angela
Jordyn
Cheryl
Mel
Jess
Jonathan
Tom
Evan
Andrew

Locations

We have four locations spread across northern NJ for your convenience:

 

 

  • Morris Plains

  • Verona

  • Andover

  • Flemington

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