Studio Policies 2018-2019

In order to help ensure success in our lessons, I have developed this document to provide clarity of expectations and a smooth business process, so we can stay focused on the music!

I am most readily reached via cell phone. To contact me for short and quick communications, text message is the best method. If a conversation is needed, please call me. I am available by email, but my general turnaround time for emails is several days.

Student and Family Responsibilities

  • Students should plan to arrive at each lesson punctually with their assignment books and music.

  • If you need to discuss anything with me (such as scheduling or an issue with practicing that week), do so at the beginning of the lesson.

  • Please keep fingernails trimmed short.

  • To make good progress, quality daily practice is necessary. Practice five days or six per week.

  • Length of home practice sessions depends on the age and focus level of the student, but it will be difficult to progress without a minimum of 20 minutes daily for any age.

  • Students age 8 and up should plan to have at least a 45-minute lesson.

Tuition

Tuition is a flat fee calculated on the number of teaching weeks September to June and then divided evenly among the months. Some months you will have three lessons, other months will have five lessons--the rate is the same. It allows us both to budget according to a predictable schedule and cuts down on administrative time. To help save us further time and energy, I’d like to encourage you to set up online bill pay. You can set the 10 month recurring payment up at the beginning of the year. You can reach out to your particular bank for information on how to do this.

Payments should be scheduled to arrive by the first day of every month, and certainly no later than the first lesson. If you do not choose to set up recurring payments online, payment can also be made by check or cash. If payments are received after the first lesson of the month, there is a $25 late fee. Scheduled online bill payments through your bank are therefore the most streamlined way to pay, avoiding fees and  ensuring that lessons are never discontinued for you or your child.

Attendance

I have reserved space in my schedule for each student with the understanding that we will have a lesson each week at that time. If a permanent conflict arises with this lesson time, please contact me to discuss alternate arrangements. I will do my best to ensure a weekly lesson time that compliments both of our schedules. I try to be as flexible as possible, but my schedule quickly gets very complicated when things shift around.

I offer no make-ups.

If the student is sick and missed school or work due to illness, do not send them to lessons. If the student feels well enough to play, we can have an online lesson that week (using video chat).

If you are unable to attend your usual lesson time, there are several options:

  1. If I can offer you an alternative time, I will. It must be during a gap in my normal teaching hours. Some weeks a make-up will be impossible, but I’ll let you know as space comes up in the future. This might result in two lessons in one week, in which case the student should plan to practice extra.

  2. You may attend the lesson online, via FaceTime or Skype. I have a number of students who take lessons exclusively this way. It works surprisingly well except for with the youngest of students.

  3. Before the lesson time, you may send me a recording of the student’s playing for that week. I will use the lesson time to review this recording and send feedback. I must receive the recording before the start of the usual lesson time.

  4. You may also send someone else to your lesson. I’d be happy to teach another family member or friend, no experience necessary. This can work especially well for families containing more than one pianist.

Please give me a minimum of 24 hours notice if you need me to facilitate any of these changes. Just be considerate that the combined time of the missed lesson, the make-up lesson, and administrative time can potentially end up requiring over double the amount of time from my schedule.

If the need arises to discontinue lessons, I request 15-day notice so I can fill the spot for the following month.

Books and Materials

You are responsible for the costs of books and materials associated with lessons. Initial materials usually run around $45. Supplementary materials average $12 every six weeks or so. Most often, I will bring the book to the lesson and you will reimburse me then or with the next tuition payment.

Summer Lessons

There will be no lessons in July or August. In the past, I have tried to offer online lessons, but I have not been reliably accessible.