The purpose of studio policies is to clarify, at the very beginning of the teacher-student-family relationship, how business will be conducted upon enrollment of your student in to the studio. Although exceptions to policy may be made in case of extreme circumstances, as a rule, these policies are non-negotiable and no student will receive preference over another.
I will teach you/your student the language of music. Using a custom-designed curriculum, you/your student will learn the following skills, using the piano: sight-reading, sight-singing, ear-training, improvisation, and composition. This comprehensive approach will not only teach one how to play the piano, but develop a solid ear-voice relationship and open doors to any future music making on any instrument. Vocal students will learn the same concepts both on and off the piano, but focus on vocal production and performance.
Student & Family Responsibilities
Students agree to arrive at each lesson punctually, well-prepared, and with their assignment books and music. To make good progress, daily quality practice is necessary. I want you to completely understand every assignment, so please, ask questions.
If something is happening at home/school/work that is affecting you/your student, please let me know. Please err on the side of letting me know more so I can be sensitive to your/your student’s needs. A quick text on the way to the lesson can make the difference between a great lesson and a difficult one. (Did Susie have a rough day at school? Give me a heads up. Has your family received some bad news? Let me know.)
All students are encouraged to participate in the annual OMTA Syllabus program as well as a variety of festivals held throughout the year. Participation in these events is not required; however, the fees to participate are included in annual tuition and are not refundable.
Piano students must have an acoustic or high quality, 88-key digital piano at home*. Acoustic pianos require tuning; I can direct you to a professional tuner if necessary. If you are in need of a piano, I can connect you with rental programs as well as help find an inexpensive student piano.
For help in choosing a digital piano, click on these links for more information:
The Definitive Guide to Digital Pianos
Top 10 Digital Pianos
*Students who progress to the upper levels of Syllabus and are anticipating furthuring their music education at the college level are required to have an acoustic piano.
Each student pays an enrollment and materials fee of $100.00 each year, regardless of when they enroll. This fee covers performance and Syllabus events as well as much of the student’s music and materials used throughout the year. This includes:
- Sheet music and method books (Elementary level sheet music will also be returned to the lending library. All "classical" literature purchased for the student will be retained by the student.
- Prizes & awards
- Printing costs
- Time spent for email and phone calling
- Office supplies
Tuition covers not only the actual lesson time spent with the student, but time preparing for each student as well. This includes:
- An individualized plan for each student’s course of study
- Written progress reports for each student at least once per year
- Development of teaching materials, often including pieces composed specifically for you/your student
- Training, experience, and continuing education
- Professional organization membership
- Access to music lending library
When students enroll, they are reserving their place in the studio for the entire year (September - August). Many students and parents become discouraged if progress is slow and the student doesn't display instant, natural talent and exceptional ability. The learning curve when starting an instrument is very steep, and it takes 2-3 years of dedicated study to determine if one is "good" or not. It is the expectation of this studio that each student will be committed for at least one year; however, if your student needs to cease lessons, a 30-day written notice is required. (Adult student with limited time? Please go to Other Musical Services.)
Tuition is $25 per 40-minute lesson, and is paid monthly, in advance. Students are required to take a weekly lesson, however, with notice given no later than noon before the scheduled lesson, up to two personal absences (illness, family emergencies, etc.) can be excused. In the event that your student misses a lesson, the next month's tuition will be adjusted accordingly. For example: Susie has 4 lessons scheduled in September, for a monthly total of $100.00. Susie's mother texts at 10:30 am, stating that Susie is ill and cannot attend her lesson. The next month's invoice will show a discount of $25.00, reflecting the excused absence.
If, for any reason, I am unable to fulfill a scheduled lesson, notice will be given appropriately and the same discount will be applied to the next month's invoice.
No shows are unexcused and are fully billable. Lesson materials are absolutely required for a lesson and so students arriving without their materials will be considered a no show. Please understand that the tuition you pay reserves an exclusive weekly time in my schedule for you/your student. Unlike a doctor or a hairdresser, I cannot resell that time nor can I create extra teaching time in which to give lessons.
Tuition is due promptly, the first lesson of every month. Tuition is payable online via PayPal; just click the button on your email invoice. If you must be late, please make arrangements with me ahead of time. If tuition is not received by the 15th of the month, a 15% late fee will be added. If your account falls into arrears, without payment arrangements being made, no further lessons will be given. If two lessons are missed due to lack of payment (with no payment arrangements in place), the student will be terminated with no further notice.
Lessons will be scheduled following the school calendar. No lessons will be given the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas (lessons will be scheduled the week before Christmas, however), or spring break. Try to choose a lesson time in which you feel confident.
LESSON SWAPPING: If you know about an upcoming absence that your student will have and would like to avoid missing that lesson, please utilize the lesson swap feature. Each student will be provided with a lesson calendar with all students and their parents'/guardians' phone number so you can call and arrange a swap. If you arrange to swap a lesson with another student, please notify me as soon as that change is arranged.
A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT SUMMER: After many years of teaching, it has been my experience that, without ongoing instruction, students forget about 1/3 of what they have learned during the school year. Therefore, students are required to attend lessons regularly except when enjoying a vacation or the studio is closed (because even I enjoy summer vacation!). Additionally, there may be special sessions and/or camps made available at an additional cost. Please meet with me in May to schedule your summer lessons around your various activities. Once summer lessons are set, the same attendance/absence policy applies: any unexpected absences past the 2 refundable cancellations allowed throughout the year will be fully billable.
EXTENDED ABSENCES: If, for some reason, your student must be absent from the studio for a given length of time (i.e., 8 weeks of soccer, basketball, debate team, etc.), their place may be maintained in the studio with the payment of normal tuition fees. Otherwise, the cancellation policy of a 30-day written notice will be enforced and, at your request, re-enrolled as a new student if a space is available. If no space is available, the student can be added to the waiting list.
No one learns to play the piano or sing by attending a weekly lesson alone; practice between lessons is absolutely necessary for any progress to be made. Weekly homework will be assigned; it is expected that such will be completed by the following week. It is also expected that practice sessions will be logged in the student's assignment book. If homework is not completed, your student will not progress appropriately and the previous week’s lesson will be repeated. If non-completion of homework develops an ongoing pattern, a parent-teacher conference will be scheduled to discuss barriers to the student's efforts at home and a homework plan implemented. If the student continues in the non-completion pattern, termination from the studio will be considered.
Lessons are held in my private home. Please arrive 5 minutes early, enter by the front door, and sit quietly until your lesson begins.
A restroom is available for your use prior to and after your lesson.
Gum chewing, eating, and using a cell phone is prohibited during the lesson. You may have a covered water bottle with you if you desire.
Nails must be trimmed to no longer than the top of your fingertip. I will have clippers available if you forget. Long nails interfere with the proper development of proper piano technique.
It is hoped that, by establishing clear policies at the beginning of this relationship, future misunderstandings may be avoided. With that said, no one can predict the future and communication is imperative at all times. Please feel free to call me if an issue arises that these policies do not address.
Statement of Intent
By electronically enrolling my student I attest that I have read, understand, and agree to the policies outlined in this document, and wish to enroll myself/my student in Harmonics Music Studio.