Please read the following studio policy carefully before inquiring about lessons, and let us know of any specific questions you may have at our initial meeting.
Whether students begin lessons at age 4 or 14, the unconditional support of their parents and family members is crucial to their success and satisfaction with music study. This includes providing a quiet setting in which to practice at home and an acceptable instrument, and also support as appropriate in the teaching studio.
Family members are welcome to quietly observe lessons, and parents/guardians of young students are expected to attend. Parents and/or students are encouraged to audio- or video-record and take notes during lessons. Please try not to react to your child’s playing (positively or negatively) – emphasis should be placed on quality of effort and progress rather than momentary results – or answer questions that are directed to your child.
Tuition and attendance
Tuition is to be paid monthly at the first lesson of the month. Tuition will be based on the hourly rate for the total number of hours of instruction per month (i.e., some months may have four lessons, some five). Please keep cancellations to an absolute minimum, as it is critical for students to have continuity and not miss lessons. If you anticipate a date when you will be out of town, have a conflicting extracurricular activity, etc., please notify the studio as early as possible. The full month’s tuition will be charged, and all cancellations should be made up at a later date; if a makeup lesson is not desired, the week’s tuition will still be charged. A student may be dropped from our studio after four or more cancellations in any two-month period.
During the months of June through August, students are required to take at least 2 lessons a month (either attended or paid for) to maintain a spot in the studio.
Cancellations within 24 hours of a lesson will not be made up or refunded. Cancellations with further advance notice will be made up at the instructor’s discretion. If schools are closed due to inclement weather, if it is unsafe to drive to our studio, or in case of mild illness, students will be required to keep their normal lesson time and conduct the lesson virtually. Please see our FAQs page for details.
The following discounts will apply for families with multiple students (discounts to be prorated if fewer than 4 lessons in a given month):
- 2 students: $15/month
- 3 students: $20/month
- 4 students: $25/month
In the event that the instructor has a professional obligation (usually a concert) and must miss a lesson, then a makeup can be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time. If no makeup can be scheduled, then the tuition for that lesson will be credited toward the next month. See Tuition and Attendance regarding mild illness or weather-related issues.
A makeup lesson that is canceled or missed by the student will not be rescheduled or refunded.
Summer break is the best time to schedule makeup lessons (given for cancellations due to emergency, sickness only) from the previous year, if it has not been possible to find a new lesson time in the same month as the missed lesson. Please discuss scheduling a makeup lesson as soon as the original lesson is missed. Our studio keeps a record of all students’ attendance, so please contact us with any questions. Makeup lessons from the previous school year must be made up no later than the end of July.
A normal lesson fee will be charged for extra lessons (recommended or requested) when given.
Termination of lessons
Students who discontinue lessons during a month are still responsible for full payment of that month’s tuition. Please give the studio at least one month’s notice before any termination of lessons. Upon registration, students to commit to a full year of lessons, and they renew that commitment at the start of each new school year.
Tuition charges do not cover the cost of music books, other materials, or registration fees for competitions, theory tests, or recitals. The instructor will supply materials as needed and bill for reimbursement on the next month’s invoice.
Practicing at home
A regular practice schedule is vitally important to success of each student. Practice is necessary to improve, and improvement should be the goal of lessons. See the FAQs page for detailed practice guidelines.
Please consult your instructor before purchasing any instrument. An acoustic piano is almost always preferable to an electric keyboard, a baby grand preferable to an upright piano, etc. A piano is not a table; please do not set items on it (other than a metronome or music books), and certainly keep food and beverages far away. Acoustic pianos should be tuned at least once a year, and preferably twice to accommodate the changing seasons and shifting from air conditioning to heating (try to coordinate with the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time). See the FAQs page for further information.
Please cut your nails regularly and wash your hands before your lesson. Students who repeatedly come to lessons with long fingernails may be dismissed, and that day’s lesson will be considered attended (i.e., will not be refunded).
COVID-19 Policies for In-Person Lessons
While anyone who wishes to remain (or start) with online instruction during the pandemic is welcome and encouraged to do so, those who are comfortable attending lessons in-person should be aware of the following policies and procedures in order to protect the health and safety of students, families, and instructors:
•Masks are mandatory. Instructor, student, and parent (if attending) all wear a mask. Students should bring their own mask, but we will have extras (sanitized) if you forget it.
•Hand cleaning: we prefer students use hand sanitizer as soon as they enter the studio (as opposed to hand-washing, which entails walking through more of the house). We have a big jug of sanitizer ready to use.
•Temperature checks: are done with a no-touch thermometer at the door. Students with a fever will be asked to have their lesson online.
•Social distancing: pianos are placed so the instructor is sitting 6 feet from the student. Please bring your own pencil with an eraser, and a blank notebook to write assignments.
•Cleaning: keyboards and other common surfaces are sanitized with Clorox wipes, rubbing alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide between all lessons.
•Shoes: remain outside on the front step.
•Lesson times: are spaced so as to have a window in between to allow for proper cleaning and ventilation before the next student enters. This does not apply to students from the same household.
•No waiting room. If you arrive early, please call from the car and ask if the instructor is ready.
•STUDENTS ONLY. One parent may attend with young students, and most students should attend by themselves. Other family members are welcome to play in the driveway or backyard, or may run an errand and return. This means a maximum of 3 people in the studio at once (including the instructor).
•No food or drink please.
•Anyone who is not feeling well, was recently ill, or has a family member with any symptoms including cough, fever, etc., PLEASE LET US KNOW and we will be happy to conduct an online lesson at the same scheduled time. And of course, any student or family member who tests positive for COVID-19 should inform us immediately if you have recently been at our studio, so we can properly self-isolate.