I have recently updated my studio policy and wanted to include on my blog so students can find it easier. If you have an questions on my policies please feel free to contact me and I would love to help you. I have included a little explanation of why my policies are as such in bold which you might find helpful.
Goals. My first and foremost goal for my students is that they have fun and develop a deep love and appreciation of music. Second to that is how much or how fast they progress. If the students are not enjoying themselves it is very unlikely they will stay with lessons very long or progress much. My most important studio policy is for myself that I am doing my best to provide the most enjoyable, beneficial, and efficient lessons that I can. For this reason I am constantly studying musical myself, researching, reading, performing, adjudicating and just studying as much as I can. I take this very seriously and I love what I do! It is important to me that I am demanding something from myself. Most policies are aimed at what the student is expected to do without any requirements or expecations of the teacher. Considering that the students are the ones paying for the lesson I do not believe this to be fair. This is why I added the goals section to my policy I want it to be clear to my students that I take this seriously and am honestly trying my best to be the best teacher I can be. Music lessons are based on the relationship between the student and teacher if both aren’t doing their best for the other not much progress will be made.
Cancellation. Your lesson payment serves to reserve a time slot in my schedule so if you are missing a lesson for any reason other than an emergency you need to give me 24 hours notice or you will still be expected to pay for the lesson. If you give me enough notification I have the ability to schedule another student in your time slot so please let me know as soon as you can if you will be missing. If for some reason I miss a lesson and have not notified you in advance you will not be charged for the proceeding lesson due to the inconvenience I caused you. This is a big issue for a lot of studnets. Some people do miss for good reasons such as a flat tire or suddent illness and I completely understand that. However some students simply do not feel like coming or forget to write the lesson in their schedules which is extremely inconvenient for me. When a student does not show I will trypically give them a 5-10 minute late window until I call them and if I cannot reach them I will wait for them up to half of their lesson time in case they show up. As you can imagine this is extremely inconvenient for me. Also if I know in advance that you will be missing a lesson I can schedule a make-up lesson for another student during that time slot. So letting me know 24 hours in advance not only helps me but also helps another student as well. The reason you are still charged for the lesson is that I leave that time slot open for you and do not fill it with a regular student. After having some students miss multiple lessons a week I financially had to have them pay or I was loosing to much money to make teaching them worth it.
Make up lessons. If you miss a lesson I am usually willing to schedule a make-up lesson. This is dependent on my schedule and availability. Although I will try to work with you making up a lesson is at my discretion.
Teaching Materials. Students need to remember to bring their materials to every class. For piano students this means your books and for voice students, you need to bring the music you are working on. If you do not remember your materials it is very difficult for me to scramble to pull together an effective lesson. If you forget your music I may decide it best to cancel your lesson and you will still be charged. I cannot keep a copy of my students piano music in my studio I physically do not have the room and I cannot afford to keep back up copies. if you forget your piano music it is unlikely I will be able to teach you much and it will be stressful for me to try and scramble a lesson together, I have tried it before and it does not work. If you forget your piano music I will typically send you home not to punish you or make you feel bad but there is just no point in have a lesson without music. Its like teaching someone to cook without a kitchen. For voice student I strongly recommend bringing music but if you forget we can usually still have a successful lesson as I have most of the songs in my library. This however adds the downside of wasted time I spend searching for the music and trying to remember what we were working on.
Pricing. Students will be charge a rate of $30 per half hour and $60 per hour. Payment is due at each lesson in the form of cash or check. I have over 10 years teaching experience, perform professionally, and have a bachelors degree and masters degree. My prices are very good for the amount of education and experience that I have.
Other Fees. Some student will require books which I will purchase and the student will be expected to reimburse me for. This saves the student the hassle of trying to find the book and hoping that they got the right one. I will always let you know before I purchase a book for you to be sure you are alright with the price. Piano books are not very expensive and trying to teach with out them does not work. Typically a studnet will need two to threee books at a time at a cost of $7-$10 a book which is minimal for the benefit teaching from books provides. Teaching without them will leave the student with difficulty practicing and also have the downside of the teacher potentially missing important lesson information or forgetting what they have already taught. Voice does not require instruction books as each lesson is so individual to each student however I may suggest purchasing sheet music to build the students own library.
Practice. Daily practice is vital to the success of each student. Practicing is required at least 6 times per week. Failure to do so will result in the student not advancing at a desired rate as well as a waste of money for you. Practicing ensures you get the most for your money and makes lessons more fun and profitable. Practice, you will make progress in lessons but I garuantee it will be minimal compared to the progress you make if you put in the practice hours. I do not set a specific practice time for each day as I believe it truly depends on each individual student. I should tell the student during lesson how much they should be practicing but please ask me if you have questions.l
Contact Information. It is very important that I have accurate contact information for all of my students so if your information ever changes please notify as soon as possible. This is really important if there is an emergency, I need to cancel, or in rare circumstance a parent forgets to pick up their child.