Private Studio Policy Handbook for 2016-2017
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Lessons will begin on the first Wednesday in September. No lessons will be taught on the following days:
*Winter (Christmas) Holidays
*Spring Break (HEB)
Lessons for the year will be divided into three semesters-winter, spring, and summer. The full month’s tuition is due on the first lesson of each month. If you are absent for the first lesson of the month, tuition should be mailed by the 7th day of the month. Tuition does not include music or workbooks. Monthly tuition remains constant regardless of the number of lessons received in any given month. Although one month may have five (5) lessons and another may have three (3), the average number of lessons is four (4) per month. Please notice that the winter and spring recitals will each count as one lesson since the educational process is continuing, although it will take place in a performance venue.
This year the winter term has 15 lessons in it and the spring term has 20 lessons. These numbers reflect one recital in each term. Attendance is required for each recital. You may choose to pay in full at the beginning of each semester, or you may pay monthly tuition as shown below:
30 minute lessons $114.00 monthly tuition (includes tax) Beginners and/or Grades K - 6 only.
40-minute lessons $138.00 monthly tuition (includes tax)
Summer lessons begin first week of June with a special attention given to Broadway and show time music during these six weeks. The summer session is June 1 - July 15. A July recital will feature music studied during the summer session. Participation in summer lessons will also guarantee a place in the studio for the fall semester. Lesson days and times are very flexible during the summer in order to complement family vacation times and other summer events like camps for the students. Summer students will be given top priority for lesson times in the fall. Regular tuition rates apply. No lessons will be given July 15 - August 31 unless by special request.
Each student is allowed one (1) make-up lesson per semester. The time of the make-up lesson will be determined by the teacher’s schedule and will be planned for one day toward the end of the semester, usually the week before a recital. Your private lesson time is considered a standing appointment. If the student misses a lesson, prior notice is required whenever possible. Twenty-four hour is preferable. However, if a student wakes up ill on a lesson morning, please call me before 12:00 noon.
Please do not ask for special consideration for an absence such as late work, last-minute company or schoolwork. Since I teach in three different locations, the studio schedule is highly structured and leaves little time for the flexibility I would like to offer.
Regarding this issue I want to be very straightforward and clear. You are “renting” a period of time for your child’s music education, as well as my educational expertise. It is in everyone’s best interest that the period of time is filled by another student if you are unavailable to attend at your scheduled time. I will be happy for YOU to arrange a “swap” time with another student. If the “swap” cannot be arranged, the student requesting the “swap” will forfeit tuition for the lesson. If, at any time, the teacher is unable to teach a lesson, the teacher will either forfeit payment for that lesson or reschedule the lesson. Students/parents may choose to participate in the Swap List, or not. If you choose to be on the list, your phone number will be shared with other students in case there is a need to "swap" a lesson by anyone. Any parent can initiate this swap as needed without my approval.
Lesson plans and my commitment to you and your child are semester-based. When you enroll, plan for a minimum of one complete semester’s training in order for your child to experience the full beginning process of learning to play piano. If, for some reason, you determine your child will NOT be continuing lessons during the next semester, please give one month’s notice so I can notify someone on the waiting list that the vacancy will occur. If the decision is made by you not to complete lessons during any month, the remainder of the tuition for that month will be forfeited. Your courtesy and consideration in this matter will allow me to continue to serve our local talent in a concise, professional manner.
Return Check Fee
As in other businesses, a $37.50 fee will be assessed for a returned check, plus the cost, if any, assessed by the financial institution as a result of the returned check.
There will be a one recital scheduled each semester. Students are encouraged to take advantage of performing opportunities in all workshops, recitals, festivals, and school competitions for which the teacher, student, and parents feel he/she is prepared. Students are also encouraged to be enrolled in many music activities through their school to foster a greater love for this art form.
All students will participate in two special events during the Spring semester. In February, students will participate in a Fine Arts Theory test given at the Fine Arts Academy in Keller. Certificates, ribbons, medals and trophies will be awarded at the Spring recital held in May to those students who have earned high grades on this examination. Students will also participate in a Piano Festival in April. Students will prepare one piece to be performed by memory before a two-judge panel. Special awards will also be given for achieving success in this festival activity. The tuition for each event is $15.00 and should be paid with the tuition for the month of the event.
Recitals are usually scheduled on Saturday mornings to avoid as many school-related conflicts as possible. Each recital is considered as one lesson of the semester. If there is a conflict with another activity, let me know and we will work through the conflict.
Proper recital etiquette and appropriate attire are considered a part of the learning experience. Parents and performers are asked to remain for the entire recital to provide encouragement to all students. As our students listen to other students they develop good listening skills, become inspired to what they can achieve and get to know one another as part of a special team of young musicians.
Private Voice Students
National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition is for high school and college age only. If you are a private voice student and attend a NATS competition held twice a year in fall and spring, it will be necessary for you to pay an accompanist to play for your competition since I, along with other voice teachers, am required to judge the contest. I will make the arrangements for the accompanist and your rehearsal time with her/him. The accompanist fee for each contest is approximately $75.00 and includes one additional rehearsal time with the accompanist as well as his/her presence for your performance(s) on the day of the contest. If you choose to rehearse more than once with your accompanist before the contest, arrangements can be made directly with the accompanist for the addition time and addition fee that will be accessed.
Voice students will need access to a good quality personal-sized CD for at-home rehearsals or a smart phone that will record. Voice students should also create a habit of drinking 48-64 oz of water on a daily basis. Caffeine in tea and soft drinks dry out vocal folds. Singers should also bring a bottle of water to each lesson and use it during lesson times to avoid singing with dry vocal folds.
Note: It takes about two (2) hours for vocal folds to hydrate enough to be supple during a lesson or time of prolonged singing. Water is a singer's best friend. Drink it often!
Please park on the street in front of my house, but do not block the mailbox. Be certain your child is inside my house before driving away.
Parent/driver may wait in my living room or the conference room during lessons. You can hear the lesson from there, but your physical presence in the studio during the actual lesson is often distracting to the student.
If ever you have questions or concerns, please telephone me. I do not answer the telephone while I am teaching, so please leave a message. I will return your call at my earliest opportunity.