Good communication makes for a good experience with students. The following policies set expectations but are not meant to be rigid. Each student enjoys personally-tailored lessons designed just for them. I prefer direct communication in-person or by email with families and students to make the studio experience as personal and comfortable as possible. Online students receive quality lessons and opportunities to perform similar to my in-person students.
At The Studio: Students are expected to arrive for lessons on time with all their materials and music. Parents and siblings may quietly wait in the sitting area, wait in their vehicle in the driveway, or run errands so long as they pick up their student in a timely fashion. Online students will be provided a unique link for their lessons and are expected to sign-on two minutes before the lesson starts. Online lessons may be scheduled on Sundays.
Practice and Instrument: Students are expected to practice daily on a well-maintained acoustic piano or full-sized (88 keys) digital piano. An acoustic piano typically needs tuning twice a year.
Practice and Assignments: Students track practice time in their assignment books and report days and minutes at weekly lessons up to the age of 12 or when they enter middle school. This is done to establish a practice routine. Without daily practice that they are accountable for, students lose interest.
Materials: Students need a bag to carry books and materials to and from lessons. The teacher will provide music, sell music at cost (sales tax and shipping applied), or ask parents to purchase music online. Additional materials such as colored pencils, binders, and page markers are provided by the teacher. I mail materials to online students.
Performances: Students participate in studio recitals. Studio recitals are held in summer, winter, and spring in various locations and are open to the public. Piano workshops and piano parties (for the younger students) help them prepare for recitals and festivals. There are many opportunities for performing beyond studio recitals. I encourage students to perform often. Please refer to the Events list. Online students may participate in online recitals, master classes, or events.
Special Events: Annual special events may be multi-media presentations on stage. Participation in benefit concerts, ensemble programs (duet/chamber music), or families making music together are growth opportunities that encourage participation without the fear of playing alone or on a stage. A special event is planned each year.
Tuition Rates: Rates are determined by the age, level, and learning goals of the student. Lesson length will vary depending on the program selected by the student (piano only, RCM, piano and composition, piano and ensemble/chamber music, Music Progressions, competitions, or festival participation.) A yearly student plan for school-age students is discussed in August with the student and parents and a payment plan is determined. A flat-rate monthly tuition (based on number of lessons per year) or monthly payment based on expected lessons are the two payment options. Invoices are sent at the beginning of the month and payments are accepted using Paypal, Venmo, personal check or cash. Adult students pay monthly for expected number of lessons. Online students pay the same tuition as in-person students. An annual fee may be assessed to cover cost of digital resources.
Yearly calendar: Lessons are taught year-round Monday through Friday except for the week after Christmas and the last week of May. There is lesson scheduling flexibility during summer months June/July. Students return to a regular schedule of lessons in August. Notification of conflicts with lessons during the regular school year is requested two weeks in advance. Adult students are encouraged to be realistic about their availability and schedule lessons accordingly. Adults may schedule weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly lessons preferably early in the day.
Missed lessons: Rescheduling for missed lessons will depend on the availability of the teacher. Students are encouraged to do make-up lessons in-person or online. Online lessons are an option for students who are ill but feel well enough for a lesson in their home. I will accommodate schedules for students who participate in sports, dance, theatre and other important activities but I cannot guarantee lessons that change time without advance notice. An activity plan worked out with parents is advisable. I expect a minimum of 40 lessons during the school year including 4-6 during the summer (June-August).
Parent Participation: Parents are encouraged to sit beside their student in lessons up to the age of seven. Once the student turns seven, they will independently take their lessons and should be able to practice at home without direct parental supervision. Parents are integral to the success of the student at home and are welcome to observe lessons, participate in duet playing, recitals, and big events to the extent they are comfortable doing so.
Communication: The best way to communicate quickly with the teacher is through email. Lessons in progress are not interrupted for phone calls or texts. Recitals and performances are announced by email. Announcements and highlights are found on Facebook at BonVoyagePianoStudio.