Greetings and welcome to music lessons! I love music and it is my hope that you or your child will as well. My goals in teaching are plain and simple – to teach my students to read music fluently and to train them to play their instrument expressively. Not everyone can become a professional musician. However, I firmly believe that almost anyone who has the desire to learn, to do his/her personal best, and to practice regularly is capable of learning to play an instrument competently. I practice positive teaching methods by diligently and patiently helping each student reach his/her full musical potential. In the following pages you will find information about me, my teaching style, procedures and policies of the music studio. Please take a few moments to carefully review this information.
Currently my monthly rates are as follows:
30 minute lessons $80/month
60 minute lessons $160/month
These rates are consistently maintained and cannot be altered as they allow the business portion of lessons to flow smoothly and equitably. These monthly tuition fees reserve a weekly time slot which works like tuition paid to any educational institution. These are flat fees to reserve the weekly time for lessons whether you choose to attend or miss. Tuition is charged by the month and is not lowered nor refunded for missed lessons. Please bear in mind that during the year some months will contain an extra week for which there is no additional charge. It is highly recommended that you attend regularly during these months helping you to compensate for any lessons you may have missed during the year.
Payments and Late Fees
All tuition payments are due at the first lesson of the month. Since it is necessary to ensure payments are received on time, payments received after the 10th of the month will be considered late and a $10 late fee shall be assessed. If payment has not been received by the 15th, additional charges at the rate of $2/day shall be added to the original fee. If this process continues until the end of the month the student’s lessons shall be terminated and the matter turned over to a collection agency for resolution.
Attendance and Missed Lessons
Regular attendance of lessons is an issue of responsibility and choice on the part of the parents and students. Again, the studio does not assume any financial responsibility for the student’s absence. (Keep in mind that you get free “make-up” days in any month where there is a 5th week). I ask that if you must miss a lesson please let me know by 10AM of your lesson day so I can adjust my schedule as needed. If I have to cancel a lesson, the next month’s tuition will then be reduced by the particular amount.
Music lessons continue as usual during the summer months and I encourage students to continue their studies so as not to regress. Please inform me if you would like to arrange a different summer lesson time. If a student will be taking the entire summer off, paying a reservation fee of $40 can reserve his/her time slot. If no reservations are made the time slot may be filled by other students.
My Lesson Philosophy
I strive to help students to learn and appreciate music, to enjoy playing or singing, and to introduce them to a variety of musical styles. My approach to teaching is to allow students to have fun while maintaining a relatively structured environment. Music is a language and like any language, there are many basics that must be mastered prior to advancing to more complex applications. During a course of study, I attempt to cover all areas of musicianship: theory, technique, formal analysis, harmony, ear training, sight-reading, performance, and a comprehensive study of musical literature in a progressive fashion. I truly feel that a well-rounded musical education helps students define for themselves what music means to them.
Please bear in mind that no two students are exactly alike, and children (as well as adults!) learn at different rates of speed. Even brothers and sisters within families differ radically in motivation and temperament. Therefore, I approach students as individuals and attempt to challenge each according to their own unique potential.
ASSIGNMENTS - Students are expected to be well prepared for each lesson, and to arrive with all assigned books and instructional materials. Students will be provided with a lesson notebook, in which I will comment on progress. The student is responsible for completing the assignments described in the notebook each week. Parents should review the notebook with school-age students on a weekly basis. An area is provided for parents’ feedback or questions.
TARDINESS - Students will also be expected to arrive on time for lessons. PLEASE BE PROMPT! No refunds, discounts, credits or extra lesson time will be given for tardiness. Your lesson will end at its regularly scheduled time. If parents need to discuss anything please let me know at the start of the lesson and we can schedule a time to talk later so as not to take up valuable lesson time.
MATERIALS - I will select each student’s lesson materials and books considering individual needs. I will send an estimate of costs before the materials are purchased for your approval. You will be expected to reimburse me promptly for the costs of these instructional materials.
PRACTICE - A regular daily practice time should be set aside to apply what is learned during your music lessons. Practice builds the physical dexterity that is required to make progress in music study. Quality of practice is at least as important as quantity. A quiet atmosphere helps to insure quality practice time. Please read through the “Practice Tips” sheet for more tips.
RECITALS, EVALUATIONS and MUSICAL OPPORTUNITIES – Public performance is an important and exciting part of music study. During the year, some performance opportunities are made available to students. These events provide students with further incentive to practice and excel, and can have a positive effect on their sense of accomplishment. Recitals build confidence and reinforce the concept that good practice habits result in good musicians.
When students reach an appropriate level of advancement, participation in formal evaluations may be made available. At events such as these, students are simply evaluated in several different areas of musicianship and performance by other professional teachers. Please bear in mind that these opportunities require a high level of determination, more serious practice habits, and the ability to perform in somewhat of a pressure situation. Students who take part in these events must commit to the event in advance so preparations may be made and nominal fees paid.
LESSON TERMINATION – If for any reason you must stop lessons, two weeks notice or two weeks tuition payment is required.
I will terminate lessons in any of these situations:
* Failure to meet requirements of tuition payment
* Repeated unexplained absences
* Repeated failure to prepare assigned material
* Disruptive, uncooperative or inappropriate behavior
MISCELLANEOUS – My music studio is a part of my private residence so please respect it as such. (As well as my neighbors residences!)
* You may park in my driveway or directly in front of my home. Please take caution not to block any neighboring driveways
* Please enter quietly and remain in one of the waiting areas (front porch, kitchen table or family room) until it is the student’s lesson time. All children who are not students should be under the supervision of a parent or responsible adult in the waiting areas.
* Please make sure that food, gum, trash, etc. finds its way into a trash can in the kitchen or bathroom.
* Piano students should wash their hands before their lesson so as not to spread germs. Cleaning with antibacterial gel is also acceptable.
* Please limit the use of the bathroom to the start or end of the lesson whenever possible to avoid interruption.
* Parents are permitted to attend lessons with their student(s). However, siblings/friends at the lessons are not permitted. They tend to be too much of a distraction. Siblings/friends are welcome to wait QUIETLY in the waiting areas.
* If you need to contact me for any reason I can be reached at my cell number most of the time – (210) 859-6702. Texting is preferred. I do not answer the phone during lessons so if I’m not available, please leave a message or feel free to e-mail me at JoyfulNoiseMusicOS@gmail.com