Studio Policies




Music Studio of Valerie Wilkerson

6409 Palmetto Pointe Drive, Ocean Springs, MS.  39564

(210) 859-6702


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.



Billing Policy


The tuition rates for my studio are consistently maintained and cannot be altered as they allow the business portion of lessons to flow smoothly and equitably. These 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. Please also realize that tuition covers compensation for the time I spend carefully selecting music for each student, lesson planning, preparation for recitals, etc. Tuition is charged by the semester and is not lowered or refunded for missed lessons. 


Payments and Late Fees


Payments may be made by personal check, cash or credit card. Check or cash is preferred due to credit processing fees. All tuition payments are due at the first lesson of the month. Please have payments in on time. Late payments upset my personal bill paying process as well as my personal income. Since it is necessary to insure 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 no matter the reason. I ask that if you must miss a lesson please let me know as soon as possible. If I have to cancel a lesson, the next month’s tuition will then be reduced by the particular amount.


    Music lessons during the summer months are optional, however, I encourage students to continue their studies so as not to regress. I offer summer lessons on an “a la carte” basis to make it easy to schedule lessons around vacations and summer activity schedules. If a student will be taking the entire summer off, paying a reservation fee of $50 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. 



Lesson Specifics


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 – Students should have an instrument at home on which to practice. An acoustic piano is preferable, however, a full-sized (88 touch sensitive, weighted keys) keyboard is acceptable as well. 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, dining room table or music studio 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 under the supervision of an adult.
  • If you need to contact me for any reason I can be reached at my mobile number most of the time – (210) 859-6702. I do not answer the phone during lessons so if I’m not available, please leave a text or voice message or feel free to e-mail me at