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Policy

2008-2009 Studio Policy 

Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.”-unknown

I believe anyone with a desire to learn can be taught to play the piano.  In an effort to make piano lessons as enjoyable experience as possible for everyone involved, I have instituted a policy for all students/parents.  This enables me to prepare you for what I expect and what I will be enforcing over the course of the year.  In this way, I can help you reach your musical goals, whatever they may be.  The process of learning to play should be fun, relaxing, and enjoyable, and my goal is to make that process possible. 

Lessons

Piano lessons are offered in 30 or 45 minute weekly increments.  There will be (approx) 32 lessons between September and May in accordance with the school calendar.  Occasionally, a student may be asked to come in on a scheduled school holiday in order to keep lessons on schedule for the week.  For the most part, however, school vacations will also mean piano lesson vacations.

Practice

As my mother always said, “Practice makes perfect!”  You will reap what you sow in relation to your piano lessons.  The more you put into it, the more results you will see.  I understand that piano lessons will more than likely be just one part of you or your child’s busy schedule, but please realize that a commitment to learn does not mean just setting aside a half hour once a week.  It must be reinforced throughout the week on your own time.  The most important time to practice is in the 24-36 hours after your lesson; this is when the concepts taught take root and become permanent.  However, the following are my suggested minimum practice times for individual students:

Early Learners (5-6 yr olds): 20 min/day (or two separate 10 min increments)

Levels 1-4: 30 min/day

Levels 5 and above: 45 min/day

Obviously, some students will have more self-motivation than others, and some will require more practice than others, but this is a general guideline to follow.  Each student is required to purchase a practice log in which I will write their assignment for the week and any comments, and will check for a parents’ signature and practice notations the following week. 

Incentives

Students will quickly find themselves competing with their fellow piano students in various contests, promotions, and competitions.  I assure you this will all be “friendly competition” designed to encourage and motivate all of the students.   Please help your child(ren) remember to pack their books on lesson days, practice most days of the week, and work hard to earn points/rewards. 

Lesson Swap

Any lesson missed will not be credited except in cases I deem extreme.  That will be solely up to my discretion, but generally, a school absence will not be considered worthy of a piano lesson credit.  Instead, I will provide a list of students’ names and phone numbers/email addresses; if you know you will be missing a lesson, you can call another student to find out if they would be willing to switch lesson times.  I will not be the “middleman,” however.  It will be entirely between students and parents.  Should there be a misunderstanding and two students show up for the same lesson time, the student who is normally scheduled for that time will be given a lesson.  I ask that if you are going to miss a lesson, please inform the school office as soon as possible so they can notify me.  Makeup lessons will be given on rare occasions at my discretion.

Lesson Books

All books required for the student’s lesson will be purchased by the teacher and billed on the monthly statement.  Because books can incur quite an expense, I will allow some books to be “passed down,” but only at my approval.  I try to stick to only the books the student will need and use, but if there is a special request, I will be happy to work with you.  First-time students will be required to pay for the first months’ tuition as well as the lesson books prior to their first lesson.  Most lesson books will last a student approximately one school year; however, because each student is unique, with unique learning capabilities, there may be more books required before the school year is out.  There will be two recital fees of $10; one will be billed the first of November, for the fall recital; the other will be billed the first of March for the spring recital. 

Tuition

Tuition is payment for the student’s lessons for 32 weeks, September through May, payable once a month for 9 months.  Each month’s tuition will be due on either the 1st or 15th of the month and will be billed accordingly.  A $5.00 late fee will be charged if payment is not received by the chosen due date, and further lessons may be jeopardized.  Once tuition is paid for the month, refunds will not be given if the student quits before the end of the month.

 30 minute class lessons - $65 per month (5-6 yrs only)

30 minute private lessons - $75 per month

45 minute private lessons - $85 per month 

Family discount - for 2nd student and each student thereafter - 30 min. - $67 per month                                                                                                     45 min. - $75 per month

Performance

Students will be given many opportunities throughout the school year to display what they have learned.  As previously mentioned, there will be a fall and spring recital, as well as school competitions and chapel services.  Performance is not mandatory, but highly recommended.  Occasionally, students who attend GBT will be asked to play for an offertory in church.  Any performance will be preceded by hours of hard work—individually and during lesson times—and will be an excellent experience and confidence builder for the student. 

DismissalStudents may be dismissed from lessons for any of the following: inadequate practice on a continual basis; destruction or theft of teacher’s property; rude, disrespectful, or uncooperative attitude towards the teacher; continued failure to pay tuition on time.  If you choose, for whatever reason, to discontinue lessons, please give at least one month’s prior notice.  I will do the same.

Communication

No one knows your child as well as you do.  If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to communicate those thoughts to me.  I am open and willing to work with you to help your child learn to play.   Any suggestions will be appreciated and carefully considered.  I can always be contacted via email at tbarogers@gmail.com or by phone at (205).  I may not be able to answer promptly as I am also a full time high school English teacher.  However, if there is an emergency or cancellation, I can always be contacted through the school office at (205). 

General Policies

After-school lessons are not after-school childcare.  I cannot be responsible for siblings of students who are waiting to be picked up after school.  Any “extras” will be sent to daycare and will be charged accordingly.  Also, any student who is not picked up after their lesson (after school) in reasonable time will be sent to daycare.

Occasionally, I will allow a student to borrow some music.  Any music that is not returned or returned damaged will be charged at its replacement cost.

If school is canceled due to inclement weather, piano lessons will also be canceled/postponed unless you are otherwise notified.  Because the weather often clears up later in the day, I may ask that you bring in your child for their scheduled lesson to avoid rescheduling or makeup lessons.

Please bring all music and workbooks to your lessons.  Assignments cannot be heard or new lessons prepared without proper materials.  All students need some type of bag or backpack for their music.

Summer lessons are available by request on a limited basis.  A tentative summer schedule will be generated in April, and a notice for summer openings will be distributed in April’s monthly statement.

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