Studio Policies

Updated August 2017

1. GENERAL

A. Weekly private lessons are offered in 30, 45 or 60-minute sessions, depending on the student’s age/level.

2. AT THE STUDIO

A. Students are expected to arrive for lessons promptly (no earlier than 5 minutes prior), with all required materials and books. Arriving late will be the student’s loss; lessons cannot be lengthened as other students are scheduled in sequence.

B. Parents are asked to arrange rides accordingly to ensure that the student leaves on time.

C. To discuss student progress or concerns, parents are welcome to talk with the teacher during the first few minutes of the student’s lesson, but not afterwards in order to respect the next student’s time slot. Parents are also welcome to contact the teacher another time via email or phone.

3. PRACTICE & HOMEWORK

A. Students are advised to practice five days per week on a well-maintained instrument. Acoustic pianos should be tuned once a year.

B. At the first lesson, students will discuss with the teacher how much time should be devoted to practicing on a daily basis. This time may increase as the lessons progress. It is recommended that beginners practice about 10-15 minutes daily.

C. It is the responsibility of the student to come to each lesson prepared. This includes having all required materials and books, having the weekly practice chart filled out (in assignment notebook), and having completed all written homework. Parents need to make sure their child has everything needed before arriving.

D. Did You Practice?: These days take place often throughout the course of the year and are indicated by a “Did You Practice?” sign on the studio piano. Each student receives a small prize if they arrive at their lesson having practiced 5 days the week prior and recorded their practice minutes in their assignment notebook.

4. MATERIALS

A. Students are recommended to use a tote bag or backpack to carry books to and from lessons. This ensures that all books and materials are kept in one place and nothing is forgotten when coming to a lesson. It also keeps books and materials safe from rain and snow.

B. The student will be given an assignment notebook at their first lesson, which will be used to keep track of assigned pieces and practice suggestions for each week. It is important that parents take the time to look in the notebook every week to ensure that they are aware of their child’s practice assignments as well as any other information that the teacher needs to communicate.

C. The annual non-refundable materials fee is $65-75 (determined by the student’s lesson length and study level). This fee covers the cost of books and materials for the whole year for students and is included in the tuition.

  1. Student books and materials will be acquired from the teacher.
  2. Students studying at Intermediate, Late-Intermediate and Early Advanced levels will be required to pay the difference of additional material costs if necessary.
  3. Students taking performance examinations may need to purchase additional material and will be required to pay the difference of additional material costs if necessary.

D. Any books or sheet music borrowed from the studio must be returned at the end of the academic year or upon the teacher’s request.

5. CALENDAR & SCHEDULE

A. Private weekly lessons begin in September (Labor Day week) and finish mid-June. New students are welcome to begin lessons at any point throughout the academic year.

B. The tuition rates are determined based on 38 weekly private lessons (September to June) as well as 4 Studio Classes, recital expenses, and more. Tuition rates will be modified for new students beginning lessons at a later point throughout the academic year.

C. The teacher does not teach during the week of Christmas, the week following Christmas, and the week of March Break.

D. If the teacher requires a lesson off due to illness, teacher workshops or vacations, regular lessons will continue the week following. Two weeks are reserved at the end of the academic year to compensate for these instances if necessary.

6. TUITION & PAYMENT

A. Students have the option of paying tuition in one of the three following methods.

  1. 10 equal monthly installments: Postdated checks are to be dated for the 1st of each month from September through June.
  2. 2 large equal installments: Postdated checks are to be dated for September 1st and February 1st.
  3. 1 large installment: Payment is due at the first lesson in September; a savings of 10% is deducted of the lessons fee if this payment option is chosen.

B. A $25 fee will be charged for returned checks.

C. The teacher reserves the right to adjust fees at the beginning of each new academic year.

7. MAKEUP LESSONS

A. If a lesson is cancelled by the student, the teacher will make an effort to accommodate a makeup at a mutually suitable time before the next week’s lesson, but this cannot be guaranteed.

1. Please give the teacher at least 24 hours advance notice regarding any known upcoming absences (i.e. school trips, vacations, doctor’s appointment, etc.) so the lesson can be rescheduled. If less than 24 hours notice is given, a makeup lesson will not be granted.
2. In the case of an emergency (i.e. death of family member, hospitalization, etc.) where a suitable makeup lesson is not available, the student will be refunded for that lesson up to 2 lessons annually.

B. If the roads are impassible due to weather or a student is contagiously ill but feels well enough to play, having a lesson via Skype or Google+ is a viable option for that week.

C. If the student does not show up for a lesson (having given the teacher no previous notice), no makeup will be granted.

D. No further extension will be applied if a student/parent cancels a scheduled makeup.

8. DISCONTINUING LESSONS

A. By signing up for lessons, the student is purchasing a time slot from the teacher. Students who have enrolled for lessons are expected to complete the full year of scheduled lessons (September through June).

B. If lessons are terminated for any reason, the following refund policy applies for remaining unattended lessons and other studio events:

Months 1 or 2 Months 3 or 4 Months 5 or 6 Months 7 or 8 Months 9 or 10
Full refund 75% refund 60% refund 40% refund No refund

9. PARENT PARTICIPATION

A. Parents are encouraged to be supportive and active in practice at home. Taking time to sit in on practice sessions at home is a great way for parents to show an interest in what their child is doing, while making sure instructions are being followed correctly.

B. Parents are also encouraged to attend and quietly observe lessons at any time.

C. The teacher will be in contact with each family throughout the year if any problems arise and to keep parents updated on their child’s progress.

1. Report cards will be emailed at the end of each month (September through June) to update parents on their child’s progress and, if needed, inform them of specific areas that need more attention (i.e. theory assignments, practicing, remembering to bring book, etc.)

10. LESSONS & STUDIO EVENTS

A. Piano and theory instruction will be given at each lesson. Sight reading, transposition, harmonization, vocalization, improvisation and aural training will be covered regularly as well. The studio also offers incentives, rewards, and music appreciation.

B. Students are welcome to participate in theory and/or practical examinations. These opportunities require additional entry fees. The homework assigned and practice required on a weekly basis will prepare each student for examinations. A piano examination gives the student a feeling of great accomplishment when completed. It also sets a goal for students, which is rewarding in that more can be accomplished throughout the year.

C. Each year, the studio schedules a number of events for students. Do not hesitate to discuss these events with the teacher or ask questions regarding them.

1. Studio Classes: These classes are provided for three or more private students of similar ages/levels to promote student camaraderie and to reinforce concepts taught during private lessons. Studio Classes differ from one to the next but could include any of the following: theory, history, craft, performance, rhythm or listening skills and snack.

2. Studio Recitals: Performing in a formal recital setting is an exciting opportunity for students to present their hard work and improvement over the year in the presence of family and friends.

i. The Christmas Recital is held the first Sunday in December.
ii. The Nursing Home Recital is held in February at Bobier Villa, Dutton.
iii. The Spring Recital is held the first Sunday in June.

11. SUMMER MONTHS

A. During the summer months, private students are encouraged to practice. Lessons will be provided only upon the student’s request. Students may take weekly lessons (8 in total).

C. Tuition and payment for weekly summer lessons and/or summer camp will be discussed with the teacher closer to summer months.

12. COMMUNICATION

A. There are many great ways to stay informed regarding studio news and events!

  1. Studio Newsletters: Please watch for studio newsletters and other occasional emails. Newsletters announce details of studio events, may feature practice tips, etc.
  2. Studio Website: Visit www.charlottespianostudio.ca to find teacher contact information, current studio policies and procedures, copies of previous studio newsletters, and much more.
  3. Facebook Page: Students and parents are welcome to join the studio’s Facebook page. “Liking” the page allows students to interact with the teacher and other students.

B. The best way to contact the teacher is via email but phone calls are also welcome. The teacher encourages students to be in contact during the week if they have questions regarding their repertoire or other matters.

C. Should the student’s contact information change at any time throughout the year, please make that information available to the teacher.