Studio 88 Policies (2016-2017)
Click here to download a pdf of the current studio policies (to come)
Upon signing up for lessons, and each subsequent year during Fall registration, the student/parent will be asked to read the studio Policies & Procedures and sign/date a declaration of understanding. By signing, you agree to respect and abide by the studio’s current policies as long as the student is taking lessons with the instructor.
Any changes to the policy will be brought to your attention from year to year.
…worth the investment of time and money
From the very first lesson we have been impressed with Amy and the way that she conducts her lessons. My girls learned to play a song their first day. Learning to play a song helped them get excited about learning piano! Amy strives to make each class fun and challenging for each child. She strives for excellence and expects the same. We have really enjoyed lessons with Amy. It is well worth the investment of time and money!
– Tonya Garner
I will do my best to treat every student as an individual, providing a positive and enthusiastic atmosphere for learning. I will be prepared for their lessons and will work to engage, motivate, and inspire them to the best of my abilities, giving them tools to be successful at home. I will have open communication with parents including their student’s needs, progress, expectations, and efforts.
I will be present to teach all weeks schduled on the studio calendar. I have built in one flex week should the need arise for me to cancel lessons due to personal illness, family emergencies, or weather. I do not issue studio cancellations based on local school closings as there are more than 5 different school systems represented. I will issue my own independent closings and will notify parents via text. If I do not need to cancel for any reason, then the student will simply benefit from an extra lesson.
Student / Family Benefits and Responsibilities
Private lessons & group classes
Students attend once a week for a 30, 45, or 60-minute lesson based on their level. Following the student’s private lesson, they will complete a 30-minute music computer lab time (may be shorter for younger students). Thus, students will be at the studio for 60, 1:15 or 1:30 minutes total depending on how long their private lesson is. The studio calendar has 37 weeks scheduled from August to May including 36 weeks of lessons/group classes and a final evaluation week. I have built in one flex-week for teacher cancellation so students will actually receive 35 weeks of instruction including 6-10 group classes as scheduled. The week of group class, there are no private lessons as the group class will be in lieu of the private lesson.
Student practice expectations
Students agree to be fully prepared with the week’s assignments with all required materials. Daily practice is necessary and expected in order to make progress. A regular time should be set aside each day in order to establish a routine that will become a daily habit. Please treat practicing like other homework and expect it to be done each day. Unprepared lessons cost the same as prepared ones, but their value is substantially compromised. If your child practices the day of the lesson (immediately after the lesson) and the day following the lesson, he/she will retain the most information. Assignments will be clearly outlined at each lesson and students should ask questions. Remember, 95% of student’s time at the piano is at home. Five days of practice per week is expected. In my studio, I try to stress quality practice over quantity, but the following recommendations should serve as a guide to achieve satisfactory results based on your child’s age. Of course, to achieve excellent results, students should expect to practice 1.5 to 2 times as much as listed below.
5-6 years old: 15-20 minutes per day
7-8 years old: 20-25 minutes per day
9-10 years old: 25-30 minutes per day
11-14 years old: 35-40 minutes per day
15 and older: 45-60 minutes per day
Parent participation and expectations
Parents should be involved in students practice in terms of scheduling, organizing, and prioritizing the practice time. Encourage and praise student accomplishments and dedication. Sometime during the course of taking piano lessons, your child may say something like, “I don’t want to practice” or “I don’t want to go”, etc. Please be aware that your child’s interest in piano lessons will probably not be 100% consistent. However, to be successful, you will need to be consistent in your encouragement and commitment to music instruction. In most cases, acknowledge your child’s comments, but go on with your normal routine just as you would if you heard the comment “I don’t want to brush my teeth” or “I don’t want to go to bed”. If something is happening at home or school that is affecting your child please let me know so I can be sensitive to their needs.
Attendance, absences, and makeups
Students are allowed one rescheduled lesson per year. I may consider but cannot guarantee makeups beyond that. In order to be considered for a makeup, I must be notified a day in advance so I have a chance to fill the slot. Late notice or forgotten lessons will be forfeited.
Those who need more flexibility in scheduling to accommodate for other activities should sign up for the Swap List (details below).
Students who are ill should not come to piano lessons. I reserve the right to send a student home if they arrive sick. If students are only mildly ill, please contact me and we can do a FaceTime lesson or I can record a short video assignment for them during their regularly scheduled lesson time.
Please be assured that I am always working for your student. I think many would be surprised at the amount of time I spend working for my students outside of their lesson time. Know that your tuition pays for far more than the time spent with your child.
Families have the opportunity to participate in a “swap list” to help avoid absences. Those who choose to participate will be given a list of all available lesson times along with email addresses and phone numbers. If you are unable to make your lesson time, you can contact another student to switch times for the week. Please check the boxes below to either opt in or out of the swap list. Remember, whether you opt-in or opt-out all students are still given only one make-up for the year from me. Please use these rules to make sure swaps go smoothly:
- The parent who arranges the swap must inform me prior to and after arranging a swap and “cc” the parent with whom they are making the swap in the email.
- No make-up lessons will be given if any confusion from this arises.
- Should two people arrive at once, I will teach the one whose lesson is normally at that time.
- Exchanges are not obligatory, they are reciprocal. If someone says NO to a swap request, please respect that. If someone exchanges with you, however, be kind and return the favor when possible.
- The swap list is never to be used to solicit funds for schools or any other organization for any purpose including any kind of spam. Those who do so will be removed from the exchange list. Please respect each other’s privacy.
Recitals and other musical opportunities
The studio hosts a variety of musical opportunities throughout the year including mini recitals held at the studio, theme recitals, and nursing home performances. Students are expected to participate in at least one of those events. They are otherwise optional.
Opportunities for composition and performance festivals arise as well and while students are highly encouraged to participate none are required.
All students are expected to perform in the spring recital in May.
Students may be asked to discontinue lessons at any time if they have unpaid tuition, an excess of absences and/or unprepared lessons, or if they show a continued lack of interest. Should something arise that prevents you from financially fulfilling your commitment to your child’s lessons, I appreciate and encourage advance notice and open, ongoing communication. Students who choose to discontinue lessons for whatever reason must give a 30-day notice so the spot can be filled as this is a loss of my income.
Summer (June, July)
Although I feel strongly about the need to continue lessons through the summer, students are given the option to take off. If however, you choose to take the summer off, students will need to pay a $25 non-refundable deposit by the last lesson in May in order to hold your spot in the studio for fall. Summer lesson information and options will be available in May. Options usually include private lessons and/or music camp(s). The monthly tuition rate is generally the same as the school-year.
Please drop off and pick up students in a timely manner. Parents and siblings may wait quietly in the room, in their vehicle, or run errands. If you are in the room, however, please do not talk to the student or interrupt while the lesson is in progress unless I otherwise indicate.
When students arrive for their lesson, please enter in a quiet manner as another student’s lesson will be in progress. I encourage students to enter 10 minutes early in order to warm-up on a keyboard before their lesson begins.
Please turn off all cell phones to avoid disruptions. My phone will be on as it is used for teaching purposes. I receive and see, but do not respond to texts when I am teaching. Text or leave a message–I will get it.
Please refrain from bringing any food, drinks, or chewing gum into the studio.
Internet Safety and Acceptable Use Policy*
Students should only use the studio computer and the Internet to complete the work assigned. Unless research is part of the assignment, students are not to move beyond the assigned resources to other sites that have not been previewed by the teacher.
Students should use the Internet in a responsible, ethical and legal manner in accordance with the mission of this music studio.** The use of the Internet is a privilege, not a right, which may be revoked at any time for inappropriate behavior. It is possible that students may accidentally access objectionable material on the Internet. Students may be accessing YouTube at times for lab assignments and may come across material that I am unable to control ahead of time. Students should immediately report access of inappropriate material to the teacher.
Students are not permitted to upload or download any file without the teacher’s permission, disable, change the settings or in any way damage the computer, access another student’s materials, scores or files without permission, copy, download or distribute any copyrighted material without permission
*Adapted courtesy of MusicLearningCommunity.com Christine D. Hermanson 2005
**Parents are encouraged to discuss responsible use of the Internet with their children and what that means.
Tuition and Payment
Tuition is yearly (August – May) and is divided into 10 equal monthly payments. Please remember that you are not paying to receive four lessons each month, you are paying to reserve your specific lesson time each week for that school year whether there are 2 or 5 lessons that month according to the studio calendar. Tuition includes much more than the lesson time I spend with each student. It includes time spent preparing for each lesson, purchasing books, creating and making worksheets and games, planning and preparing for recitals, group lessons, and parties; studio equipment, membership in professional organizations that provide performance opportunities for students, lending library materials, administrative duties, professional experience and continuing education, and so much more!
The teacher reserves the right to raise fees at the beginning of each academic year. Tuition does not including outside musical opportunities such as (but not limited) the AIM and Opus Festivals.
Tuition can be paid in the following methods and is due the first lesson of the month. Cash, personal check*, or automatic bill pay through your bank are accepted. I highly encourage you to set up an automatic bill pay.** This is a free and easy service through most banks. The studio’s late fee policy still applies to automatic bill payments, so be sure and schedule appropriately. Please make all checks payable to Studio 88.
*If a personal check is returned for any reason, any bank charges incurred will be added to your following month’s tuition.
**Mail payments to 122 Lamar St. Suite 104, Bluffton, IN 46714
There are no invoices issued, however, as a courtesy, I do try to send text reminders the day payment is due. Regardless of text reminders, responsibility for on-time payment lies with the family. Payments not received within 5 business days of the due date will be assessed a $5 late fee.
Multiple students from the same immediate family may qualify to receive a discount. Discount is at the discretion of the teacher and is subject to change at the beginning of each academic year.
The rate effective August 2015 is: Student 1 – full rate / Student 2 – 10% off.
There are no refunds.