Policies

Scheduling

First lesson: The first lesson we have is a consultation/lesson and is both free monetarily and in terms of commitment. This is the time to ask me questions about my experience, teaching style, and to discuss your goals, musical background, or any other questions you might have.

Month-to-Month: The first time we meet each month, I will ask you to schedule and pay for your lessons for the month. If you know you will miss a week, or if the month has an irregular number of lesson days, the cost for that month will be adjusted accordingly.

Makeups: In order to schedule a makeup, I need to hear from you at least 24 hours before the scheduled lesson time. If we can’t schedule a makeup before the next scheduled lesson, I’ll give you a credit for the missed lesson. Please note that fewer than 24 hours advance notice will result in you being charged for the missed lesson, as I have already set aside that time for you within my schedule. Makeup lessons, when possible, will occur at a mutually agreed-upon time. Makeup lessons follow the same cancellation policy outlined above.

Illness: If your child is too sick to go to school, they are too sick to attend lessons. Please make choices in the best interest of everyone’s health.

Tardiness: If you are late, please plan for your lesson to end at the normal time.

My absences: If I must miss a lesson, we will arrange for a makeup time. Should we unable to find such a time, you will receive a lesson credit on your account as outlined above.

Irregular students: I can generally accommodate students with irregular schedules or who wish to pursue lessons on an at-will basis. Please note that students with a regularly occurring lesson will take scheduling precedence over irregular students. I will never make any scheduling change without consulting you first.

Payment

First lesson of the month: Please pay me in full for the month the first time you see me during that month (see above). Checks are preferred; I also accept cash.

Materials: I prefer to purchase books and other materials for the student, when needed. This helps me best keep track of what everyone is working on. (Some families prefer to purchase on their own, and that’s OK). If I purchase materials, please add the cost to next month’s tuition.

Failure to pay: I understand that sometimes unexpected hurdles come up, and I am willing to work with you. Please communicate with me. If your account is more than 2 lessons past due, I will not continue teaching until payment has been received.

Credit: All monies received are non-refundable. If you have overpaid me or I owe you a lesson, I will add a lesson credit to your account.

Teaching

Methodology: I am often unorthodox in my methods, but I use them because they work. If you have any questions about why I’m doing what I’m doing, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Student Progress:  If your child is having a positive experience and is learning new things, they are making satisfactory progress. I do not teach to benchmarks because I do not believe in them; every student is different and progress will occur at different rates during different periods for everyone. For more information, see my Teaching Philosophy.

If you are concerned that I am asking your student to do too much or too little, or that your child is responding poorly to my choice of material, please let me know. I want them to succeed.

Ethics: I do not currently belong to any professional organizations and as such am not reportable to anyone else. If you have ethical questions or concerns about anything I do, including the way I treat your child, please communicate with me directly. I plan to soon join one or more professional organizations to increase both my oversight and protection, and to provide an outlet for such inquiries.

Expectations

My expectations for you: I expect you to treat me and your child respectfully and in good faith, communicate clearly, ask questions when you are unsure, and do your best to keep scheduled appointments.

Your expectations for me: You may expect me to treat you and your child respectfully, in good faith, and without regard or preference for any protected status (and others not officially protected), to communicate clearly and often, to ask questions when I am unsure, to do my best to keep scheduled appointments, to behave professionally, and to respond positively to any frustrations.

Practice

Every day: Students should practice on an acoustic piano whenever possible. Please ensure your practice area is free from distractions, particularly for younger students. I recommend that students practice every day. For younger students, this may be no more than 5-10 minutes; for older students, 30 minutes; for advanced students, 60 minutes is a good benchmark. Please speak with me if you have questions about your child’s practice routine.

Why practice? Studies have shown that the top indicator of musical success is not natural talent but openness and diligence. Regular practice is also musically and personally fulfilling, and it can be a great confidence booster.

Transfer

Changing Teachers: If you are studying with me and wish to change to another teacher, I request at least two weeks’ notice to plan appropriately. If you are currently studying with another teacher and wish to study with me, I ask that you please give that teacher at least two weeks’ notice. You do not need to name names. Under no circumstance will I accept any student that is currently studying with another teacher unless that teacher has been informed of my involvement and explicitly given their permission. In such a situation I will call the other teacher to confirm. “Poaching” students is a serious ethical violation and I do not participate in it.

These policies are designed to protect both your time and mine, as well as the professional relationship we share. I strive to be reasonable and accommodating, so if you keep in touch we should do just fine!

Thank you for your understanding.