Studio Policies - Creative Music Education
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Studio Policies

The following lists the policies by which I offer private lessons in my studio from 2017 onwards. Please read them carefully and let me know if you have any questions.

My Responsibilities

To give you or your child the most comprehensive music education available. Students will be exposed to a whole range of music, technology, styles and creative endeavours. All lessons are created to suit the individual goals, desires and loves of each student.

I encourage my students to be curious and creative. I show students how music is constructed and how they can make up their own. I help students learn music that they want to learn. I develop their reading and technique.

Students will learn a large amount of repertoire and enjoy a wholistic education that suits their level and goals for the future.

Student/Parent Responsibilities

Students are responsible for arriving at lessons on-time, with correct books and having completed their practice. Students should practice to achieve goals, not to fill time and it is expected that all instructions are followed week-to-week.

Late arrival times will not be made up as I often have other students or commitments immediately around lesson times.

Students need to practice on a decent instrument. If playing an acoustic piano, please ensure it’s less than 50 years old and is regularly tuned. If using a digital piano, please ensure it has a solid wooden stand (not a cross brace), three pedals, adjustable padded bench and a fully weighted action. Let me know if you need help choosing an instrument.

Studio Calendar

Lessons are conducted during school term time according to the Victorian School Calendar.

Lessons are only conducted on weekdays. Lessons will not be conducted on School Holidays, Public Holidays or Long Weekends, unless via special arrangement on a case-by-case basis.

Weekly students will receive 35 lessons each school year and this is what is included in the monthly tuition fee (see below). Fortnightly students should expect to receive 17 lessons.

Payment

Tuition covers not only the actual lesson time spent with the student, but time preparing for each student as well and my ongoing business costs, including:

  • An individualised plan for each student’s course of study
  • My training and experience
  • Professional organisation memberships
  • Insurance and GST
  • My music lending library
  • Printing, scanning, copying

Tuition is spread equally over the course of a year and charged each month in advance, starting January 30. This monthly payment guarantees the student’s place in my studio and covers the costs of lessons and enrolment.

The monthly payment amount is divided evenly between the 11 months from February to December. This means that whether there are 5 or 2 lessons in that month, the tuition fee is exactly the same.

Weekly students are allocated 35 lessons per year, fortnightly students will be allocated 17 lessons per year. Eg. If hourly lessons are $100 each and a student is having lessons weekly, their monthly charge will be $100 x 35 lessons = $3500/11 months = $318.20 per month. All amounts in $AUD.

Students will setup an automatic debit each month with Paypal or Credit Card through my Music Teachers’ Helper software.

All tuition payments are non refundable.

Missed Lessons

Missed lessons due to forgetfulness, illness or holidays are not refundable. Exceptions will be made for prolonged sicknesses and extenuating circumstances on an individual basis.

As I am required to travel regularly for speaking, conferences, workshops and my online business work, there may be times when I’m not able to provide a lesson to a student. This is accounted for in the total number of lessons that students pays for as part of the annual calendar (see above). Please note that in 2017, there will be no lessons in July as I’ll be overseas and presenting at a number of conferences.

If I’m sick or otherwise unable to attend a lesson, and this drops the students lesson number for the year below their minimum threshold, I’ll refund the lesson fees or endeavour to make them up. Lessons missed without affecting the student’s total number of lessons for the year will not be refunded as they haven’t been paid for.

Performances

Please be aware that due to my online and speaking commitments, I don’t offer any formal recital opportunities at the moment. Students should seek these out in their school or local community context.

Exams

Students wishing to sit practical music exams will need to have been learning with me for at least one year before I will enter them for an exam. I need this time to ensure they are ready, that exams are the right thing for the student and to cover areas missing in a student’s prior education.

Students looking to take exams should be aware that it takes a huge amount of effort, determination and stamina and significantly reduces the time available to other more creative pursuits. Extra lessons may be required and students will need to sit 1 – 2 mock exams with other teachers before they are examined.

Students are entered for exams only when they are fully prepared. This is to avoid the situation where a student has to pulled out of an exam due to lack of preparation which is not a pleasant experience for anyone involved. If proceeding, students may choose to sit AMEB, ANZCA or Trinity Exams and I’ll help make the decision as to which exam board is best for the student.

Terminating Lessons

If you wish to finish lessons, please provide notice by email. Students will continue to receive the lessons they’ve paid for until the end of the monthly cycle when the termination will take effect. Refunds will not be issued.

Contacting Me

Parents and adult students are welcome to call me during daytime hours to discuss any matters associated with their education (you will be provided with my number when you sign up). Please avoiding calling or texting after 6pm. You may also email anytime.

Media Release

As you know, I run a popular blog and piano teacher training website where I help educate teachers around the world about creative ways to teach piano.

From time to time I use photos and short videos of my students on these sites which I also post on YouTube and my Facebook Page. These videos and posts are helpful to other teachers and a key part of my training for them. If you do not want your child’s image(s) to be used, please let me know by email or in person.

In general, students love to see their pictures and videos on my website or teaching page. They find it motivating and exciting to think that others want to know what they are learning. Students are identified only by first name.

The commencement of lessons is deemed acceptance of these terms.