Piano Studio Policy and Student Agreement 2023-2024
Lessons for the 2023-2024 school year will begin August 28, 2023 and end May 24, 2024. The year will be divided into two semesters: Fall (September-December) and Spring (January-May).
There will be a few breaks throughout the school year. Please check the studio calendar for these dates. I will communicate with you about any additional breaks as early as possible.
Lessons will cover musicianship, technique, repertoire, sight reading, music theory, ear training, and music history, as appropriate for each student’s level of proficiency. As students advance, lessons will focus on classical music, and I will work to find repertoire that is interesting and rewarding for each student. My goal is to craft lessons that inspire students to learn new skills, challenge them to grow and improve, and teach them to appreciate music for the rest of their lives.
I offer lessons in my home studio and online. Lessons are given in weekly 30, 45, or 60-minute sessions. I will work with you to find a permanent weekly time. Parents of students may either remain for the lesson or be prepared to pick up their student at the end of the lesson time.
I offer one initial consultation/trial lesson to new students at no cost. After this, lessons are priced according to the following:
A family plan is available when two or more family members enroll for lessons. After the first student, all subsequent family members will receive 5% off tuition on all lessons of equal or shorter length. For example, a family who has signed up for a 45-minute lesson and a 30-minute lesson would pay $150 + $95 = $245 each month.
Tuition may be paid by year, semester, or month. Payment by cash, check, or Zelle (for Zelle, use my cell phone number) is due at the beginning of the year, semester, or month (depending on choice of payment plan). Lessons begun mid-year will be prorated. Payments not received by the 10th of the month in which they are due will be charged at $10 late fee. Checks that are returned for insufficient funds will be charged a $15 fee.
Cancelled Lessons, Make-up Lessons, and Swap List
There will be no refunds for missed lessons. If you will need to miss a lesson, please let me know as early as possible. Except in cases of illness or emergency, you must cancel no later than 24 hours ahead of your lesson to be eligible for a make-up lesson. One make-up lesson is offered each semester; specific days will be set aside by the teacher for scheduling these lessons. Students that are sick but up to having a lesson may have an online lesson (Zoom or FaceTime), or, if requested, I may be able to reschedule lessons if there are open slots later that week or the following week (this offer applies to illness only and not to other reason for cancelling lessons).
Families may also request to be included on a “swap list” that allows them to exchange lesson times for a particular week. If you decide to swap with another student, please let me know in advance of the lessons.
If I need to cancel a lesson, I will let you know as soon as possible and will offer either a make-up lesson or a credit toward the next tuition payment.
The studio will remain open even when school is closed due to weather. You many come to your lesson (if you feel it is safe to do so); if you choose not to come, you have the option of having an online lesson. Alternatively, you may opt use your make-up lesson for the semester. Refunds will not be given for lessons missed due to weather.
Students should not come to the studio if they are exhibiting any signs of contagious illnesses. Online lessons are offered for students who are sick but feel up to having a lesson. If circumstances require, lessons may temporarily move online for all students. Please see the “Piano Studio Illness Policy” for further details.
Practice and Student/Family Responsibilities
Daily, focused practice is the key to learning to play the piano. The more effort outside of lessons a student puts into practicing, the more progress he or she will make. I only see you once a week, but you can learn and improve every day! Students are expected to create and maintain a practice schedule suitable to their age and level of playing. Parents are encouraged to assist their younger children with practice, referring to teacher notes as needed. Ideally, students will practice five days per week (this leaves one day for the lesson and one day off each week). Young beginners might practice 15-20 minutes a day, while more advanced students should practice an hour or more. A good guideline is to practice each day for the length of your lesson (for example, a student taking 45-minute lessons would aim to practice at least 45 minutes a day). The important thing is that practice is consistent, goal-oriented, and positive!
All students must have access to a piano for practice; an acoustic piano is highly preferred, but a digital keyboard is okay for beginners. Once students have passed the beginning stages of learning, it is important to practice on an acoustic piano to develop proper technique and musicianship.
Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to better meet the needs of your child. I will do my best to keep you up-to-date on your child’s progress and accomplishments as well as any concerns. I will always work with you and your child to promote a healthy and rewarding learning environment.
Students will be responsible for purchasing their own books. I will suggest that you purchase books as needed throughout the course of study. I do my best to keep my requests reasonable while equipping students to learn with the best resources available. Here are some suggested retailers:
Allen Herther Music, located inside Ruggero Piano: (919) 872-7760
Group Class, Recitals, and Other Performances
Once students have gained a basic level of proficiency, they will begin participating in group classes, which are divided by age and level of playing. Group classes will be scheduled on Saturdays; there will be two group class days during the school year. During group classes, students will perform for one another and have additional opportunities to learn theory, ear training, and music history.
Students will also have the opportunity to perform in studio recitals (usually 1-2 per year). All pre-college students are expected to participate in these recitals.
I may suggest that some students participate in additional performance opportunities such as musicales, performance festivals, and competitions. Participation in these events will be determined by appropriate preparation and agreement between the student, parents, and teacher.
Lesson Commitment and Termination of Lessons
When you begin lessons in either the fall or spring semester, you agree to commit to lessons for the remainder of the semester. If you decide to leave the studio for any reason, you must let me know a month before the next semester or session begins.
After giving warning, I may terminate lessons for consistent late payment, cancelled lessons, or lack of preparation. Please do not let this happen!
Thank you for choosing me as your piano teacher. I understand the trust that is entailed in allowing me to instruct you or your child. I hope that each student and family has an enjoyable, rewarding experience in my studio.