Effective August 1st, 2019
I believe that with the right teacher and the best music, custom-tailored to each student, every student can have a fun, uplifting, and memorable experience with learning an instrument.
Studying music can be a beautiful, life-long, rewarding thing. We want to inspire a knowledgeable passion for music, and to show that when anyone sets their mind to a task, amazing things can happen.
It’s my top priority to encourage this type of relationship. I’m here to create a rewarding experience for many types of students, from those destined for the concert hall stage to those who rarely practice outside of lessons and everything in between.
2. The Basics
Students typically have weekly lessons, either in their own home or in the Louisville studio. At each lesson, I provide a written page with goal-oriented assignments. Students are expected to practice at home between lessons to meet those goals. Throughout the year, students have the opportunity to perform at recitals and other public events, and may also be invited to participate in formal assessments and competitions.
Students do need to have their own instrument at home, preferably a full size (88-key), high-quality acoustic or digital piano with weighted action. If you’re just getting started and need an instrument, or you’re looking to upgrade, I’d love to help you find an instrument.
To have the best possible experience learning an instrument, there’s one key ingredient: regular practice outside of lessons. It’s also the most challenging part of learning an instrument! Fortunately for most students, adults are there to help. This could mean sitting with a younger student while they practice or for older students, simply making sure they get to the piano.
Motivation, commitment levels, and the “fun-ness” fluctuate over time. This is normal! All three people – students, parents, and teachers – work together to help get through the bumpy times and to “let the good times roll”.
When considering to start or continue lessons, I’ve discovered one approach that seems to work best. I recommend thinking of piano as a year-long commitment. In May, when everyone’s burnt out and starving for summer break… that’s maybe not the best time. July and August are a great time to talk about these decisions, and I’d love to be part of that discussion.
3. Scheduling and Calendar
Lessons generally follow the school calendar and are available most days of the week including weekends. For 2018-19, there are a total of 43 lessons split into three terms:
Fall: 16 lessons between August 18th and December 20th.
Spring: 19 lessons between January 5th and May 22nd.
Summer: 8 lesson between May 24th and August 14th.
Before the Fall term, students submit their availability online. We work together to find a time that works for everyone, and once the time is established, lessons occur at the same time each week. Times can change in the Spring semester though for the most part, they tend to stay the same.
The summer term is a little different. Since there are 12 weeks in the summer and only 8 lessons to complete, that gives everyone some flexibility for travel, vacations, and so on. If you’d like to have more than 8 lessons (so it continues each week), that can be arranged, but the minimum required is 8. Please note, refunds will not be given for the summer unless prior arrangements are made.
Holidays: no lessons on the following days. For other holidays, student non-contact days, other days off, lessons are still planned.
Thanksgiving Break (November 23rd – 30th)
Winter Break (December 21st – January 4th)
Spring Break (March 21st – 28th)
Monday students will miss two lessons – Labor Day and President’s Day. Invoices for those months will be prorated.
4. Attendance and Missed Lessons
Once a time is set, students are expected to hold to that time. That said, things happen! I try to be as reasonable and flexible as possible.
If a student is sick, I will try to find a makeup time but refunds will not be given. In event of a continuing illness or other situation, special arrangements can be made. Each family has a maximum of 3 makeups each academic year.
If for any reason I must miss a scheduled lesson and an alternate time cannot be arranged, that lesson will be prorated on the next invoice.
For lessons at your home, I try to be as punctual as possible but please allow for 15 minutes beyond your normal lesson time. I’ll be in contact if they will be more than 15 minutes late and if that poses a problem, accommodations can be made.
For most situations, we require 48 hours notice. Refunds will not be given for last-minute cancellations.
5. Tuition and Payments
Tuition covers many things beyond lesson time, such as:
- Designing a custom course of study for each student and preparing for each lesson.
- Recitals and other performance events.
- Insurance and professional organization memberships.
- Ongoing training and staff meetings.
- Taxes and other boring business expenses.
Tuition is spread equally throughout the year. For 2019-20 there are 43 lessons spread over 12 invoices. In other words, your monthly rate is the same whether there are 3, 4, or 5 lessons in that month.
I accept payment online by card or bank transfer, as well as check or cash. There are no additional charges for paying by card or bank transfer.
Invoices are sent by email on the 15th of each month and are due one week later on the 22nd. For payments not received by the 22nd, a late fee may apply.
To automatically pay each invoice and to avoid any late charges, I strongly recommend using auto-bill. Your information is protected by bank-grade security and we have no access to your sensitive information. At any time, you can go online to change your card info, to find past invoices, and to preview future invoices.
6. Termination of Lessons
I understand that piano is just one part of an all-too busy life for students. Piano is a long-term activity and whether someone continues lessons for 2 years or 20, eventually everyone must stop. After trying and trying, the necessary time and energy might just not be possible. Or, in extreme cases, sometimes students struggle to find a positive attitude towards the learning process and it’s better to wait until they’re a little older or that phase passes…
Please don’t feel afraid of bringing up the subject! Many things can be adjusted – practice requirements, the number of simultaneous projects, styles and difficulties of projects. Good communication and flexibility are often the best way to overcome these “bumps” in the road.
The best time to have this discussion is at the end of the summer (July/August) before the next academic year begins. For those who must stop mid-year, I require 30 days notice so we can fill your spot from the waiting list. If I’m able to fill your spot quicker, an earlier end date can be considered.
7. Media Release
In addition to teaching, I am very active in online groups of teachers, academic conferences, and so on. From time to time, I may want to take photos or short videos of students. Private information like names and locations will never be included in these videos or shared in any other way at any time.
If you do not want to be included, please let me know by email, phone, or in person. Commencement of lessons is deemed acceptance of these terms.