CELLO/GUITAR LESSON POLICIES July 1, 2016
My teaching goals are to share my love for and understanding of music and guide each student in developing a sound technique for playing the cello and/or guitar. My hope is that they acquire learning habits, knowledge and skills that will last a lifetime.
- Lesson fee: $50 for a 60 minute lesson
Students take one lesson a week at my home at a time mutually agreeable to our schedules. I e-mail a schedule with student contact information and encourage you to try and arrange time changes with other students on your own when a conflict arises. If that doesn’t work feel free to ask me to help.
- Billing: Tuition is due at the first lesson of the month for the number of lessons in the month (individual and group). Because I reserve time for your child’s lesson time, there is no reduction for absences due to illness or conflicting appointments or activities. Bills will be sent via e-mail and may be paid by cash or check. Prompt payment of tuition is appreciated.
- Missed lessons: A student’s presence at their weekly lesson is pivotal in their ability to progress musically. There is no credit or refund for missed lessons. You may arrange to trade lesson times with another student or contact me to check for available schedule openings. However, make up lessons are only offered as a courtesy, when convenient, and are not guaranteed. If I cancel a lesson for any reason you will be credited for the lesson or a make-up lesson will be scheduled. The only exception to this policy is in the event of a prolonged illness or family vacation (when notified at least 1 month in advance). If there is a school closure due to inclement weather and you are unable to transport your child to the lesson, I will schedule a make- up lesson time. I do teach in the summer, scheduling around vacation times. Holidays will be observed!
- Parental attendance at lessons: Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons. In fact, I encourage this for the first few lessons so that you become familiar with the routine and my expectations for home practice, and so that we can communicate about any questions you might have. However, this can be distracting for some students, so I may ask that you don't stay routinely. If you plan to have other children wait during lessons please make sure they have reading or craft materials to occupy them AND that they understand the necessity to wait quietly. Please use your best judgment regarding this.
- Home Practice: Students must understand that they have a responsibility to practice at home. Very young children may need parental supervision and help, especially if the child doesn't yet read proficiently. Playing an instrument is a complex process and it takes a consistent effort to achieve facility. I try to be clear about the goals they need to work on during the week between lessons and happily entertain phone calls or e-mails between lessons if more clarification is needed. For beginners, 15 minutes a day is probably adequate. As children progress to harder material they need to spend more time to see and hear progress : 30 - 45 minutes a day for children 9 - 11 years old and 45 - 60 minutes a day ( or more) for older or more advanced students is a reasonable time goal. These are really ballpark times - every child has a different attention span, and tolerance varies with parental involvement. Some do better breaking up practice time into small amounts, and so on. I do encourage children to dedicate a specific time of each day to practice so it becomes part of their daily routine. Please let me know if your child seems under or over challenged, bored or frustrated, so we can make this a positive learning experience.
- Termination: I guarantee a scheduled lesson time and make plans for each student for the entire school year. If you must terminate lessons during that time, I require thirty days notice. Tuition payment for that month is required whether or not lessons are attended.
- Tips for success: Arrive promptly at lessons. Bring ALL your music and a positive attitude about learning. Parents, please check in with students to make sure they are understand their assignments. Be your child’s cheerleader! Learning an instrument isn’t easy but the rewards are enormous!
Music has been a truly enriching part of my life in many ways. I love introducing music to children and adults. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. It takes all of us --child, parent(s), maybe grandparents, and teacher-- to make learning to play an instrument and make music a joyful and successful experience.
Thank you for your participation in this musical adventure!