Studio Policy, Procedure, and Pricing

ANNUAL COMMITMENT, 4 QUARTER TERMS PER YEAR

We ask students and families to commit to lessons on a yearly or annual basis. Each student’s and each group’s place is held in the studio schedule and guaranteed for the year. Payment is requested quarterly at the start of each term. Monthly payment plans are available. Tuition is prorated if starting mid-term or mid-year.

Each quarter term consists of 10 weekly, 60 minute lessons (in your home), plus 4 Saturday morning forums, and 2 Saturday evening recitals (at other locations).

Please continue reading below for detailed information about lessons, forums and recitals, procedures and expectations, and pricing.


Lessons

Private Piano Lessons are given weekly in 60 minute lengths, in your home. Private piano lessons focus on technique, repertoire, musicianship (sight reading and ear training), collaborative skills, and creative skills.

For beginning piano students, this means learning to play all over the piano keyboard, learning good posture and piano playing technique, becoming a complete musician - which in addition to learning to play the instrument means rhythmically, such as clapping and movement, vocally, including singing and speaking, and aurally, including “audiation,” inner hearing, and ear training - memorization, performance (solo and duets), and learning to read music notation.

For intermediate and advanced students, good piano playing technique and musicianship skills continue with more challenging repertoire, and piano lessons will include developing accompanying and collaborative skills, music theory, and even songwriting, arranging, and composing music.

Private Voice Lessons are given weekly in 60 minute lengths, in your home. Private voice lessons focus on healthy singing, developing tension-free vocal technique and a natural sound unique to each individual singer, repertoire, musicianship (sight reading and ear training, including solfege), collaborative skills (singing with an accompanist), and creative skills.

Group Lessons are offered weekly for beginning students (piano and vocal) and will vary in length. Group lessons are intended for siblings, families, and close friends, and can offer a cost savings and also provide certain benefits in learning piano and voice in the early stages.

Students are assigned to a group of 2-4 based on age, ability level, and scheduling availability.

Group lessons provide an environment for students to develop individual performance as well as ensemble skills.

Make-up Lessons. There are no make-up lessons. Please see below, “Forums and Recitals,” which are offered on four Saturdays per term. Forums offer students opportunities to practice performing, are sometimes “master-class” style, and will sometimes include work on ensemble and collaborative skills, as well as group theory and musicianship.

Lessons will include work at the instrument, as well as work away from the instrument, including rhythm, theory, ear training, score study, listening and analysis, etc. It is possible that some instruction, on occasion, will be provided by more than one teacher, a guest teacher, a substitute teacher, or a teaching assistant.


Forum and Recitals

Forum (mini-recital/master-class) will be offered on four Saturdays per term and are included in tuition. Monthly forum consists of student performances for peers and families in an informal, practice setting. Monthly performances of this kind encourage students to practice more in order to be consistently well-prepared, help students memorize music and expand repertoire, decrease performance anxiety over time, and help students improve audience etiquette, listening skills, and develop an appreciation for a broader range of repertoire and music styles.

Recitals are offered twice per term (eight times per year) and are included in tuition. Recitals consist of performances for peers, families, and sometimes members of other communities in a more formal setting. Recitals are themed, have a social function, and take place at these times of year:

Fall Halloween and the Harvest Theme Recital
Veterans Day, Patriotic Theme Recital

Winter Christmas and the Holidays Theme Recital
Valentine’s Day Theme Recital

Spring St. Patrick’s Day Theme Recital
Spring or Earth Day Theme Recital

Summer Freedom, Independence, Patriotic Theme Recital
Summer Vacation or Back to School Theme Recital


PLAYING AND Practice


Regular home playing and practice is recommended for student success. Ideally, students should play and practice about 5 days each week, according to the following guidelines:

First six months, 10-20 minutes
Six months to two years, 20-30 minutes
Two years and more, 30-60 minutes
While preparing for testing, competition, etc., 90-120 minutes
While preparing for college or university audition, 120+ minutes

The amount will vary somewhat depending upon each student’s age, goals, and interests.

Playing should include playing from memory for family and friends, and playing fun duets.

Parental involvement in home playing and practice can be important for many students’ success. Consider helping your student establish and stick to a playing and practice routine, calendar, and schedule, and ensuring that playing and practice time is free of distractions.


Attendance

Students are expected to attend each scheduled lesson. When you register for lessons, your time-slot is reserved for you for the teaching year (September through August).

There are no make-up lessons, but forum and recitals are offered on a fairly regular basis and are included in tuition. No refunds are given for missed lessons.

Any lessons missed by the instructor due to illness or emergency will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

Please be prompt – lesson times cannot be extended for students who arrive late. Students should be picked up promptly at the end of their lesson time.

Forum and recitals are optional but strongly encouraged, as students will benefit from participation, and families will get the most value for their tuition.

Special summer camps may become available.

See the annual schedule for scheduled lesson dates, forum and recital dates, vacation dates, and other scheduled events and opportunities.


Home Equipment

Piano students should have a piano or digital piano for home practice. The quality of your student’s home instrument will play a significant role in their potential for success, especially after the first year or so.

Acoustic pianos should be tuned at least once a year, and kept in working order. If you prefer a digital piano, please invest in a full-size keyboard (88 keys) with fully weighted, touch-sensitive keys and pedals.


Tuition & Fees

Tuition for the 2019-2020 school year is as follows. (Quarterly plans reflect a 10% savings.)

Piano Paid Monthly Paid Quarterly
60 minute private lessons $267/mo $720/qtr (10% savings)
90 minute private lessons $400/mo $1,080/qtr

30/30/30 group lessons (2 students) $222/mo (ea) $600/qtr (ea)
30/30/30/30 group lessons (3 students) $200/mo (ea) $540/qtr (ea)

Group lessons are subject to availability, can include siblings, family members, and close friends, and are available through approximately the first year or two of lessons. “30/30/30” style group lessons means each student receives 30 minutes alone and 30 minutes together.

Voice Paid Monthly Paid Quarterly
60 minute private lessons $320/mo $864/qtr (10% savings)

60 minute group lessons (2-4 students) $240/mo (ea) $648/qtr (ea)

Choir is subject to availability, and is particularly useful for teaching young vocal students.
We are currently forming a home-school choir that will be offered during the day time.

Musical Theater is subject to availability, and is a wonderful opportunity for vocal students.
We are currently forming a home-school musical theater and opera program that will be offered during the day time.

Guitar, Ukulele, Electric Guitar, and Bass Guitar

Band and Orchestra Instruments – I teach beginning band and orchestra instruments to students who are active in or planning to become active in a school instrumental ensemble. Private lessons can help beginning students to kick-start their playing, get “over the hump” on their new instruments, catch up if they have fallen behind the rest of the ensemble, or supplement their music learning. Annual enrollment is optional but not required; students can register for one month of lessons at a time, if desired.

Band and Orchestra are subject to availability, and are wonderful opportunities for instrumental students. We are currently forming a home-school band and orchestra program that will be offered during the day time.

Other Instruments Paid Monthly Paid Quarterly
30 minute private lessons $160/mo $432/qtr (10% savings)

Enrollment and Materials Fee

A non-refundable annual enrollment and materials fee of $100 per student covers all books, method books, workbooks, notebooks, sheet music, repertoire, plus other materials, for the year. Beginner (first year) piano students also receive a complete Starter Pack which includes Presto! It’s Piano Magic, Book 1, plus Presto’s Piano Keyboard Assistant and Presto’s Grand Staff Assistant teaching and learning aids. 

Presto! It’s Piano Magic, Book 1

Presto! It’s Piano Magic, Book 1

Presto’s Piano Keyboard Assistant - Music Alphabet Game

Presto’s Piano Keyboard Assistant - Music Alphabet Game

Presto’s Grand Staff Assistant - Note Finder Learning Aid

Presto’s Grand Staff Assistant - Note Finder Learning Aid

Additional event fees may be required for optional festivals, competitions, MTAC testing, and other special performance events. 

Statements will be emailed prior to the first week of each month with a reminder of current tuition charges, as well as any additional material or event fees. Tuition should be paid on or before the first lesson of the month. Online payments and cash are accepted.

Students should plan to commit to lessons for the full year. If unforeseen circumstances require a student to terminate lessons mid-year, one month’s paid notice is required to end lessons. 


Studio Equipment and Lesson Etiquette

Students agree to show respect for all studio equipment, furniture, instruments, and materials.

Parents and guardians are welcome to attend lessons, although it is not necessary. Parents and guardians may drop students off and pick students up at the end of the lesson (please be timely). Non-student siblings or family members who stay during the lesson (while not recommended) must remain quiet and respectful at all times.


Media Release

Photos of students and video and audio recordings of student projects and performances may be posted online and used by the instructor for promotional and workshop materials. Identifying information will be excluded or limited to first names only. Parents wishing to exempt their students from any published media may do so by providing a written exclusion request.
 



"Dennis’ musicianship, teaching, and leadership skills have been central to the success of his music and performing arts students. He is popular with students, highly respected, and known to help students achieve their best."

— Rosemarie S.