The Following Policies have been established to create an environment of mutual respect and consideration for a better learning experience. In order to best serve the students it is necessary that everyone is informed and understands the policies and procedures that affect them. Please read, print and sign the last two pages and observe these policies.
The studio offers all students the opportunity of learning about the world of playing piano and music appreciation, which is something that will permanently enrich their lives. My goal is to provide quality and professional private piano instruction tailored to students of all ages, and to teach students to “see and hear” the beauty of music and art, as well as empower pupils to pursue their personal achievements and goals.
Lessons in the studio offer the students an opportunity to develop a well-rounded music education encompassing music fundamentals, technique, piano performance, theory, sight reading, ensemble, ear training and other skills.
The level and age of the students span from 5 to 85. Many of my adult students say it is the one thing in life they do just for themselves. Although everyone has different reasons for continuing to play after childhood lessons are over, all who play a musical instrument say they do it for enjoyment; and the enjoyment increases with greater proficiency and lasts a lifetime. Those who play for enjoyment but say they don’t need lessons are probably easily pleased and willing to accept poor progress and mistakes that inevitably creep in. I know that my students feel revitalized by lessons and know what music does for them, physically and mentally.
Recitals, Evaluations and Competitions
All students are taught specific skills appropriate for their level.
Students who enroll in the California state Certificate of Merit Program sponsored by the Music Teachers Association of California evaluated each spring by visiting adjudicators in performance, theory, sight-reading and ear tests. Annual fees, established by the state and teacher’s administration vary depending on level.
Students who enroll in the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program assessed on practical and theoretical subjects. Both create an opportunity to recognize achievement and receive meaningful feedback. The evaluations held twice a year, with all scheduling and location arrangements made by Music Development Program. The curriculum is a national standardized examination program for music. (Think Honors/AP exams in music for each grade, starting from preschool and going through college and teaching/artist diplomas.)
Careful preparation is necessary for these exams and participation for my students is highly encouraged and strongly recommended! Students are encouraged to participate in studio recitals, formal and informal, Master Classes, Theory, Share and Playing Classes. Superior and achievement-minded students may be entered in different events sponsored by musical organizations such as MTAC, CAPMT and MTNA programs, Local, State and National competitions, Honors Festivals, Summer Festivals, other, which provide additional opportunities for honing performing skills.
Programs and Methods used in the Studio
B-Sharp Piano Studio offer The Habits Program (beginning piano), based on the Peery System, which includes assignments in three components: muscular, practical and musical. This program is a conservatory level curriculum for piano students as young as five. The Peery System is an exact methodology – curriculum and certification- used by the San Francisco Conservatory for its First Steps Program.
Who should start or consider this program? – Every student who wants to have the best start and chance at succeeding with the piano. Establish correct muscular, practical, musical and practice Habits right from the beginning in an environment that is goal oriented and full of energy.
The methods used in the Studio are Hal Leonard, Piano Adventures, Succeeding at the Piano, Celebration Series, Popular/Jazz and many others.
You are a welcome guest in the studio so I ask that you enter quietly. Please respect the neighbors by not shouting when you are outside. There are two parking spaces in the common parking area in front of the clubhouse designated as “permit parking”. Please do not use these. Parking in these spaces are reserved.
Please allow time to take off your shoes and to wash/clean your hands before the instruction begins. The student should not attend a lesson in the studio when ill so as not to carry the disease to the teacher or other students. If you/your child have the first lesson scheduled during the day, do not expect to enter or start early. Please make sure that I am at the studio. Parents, never drop off your child without acknowledgment from them or me that they are safe. Young students are asked to stay inside until the pick-up person is visible. Any arrangements other than prompt delivery and pick-up must be made with me in advance. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Late students will have only the remaining portion of their scheduled session time.
Missed lessons – Because my schedule is full, I cannot promise make-ups for missed lessons during the school year. However, if you let me know well in advance if you must miss a lesson, we can try to switch lesson times with another student. No credit or refunds are given for missed sessions.
The yearly Registration/Administration Fee include among many other things the use of circulating studio sight reading books, studio ear-training CDs, music theory, some test-preparation materials, latest technologies, and photocopying expenses for practice theory tests and review worksheets. The fees do not include the cost of Certificate of Merit or Music Development Program Workbooks and materials. These items will be invoiced individually.
Scheduled Theory/Share and Team Playing Classes include creative activities, keyboard theory, music history, music appreciation, ear training, sight singing, sight reading, music theory games, ensemble, improvisation and performance.
Referrals – Most of my students come to my studio because they have heard about the studio “word of mouth”. Because I value your referrals, I will rebate your Administration fee if your recommendation results in a new student in the studio.
Practicing – The System is goal oriented, not time oriented. It is very common for practicing to take longer during the first days of a new assignment and decrease as the assignment is mastered. Consistency in practice is the key to a student’s success. Enrolling in the B-Sharp Studio is a commitment to practicing with your child or making sure your child practices a minimum of 5 days per week.
An active interest by parents is necessary for successful music achievement of younger students. Parents need to encourage regular practice sessions, attend workshops and recitals. Thank you to all parents/grandparents/others who are responsible for getting the students to their lessons on time and helping young students bring all materials to their lessons. A regular practice schedule is vitally important to the success of each individual. If not enough practice time is done to enable the student to progress at an acceptable rate, lessons may be discontinued.
I acknowledge my students’ and parents’ place in a three-way relationship, and pledge to do my best to make piano playing/music study a rich, growing experience for all participating parties.
Your child has their own unique pace, so avoid comparing him/her to siblings or neighbors’ children who may appear to be playing better than them. Anticipate ups and downs in attitude and progress, along with a number of “growing pain” periods.
Your financial investment in your child’s music lessons pays its dividends through the skills they acquire over the years, not by the amount of daily practice, nor in how much they play for you or your guests. Remember you are giving your child a music education for artistic use, for self-expression, and for pleasure. Don’t expect your child to be grateful for your sacrifices – the gratitude will come years later when they can play and enjoy music as adults.
Tuition Assumptions/Student Rescheduling
Your tuition reserves you a weekly time slot and membership within the studio. The time of your lesson has been reserved and is unavailable to any other student. The teacher is also committed to instruct at that time as well.
It should be clearly understood that although the tuition is paid monthly, it is not calculated by the weekly lessons of this month. Your monthly tuition rate is the same each month even though some months will have 5 sessions and others only 3 or even 2 for the month, and might include group classes, Master Classes, recitals, etc. Tuition is received monthly and is prorated equally throughout ten months.
The student will receive a minimum of 35 scheduled sessions, including recitals, and might include theory, share and group lessons, Master classes, and any last minute cancellations or missed lessons without medical/emergency reasons. There will be no monetary credit for cancellations made by parents/students except in case of extended illness.
For planned absences advance notice should be given unless there is a medical emergency. If vacation time is planned during the September-June period, and the student will be missing some of his/her regularly scheduled sessions, parents are still responsible for the tuition payment in full, unless it is discussed ahead of time. Attendance is mandatory for all lessons. The Studio is keeping track of all attendance and absences.
Lessons will be made up if the cancellation by the teacher is made within 24 hours notice due to the teacher’s illness. Every effort will be made to re-schedule the missed lesson due to an illness or emergencies; however, if the lesson is unable to be rescheduled for any reason, credit will not be given for the missed lesson unless the total of 35 sessions (including theory/share classes and recitals) has been reached at the end of ten month term of the academic year, September through June.
All other cancelled lessons will be announced well in advance by the teacher due to professional conferences, meetings, training, vacation, or other reasons.
The studio offers a year-round program and is open throughout the year, except for the days when the teacher is attending professional conferences and workshops, teachers meetings and master classes, vacation, or is absent due to illness. These days are announced well in advance, except for emergencies, such as sickness.
Monthly tuition payments remain constant regardless of the number of lessons received in a given month. It is prorated equally throughout ten months, September to June. Fees are due in the first week of the month on the day of your scheduled lesson. Except for July and August, there will be a $20 late fee if the payment received after the 15th of the month.
For those who received more than 35 sessions before the end of June additional payment will be required end of June or added to July/August tuition. If at the end of June the student has not reached the minimum of scheduled lessons (due to medical/emergency reasons) a credit will be applied. Any last minute cancellations or missed lessons without medical/emergency reasons will not be credited.
During the July-August Summerperiod lessons are subject to cancellations according to the needs of the teacher or parent/student and will be calculated accordingly, but minimum of two lessons are to be taken/paid for, which will hold the place in the studio for the next academic year in addition to the Annual Fall Registration and Administration Fee due late spring.
The lesson rates are based on the teacher’s education, experience, teaching environment, ongoing professional development, location, technology lab, performances experience and student achievement. The tuition rates include time invested in planning repertoire, student development research outside of lesson time, assignments, administration, business needs, computer laboratory/programs, attending student recitals, competitions, membership and participating in teachers’ organizations, and continuing education, which gives the chance to offer students the latest ideas, music and technology.
Tuition can be paid all at one time or with 10 monthly tuition payments as follows:
– Bill pay set up with your bank so you don’t have to remember to do it.
– 10 monthly payments payable in 10 post-dated checks (September – June)
– Cash payments
– Blocks of 10 paid-up sessions are available for Adult Students, who have traveling conflicts, other
These policies are in accordance with Teachers Associations guidelines. The tuition fees take into consideration that the teacher must provide the continuing education costs, insurance, retirement and social security, as well as bear the expense of equipping and maintaining the studio, instruments, library and other equipment and supplies. There is at least as much time spent in planning, study, research, scheduling, administration and other studio related work, as in actual lesson time.