♩ ♪ ♩ Dear parents and students,
Hello and welcome to my piano studio!
To help the upcoming year run smoothly, please read the following studio policies carefully. This applies to new and returning families, as some policies have changed recently:
1. Practice: We learn music by doing, therefore students need to PLAY the piano a minimum of 5 days weekly (not including lesson time). The 24 hours after the lesson are the most crucial. Please ensure practice happens in that time! You MUST have access to an instrument in order to make progress, ideally a well tuned, acoustic piano. Keyboards (with 88 weighted keys and a pedal) are acceptable for the first to two years of study if necessary to your particular situation. Parents agree to facilitate consistent practice between lessons , ideally by helping their children establish a routine with positive reinforcement.
2. Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons. (Some piano teachers do not encourage this, but I feel can be helpful, if parents are listening.) I strongly encourage parental involvement for the first few months of lessons. Please ask before recording. Siblings may attend if they are not disruptive. Please bring materials to occupy younger siblings' time. Also, if you MUST answer your phone please take it into the hallway or outside, so that it does not disrupt the lesson.
3. Dates: My teaching schedule follows that of the elementary school year. I start immediately following Labour Day on Tuesday, September 5. The studio is closed for two weeks at Christmas. Spring break closure will March 13 to March 25. Lessons continue through the end of June. Summer lessons are available throughout July and part of August. They are a huge benefit to learners and can be arranged at our mutual convenience
4. Tuition: Payment of yearly fees is expected in monthly postdated tuition cheques, payable on the 1st of each month. Every month's tuition will be the same as it includes private lessons, group Piano "Parties" and Recital costs. Cheques should be made out to C. Branson or Colleen Branson. There is no family discount. The postdated cheques and registration fees should be received on or before July 1 of each year. Other acceptable ways to pay: either cash paid at the last lesson of the previous month or email transfer on (or before) the 1st of each month.
We want everyone to be able to afford music lessons. If these payment arrangements pose a problem for your family we can try to work out a solution. There are a limited number of reduced tuition spots available. My studio has begun a relationship with MusicLink Foundation and accepts students through the Foundation. You may apply to be considered for reduced tuition through the Foundation here: www.musiclinkfoundation.org
5. Materials: In general I purchase any new materials required by the students. This saves you the sales tax and some time, as well as ensuring the correct materials are purchased. I ask that you repay me at your earliest convenience. Growing musicians NEED a variety of music. Expect to spend somewhere in the area of $80 annually if your son or daughter is progressing well. (This is variable, of course, depending on level and rate of progress.)
6. Communication: Effective learning and progress happens so much better when the triangle of parent/teacher/student communicates effectively. Please feel free to email or text me with any concerns or comments. (604-417-8347 for texting) If you feel that your student needs help between lesson, let me know. Perhaps we can arrange a few extra minutes for a little mini lesson, which is better than them practicing incorrectly or not at all for a whole week. (I do not charge for these unless they are happening frequently, which is probably a sign that it's time for a longer lesson time.)
7. Scheduling conflicts: I realize that conflicts with lesson times can occur, and I try to be flexible. I will ATTEMPT to arrange alternate lesson times in case of illness. ("Make-up" lessons need to be taken within the two months following the missed sick lesson. Make-up lessons do not carry from year to year.) For other reasons I will ATTEMPT to rearrange if I am given as much notice as possible, no less than 48 hours. No refunds of monthly tuition are given. Regular attendance is expected and encouraged in order to gain maximum benefit from music instruction. If a student has a time conflict and gives advance notice (48 hours as noted above) I MAY be able to reschedule the lesson. However, no credits or refunds are given for missed lessons. Tuition is due even if lessons are missed. Missed lessons are inevitable and, therefore, have been taken into account in the overall cost of tuition.
8. Registration fee: The yearly registration fee is $40 per student or $70 per family.
9. Performances: I hold two to three recitals per year. Those dates will be emailed to you and posted on the CALENDAR on this website. I try to make these an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. These events are not optional. There is a dress code and expected etiquette for these events, which I will email out. Other family members are most welcome without cost to you.
This year I to have more Group Performance Classes scheduled at my studio and at least one performance at a local Retirement Home. Some of these dates are already chosen and on the calendar. Beginning this year the Group Classes will be included in the yearly tuition. (In the past they were offered at no charge.) However, please note that I am trying to have more times when students can play for each other and sincerely hope that the students attend as many as possible. Music is a community activity but piano is often a solitary pursuit, so part of the purpose of Piano Parties is to have fun playing theory games and performing for each other.
10. I enter students in examinations and local competitions when they are ready. The RMT Festival is in February and Carillon in April.
11. I do not expect you to keep students home for a cough/cold. However, please do keep them home if they cannot concentrate or are quite contagious.
12. Photo and Video Release Form: From time to time I may post short video clips or still pictures of students on a private YouTube page or another place, such as a music teacher's group. Only the students' first name or first initial will be used. Please let me know if you do NOT wish your child's image(s) to be used. Most students find it quite motivating to know their pictures/videos are being used in this way. (If you do NOT let me know your wishes this form will be your indication that you understand and agree.)
Please sign below and return this form to me, indicating that you have read and agreed with my Studio Policies. There will be a copy of this form put into Student Binders for parent reference.
Date: __________________ Student name: _________________________ Parent signature: _____________________________________