♩ ♪ ♩ 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 (slightly) recently:
1. Practice: We learn 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 do your best to ensure your students gets to the piano in that 24 hours.
1a. Students 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 few years of study if necessary in your particular situation. Parents agree to facilitate consistent practice between lessons, ideally by helping their children establish a routine with positive reinforcement. I reserve the right to terminate lessons to students who do not have access to a decent practice instrument.
2. Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons. (Some piano teachers do not encourage this, but I feel it can be helpful, if parents are listening.) I strongly encourage parental involvement for the first few months of lessons at least. 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. The studio is closed for two weeks at Christmas . There is a one week closure for Spring Break in March. Lessons continue through the end of June. Summer lessons are available throughout July and August.. They are a HUGE benefit to learners, especially for the first 3 years of lessons, and can be arranged at our mutual convenience.
4. Tuition: Payment of yearly fees is REQUIRED in monthly postdated tuition cheques, payable on the 1st of each month. Every month’s tuition is the same flat fee as it covers more than just the lessons. I do not charge separately for cancelled/rescheduled lessons, recital participation, group “parties”, theory marking, or the use of Studio Licensed materials. These are all among the privileges covered by monthly payments. Cheques should be made out to C. Branson or Colleen Branson. (Automatic eTransfers on the 30th or 1st of the month are also acceptable.)
Monthly payments by cash or eTransfer are also accepted. Payment this way is expected before the start of each month. * A $10 Late fee will be applied to payments received after the 1st of the month. Families providing postdated monthly cheque’s will receive a discount. (* This new policy will begin in September 2019.) (PayPal is not accepted.)
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 a relationship with MusicLink Foundation and accepts students through this Foundation. You may apply to be considered for reduced tuition through the Foundation here: www.musiclinkfoundation.org.
5. Materials: In general I purchase any materials required by the students. This saves some time, and the sales tax on some materials, 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 to $150 annually if your son or daughter is progressing well. (This is variable, of course, depending on level and rate of progress.) There are some books and materials that I lend without expectation of monetary compensatiion. In general, though, if a book does not have my name sticker in it, I expect you to repay me the sticker price (without tax). Materials repayment may be in the form of: eTransfer, cash or cheque.
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 (Although, please not between 11pm and 7 am.) If you feel that your students needs help between lessons, let me know. Perhaps we can arrange a few extra minutes for a little mini lesson. (I do not charge for this unless they are happening frequently, which is probably an indication that a longer lesson time is needed.)
7. Scheduling conflicts: I realise 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 30 days following the missed lesson . Make up lessons do not carry from year to year.) For reasons other than sickness I will ATTEMPT to rearrange if I am given as much notice as possible, no less than 48 hours. No refunds or credits are given except in the case of teacher absence. Regular attendance is expected and encouraged in order to gain maximum benefit from music instruction. 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, due by the June recital date each summer. (Cash, cheque or eTransfer are all acceptable.)
9. Performances: I hold a minimum of two recitals per year. The dates will be emailed to you and posted on the CALENDAR on my website (www.bransonpiano.ca) 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. Other family members are most welcome to attend without cost to you.
Group Classes: Some of these dates are already chosen and on the calendar. Group classes are a chance for students to play for one another and participate in group theory, both of which are beneficial in building musicianship. Private piano lessons are the mainstay of learning in my studio; group classes add another important dimension.
10. I give all parents (and older students) my cell phone number. Please text first, as I have a variable schedule. Do not call between the hours of 10pm and 8am.
11. I do not expect you to keep students home for a slight illness. However, please do not send them to lessons if they cannot concentrate or are contagious. Skype/FaceTime lessons are an option if they are well enough to concentrate but too contagious to attend.
12. In case of medical emergency, I will use my best judgment in obtaining medical care for your child and you accept the responsibility for any related expenses.
13. 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, FaceBook Studio page or other place, such as a music teacher’s group. Only the students’ first name or initial will be used. Please let me know if you do NOT wish your child’s image(s) 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, 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.
Mrs. Colleen Branson, RMT, BM
13124 64A Avenue, Surrey, BC, V3W 1Z3 604-591-2147 (home) 604-417-8347 (cell)
Date: __________________ Student name: _____________________
Parent signature: ____________________________________________