Studio Policies

Sara’s Music Studio Policies

Fall 2015 and Spring 2016

Sara’s Music Studio strives to provide quality music lessons by integrating a variety of teaching methods, activities, and technology.

Students will receive private as well as group lessons and will be given multiple performance opportunities throughout the year. The following policies explain how Sara’s Music Studio runs and what is expected of students.

My teaching philosophy centers on creating dedicated music students with a life-long love of music. The policies below reflect those goals!

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Studio Semester and Number of Lessons

The Fall/Spring Semesters are based on a 9 month calendar (Sept. – May). Fall Semester has 15 lessons and Spring Semester has 19 lessons. Most studio breaks coincide with the school systems in this area, but some holidays (e.g. Columbus Day) are not observed and lessons will occur.

The Summer Semester features a variety of workshops and camps, and lessons are offered in flexible packages to allow for vacations and time off. Summer Schedule is announced mid-spring. Students who take lessons in the summer are guaranteed a spot during the Fall Semester. Students who take the summer off will be placed on a waiting list for Fall.

Please Note: There are no reimbursements for missed lessons and tuition is never adjusted unless the teacher cannot provide the promised number of lessons. See “Missed Lessons” for more details.

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Tuition Payments and Schedule

Sara’s Music Studio accepts Checks, Cash, and Credit/Debit (Square). Invoices are sent out one week prior to payment dates. Online payments available upon request.

Tuition reserves your weekly time slot and studio membership. It also covers the cost of:

  • Lesson planning and repertoire selection
  • Piano tuning and maintenance
  • Recital venues and programs
  • Professional studio memberships
  • Incentive programs and game materials
  • Studio rent, sole-proprietorship taxes, and studio insurance.

Tuition does not include the cost of music. Students should expect to spend approximately $50 per year on repertoire.

  • $20 Late Fee for all payments received past the 10th of the month
  • $30 Fee for all NSF Checks
  • Forgot your payment? Miss the first lesson? Pay online or drop-off/mail payment to avoid the late fee.
  • If payment is not received by the second lesson of the month… no lesson will be given.
  • Should something come up where you cannot financially fulfill your commitment to your lessons, advanced notice and open, ongoing communication is appreciated and encouraged!

Inquiries: For current tuition rates, please contact Sara’s Music Studio via email

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Missed Lessons

Lesson times are standing appointments; a student’s lesson time is reserved for only them each week, and it is their responsibility to attend. Dance classes and sports teams do not offer reimbursements if you cannot attend a rehearsal or game – music lessons are no different. Because specific times are set aside for specific students, a student who does not attend a lesson will simply miss the benefit of that lesson.  I will then use that time or other times to plan for the student’s progress, locate materials, etc. Please be assured that tuition pays for far more than the time spent during lessons (see “Where Does My Tuition Go?” above.)

  • Students who are ill SHOULD NOT attend lessons. If you are too sick to attend school, you are too sick to attend your lesson. Please notify the teacher by 12pm if you cannot attend. Students who are mildly ill can schedule a FaceTime, Skype, or Google Hangout lesson during their regular time.
  • Students are allowed to reschedule ONE lesson per semester in the event of illness, family emergency or school events. Please provide 48 hour notice if possible. Reschedules are not for students who miss lessons due to play dates, games, non-emergency appointments or family vacations.
    • Reschedules may occur in the form of group lessons if individual times are not available.
  • “No-Show” Lessons are Forfeit: Repeat “no shows” will result in removal from the schedule without tuition reimbursement. (3 Strike Rule!)
  • Exceptions to the Rules: The more notice given, the more flexibility YOU have to reschedule. Look at your schedule in advance! Life can be crazy sometimes – talk to me – open communication is key!

Other Lesson Options for Students:

  • FaceTime/Skype/Google Hangouts/Phone Lessons: Mildly sick? No way to get to lessons? This is a valuable way to keep your individual lesson time and avoid rescheduling.
  • Online Swap List: Consult the Online Swap List to see if you can switch with another student.

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Lesson Procedures

Please arrive at least a few minutes prior to your lesson. The teacher will come upstairs to get you at the beginning of your lesson time. If you arrive late, please come directly down to the studio. Students are expected to bring all materials (assignment folders, music books, and otherwise) to every lesson.

We Love Technology! ♫: Lessons will often incorporate the use of music apps or other theory websites. Students are encouraged to use these outside of lessons as well.

Keep it Clean! ALL students are REQUIRED to wash their hands before each lesson. Students must also remove wet/muddy shoes before entering the studio. (Bring an extra pair of clean shoes or socks!)

Food, gum, and non-water drinks are prohibited in the studio.

Waiting Room: Please feel free to relax in the waiting room located upstairs from the studio. This allows the student my full attention and vice versa. Young beginner piano students are an exception – parents should attend lessons so that they may assist in practice at home. Feel free to use the restrooms and water fountain located downstairs and on the left. Well-behaved siblings are welcome in the waiting room. Do not allow children to climb/play on the staircases.

** Siblings who take lessons back-to-back are welcome to wait in the studio and silently read, draw, play on tablets, or work on homework during each other’s lessons. Please bring enough materials to stay occupied.

Contacting the Teacher Outside of Studio Hours

Questions? Need to talk? Quick questions can be handled during your lesson time, or you can call me between 10:00am-1:00pm Monday – Friday.  Please do not text me before 8am or after 10pm. (Email me at any time!)

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Practice Expectations and Instrument Requirements

If there is a lack of progress, there is probably a lack of practice! A student’s progress is determined by dedicated practice, not by simply attending lessons. Ideally, students should practice at least 4-5 days a week. Specific amounts of practice time are not assigned to each student. Instead, students should practice long enough to complete their weekly assignments.

The quality of practice time is more important than the quantity of practice time.

Parental Support is an extremely important factor in musical training. Students whose parents take an active role in their progress tend to be more enthusiastic and productive. Create a quiet space where the student can practice, and schedule a time for practice each day.

Instrument Requirements: All students (voice included) should have regular access to an acoustic piano or an 88 key modern digital piano with a weighted hammer action. The 61 key keyboards sold at most large retail stores are not satisfactory for the continued study of piano, though they will suffice for voice lessons if necessary. Acoustic piano should be kept in good working order and should be tuned at least once a year.

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Recitals and Group Lessons

Recitals offer students a great sense of accomplishment and pride for their hard work. They also help them learn the importance of setting and achieving goals. Students at Sara’s Music Studio will be given the opportunity to participate in two formal recitals each year in addition to other performance opportunities and studio parties—See the calendar for recital and other performance dates.

Group lessons will occur once a semester, and will replace the normal private lessons for one week. Students will be assigned to a group of 4-6 based on age, level and scheduling availability. Group lessons will be 60 minutes long. During these lessons, students will develop performance and ensemble skills, as well as practice theory, rhythm, and listening skills.  For ease of scheduling, students will request day/time preference.

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 Holidays / Studio Breaks / Teacher Cancellation

Please Note that the studio is NOT closed on every national holiday. Sometimes Monday students WILL have lessons on a day when there is no school. The studio is ALWAYS closed on:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • 4th of July
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving/Black Friday
  • Dec. 23rd – Jan 1st

Additional Studio Breaks or days off may occur during holiday breaks or between semesters, and are always announced well in advance. The calendar is subject to change.

If the Teacher Must Cancel Lessons (this happens very rarely), students will be offered group lessons to make up for the missed lesson(s), or tuition may be prorated.

Studio breaks/closings: Additional studio breaks are announced on the studio calendar, which is accessible to students via the Students Only section of this site.

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Discontinuation of Lessons

Music is a lifelong pursuit, but lessons are not always possible for a multitude of reasons. Whatever the reason, I will never take discontinuation of lessons personally. Remember: if you are unsatisfied with your lessons for any reason or if you are contemplating quitting lessons, please speak freely to me about your concerns.

Discontinuation of lessons requires a 3 week notice – This gives us time to wrap up any current projects and discuss how the student can continue to follow their music goals. This also allows me the necessary time to fill that empty lesson slot so that I can avoid a loss in income. Thank you for your consideration.

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Mutual respect is a key goal in our studio. As studio owner, I reserve the right to remove students from the schedule if they have poor attendance, poor practice habits, or if they repeatedly break any studio policies

39 responses to “Studio Policies

  1. Joel Snyder

    This policy is great! Do you mind if I adapt this for my lessons?

  2. I agree with Joel, Sara! Do you mind if I use some of your wording to revamp my policy too?

  3. Susan Honey

    I love this, too! May I have permission to use some of this to rework my policies as well?

  4. Natalie Clyne

    Hi Sara,

    I am trying to come up with solutions to manage a rapidly growing studio and would also like to ask permission to use some material from your policies to help me develop my own. May I? You have obviously put a great deal of thought into these, they are wonderful!

  5. Chrystal Butler

    May I have permission to use some of this in my policies as well. It is very well written!!!! 🙂 You have thought of EVERYTHING!

  6. Henry Joseph

    Hey Sara! Great Policy. i actually quite enjoyed reading it! I would like to ask your permission to use just a little bit of it. Please do let me know if that would be okay?

  7. May I have a copy of your studio policies? I will be opening a studio this fall, and I would like to use part of it- especially the make up lessons.

  8. April

    Sara – your policy is just what I’m looking for as I transition from teaching at a college to teaching privately in semi-retirement. You’ve covered all the things I need to consider that haven’t been issues in the collegiate setting. I would so appreciate a copy of your studio policies. Thank you!

  9. Anita Byers

    Your policy is so well-written. I am in the process of my summer “tweak the policy” process. So it was so helpful to read what you wrote. Is it ok to use some of your wording?

  10. Danielle Girard

    Wow, Sara! Your studio is inspiring! I’m in the process of designing my studio website and revamping my policies. May I please have permission to borrow some of your wording for use on my studio website?

  11. Sarah Sharrow

    Sara, reading your policy was so helpful! May I adapt some of this into my new studio policy?

  12. Flo Jackson

    Sara, I love your studios policies! They are so well written and cover everything. Would you mind if I used this for my studio?

  13. Joyce Elaine

    Oh this is great! It’s just what I need to incorporate with my Academy. May I use your policy as a guide to develop one for my Scholars and also may you share with me your ratings wording? Thanks much Sara.

  14. Hello Sara,

    I’d love to use some of this if possible! I’m fresh out of grad school and just getting around to freshening up my studio policy after noticing some issues. I’d love a PDF copy if you have it!


  15. Jennifer Jauss

    Hi Sara! I’m still working on polishing up my studio policies for my area families. Mind if I use some of your ideas? It would be very helpful to have a PDF of the above information, if I may request that. Looking at your website, FB page, has really helped me in this new adventure. Thank you for passing on your knowledge to myself and others!

  16. Hi Sara, your studio policies are fantastic. I am starting up an in-home studio and was wondering if I could adapt your policies for my own? And possibly pick your brain about a few other things? Thanks!

  17. hazelnz

    Hi Sara
    your studio policies are wonderfully clear, could I please borrow some ideas? your website is fresh and informative, and has inspired me to get mine going again after it was badly hacked some time ago. Thank you.

  18. Diane Fulknier

    Just what I need! Well-done, Complete, friendly and thorough.
    May I have permission to borrow from your wisdom?
    Thank you so much!
    Diane Fulknier
    from Iowa


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