Studio Policy

Studio Policies

Thank you for allowing us the privilege of teaching your child piano! In order to make our time the most productive, the following policies have been established:
 
Lesson Times: We try to work with each of our students in order to give them the most convenient lesson time. Please be as flexible as possible when informing us of your available times.
 
Location and Schedule: Music lessons are offered at The Music Box School of Music: 4240 Shelbourne Street, Victoria, V8N 3E9.
 
Attendance: Regular and prompt attendance is required to make appropriate progress. If you are unable to make it to a lesson please email (themusicbox@rocketmail.com) or call the studio (250-800-0606).

 
Tuition:
Private Lessons: Tuition for private lessons is divided into 12 monthly payments.  You will be notified of any additional costs for materials such as books or special projects.   Payment is due in advance, by the 1st of every month.  Families should expect a yearly increase in tuition appropriate to cost of living increases and services offered.  You are not charged for Statutory Holidays, Public Holidays or any time that the studio is closed.
Early Childhood Classes: Tuition for Early Childhood and Preschool classes is divided into 10 monthly payments.
Participation in summer camps and classes is encouraged.


Summer Lessons:
During the summer months (July 11 – August 19), students are still required to practice and take lessons.  Fees are inclusive of 4 lessons during this time. 
Not only does the teacher feel strongly about continuing the student`s musical education throughout the summer months, but the teacher`s livelihood depends upon regular income throughout the summer months because the tuition rate has been determined based on a 12 month calendar.  For these reasons, if a student fails to observe this policy by opting out of summer lessons, the student cannot unfortunately be guaranteed a spot in the studio in the fall.  Please communicate with me directly if a problem arises with the student’s ability to take 4 lessons over the summer.  If you pay for summer lessons but decide not to book them these lessons are unfortunately forfeited.
 
Missed Lessons:
The Music Box has a NO CANCELLATION POLICY.  Lesson times are regular reserved appointments.  A student’s lesson time is held only for them each week. It is a student's 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.  Tuition covers far more than the time with your child -   missed lessons are frequently used to plan for your child’s progress, locate materials, etc.  See the "Where Does My Tuition Go?" brochure for more details. I sincerely hope that you will consider using one of our “Missed Lesson Options” this year.  There are no refunds or discounts given unless the teacher is unable to teach the promised number of lessons. 


Missed Lesson Options:

  • Phone or “Skype lessons during the student’s regular lesson time are also an option.  In the case of inclement weather—please check your email or the website for lesson status.
  • Lesson swaps: Families of private students may trade their lesson time with another student (“Lesson Swap”) to help avoid absences.  Here are the rules of a the lesson swap:

1.The teacher must be informed prior to and after arranging a swap.  
2.No make-up lessons will be given if any confusion from this arises. 
3.Should 2 people arrive at once, the teacher will teach the one whose lesson is normally at that time.
4.Please inform us if you do not wish to have your name included on the swap list. 


Illness:  
Students who are ill should not come to piano lessons. The teacher reserves the right not to teach a student if they arrive sick.  If students are only mildly ill, please email and we can arrange to do a phone or Skype lesson. If you have a computer with a camera close to your piano or a laptop that you can move close to the piano, please create a free Skype account and add my name to your contacts (or add my phone to your Facetime).  This will allow the teacher to call you and have a lesson with you over the internet if need be.  Visit http://www.skype.com/ to create your free account. Your teacher will let you know what their Skype user name is.  You can also do a Google hangout with just a Gmail email address.

Bad Weather:
If the school is closed due to snow, bad road conditions &/or canceled bus services we will contact you by email.  
As road conditions can change during the day, please check with the school before coming to your lesson. One makeup lesson for snow days may be given only if time allows. There will be no refunds given for canceled lessons due to snow.
 
 
Communication:
Please keep in contact with the teacher regarding your child’s progress and practice habits. Email is the most efficient method of communication (themusicbox@rocketmail.com)
 
Website Privacy:
At times, we will post schedules, make announcements, and write articles on the blog using student’s first names only (no pictures).  Pictures and videos of  students may be posted periodically on the website with no names attached.

Recitals and Opportunities:
Many opportunities for recitals and other events occur every year. We keep students informed of these opportunities through a periodic newsletter.   We do strongly encourage students to participate in all studio activities including our holiday and spring recital. Each recital is usually followed by a reception for the students depending on the facilities. 
 
 
Books and Materials: We will let you know what books are necessary for the student's progress, but obtaining them will be your responsibility.  Most books can be purchased at Long & McQuade.  It is important that books be purchased in a prompt manner.  We understand the expense that books can incur, and we promise that books will be chosen that we think are necessary and beneficial for the student's progress.
Each student will also need to purchase a 3 ring binder with pockets and at least 4 dividers.  This will be used to keep assignments, handouts and Home Practice Journals in order. 
 
Practice Time and Other Requirements: 
We like to emphasize the quality versus quantity of time practiced. However, in order to get good quality practice, a minimum of 30 minutes a day, five days a week is necessary (15 minutes for younger students). As students advance and mature, this requirement will increase (Students taking 45-minute lessons should practice at least 45 minutes daily).  We try to be very specific about practice techniques to the student and the parent, so that each knows what quality practice consists of.   Parents should read their children’s assignments and comment and initial them.  Please make comments on how you think your child’s practice is going at home.
 
Practice on a piano is required to make progress. Please try to have your piano tuned twice a year (the best times are spring and fall).
 
A metronome is necessary for all students. Fingernails should be kept short at all times.
Parents should plan to attend their child’s lesson at least once every 3 months.  This helps keep you in touch with your child’s progress, accomplishments, and difficulties.
 
Dismissals and Termination:  
Every student stops taking lessons at some point.  Ideally, this decision is made thoughtfully with plenty of discussion between the teacher, parent and student so that lessons can cease with a positive sense of closure.  For this reason, the teacher asks for one month`s notice in writing prior to discontinuing lessons.  Note:  At the discretion of the teacher, students may be asked to discontinue lessons, with one month`s notice, if they have an excess amount of absences/unprepared lessons, or if they show a lack of interest.  At that time, tuition fees for your final month will be pro-rated to reflect the number of lessons that you have received based on the last lesson date. You will be refunded any amount owing or required to pay the balance due.  Any borrowed books or materials should be returned to the school by the date of your final lesson to avoid incurring any charges for their replacement.
 
 
Thank you for abiding by these policies to help your child’s music lessons be the most productive and efficient! Thank you also for the privilege of allowing us to teach you! We’re looking forward to a great year.