Studio Information and Policies
Updated August 17, 2018
I offer private training in piano performance and technique, directed towards helping the student gain their own love of music. My principal aims are to teach students to sightread easily and well, which leads to musical independence; to be detail-oriented, which leads to musical expression; and to employ good technique, which gives students the tools to play well. Theory, ear training, and improvisation, which are essential to a full understanding of music, are incorporated into my teaching. I use a variety of materials and tools, which I choose based on each student's individual needs.
While each student’s goals differ, I expect maximum effort from students and full support from parents. This will allow the seed of ability that lies within each student to grow to its full potential, leading to wonderful musical opportunities and accomplishments. Music greatly enriches life!
♫ Practice Expectations
- The importance of consistent and regular practice cannot be overemphasized. Progress is made between lessons, based on good practice habits!
- I will help the student set practice goals for their own individual needs. A general rule of thumb is to practice a minimum of 5 days a week for at least the length of the lesson (i.e., a 30-min. lesson = 30 min. practice 5 days a week). It is best to practice longer right after a lesson in order to work on the new goals for the week.
- Parents are responsible to help their students find a consistent time to practice.
- I encourage the use of practice apps to help students stay organized and focused during practice sessions.
- If the student consistently fails to meet their goals, he or she will be placed on probation status. Without improvement in lesson and practicing quality, I may dismiss a student from my studio.
♫ Instrument Guidelines and Care
Pianos should be tuned regularly and kept clean. If a digital instrument is used, it must have 88 weighted keys and be placed at a proper height. I may ask to see video of your home instrument to ensure suitability.
- All parents will create an account at ecclespiano.com. This allows you access to the calendar of lessons, recitals, and other studio activities. Your account tuition and fees will also be detailed here.
- Students may also create their own student-access account.
♫ Tuition and Fees
Tuition is charged on an annual basis. Please see the brochure, "Where Does My Tuition Go?" to take a look at all that your tuition covers.
- Tuition is divided into 12 equal monthly payments. The student is guaranteed that I will be prepared and present to teach 39 weeks during the year, usually 33 weeks during the school year and 6 weeks during the summer, though this may vary. 2018-19 school year tuition:
- 30-minute private lessons: $1200/year = $100/mo
- 45-minute private lessons: $1740/year = $145/mo
- 60-minute private lessons: $2280/year = $190/mo
- Music is included in tuition.
- Music festivals and competitions will require additional fees.
adult students may pay per lesson. Please contact me for per lesson rates. Music and materials are not included when paying per lesson. Per lesson students also do not receive or use make-up credits.
- Invoices and Payments
- You may log in to your account at ecclespiano.com at anytime to see details.
- Families must enroll in
auto-pay in their studio account.
An invoice for the coming month will be emailed on the first day of each month. This will include tuition and any festival or upcoming fees for the coming month. Your payment will be processed at the time invoices are sent out.
- Any declined payments will incur a $10 late fee. Multiple bank accounts and/or credit/debit cards may be added to avoid the late fee.
- If lessons are begun or ended mid-year, the applicable first or last month tuition will be prorated. This may result in a higher or lower tuition for that month.
♫ Attendance and Calendar
- Students attend private weekly lessons of 30, 45, or 60-minute durations. School-year lessons are scheduled at the same time each week, and vacations follow the Alpine School District calendar. Summer scheduling is more flexible, and details will be given prior to each summer session.
- Students are expected to take lessons year-round. If summer or any other time is taken off, I cannot guarantee your spot when you wish to resume.
- Performance or other group classes may also be scheduled periodically, either in addition to or in lieu of regular lessons.
- A detailed calendar is always available in your account at ecclespiano.com. This can be synced with your own Google or iPhone/iPad calendar if you desire.
- Email and text reminders are sent out by default prior to each lesson or event.
- Music Tech Time: If the schedule allows, students may overlap another student before or after their private lesson to work on Piano Marvel, Piano Maestro, or other iPad music apps at the digital piano. There is no additional fee for this, it is an included benefit of your tuition.
- Illness: Students who are ill should not come to piano lessons. I have make-up days built into the schedule. The extra performance classes offered can also be considered make-ups for absences (I offer these 1-2 times a year right before a recital). I reserve the right to send a student home if they arrive sick. If students are only mildly ill, please contact me and we will do a phone, Facetime, or Skype lesson.
- Missed lessons: 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 your tuition pays for far more than the time spent with your student (see "Where Does My Tuition Go?"). However, I understand that some conflicts are unavoidable, and offer several options for when a lesson must be missed:
- Phone, Facetime, or Skype lessons during the student’s regular lesson time are an option for those that are mildly sick, for inclement weather, or for extended vacations.
- Lesson Swaps: A student who has a conflict one week may arrange with another student to switch for that week. Phone numbers/emails of other students are available on the studio website, and the schedule can be viewed on the calendar by clicking "Show Full Events." If you get a request to switch, please be flexible, as you never know when you may need the same favor. Please use these rules to make sure swaps go smoothly:
- I must be informed prior to and after arranging a swap.
- No make-up lessons will be given if any confusion from this arises.
- Should 2 people arrive at once, I will teach the one whose lesson is normally at that time.
- Make-ups: I build make-up days into the school year. These can be used by either you or me. Lessons canceled by a student are also converted into make-up slots which can then be booked by those with make-up credits.
- If a lesson must be missed and other options are unavailable, it is the parent's responsibility to go to the website and Cancel Attendance on the calendar. If cancelled at least 24 hours prior to the lesson, a make-up credit will automatically be added to your account (contact me in case of illness the day of a lesson).
- If you have a make-up credit, it is the parent's responsibility to
schedule a make-up lesson (any Open lesson or make-up slot). Make-up lessons are available at the end of December and the end of May. Other make-up slots may appear at any time if another student cancels a lesson, so check back often if you are in need of a make-up time.
- Make-up credits will be reset
to zero at the end of each summer, and may be cancelled at anytime at my discretion.
- There are no refunds or discounts unless I am unavailable to teach the promised number of lessons, even if all make-up credits are not used.
- I will provide required music, books, and most other materials (such as flashcards, technique or theory sheets, etc.). These materials are an included benefit of your tuition. While some materials may be provided as a loan, most will be yours to keep.
- I provide a BetterPracticeapp account for each student.
- A metronome is required for home use. You can use any metronome, including the one built into BetterPractice.
- I provide each student with a monthly issue of Piano Explorer magazine.
- Music Tech Time: I am excited to have some fun teaching and practicing tools through iPad apps and a digital piano. We will often use them during lessons to help with note recognition, sight reading, rhythm, interval training, theory, etc.
- Some apps will be used only at lessons, others I will suggest for home use if there is access to an iPad. This is not required. Some of these apps can be used on iPod/iPhone, and there are great Android apps as well. I have seen in my own home how these apps can help make practicing a fun and desirable activity.
♫ Rewards System
- I currently use a “Music Money” incentive program with my students. Detailed information will be given at lessons. Various other rewards may also be implemented.
♫ Lesson Etiquette
- Please come right in the door when it is your lesson time. The music room is directly off the entryway. The first student of the day may need to knock or ring the door bell if the door is locked.
- Hands should be clean and nails trimmed.
- No gum chewing during lessons.
- Parents are welcome at lessons, as are siblings if they are with a parent and able to entertain themselves quietly. However, I expect that parents and siblings will not interact with the student or be distracting.
- Since I teach in my home, there may be occasions when I need to take a short break to care for my children. If this occurs, I will give the student a short practicing assignment so the time is productive and well-spent.
♫ Performance and Recitals
- I hold periodic studio recitals, normally in the spring and fall. I may also provide other performance opportunities.
- I encourage students to participate in National Federation of Music Clubs Festival, with solo festival normally held in February (current cost is $10/student per event).
- Students may also participate in the AIM (Achievement in Music) program sponsored through the Utah Music Teachers Assoc. This is held in spring (current cost is $25/student, $30/student for summer).
- There are a variety of other festivals and organizations that can be entered on a case by case basis.
- Students should also be ready to perform at every opportunity, including for family, friends, or whomever will listen!
- I also encourage regular concert attendance.
- Please listen to and play classical music in your homes, as well.
♫ Parent-Teacher Consultation
- I hope to maintain a close working relationship with parents in order to better understand your student’s needs. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns, and I will do the same.
- Parents must keep emergency contact information updated in their account. In case of medical emergency where I am unable to contact you, I will use my best judgment in obtaining medical care for your child and you accept the responsibility for any related expenses.