Studio Life and Policy

Studio Policy

The following includes parent, teacher and student responsibilities and detailed  information about studio life and policies. Updated August 2023 
 Laura’s Thoughts:  How I feel about music lessons!

Did I already mention I LOVE teaching piano and cello!! Whether a student becomes a professional musician or just plays occasionally for fun, the discipline of practice and commitment in learning an instrument will bring many future returns. It truly is an investment into a lifetime of enjoying music!
I commit to give my best in helping each student achieve his/her musical goals by :

  • Being sensitive to individual personalities,abilities, and learning styles.
  • Providing a patient, encouraging and enthusiastic atmosphere for learning.
  • Giving all my students the opportunity to explore different types of music such as pop, hymns,jazz, folk, duets and classical music while being attentive to what is their favorite.
  • Challenging,  motivating , inspiring  and hopefully putting a smile on each student’s face!
  • Help each student discover  his creative spark at the piano/cello
  • Build confident,creative, and skilled musicians for life.

 Parents: A key to success! 
Please know how much I appreciate the opportunity to teach your child and pass on the gift of music! Your active involvement and interest gives your child a great amount of motivation and encouragement. It is essential to achieve a successful musical experience.
Help your child develop self-discipline and good practice habits by setting aside a consistent daily practice time. This is the best way to ensure it is completed daily and progress is made. Also, check your child’s piano/cello notebook weekly, as that will explain in detail what to practice and prepare for lessons. Younger children(5-7) especially need help with practicing and theory books.
The student needs a piano/cello! Keyboards have functional limitations so please communicate to me if this is what you have at home. Please keep your piano in the best possible condition and have it tuned yearly! I have a great tuner to recommend if you need someone! A student also needs a chair or bench at correct height, metronome, and proper lighting in a place allowing quiet (as much as possible !) and uninterrupted practice.
I welcome parents to quietly observe lessons at any time. Only active students can wait in the studio unattended by a parent.  Other siblings cannot be left or be unattended while a student has a lesson.

 Always feel free to communicate any encouragements, concerns, and ideas regarding your child’s music studies. Send me an email as I would love to hear from you!
Pictures and videos of my students may be posted on my website or social media with no names attached. Please see studio registration/agreement form (Resources)for more details.

Students:  The teacher’s expectations! 
Every student is expected to become a concert pianist/cellist NOT!!! Seriously, this is not my expectation but developing each student into an excellent and well-rounded musician is! This means that every student will work on note reading fluency, theory, technique,ear training, musicality, and musicianship. Keyboard skills such as sight reading, composing, improvising, and ensemble playing(duets,trios,2 piano pieces) are included in every student's musical journey.
A student is expected to arrive at each lesson with all music, notebook, and a ready to listen and work hard attitude. I do require diligent practice five days each week but more importantly, that lessons assignments/goals are achieved on a consistent basis. This promotes progress which brings success and then motivation to keep practicing!
Most of all, each student is encouraged to smile, have fun, and hopefully laugh at least once during the lesson!!
 Tuition: What does your investment cover?

Your monthly tuition covers much more than just the time spent in a weekly lesson. It also includes, but is not limited to:

  • Your reserved  individual/ group lesson, music class, piano party, performance class
  • Teacher’s professional education and  extensive teaching experience.
  • Piano tuning and repairs on the grand, upright piano, digital keyboard and studio maintenance
  • Music library and supplementary music
  • Lesson planning 
  • Computer,tablet, online lesson equipment. 
  • Supplies for individual& group lessons,piano parties, and performance classes.
  • Recital venue rentals, programs and rewards
  • Lesson goals and practice incentive programs
  • Teacher's professional growth/ training
  • Piano music and game club resources

Appassionata Studio is : A 12 month studio

  • Tuition is invoiced in equal monthly payments. Tuition remains the same each month and is based on enrollment, not attendance. 
  • The studio provides the opportunity for individual lessons, performance classes, and camps ( School Year Session + Summer Session). 
  • Tuition reserves your child's lesson time throughout the studio year, whether he/she attends the scheduled lesson.
  • Tuition includes individual, duo or group lessons, performance classes/piano and cello parties, during the school year AND the summer session.
  • Tuition Monthly Rates: Contact Laura for current lesson rates
  • Tuition is to be paid by the 6th of each month. A  late fee of $20 will be assessed after that time. Families consistently late will be required to set up automatic payments. 
  • Tuition can be invoiced monthly, quarterly, or for the entire year. 
  • Payments can be made by cash, check, Zelle, bank bill pay,  PayPal, Google pay, or Venmo business. Paypal and Venmo have online convenience fees that will be added to the monthly invoice if a family chooses to use this form of payment. 
  • Yearly increases and/ or cost of living may be applied to tuition at the beginning of each studio year. There will be no tuition changes midyear. 
  • Annual enrollment /scheduling  fee (non-refundable)of $20per student due each August or anytime during the School year Session when a student joins the studio. This fee is not prorated.

Summer Session(June-August)

Summer is  great time to explore music through camps and workshops! Learning with friends is fun! Longer individual lessons can bring amazing progress too! The studio offers different options to help your child continue musical growth in the summer months while giving flexibility for other summer activities and family vacations.

♫ Summer Session includes a combination of  individual lessons, performance classes, music camps, and Ice cream Performance Party in August. Options and details for summer session will be sent out in April. 

♫ Students wanting to take extra weeks of individual lessons during the Summer session will be by teacher approval and monthly tuition will be adjusted to reflect the additional lessons.

♫Without summer participation, there becomes no guarantee of a spot available the next studio year and the student will be moved the studio waiting list.  The Early Termination Fee($100) of the 12 month Studio Agreement Contract will also be applied to the current invoice.

♫Due to the number of weeks the studio provides for family vacations and activities, there will be NO reschedules or credits.

 Lesson Attendance: Be consistent! 
The student’s lesson time is expected take priority in your weekly schedule. This communicates to your child how important you feel piano lessons are.  It is a waste of my time and your money if lessons are missed on a consistent basis. Some important considerations include:

  • Each student taking individual weekly lessons is required to participate 1x monthly in a performance class or a Piano Party. A student joining the studio mid year can attend a class if their schedule permits. If not, the student may instead  take an individual lesson during class week. 
  • . Students are grouped together based on many variables including age, playing level, and  where the teacher feels the student will be most productive and successful. These 50 minute  classes primarily focus on theory games, ear training, performing for one another, music history, and having musical fun with friends.
  • Students are expected to arrive punctually with lesson binder, and ALL books.  Lesson time will not be extended to accommodate tardiness.
  • In becoming part of my studio, you are committing to a full 12 month Studio Year . Those students beginning later in the year are expected to commit through the remaining months of the studio year.
  • A 30 day advanced notification is required in the event lessons need to be discontinued short term, long term, or permanently, regardless of the reason. Without a 30 day notice, one month tuition will still be due. If this is a permanent discontinuing of lessons, this  gives me time to try and fill the empty spot with a new student and make adjustments financially to accommodate the loss of income to my family. As well, the last few lessons can be spent wrapping up pieces giving practice suggestions, and bringing a positive and encouraging closure to the student/ teacher relationship that has been built. This helps makes the transition to ending lessons easier, as abrupt endings can be emotionally difficult for students.
  • Early termination fee ($100) will be assessed for breaking the studio policy/lesson commitment agreement. This fee may be waived for lost employment or extended illness. In the event that lessons are terminated before the end of the contracted studio year (August-August), you will receive an invoice for the amount still owed for lessons received.
  • Students “taking a break“ from weekly lessons for more than one month, but are planning to return at some point within the current studio year,  can keep their active student status and keep their lesson spot if monthly tuition continues to be paid. Those students taking a break without payment to reserve their spot, will be moved to the waiting list with no guarantee of a lesson spot when they want to  return. Reserved lessons spots are only for students who pay monthly tuition. 
  • Students waiting for lessons may wait inside(designated area) unless Covid studio restrictions are in place. Outside waiting may be required, if this is the case, and signs will be posted on the front door to note this. Please be aware that this is unsupervised and that parents take full responsibility for their child during this time.
  • Please do not arrive more than 5 min early for a lesson or pick up more than 5 min late from a lesson unless you have made special arrangements with me . Sometimes I have activities right before or directly after a lessons and cannot be available to supervise your child. Please make note if you are late, your child might be left unsupervised.

 Missed Lessons: What happens then? 
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. Your tuition reserves your weekly time slot and benefits within the studio. There are no make up lessons when a student cancels. Please be assured that your tuition pays for far more than the time spent with your student (see "What Does My Tuition Cover?"). However, I understand that some conflicts are unavoidable, and offer several options/ opportunities for when a lesson must be missed:Please remember these are opportunities for missed lessons and not guarantees. Arrangement for any of these options with the teacher is the responsibility of the student. 

  •  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. This format is not to be used for convenience reasons. 
  • Reschedule a lesson WITHIN the same week of the missed lesson if one is available. There is no guarantee that reschedules will be available and these cannot be carried over into the next week,month, or Summer Session. This option involves the opportunity to  use other students canceled lessons. These will be available first come,first serve on the calendar and must be registered by the student  24 hours in advance and then approved by the teacher.
  • Video lesson recording/ practice notes option: I can email practice suggestions and new lesson assignment notes  for the week if students send me a recording of them playing through their lesson assignments within 24 hours in advance  of the missed lesson.  
  • Composer activity packets and Boom cards( digital theory and eartraining games) can be done in place of a lesson for students who do not have access to a keyboard for an online lesson or video lesson. Please text or email me if you would like to receive access to the links and online resources I have purchased for student use. 
  • A 24-hour advance notice is required  when a lesson will be missed, regardless of circumstances. Lessons missed without notice cannot be rescheduled, or credited to your account. Please login and cancel the lesson attendance
  • The teacher reserves the right to send an ill student home from lesson. If a child is too ill to attend school, then he/she is too ill to have a lesson. Leave those germs at home! If your child comes home ill from school on a lesson day, please text me asap. Masks may be required for in studio lessons if a child is mildly ill but wants to still attend the lesson in studio. Online is recommended! 
  •  Performance classes, performance parties, music classes,  group piano or cello  lessons, and duo lessons cannot be rescheduled or credited to your account. 
  • Any lessons canceled by the teacher will be rescheduled or credited to your account

 Lesson Evaluation: A valuable tool! 
A written evaluation or in person/online parent-student-teacher conference  (either teacher prompted or parent requested) may be given annually to assess your child’s progress in many different areas: promptness, technique, theory, lesson preparation, practice and attitude.  It is my hope these can be a valuable and insightful tool to help your child achieve greater success at the piano/cello.
 Lessons may be suspended or terminated by the teacher in the event of an unsatisfactory evaluation, repeated failure to reach practice agreement and/or fulfill set goals for the quarter/year, lack of parental involvement/ communication, or financial delinquency in tuition payment.  However, every effort will be made to discuss these issues and find solutions with both the parent(s) and student. 

 Music Library/ Supplies: A BIG Savings for you! 
This is available for supplementary music and supplies that do not need purchasing by the student (excluding  the student’s main lessons books, metronome and flashcards).  This library includes Piano Book Club resources, music/supplies for lessons, group lessons, sight reading and repertoire, technique sheets, etc., that is given to each student throughout the year. Most students borrow 3-5 music books each year and receive multiple collections of fun and motivating music.   Please use these materials with care as younger siblings and pets can do them great damage!  Music and supplies that are ruined or lost will be replaced at cost by the student. 

 Performance Opportunities: A time for sharing the gift of music! 
I encourage students to perform and play for family, friends, community/educational/church activities as much as possible throughout the year. Sharing the gift of music is a wonderful opportunity to bless and inspire others!

  • There are two required student recitals each year – Fall and Spring. Details TBA through email and event placed on studio calendar for registration. 
  • Recitals are planned and scheduled months in advance which students spend several weeks to months practicing in preparation. Because participation is required, please and avoid planning other trips or activities over these recitals. 
  • If for any reason a student is unable to participate in a recital, they will be required to submit performance videos of their recital pieces, give their own family recital, or play their pieces at a public space such as a library, Senior Community Center,etc. 
  • Recitals are important to your child's musical growth and help build community within the studio.
  • If for some reason your child has extreme performance anxiety(being nervous is normal and not considered anxiety), please speak to me in advance.  We will find some way to have your child participate and feel a part of the recital even if not performing.
  • Some students will memorize their pieces, others will not. The teacher will decide the appropriate performance expectation for each student.
  • Competitions,piano festivals, Federation, and student achievement exams(AIM) are available for student participation based on teacher's assessment of student readiness and also parent support. Fees associated with these events are the student's responsibility.

 Contact me: I'd love to hear from you! 
If you have any questions about this information, or need to leave a message concerning lessons, your child’s progress, etc., I can be reached via my contact page or by phone (call or text) 801-455-5539. Please leave a voice mail if you want me to respond by phone call and I will get back to you as soon as possible.