MARIN PIANO STUDIO - POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Upon signing up for lessons, the student/parent will be asked to thoroughly read the Studio Policies & Procedures and sign/date the document. By signing the policies, the student/parent agrees to respect and abide by the studio’s current policies as long as the student is taking lessons with the instructor. If a new version of the policy is issued, the instructor will provide the student a printed copy with the changes highlighted.
GENERAL INFORMATION: Weekly private lessons are offered in 30, 45 or 60 minute sessions. Most students stay for an additional 30 minutes for Music Lab (no additional cost). Additionally, there is a weekly Video Call Lesson, that lasts approx 5 to 10 minutes and is conducted via FaceTime or Skype. Additional time may be arranged, for lessons either In-Studio or by FaceTime, depending on the student’s age/level.
AT THE STUDIO: Students are expected to arrive with all their materials and music for "warm up" 15 minutes before their lesson begins. During warm up time, students may relax in the waiting room, eat the provided snack, and are expected to wipe their hands and practice on the keyboard. Parents and siblings may quietly enjoy the waiting area, and after the lesson has formally started, they may attend the lesson, enjoy the waiting area, wait in their vehicle, or run errands so long as they return to pick up the student by lesson's end. To discuss student progress, parents are welcome to talk with the teacher during the first five minutes of the student's lesson – but not afterwards, in order to respect the next student's time slot.
PRACTICE AND INSTRUMENT: Private students are expected to practice five times per week, at a minimum, in order to ensure progress and be prepared for every lesson. Successful students establish good practice routines early on and many practice every day, multiple times. Consistency and quality, and not quantity, are the most crucial aspects for practicing. Particular amounts of minutes of practice are not required from students, nor are students asked to track how many minutes they are practicing. Instead, daily, focused practice is the goal. For a beginner, even the minimum daily effort of 10 - 15 minutes with a focused attitude can show big results and allow the student to quickly progress.
Preferably, the student has daily access to a well-maintained acoustic piano. Tuning twice a year is recommended (January and June are the best times) to allow children to correctly develop their ear for pitch, harmony and expression. At the very beginning levels, a keyboard is somewhat acceptable, if it has weighted keys that are touch-sensitive (play loud and soft without adjusting the volume). As the student progresses and attains a higher skill level, an acoustic piano becomes more critical for the path of true piano musicianship and is necessary for the student's aural training and for the student to work on expressing emotions through music.
MATERIALS: Students will be given a notebook and books at the first lesson and are expected to carry them to and from every lesson. Inside the notebook are assignment lists, which will be used to keep track of assigned pieces and give practice suggestions/goals for each week, and supplementary materials. All materials, including customized worksheets and music books will be provided.
CALENDAR AND SCHEDULE: The formal lesson schedule is September through June. The studio is on break and no lessons are offered during the week of Thanksgiving, the weeks before and after Christmas, and spring break. Please see the studio calendar for exact dates. A minimum of 4 lessons, either In-Studio or via FaceTime, during the summer are required for students to keep up their skill-levels.
CANCELLING AND VIDEO LESSONS: Please be courteous to the teacher and fellow students by notifying the teacher at least 24 hours in advance regarding any known upcoming absences. Like most sports and other extra-curricular activities, tuition at the studio is based on enrollment, not attendance, and refunds and/or credits cannot be issued for missed lessons. A Recorded Video Lesson will be provided upon request by the student or student’s parent and will be posted online. If a student is contagiously ill but feels well enough to play, or if the student is on an extended vacation, having a lesson via Skype or FaceTime is an excellent option for the otherwise missed lesson.
TUITION, PAYMENT AND REGISTRATION FEE: Monthly tuition includes weekly half-hour lessons one-on-one with the instructor, warm-up time, the mid-week Video Call Lesson via phone/FaceTime/Skype, Music Lab, recitals, studio classes, and studio newsletters. Lessons that are 45 or 60 minutes are also available. Significant sibling discounts are offered. Tuition is due on or before the 1st of each month for that month's upcoming lessons. Current students in good account standing also have first choice of Summer Camp session enrollment.
To secure a spot in our program, a non-refundable registration fee of $100 per student is due along with the first month's tuition anda signed copy of the Studio Policies. Payment of the registration fee guarantees the student a spot in our lesson program, and, if our program is full, other potential clients will be turned away. The registration fee is also used to cover all materials the student will be using throughout the year.
Email reminders will be sent before monthly tuition is due. The student is responsible for bringing tuition to the lesson on or prior to the 1st of the month (or tuition fees may sent by mail, postmarked by the 1st). Payments received after the 10th of the month will incur a late fee of $30. The teacher reserves the right to raise fees at the beginning of each academic year. Tuition may be paid via cash/check, automatic deposit using your bank’s bill pay, or credit card/debit card via Paypal (please see our website or you may use the link sent with the monthly newsletter).
DISCONTINUING LESSONS: Every student stops taking lesson 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, please give one month’s notice prior to discontinuing lessons. However, the teacher respects the student’s right to end lessons at any time. Note: At the discretion of the teacher, students may be dismissed at any time if they have unpaid tuition, an excess amount of absences/unprepared lessons, or if they show a lack of interest.
PARENT PARTICIPATION: Parents are encouraged to be supportive and active participants in practice at home and may attend and quietly observe each lesson to be better able to support and encourage home practicing.
Studio Newsletters: Upon receiving your deposit and signed policy statement, I will place your email address on our email list to receive studio e-newsletters.
Studio Website: Visit marinpianostudio.com to find current studio policies and procedures, the studio calendar, archives of previous monthly studio newsletters, and much more.
Facebook Page: The studio’s facebook page is www.facebook.com/MarinPianoStudio. Parents and students may "Like" the page to interact with the teacher and other students. Full privacy of the students’ facebook profile is maintained.
YouTube Channel: (Currently under construction) Videos of student performances may be viewed on youtube.com/user/MarinPianoStudio and are posted only with student/parental permission. These YouTube videos are often shared on the facebook page and the studio website.
The best way to contact the teacher is via text, which will be promptly returned. Phone calls and emails are also welcome. The teacher always welcomes texts and emails from students during the week if they have questions regarding their repertoire or other matters.
Marin Piano Studio Corte Madera, CA 415-272-5318