The following should serve as policy guidelines. Variances and exceptions can be discussed, considered, altered or implemented per mutual agreement.
PARENTAL PERMISSION. Since much of this contact will be with Middle/High School students, I will require parental permission prior to beginning the process. Parents are encouraged to be active participants in the coaching process.
INITIAL MEETING / ASSESSMENT – FREE. For remote, virtual prospects, will typically offer a FREE session (15 minutes) to meet, greet, for me to hear you play and for both of us to determine whether to continue. At that time, I will ask your (and parental if you are still in school) approval of the following:
MONTHLY. For a flat fee, payable the 1st of each month (pro-rated for the starting month and adjusted per acceptable scheduling situations), I will provide weekly coaching. Monthly fee is LESS than pay-per-week and is good for 3-4-5 lessons. Most months there will be four of your session days, with the possibility of FIVE. You don’t pay extra if there are five. And, if you are the one who cancels, as long as you get at least three sessions, you don’t pay less.
$48 monthly – 30 minute lessons
3 lessons = $16ea (try to get 4 lessons in)
4 lessons = $12ea
5 lessons = $9.60 (for months where there are 5 of your lesson days)
$60 monthly – 45 minute lessons
3 lessons = $20ea
4 lessons = $15ea
5 lessons = $12ea
WEEKLY. You may also pay per week, paying only for the sessions you have. Because it involves more record-keeping, the weekly rate is higher. To maintain your time, you should commit to a minimum of 2 sessions per month. Otherwise, we will schedule week to week as we both have availability. NOTE that my preference, and my practice will be to fill my time with those who can have regular sessions.
$15 weekly – 30 minute lessons
4 lessons = $60 (you would be better off paying monthly)
5 lessons = $75
$18 weekly – 45 minute lessons
PAYMENT can be by check (locally) …. or via Paypal. Payment for a completed session should be received prior to the next session.
REFUNDS. If, at any time, you can no longer continue lessons, and/or you become dissatisfied with the service and expertise I provide, I will refund up to two prepaid lessons that you have not yet had. No refund on completed lessons. (See cancellation policy below.)
DELINQUENT / PAST DUE ACCOUNTS. Please make every attempt to keep your account current for uninterrupted coaching.
DISCOUNTS. (Considered per case.)
* Multiple students from a same school
* Multiple students in a family
* Shared lessons
SCHOLARSHIPS. When I was in high school and couldn’t afford lessons, my teacher worked out a deal with me. I am willing to consider circumstances and sometimes can attract lesson underwriters to assist those who can’t pay full price. Considered per basis.
CANCELLATIONS and conflicts are a fact of life. You will have conflicts and so will I. The GOAL should be to give as much notice as possible to allow for reasonable rescheduling.
If I cancel a session with less than 24-hr notice, I will make it up for FREE. If you already paid for that lesson, I will credit that amount off your next invoice. Exception would be if it is your 5th lesson in a month and you are paying monthly.
If YOU cancel a session with less than 24-hr notice, you owe for that session because I won’t have time to re-arrange my schedule or to replace that time with another student. Exceptions will be considered.
Cancellations with longer notice will be rescheduled if possible. (See monthly payment).
INTERRUPTIONS: Technical & Otherwise. When meeting in my school office or university studio, there are opportunities for someone to interrupt. I try hard to prevent or limit interruptions while working with a student. If/when I do have an interruption, I try to extend the lesson to ensure you are getting the timely attention you deserve and have paid for. YOU, on the other hand, should also strive for no interruptions. You are paying for my time and I will give you the full allotment. Otherwise, I do not adjust lesson amounts due to interruptions on your end. TECHNICAL INTERRUPTIONS (Skype, SmartMusic, Computer, Internet, etc): Either of us can have a technical failure due to equipment or services and we should both try to use “fair and reasonable” as our guidelines in making up time lost to them.
COMPUTER / WEB CAM / MICROPHONE. Should should meet or exceed the hardware minimums for running Skype. The camera or web cam should be positioned so that I can see your face (embouchure) and/or your fingers. You should be able to hold the instrument close to the camera to show me a fingering or close up of the instrument. If you have the equipment to run Skype, you are probably also good for SmartMusic.
SOFTWARE. You should download and install the free SKYPE software on your computer. You should not need any of their paid extras. I highly recommend, but do not require, a SMARTMUSIC Subscription. You can download that software from www.smartmusic.com. The current price is @$40/yr plus more if you purchase their microphone. I use this software to assign practice assignments and may utilize SmartMusic’s ability to record your progress on exercises as part of your coaching. Several exercises and etude books are built into SmartMusic which can help justify the cost of the subscription. Without Smartmusic, I may ask you to purchase an etude or study book.
METRONOME/TUNER. Included in Smartmusic.
BOOKS / SOLOS / MUSIC. Many exercise/etude books in SmartMusic. If we use something different, or select solos for study, you will need to purchase those. I will not violate copyright laws.
LOCAL STUDENTS do not need a computer for lessons, but I still recommend (although do not require) Smartmusic Software.
PRIVACY. I will not use your information (name, location, cell, email, etc) for anything outside our student/teacher relationship. I will not sell or otherwise use your information.
COMMUNICATION. I can be reached and communicated with in a variety of ways. I encourage student/parent contact as often as you have questions or concerns.
- Cell phone, texting included. (Best for short notice cancellations.)
- Facebook. 1) You may ‘subscribe’ to my personal page or 2) Invite ME to join YOUR list (I will not send but will accept invitations).
- Skype (microphone / webcam)