STUDIO POLICIES

Lessons and Ensemble Classes

Academic Year Lessons (Sept - May)

Private lesson tuition includes 4 private lessons per month, except November and December, which include 3 private lessons and 1 studio ensemble class each month (see the calendar below for detailed dates). In months with 5 weeks, the one of the weeks will be off. As an added benefit, students who participate in private lessons may participate in Clarinet Club. Lesson rates are:

 

30-minute private lessons

$160 per month

 

45-minute private lessons

$200 per month

 

60-minute private lessons

$260 per month

 

If you would like to take two 30-minute lessons per week instead of one 60-minute lesson per week, I will charge the $260/month rate, but you will still only be allowed two make-up lessons per term.

Summer Lessons (June - August)

During the Summer, lessons are charged per lesson instead of per month. All lessons for the month should be schedule by the first of the month when possible, and tuition will be due for scheduled lessons at the first lesson of the month. If additional lessons are scheduled during the month, tuition is due at the beginning of the lesson. 

Lesson rates for Summer lessons are:

30-minute private lessons

$40 per lesson

 

45-minute private lessons

$50 per lesson

 

60-minute private lessons

$65 per lesson

If you would like to take two 30-minute lessons per week instead of one 60-minute lesson per week, I will still charge the $65/week rate.

Make-up Lesson Policy

Academic Year

There are no refunds for missed lessons. Much like attending an exercise class, you are making a reservation for a specific day and time. Attending your lesson regularly at your scheduled time should be a priority in your schedule. However, emergencies do occur, and I will be available on Tuesdays by appointment each week for you to reschedule two (2) time during the term if you contact me at least 24 hours prior to the lesson you will miss (the current term is Jan 18 - May 31). I must receive notice before the day of your missed lesson in order to take advantage of a makeup lesson. After 2 missed lessons, any further missed lessons will not be able to be rescheduled. 

 

A make-up for a missed lesson will not be possible if you call at the last minute or when no notification was given.  If I must miss a lesson, I will make it up at your and my earliest convenience.

**Summer Policy**

Because I allow more flexibility with the scheduling, I ask that you really keep track of the lessons that you schedule. I will help by sending out lesson reminders 72 hours in advance. In order to avoid a cancellation fee, cancellations must happen 48 hours before the lesson during the summer. Because lessons are charged lesson to lesson, there are no makeup lessons during the summer. Of course if there is a death in the family or a serious emergency within 48 hours, please call and we will evaluate on a case by case basis.

Payments

I accept payments via PayPal, Venmo, or via check. (Details on where to send payments are available when you login with your username and password to the MyMusicStaff portal upon when lessons officially begin, and will appear on your invoice). Payments are due upon receipt of your invoice each month. A late fee of $15 will apply for any payments after that date. 

 

I will send you an automatic invoice monthly that comes from the lessons@shepherdmusicstudios.com. I will send the invoice to the email address that you provide to me in the MyMusicStaff portal. Accounts with overdue payments will not be scheduled for their next lesson until overdue tuition is paid. In extenuating circumstances or times of financial hardship, please contact me to make arrangements for a different payment schedule.  

The Studio Environment

Beginning Summer 2021, I will provide options for online, in person, and combination online/in-person lessons.

 

I will be available for in person lessons for students who have been vaccinated beginning in July. For now, in order to keep the studio a safe place for all students and those who come into contact with them, students and those who accompany them into the studio should be fully vaccinated. During good weather, I will be available in person for distanced outdoor porch lessons for students who have not yet been fully vaccinated. 

In order to protect my health and the health of my home and family, I reserve the right to switch to online only lessons during times of rapid increase in positive Covid 19 cases. If you would prefer to skip lessons changed from in-person to online, I will make lesson credit available for additional lessons at the end of the term.

In person lessons

For in person lessons, please park either in the driveway in the left-most position or on the street in front of the house. If there is a lesson going on as you arrive, please enter, get your instrument ready, and wait in the waiting area.  For each lesson:

  • please remove your shoes when you enter

  • bring your books, practice notebook,  reed and extra reed & instrument to every lesson

  • Arrive 5 minutes before your lesson in order to assemble your instrument and be ready to play at the beginning of your lesson time. 

  • Parents, be ready to pick up your student at the end of their lesson time (I have a buffer built in between in-person lessons for air filtration of the lesson studio, so students need to depart on time).

Online Lessons

Students who would like to continue with online lessons may do so, but should consider scheduling an in-person checkup lesson at least once every 2 months so that we can access elements that are difficult to work on virtually. Also, students who wish to remain online permanently will need to be ready to commit to recording short samples of playing on a regular basis and possibly purchasing an external microphone or other quality audio recording device. This is essential for me to be able to make sure that students are on track over the long term with tone and expression. Please contact me for details if you have questions or concerns.

Be prepared for your lesson by having all materials ready and at your stand before you log on, be fully warmed up and ready to play right when your lesson time begins. If you play oboe, that means you should have already soaked your reeds and played your long tones with the cello drone before your lesson begins.

Combination Online/In person lessons

For students who travel a long distance or who have a busy schedule but still want to have regular in-person lessons, I am now offering combination online/in-person lessons. For this lesson option, students may schedule their lessons for the same day and time each week, but alternate between attending online and in person each week. 

Practice

Students are expected to practice 5 days per week for a minimum time appropriate to their level. It is recommended that beginning students practice up to 20 minutes daily; intermediate students should practice 30-45 minutes a day; upper intermediate and advanced level students should spend an hour a day practicing. It is imperative that the student read the instructions written in their practice plan and practice the assigned materials in order to make progress each week. Students must bring all materials to the lesson (binders, books, etc).

Required Materials

(it is not a requirement for these materials to be fancy or expensive):

To be present for each lesson:

  • Instrument in good repair, regularly maintained (annually or whenever needed)

  • Music – as recommended. I will provide some music via email, and I will let you know what and where to order any other music.)

  • A 3 ring binder for storing music that I send you via email that you print.

  • 3 working reeds, a pencil, and a music stand.

For practice:

  • Music stand

  • Access to ‘Tonal Energy’ app (Apple or Android) or a standard tuner/metronome box.

Lesson Termination

Should a parent or student decide to stop lessons, full payment is due for the month in which termination occurs.  The teacher may terminate lessons when the student is irregular in attendance, repeatedly fails to prepare assigned material, or consistently fails to follow the directions of the teacher during lesson time, and tuition through the remainder of the month will not be refunded.