Studio Policy

Studio Policy 2019

For students of Brenda Kimball, M. Mus, Nationally Certified Teacher of Music

Website:  www.brendakimballpiano.com   E-mail:  bjkhighland1@msn.com


Student Requirements

  • Love music and have a desire to learn!
  • Practice 5-6 days per week. I’ll make a time recommendation based on your level and goals.  The more you practice, the faster you’ll progress, and the more you’ll enjoy the piano.
  • Read and complete the assignment each week.
  • Log practice time each day.
  • Play something of your choice each day. Have fun with it!
  • Do your best: put in the effort to learn each piece accurately, with correct timing, fingering, and notes.
  • Ask questions when you don’t understand or you need help.
  • Be prepared to perform at class every month.

“Greatness isn’t born. It’s grown.” –Daniel Coyle in The Talent Code


I’m on your team and I want to help you learn and succeed. 


LESSON FORMAT and SCHEDULE

Private lessons are usually held 3 weeks per month, with a group class on the 4th week.  

Each private lesson is followed by time in the “learning lab”, where students work independently to learn and build their musical skills. Students may work for up to 30 minutes in the lab, or longer. Young students may need a parent to help them.  

Registered students can see the online studio calendar at brendakimballpiano.com for private lesson and group class dates.  You can set up reminders online to be notified of lessons by email or text.  Install MyMusicStaff app on your phone for easy access to scheduling and info.


TUITION

Rates available upon request.  Tuition includes scheduled private lessons, group classes, and recitals.   It also includes the unscheduled time and expense I spend outside the lesson in preparation, communication with parents, student scheduling, festival registrations, choosing music for the student, running festivals and in continuing education.

  • On average, there are 3 private lessons and one group class per month.  Some months will have fewer or more lessons, but it averages out exactly over the year. The tuition stays the same every month.  Sometimes a recital will replace a group class.
    •    30 minute lessons.  Available only for the youngest and most prepared beginners.
    •    45 minute lessons.  Recommended for most students up to level 4-5.
    •    60+ minute lessons.  Necessary for in-depth work on technique and artistry.                          
  • In the past I have tried to keep continuing students close to the tuition rate they started and applied increases only to new students. In the future, continuing students may see a $5-$10 increase in monthly tuition in the fall of each year.  If a student discontinues lessons for a while, they come back at the new student rate. New students within a family will begin at the new rate.
  • Tuition is due the 1 st   week of the month.  A late fee of $10 after the 10 th   of the month. I do not send out billing statements unless tuition is late, or there is an extra charge (like music or festival registration).  Parents and adults can look up their accounts on brendakimballpiano.com.  
  • I strongly suggest that parents set up automatic payments. This saves everybody time, and allows us to focus all of our lesson time on learning. Plus, I never have to ask the student about money.

I offer specialized technique training and musical coaching for advanced adult students and teachers, during school hours.

 

Non-refundable Annual Registration: $25 due each August, or at signup.  This helps defray the cost of teaching supplies, maintaining pianos and lab equipment, studio software subscriptions, and music teacher org memberships.

Other fees: Festivals and competitions range from $10 to $25 per event. An individual PianoMarvel.com account is $12.95 per mo. or $100 per year (strongly recommend this, especially for those who own midi keyboards. But all students can benefit from tracking their work in my lab). Piano Marvel allows students to practice sightreading, and offers a wealth of music in all styles (around 4000 songs). It also gives students instant feedback on the accuracy of their playing.


LATENESS, ATTENDANCE and  MISSED LESSSONS 

Tuition reserves your lesson slot for you.  It is not a guarantee you’ll receive a certain amount of time or number of lessons, unless you are here at the scheduled time.  We need every minute of your lesson time, but if you arrive late or leave early, you forfeit that part of your lesson.

Regular attendance is necessary to maintain progress and motivation. It’s also the only way I can give you your lessons. J I don’t give refunds or financial credits for missed lessons.  I do know there may be times when you’ll need to miss a lesson. If you cancel your lesson 24 hours in advance online at BrendaKimballPiano.com, or on the MyMusicStaff app, you’ll get a makeup credit.

Makeup credits allow you to schedule a makeup lesson, or use an opening created by another student's cancellation. These openings are listed on your online calendar.  I don’t guarantee that makeup lessons will be available because I can’t predict what the demand will be for those makeup days, so students should consider carefully before they plan something else during their lesson, or check to see when there is a makeup slot available before they cancel. It is the student's (or parent's) responsibility to find and schedule the makeup lessons.  If you have trouble with the software, just text me and tell me the date and time you want. You can’t schedule lab time for makeup lessons. If I'm teaching another lesson, you may use the lab during that student’s lesson.

  • Lessons missed without notice are always forfeited.
  • Students cannot accumulate too many makeup credits. They have to use them or lose them.
  • Group classes cannot be made up, although students may attend another class if they can’t attend their own.  I do appreciate it if students cancel their attendance if they’ll miss class.
  • Late cancellations (less than 24 hours’ notice):  If it’s a last-minute emergency, please send a text message, as I won’t pick up the phone during another student’s lesson.  I make occasional exceptions to the 24 hour policy if I think it’s reasonable and fair to both of us, but it’s rather unlikely as it gets closer to lesson time. The problem with giving makeup credit for late cancellations is that I’m not able to offer that time to other students, or use it as personal time when I have students both before and after the missed lesson.
  • If I have to miss a lesson, I will always make it up.  


SUMMER  LESSONS

When students sign up for lessons, I assume that they will be studying all year. I make more makeup slots during summer months to allow more flexibility. I request that students plan ahead for vacations and cancel lessons as far in advance as possible, preferably at the beginning of the summer. This will create the lesson openings needed for everyone in the studio to reschedule. Tuition pays for a total of 9 private lessons and 3 group events over the course of the summer. Private lessons can be configured in any way that works with your vacation schedule.  Some students have taken 5 lessons in June, 0 in July, and 4 in August. Students may schedule longer lessons, or more than one lesson per week to get all of their lessons in. As always, tuition remains the same each month. Students who want to continue in the fall must be enrolled through the summer to reserve their spot and their current tuition rate.


COMMUNICATION

I send out announcements and billing notices (late tuition) via e-mail or automatically through my website.  You can set up how you want to receive website notifications (text or e-mail).  You can also set up your online account to remind you about each lesson.  Please add me to your Contacts List so you can receive notices.  I accept e-mail, telephone, text messages.  

STUDENT MUSIC AND EQUIPMENT

  • I sometimes lend beginning and intermediate music to students. This needs to be returned in good condition or student will be charged the current replacement cost plus any postage for me to order it.  
  • If I buy music or materials for students, I’ll bill parents online. They should pay with the next tuition.
  • Advanced students will generally need to purchase all of their music. They’ll want to build a music library and keep their fingerings and instructions in the score for future use.
  • Buying extra music books encourages students to review old songs, sightread new ones and learn new music, just as buying regular books encourages students to read and learn. It's a good investment!
  • Students need a metronome, a good piano, a bench at the correct height, and a music tote bag. Most students also need their own set of flashcards.  It just doesn't seem to work to share them with siblings.  If they have to go hunting for the ones they are working on, they just won't do it at all.


PARKING: Please park or wait to pick up your child next to the curb (not in the driveway) so that my family has full access to the garage. This is also a safety issue, with students arriving and departing at the same time.

GATE-I have a large adorable dog, who I keep upstairs during lessons.  PLEASE completely close the gate, so it latches, so my sweet dog won’t get out and run away. She almost got hit by a car last year after the gate got left open.


Termination of lessons— Please let me know if there is a problem or your child is struggling.  I’d like to work it out and see if we can get back on track. However, if there are persistent problems with practice, attendance, attitude, or late tuition, or it seems I’m not the right teacher for your child, it may be best to switch teachers.  I’d appreciate a few weeks’ notice if you decide to discontinue lessons. THANKS!