Studio Policy

Welcome to the flute studio! I look forward to working with you to accomplish your musical goals. To assist in achieving those goals, we should know what to expect from one another so that we may focus on making music and learning.

First Lesson and Goals:
The first lesson allows us to become acquainted with one another, and provides an opportunity for students to ask lots of questions.  If you are an experienced player, please arrive with all prior lesson materials, and be prepared to play one or two works from those materials. Hearing a student play something that she/he likes and is confident in playing affords me the opportunity to assess a student’s current skill level, highlight their strengths, and identify areas requiring improvement.  Beginning students, we will discuss what you might already know about music and what you hope to gain from the lesson experience.  For all students, we will identify goals for your playing and identify your likes and dislikes, this will allow me to tailor your lessons accordingly. I will recommend books/music for you to acquire after the first few lessons.

Required materials:
✓ A flute in good working condition
✓ Blank music paper (staff paper)
✓ Notebook
✓ A music stand for practicing at home
✓ A cleaning cloth and rod (preferably wood)
✓ An inexpensive metronome
✓ Sheet music, texts, etc., as deemed necessary by the instructor

Notebook:  
Students are expected to maintain a lesson notebook, which should include:
✓Lesson assignments (lined notebook paper)
✓A copy of the full Studio Policy
✓A copy of your goals list (a list of goals for the year that we will work on in your first few lessons).
✓All handouts that you receive
✓Practice reports

During the lesson:  
✓Silence cell phones during the lesson.  In an emergency, parents should call the teacher.
✓Food, beverages, candy, gum, etc. are not permitted in the studio.
✓Please respect the waiting area, bathroom, and the studio; treat the space as you would your own home.

Tuition:
Please contact me for tuition rates. Your tuition covers not only the contact time spent during the student’s lesson, but also the time spent in preparation for the student. 
It includes:
✓Weekly lesson time (a time that is reserved for you, even if you are absent)
✓An individualized plan for the student’s course of study
✓Development of teaching materials/exercises as necessary
✓The instructor’s training and experience
✓Guidance with playing goals
✓Professional organization memberships ,which enhance the instructor’s skills and provide students with opportunities for competitions, exams, and festivals
✓Continuing education
✓Studio expenses, such as book keeping, copying, and incentive programs

Fee for returned checks: $25.00.  All future tuition fees must be paid in cash.

Attendance:
If you need to miss a lesson, 24-hour notice must be given.  48-hour notice is preferred, so that we may more easily reschedule your lesson. Regular attendance at flute lessons is perhaps the most import part to musical development and encouraging regular practice routines.  It is better to reschedule a lesson rather than to cancel it.  Please avoid scheduling medical appointments during lesson times or during regularly scheduled sports practice/game times.  If you know that you are going out-of-town, have a concert, religious function, etc, please reschedule your lesson in advance.  If you are going away for an extended period, SKYPE or FaceTime lessons are available.  Please do not assume that I am aware of government holidays and/or school vacations; not every school follows the same calendar.  Know, and please understand, that because I reserve a time for you each week, and that the price of tuition includes more than just your weekly lesson time, I must charge for last minute cancellations, except in the following cases, which must be communicated through a parent phone call:

  • illness (I won’t teach you if you’re sick, but will reschedule the lesson for a time when you are well.)
  • true family emergencies
  • severe weather conditions (see below)

Communication is the key to maintaining lesson regularity in the hustle and bustle of student life.  My intention is to work with you in order to ensure that you are getting the full value of prolonged study. If you have a day-of-lesson emergency/illness, [lease make every effort to reach me by telephone (617)-413-8793.  I do not check e-mail while teaching, thus e-mail is not an acceptable method of canceling a lesson.  

Inclement Weather
In the event of inclement weather, do NOT assume that the studio will be closed.  Quite often roads are safe and clear when lesson times roll around after a morning public school cancellation.  I will call each student should the studio be closed due to inclement weather, at that time a make-up lesson will be scheduled.  If the studio is not closed and you are uncomfortable driving, a parent must phone to reschedule the lesson.  SKYPE or FaceTime lessons are available in such instances.

Sports and Extracurricular Activities
Physical fitness is so important to our well-being and there are many aerobic sports that enhance flute playing. Balancing schedules of student activities can be tricky.  If your child will be on a sporting team at some point during the academic year, please be sure to have that schedule available when the lesson time is first established.  Please regard lessons as a “private extension” of your child’s academic learning. Just as sports teams require daily practice, so too does learning to play an instrument.  Team practice, events, extracurricular activities, etc. are not considered valid excuses for not practicing.  Should a sport’s practice schedule change, please notify me immediately and we will find a new weekly lesson time.  It is better to continue lessons through a sport’s season, rather than start-and-stop lessons.  Amended lesson schedules are available at the height of the sport’s season.  Last minute cancellation of a lesson for a sporting event will not be rescheduled and you will be charged for the missed lesson. 

Practice:
Lessons are an exercise in teamwork. That team includes the student, the teacher, and the parent(s). Parents are expected to encourage their child, to help them keep a regular practice schedule, and to help obtain needed materials in a timely manner. I have found that when parents take a pro-active role in encouraging their children to practice, the child experiences greater success. To assist students in remembering to practice, they will be required to submit weekly practice logs, which not only indicate the act of practicing, but also indicate active practicing, where (s)he will identify key achievements and key problems from the week’s work.  These logs help students to gain the most from each lesson. Students through grade 5 should practice at least 20-30 minutes per day. Beginning in 6th grade, students should plan to practice daily for 30-45 minutes to become a thriving flutist. Junior high and high school students (and especially those with advanced goals and/or who want to major in music in college) are expected to increase these times accordingly.  During lessons, we will discuss proper practice techniques and create a clear outline of what the student needs to focus upon during each week’s practice.  Students who consistently demonstrate poor practice habits for an extended period may be released from thestudio.

Probation and Dismissal from the Studio:
Students participate in so many enriching activities today that it is natural to have a week (or even two) where practicing might ebb.  It is also normal in the course of learning any discipline (math, a sport, an instrument) for a student to encounter natural peaks/valleys of interest. Should a student’s performance in lessons indicate a lack of practice three weeks in a row, I will phone the parents.  The following week, should there be no sign of improved practice efforts, the parent(s) will be contacted and we will set-up a time to meet, along with the student, to revisit playing goals, adapt practice methods, etc.  At this time the student will be placed on probation.  The probation period will be three weeks.  If, now after two months, the student shows little interest in practicing, the student shall be dismissed from the studio.  Every effort will be made to provide a referral for another instructor that might better suit your child’s learning style. 

Termination of Lessons:
Should a student/parent wish to terminate lessons at any given time, the studio requires TWO WEEKS WRITTEN NOTICE. Phone messages as documentation for termination of lessons will not be accepted.  Regardless of when appropriate notice is given the student/parent shall be financially responsible for the following two weeks/lessons, whether the student/parent chooses to attend or be absent.