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Studio Policy

Teacher Responsibilities
I will teach your child the language of music with this purpose in mind: Any child can learn to play with great ability.
We celebrate the small accomplishments 1 step at a time, and enjoy the process. It’s about the effort (mastering the small steps) not the child themselves. My studio has a positive and enthusiastic environment. I will tailor the curriculum to
match your child’s specific learning needs and developing abilities.

Student & Parent Responsibilities
Student agrees to: arrive at each lesson on-time, well-prepared, nails clipped, and with assignment books and music ready to go when entering the studio; make good progress on assignments using a metronome during the week; make sure he/she completely understands every assignment. Please ask questions; attend studio recitals. Other events that are offered are optional. Parent agrees to: let me know if something is happening at home or school that is affecting your child so I can be sensitive to the needs of your child. I check cell emails/texts often: ensure the practicing is getting done at least 4 days a week in a positive way: teach your child how to pack everything needed for the lesson on his/her own the night
before lesson.
Supply two apps that will greatly help with lessons: Note Rush, Flash Note Derby.

When students enroll, they are reserving their place in the studio for the entire school year. High school students need to decide how serious they are about lessons. I expect assignments to be prepared- no excuses.

Registration Fee and Tuition
There is a Registration Fee per student that covers the music lending library, website cost, recital preparation, and the Treasure Box. It is due by May 5 with the registration form. (Please keep Policy page.)
Tuition covers not only the actual lesson time spent with the student, but time preparing for each student. This includes: individualized plan for each student’s course of study, repertoire planning, and development of teaching materials. Full tuition I(all post-dated checks) due at first Fall lesson.  

Payment Choices: There are 4 options for your convenience all due at first Fall lesson.

  1. Registration Fee $20 per student due with registration sheet in May

  2. Tuition per 30 min slot

  3. Yearly due Sept 1

  4. Semester due Sept 1 & Jan 1

  5. Quarter due Sept 1, Nov 1, Jan 1, Mar 1

  6. Monthly due Sept 1, Oct 1, Nov 1, Dec 1, Jan 1, Feb 1, Mar 1, Apr 1, May 1

Lesson Cancellations
1. I try to maintain consistent instruction for your children, please keep in mind that I run my studio at full capacity, so I do not have the flexibility to do make-up lessons, however you may exchange times with another student. I do not make
up lessons for birthday parties, school events, sports events. Use the lesson exchange list if possible.. Students in 7th-12th sports should schedule lessons after 5:00 PM.
2. In the case of emergencies or serious illness, please notify me as soon as you are able, but rescheduling is unlikely unless there happens to be an opening. Please let me know if you will be unable to attend lesson. Tex/email.
3. If school is cancelled for a storm day, please assume that lessons will take place by
FaceTime, Messenger or Zoom. Text me with your choice.
4. If I have to cancel a lesson I will find a way to make it up.
5. Photo and Video Release. The students love it when I use photos of them on the website and post their videos on the studio YouTube channel. It’s very motivating and relatives from far away can see them perform. If you do not wish to have your child’s images(s) to be  used, please let me know. I only use first names on YouTubes, and full name in newspaper. and special occasions on Website Studio News.

The studio calendar is posted on the Website:
My students come from many school districts so the calendar does not follow any school calendar. 


Current Families:  The sign up and registration sheets will always be given out in April. They are due May

Current students in good standing get first choice of lesson slots. Any empty slots will be filled from the waiting list August 1st. Please return paper work and registration fee of $20 per student to hold a slot by May 15. When you register for lessons you are making a commitment for the year and agreeing to the following studio policies.


New families: Feel free to contact me by phone or email to schedule a 30-minute no-obligation consultation. I value the opportunity to meet with potential students to discuss questions concerning music study. I offer consultations when I have availability in my studio otherwise I will add you to the waiting list if you so choose. I prefer to start beginners in the summer. When you register for lessons you are making a commitment for the year and agreeing to the following studio policies.


Equipment for All Students:​​​    

1. Portable CD Player/ipod/ipad/smart phone with head phones    

2. Some type of CD case if using CDs    

3. Metronome- regular, computer metronome or metronome app works great also    

4. Ring Binder (2 inch is best) D-Rings attached to the back cover not center- please add 5 dividers    

5. Bag to carry books in- cloth bag, or sackpack works great (be able to keep rain & snow out)    

6. Timer- that works like a stop watch, app works well

7. Access to internet- I do most communication thru website & email + I'll assign youtube listening & on-line theory games.


Just Piano Students:

Private Piano Students: Acoustic piano in excellent condition & in tune, or digital with touch sensitive 88keys and pedal.

Piano Tuning: Steve Misener 605-676-2355


Just Voice Students: Some type of keyboard (keyboard app works great), chromatic pitch pipe (Pocket Tones) or chromatic tuner (Tonal Energy App), music stand- to free your hands for acting, portable file container that vocal books can fit, mirror big enough to set on music stand to watch mouth and eye expression.



Just Guitar Students: Guitar in good condition that is the correct size for your body, music stand, medium thick picks, some type of foot rest, guitar tuner (Snark is good), Kyser capo, micro fiber cloth.Since I teach classical guitar we do not need guitar straps but you may get one if you wish-make sure it is the right size.Student Guitar Size Chart- important to have the correct sizeHeight: 5' or taller/ 4/4 sizeHeight: 4'6" to 4'11"/ 3/4 sizeHeight: 3'10" to 4'5"/ 1/2 sizeHeight: 3'3" to 3'9" / 1/4 size



Just Flute Students: Flute in excellent condition, music stand, wood or plastic cleaning rod (not metal), microfiber cloth, chromatic tuner (Tonal Energy App), mirror big enough to set on music stand to watch mouth.



Just Clarinet & Saxophone Students: Clarinet or Saxophone in excellent condition, music stand, reeds, 4 slot reed case, small Fiskar scissors, cleaning scarf (not a felt swab), cork grease, very small screw driver, bore oil kit for wood clarinets, chromatic tuner (Tonal Energy App)



Purchases: You can make most of your purchases from the studio, but feel free to order from, Sheetmusicplus, or Sarlettes. I’ll let you know when a purchase is needed.

Practice & Play:

Practice means many repetitions of small bits until mastered and memorized.​

       Playing means play straight through by memory without pausing.​

           Our goal is to Practice until we can Play with confidence!


Repetition is more important than actual time!


I expect students to be prepared for each lesson and to have made weekly progress on all parts of the assignment not just their favorite parts.

This requires a commitment to practicing at home each day.

Practice times will vary throughout the year depending on our goals and events.As a guide, parents should ensure that children practice at least 5 days each week. Consistent daily practice is the key to long-term success. Dr. Suzuki always said:


                                     "Practice Only On The Days You Eat!"​


Attention span for children is 2 times their age. If a child is 5 then 10 minutes is max time for one task. Sit on the bench no more than 10 minutes then do a floor games for no more than 10 minutes. Always move on to new task before focus goes. It is better to move on when they want to do more than going until they have lost focus.


 Hard work = Success & Strong Character.       Self Discipline strengthens the body & spirit.


• Age 5-7: about 15 minutes daily- try to fit in games as much as possible    

• Age 8-9: about 20 minutes daily- games are still important    

• Age 10-13: about 30-45 minutes daily- there are lots of music apps for ipod & ipad to include in time    

• Age 14 and up: 45-60 minutes daily- practicing at school is a great option. The time can be broken up into small sections 10 minutes before school, 10 minutes before dinner, and 10 minutes after homework.

Suzuki Triangle: It takes 3 (Teacher-Parent-Student)



Teacher- The Guide:   

My job is to guide you in your study of music. I try to figure each student’s learning style and cater my teaching style to accommodate. I will make small & very specific tasks and I expect you to work at it until it is mastered and prepared for the next lesson. Some tasks may take as much as 20 min and others only 20 seconds to accomplish. We will use a timer & repetition games a lot!



Parent- The Positive Supporter:    

It is the parents’ job to ask their child, “What can you do today that you couldn’t before?” or “What do you plan to ‘Go For’ today?” or  “What do you want to teach me today?”   

Please be available for your child to show-off what s/he can do. You are his/her greatest influence. Your attitude toward practice greatly affects your child. Remember to always praise the effort not the child for quicker success.    Working it out is where the learning happens- repetition, repetition, repetition!         

"I noticed how high the staccato hops were."   "Wow, I ‘m not sure I could do that 10 times in a row!"

I will give parents many resources (tool box) to make practicing fun, interesting and positive. We focus on celebrating mastery of the smallest task so children are not afraid to "risk" bigger challenges.



Student- The Achiever:    

It is the student’s job to try his/her best to master one small task each practice session. 

The more creative you are at doing the repetitions the more fun it will be.               

              (Electric keyboards with cool rhythms and sounds can add a lot of fun reps!) 

The more sessions you have the faster you will learn.    

Consistent daily practice, no matter how small the amount of time, is more important to skill mastery than 1 or 2 days of long practice time.    

I expect a minimum of 5 days of practice a week.    

Each task is expected to be mastered in 1 week- some tasks take little time to master others longer.  

As I get to know you I will be able to adjust the assignment tasks to what you CAN accomplish in 1 week.



Love & Logic Teaching & Parenting Method:​​​​​​​​​​    

Parents are asked to make their children accountable for their own choices and actions- that means the child gets books ready for lesson not the parent,  the child makes sure they made their check marks on assignment sheet not the parent, the child makes sure the parent sees the assignment sheet. This will take some training for both child and parent. I still have to remind myself that every time I do something for the student I am robbing him/her the opportunity to learn and develope skills.




The studio is on the corner of South 4th Street and 10th Avenue- diagonally from Koch Senior Living. Parents are asked to park at the 10th Ave detached garage. You may also drop off and pick up from there.Enter the attached garage and wait in the entry room. You do not need to knock or ring bell.The entry room has places for coats and shoes. It also has hand sanitizer and studio information boards. The bathroom is in the studio.Students are expected to arrive on time with their books each week.Leave shoes in entry room and please sanitize hands. Siblings are welcome to lessons as long as they do not interrupt. I always have fun books to read or for coloring. Parents are requested to attend private lessons if possible until 6th grade and are always welcome to lessons at any time.Group lesson parents are always welcome but not expected to attend if child is older than 2nd grade. Please encourage your children to develop the habit of clipping nails before lessons.Students may wait in the entry room before or after lessons, but this is not an appropriate waiting area for extended periods of time.

I like to send a Lesson Exchange Sheet to all studio families. Rather than miss a lesson please try to exchange. Please let me know which phone number or email address you wish me to use. I will never publish the list on the web site.



Lesson Cancellations:

I try to maintain consistent instruction for your children, please keep in mind that I run my studio at full capacity, so I do not have the flexibility to guarantee make-up lessons.

1. When you register for lessons, you are reserving your weekly lesson time slot for the teaching year. If

    you happen to miss a lesson I will be using that time to assess your child's progress and plan upcoming

    things for your child. I will provide you with a Lesson Exchange Sheet. Please make every effort to

    exchange lessons rather than miss.

2. In the case of emergencies or serious illness, please notify me as soon as you are able, but rescheduling

    is unlikely unless there happens to be an opening.

3. If school is cancelled for a storm day text me on how you want to do on-line lesson FaceTime, Messenger Chat,  Zoom

4. The studio closes during some, but not all holidays. Important dates will be on the Studio Calendar. Since I have students from multiple schools I do not follow any school calendars.



Terminating Lessons:    

1. I reserve the right to dismiss a student from my studio based upon lack of interest or numerous missed lessons.    

2. If a situation arises in which a family must discontinue lessons mid-year, I require one month of paid

    notice. The remaining tuition checks will be returned. When you register for lessons, please be prepared

    to make the commitment from August through May as it is often difficult to fill openings mid-year.    

3. If you have registered for lessons and change your mind in August/September, you will forfeit your 

    registration fee and will be billed for one month. I cannot afford to reserve a time for your child

    throughout the summer, while turning away other interested families. Your commitment for the year is 

    extremely important.    

4. Some students stop taking lessons at some point. Ideally, this decision is made thoughtfully with plenty

    of discussion between the teacher, parent and student so we can complete the year with a positive sense of closure.

Keep In Touch​​​​​​​​​​

The best way to contact me is by text

If you wish to discuss your child’s progress please feel free to email or text me.

I do not take calls while I am teaching. I will answer the phone during lessons on bad weather days.

I use email to send out information that you will need from time to time, please make sure that I have a current email address for you that you wish me to use.

I post a letter every month in the Studio News. Students can get a free sticker toward the treasure box for telling me the mystery word for the month posted in the Studio News.

Often I record part of the lesson and email it home especially for voice students. I have tried to email entire lessons but it is too big to send.

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