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Policies

Email

Please go to the Contact page of susansteelestudio.com or send Susan emails at susansteele20@yahoo.com. She will reply promptly.

Teaching Goals and Philosophy

The primary goals of my studio are: (1) that the student achieve musical literacy; (2) that the student's full potential is reached by daily practice, encouraged by both teacher and parents; (3) that the student have opportunities for musical performance;(4) that the student claim the joy of music-making as a lifetime treasure.

Calendar

The Academic Year runs from the first week of September 2016 through the last week of May 2017.

The Summer Term starts June 5th, 2017 and is an integral part of my teaching program, providing some of the most productive and delightful musical encounters of the entire year. Without the pressures of school, the students are able to accomplish significant growth that paves the way for advancement throughout the year. Scheduling is also facilitated, allowing us to work out a piano lesson schedule that takes into account family vacations or camp dates. The summer term holds your spot in the studio for fall.

Recital

A spring recital will be held in the month of May at the Bellbrook Presbyterian Church. I will check with all families closer to the event (when everyone knows their activities schedules) to find a suitable weekend date allowing all students to perform. As soon as I know, please mark your calendars and make music a priority in your child's life. Recital fee is $10, payable the month of the recital. These funds go toward renting the hall and refreshments for the students.

 Piano Parties

Students have other fun opportunities to perform for fellow students.

The piano parties scheduled for this year are:

Halloween Party, Saturday, October 29th, 2016, 7-9pm*

Christmas Party, Friday, December 16th, 2016, 6:30-8:30pm*

The parties are held at my home and are a very important part of my studio. The parties are essentially for the children, however parents are certainly welcome to attend. The parties start with a recital, followed by refreshments and games and fun. The students need to perform at the piano parties. These performmance opportunties give your child the experiennce of playing piano for others at a relaxed and fun event. If your child is especially uncomfortable with performing and your expectations of his/her lessons do not include sharing their music with others, I encourage them to watch and learn from fellow students and listen to various forms of music repertoire.

Parking for Lessons

The best place to park during piano lessons 3:00 or after, is in front of our mailbox. (At the end of the day, our mail has already been delivered.) If your lesson is before that time, you can park in our driveway. If you are dropping off kids, feel free to pull into our driveway!

Practicing

This is, without a doubt, THE MOST IMPORTANT thing your child MUST do in order to learn to play the piano.  THEY MUST PLAY THE PIANO…daily, preferably, or at least 5 times a week.  To build muscle strength and coordination, to be confident in sight reading music and to successfully accomplish their repertoire, they must practice regularly…even if some days it is only for 10 minutes!

1. Make a practice schedule. Sit down with your child and make a daily practice schedule. Write down specific times for each day’s session. Post the schedule!

2. Supervise the practice.  Parents should read the practice assignment each week. If you don’t understand what is expected, ask your child to explain it to you. If he or she doesn’t understand it, call me.

3. Set a clock for practice time.  Beginners should usually plan to practice 15 minutes a day.  Advanced Elementary and Intermediate students should plan on 20-30 minutes a day.  Advanced Students should expand this schedule in proportion to the repertoire!  You can divide the practice into two times a day, if helpful.

Preparation for the Lesson

Please make sure your child’s fingernails are trimmed short and their hands are clean.  They need all of their music with them at every lesson, as well as their assignment notebook. 

Tuition

There are 35 lessons in this academic year (September 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017), with summer being a separate term. The 35 lessons are divided into 9 monthly payments of $78 a month during the school year ($20 per half hour lesson). $78 is an average of the 9 months and is the same each month, whether you have 4 or 5 lessons that month. Of the 39 weeks between September 1 and May 31, 4 weeks are off as Holidays.The holiday weeks with no piano are:

November 21-25 Thanksgiving

December 21-January 2 Christmas Break

April 3-7 Spring Break

If your school's Spring Break is a week other than this, we will find an alternate time for a lesson so you can have your child's Spring Break off.

Tuition is due at the first lesson of each month. If you are absent the day of your lesson, please mail or drop off your payment to me. Any tuition received after the 15th of the month must add a $10 late fee. Teaching music as a career, I really count on monthly payments being on time.

A 1 month notice or 1 month tuition per student is required if a student decides to no longer study to allow me to get new students enrolled.

There are NO REFUNDS for missed lessons.

Summer Term Tuition

The Summer Term is run on a monthly basis, considering many families have vacations and camps. Just tell me at the beginning of each month which days you will be out of town. Tuition is based on the number of lessons to be taught for summer term. Alternate days for lessons are also available.

Monthly Payment Reminder

I will send a text each month reminding you that payment is due the first week of the month.

Music and Materials Purchase

For your convenience, I will purchase all music and send you an invoice. The music purchase can be paid at the next lesson.

Missed Lessons

Your piano lesson time has been reserved exclusively for your child. Children thrive on routine and their advancement in music depends on consistent playing and training. Please strive to have your child at their scheduled lesson. There are no makeup lessons, except for illness, injury, and weather related absences. PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILD IF THEY ARE CONNTAGIOUS OR HAVE AN INFECTIOUS COLD! Call me and we will find a makeup time. The piano is a good way to spread germs. the piano keys are regularly wiped down with an antibacterial cleaner to try and stop the spread of germs, but it is not guaranteed! If it is necessary for the TEACHER to be absent in addition to scheduled holidays, lessons will be credited on the next month's tuition or made up, based on the mutual consent of the teacher and parent of the student.

Expected Equipment

Acoustic piano or electronic keyboard should be in good repair.  If acoustic, it should be tuned once a year.  An assignment book and metronome are highly recommended.  The parent is also to provide a chair or a bench at a correct height and adequate lighting in a location allowing uninterrupted practice.