I believe that private lessons are a four-way street between the student, the parent, the private teacher, and the band director.
Student responsibility: The student is expected to practice on a regular basis and in the most efficient manner as described in lessons. Regular repetitive practice is the single most important way to achieve success in music. Practicing is not always fun, but consistent work will eventually make the music more fun as improvement occurs. The student is also expected to attend all scheduled lessons and to arrive promptly. Students in my studio are encouraged to audition for All-Region. Students in my studio are required to participate in the Solo contest.
Parent responsibility: The parent is expected to enforce proper practicing habits. Parents should consider themselves an essential part of the musical development of the student. Although this is an elective for most students, practicing is considered a regular homework assignment. Parents are also responsible for making payments on time and for notifying me if a lesson needs to be cancelled.
Private teacher responsibility: The private teacher is expected to provide guidance and instruction for the musical development of all students. The primary focus of lessons is to prepare students for the various competitions of the school district by applying proper practice methods for improving technique, tone, and musicality. The private teacher will inform the parent and band director about the progress of students.
Band director responsibility: The band director should monitor the progress of students according to what their expectations are of private lessons and inform the parent and private teacher if something in particular needs to be addressed in lessons.
Preparation: Students are required to practice. I maintain a high level of expectation of my students. I realize that schedules may be busy at times, but even a small amount of regular practice is better than nothing at all.
Payment: Full payment is expected at the last lesson of the month for the following month's lessons. A late fee of $5 will be applied if payment is not received by the first lesson of the month. If payment is not received by the second lesson, then I have the authority to stop lessons until payment is received; you will still owe for the missed lessons.
Make-ups: 24 hours notice is required in order to receive a make-up lesson or credit. This is strictly enforced. Students with lessons during school must notify me if an in-school activity will conflict with a lesson. If a scheduled make-up lesson is missed, that lesson will not be made up. I request that other appointments be scheduled around lessons because lessons are already scheduled. In return, I will notify parents if I must miss a lesson. I have an active performing schedule at various times of the year, so I appreciate some degree of flexibility.
Discontinuing lessons: Please inform me if you must discontinue lessons. I require seniors to continue taking lessons until the end of the school year. I depend on a regular income throughout the school year and cannot afford to have seniors drop simply because the school year is ending. There are plenty of musical concepts to learn through the end of the year.
Progress reports: These will be sent out periodically to keep parents informed of how lessons are going. They will include a report on attendance, attitude, behavior, preparation, improvement, and overall performance during lessons. Please feel free to discuss these with me by phone or by appointment.
Signing up for lessons is an agreement to these policies. If you have any questions about any policies, please feel free to call or e-mail me and I will be happy to discuss them with you.