Flute Studio Policies

2020-2021


Financial Policies

My rates for private lessons (in my home, online, or at SIUE) are as follows:

40-45 min lesson:  $30/lesson ($120/mo or $150/mo in months with 5 lessons/month)

60-65 min lesson:  $40/lesson ($160/mo or $200/mo in months with 5 lessons/month)

90-100 min lesson: $55/lesson ($220/mo or $275/mo in months with 5 lessons/month)

For lessons in a student's home (within a 15-minute drive), a travel surcharge of $32/hour will be applied, rounded up to the nearest 15-minute increment, covering both travel time to and from the location. This option is available as my schedule allows.


My rates for coaching chamber groups are as follows:

$15/person  (e.g. = $30 for coaching a duet, or $45 for coaching a trio for up to 1 hour.  This way smaller groups are not financially penalized simply for having fewer people.)


Payment for the entire month of private lessons is due ON THE FIRST LESSON of the month.   A $15 late fee will apply if tuition is not received by the 10th of the month.  A $20 fee will apply for all NSF checks. Students starting mid-month will have their tuition pro-rated. Cash, checks, Venmo, and credit card payments (via my website) are accepted.


You are welcome to order your own materials, or alternatively, I can order any books, sheet music, or supplies that students will require and bill the student’s account on the next monthly billing cycle.  I do keep a supply of standard method books, collections, and solos in stock that I pass on to my students for the cover price + shipping costs. 

 

Health Policies

I offer both virtual and in-person lessons for families at this time. For those taking face-to-face lessons,  I will wash my hands and sanitize my space between students. Musically and pedagogically, the use of masks prohibits musical performance and communication in one-on-one settings.  Indeed, playing the flute with a mask would be almost impossible. For piano students, I will leave the choice of masks in the lesson up to each family’s level of comfort.  


If there are any signs (even small signs) of illness on my part, the part of any student, or family members, then lessons can proceed online until evidence of illness has passed.  I pledge to take the health of your family seriously, as I know you will mine.


Missed Lessons

Regular lesson attendance is required.  Please notify me a week in advance for planned absences with a valid excuse (such as family trips or school events), or by 10:00 in the morning in case of illness in order for lessons to be rescheduled.  If your child throws up in the car on the way to lessons, I totally get it (I’m a parent, too), but keeping my teaching and family schedules straight requires an enormous amount of time and attention with constant shifting and juggling, so I appreciate every effort you make to help me stay on top of things.  For milder illnesses or inclement weather, a Zoom or Facetime lesson can potentially be utilized during his/her regular time.  There will be no reimbursements for missed lessons, and tuition is never adjusted unless the teacher cannot provide the promised number of lessons. 

 

Lesson Procedures

Water bottles are permitted inside, but please, no other food, drink, or gum.  It’s helpful for parents to observe lessons for younger children (under age 8 or 9) in order to help facilitate good technique and practice habits at home, though this rule can be adjusted circumstantially.  Beware that the front door is alarmed, so if you open the door to leave or come in, you have 5 seconds after opening it to press the “disarm” button or the alarm will shriek.  Don’t worry if you accidentally set it off.  I personally set it off at least 2 or 3 times a day.  Just quickly push the button to silence the alarm so we know a child has not escaped from the house.  Students and families are welcome to use the main floor hallway bathroom as needed.  

 

Students are expected to bring the following materials to lessons:

-A Flute in working order (for flute students)

-Assignment notebook

-All books currently in use (even if no piece is assigned in a book that particular week)

-A Pencil

 

Performance Opportunities

Recitals are a wonderful opportunity to help students develop a stage presence, self-confidence, and discipline as they demonstrate their meticulously prepared masterpieces. Participation is highly encouraged in studio recitals and other workshops, competitions, or masterclass opportunities as they arise.  Performers should arrive 30 minutes prior to the recital and stay for the duration out of respect for all performers.


Students are also encouraged to schedule one performance away from the studio each semester.  Some ideas include houses of worship, hospitals or nursing homes, community events, or school talent shows.

 

Practice Expectations

Music is a lifelong pursuit, and it takes years of committed daily practice to become proficient.  Sufficient progress will not occur by simply attending lessons. Children often lack the discipline and motivation to maintain a regular practice schedule, which is why parental support is the most important factor in developing musical skills.  Parents need to schedule and enforce a regular, daily practice regiment.  They will also need to sit with younger children to assist.  Adult students can choose their own level of commitment. 


I  recommend practicing 6 out of 7 days a week, with one rest day.  For younger children (age 4-5), I recommend at least 15 minutes of practice a day.  For children ages 6-10, I recommend 30-45 minutes of practice every day.  Ages 12+ should practice an hour daily (or more).  Please note, this doesn’t have to occur all in one sitting.  It is often more effective to break up longer practice sessions into smaller sessions throughout the day.  Children who are slower learners, as well as children who are musically gifted should spend more time practicing than average.  Of course, these recommendations are just a guideline and more specific directions will be offered during the course of lessons.


Practice does not mean simply playing through a piece from beginning to end.  It means repeating difficult measures, phrases, and lines of music again and again and again until fluency and beauty are achieved.  Counting aloud, singing, and tapping, can aid a student in mastering challenging material.


All serious musicians regularly practice with a pencil and a metronome/tuner.  A pencil is useful for marking problem areas in the music.  A metronome helps students internalize proper tempos and rhythms. There is an inexpensive iPhone app called “Tonal Energy Tuner” that serves as both a tuner and metronome and works well.

Parental Involvement

Parents will be required to help younger students practice, but their main role is to be their child’s cheerleader.  Listen to them practice with encouragement and enthusiasm.  Ask them questions about their lessons and pieces.  Go over their assignment notebook with them a couple of times per week to make sure they are working on all assignments.

 

Parents also need to provide an instrument that is in fine working order and well-maintained.  A flute that has been in storage for some years probably needs a complete overhaul, and it would often be more cost-effective to buy a newer instrument.  Flutes require adjustments once or twice a year to stay in playable condition.  Acoustic pianos need to be tuned annually, and digital pianos really only work well if they have weighted keys.  I would be happy to advise you on purchasing or maintaining an instrument.

 

Termination of Lessons

It’s possible that a budding violinist resides in the soul of a student and not a flutist.  Maybe my teaching style clashes with a student’s learning style.  Please rest assured that I will never take discontinuation of lessons personally and feel free to speak to me about any of your concerns.


One month’s notice is required by the parents to discontinue lessons.  Parents are still financially liable for the final month’s tuition, whether their student chooses to attend lessons or not.  


The instructor reserves the right to remove students from the schedule due to consistent poor practice habits, unexcused absences, late payments, or poor behavior.

 

Communication

If students (or parents) have questions about lesson material during the week, I maintain an open-communication policy. Texts, phone calls, and emails are more than welcome at any time, though I usually return calls and emails the following morning (Really, I would rather you email me a question than struggle along in confusion or discouragement all week, so please don’t hesitate to reach out!!).


All studio communication (announcements, newsletters, scheduling, etc) is sent directly to parents, but I will also communicate directly to older students if that is their parent’s preference.