Studio Policies

Studio Handbook and Policies  – “Learning for a Lifetime for Every Student!”

Expectations and Responsibilities of Parents

  1. You and your child are undertaking an awesome journey, so you and your child’s commitment to the process is vital. Commitment and consistency are key to learning a musical instrument!  This means being prepared and showing up to lessons, consistent practice and performances.
  2. Encourage progress. Many small steps throughout the year yield big results!
  3. Help your child remember to practice daily. Schedule time in their day to make this easier. Login to our site to log your or your child’s practice time.  We have practice contests, and children will be excited to participate.
  4. Provide an interruption-free practice environment. Turn off the TV, cell phone, video games.
  5. Be financially responsible and pay tuition ON TIME.  For questions regarding tuition and your account, login to your account here.
  6. Communicate with the teacher.  LOTS.  Feel free to ask about music, practice habits, recitals and contests, or anything else you need to discuss relating to your or your child’s lessons.

 Student Expectations and Responsibilities

  1. In general, schedule the student’s age * 3 as practice time.  So, if the student is 6 yrs old, schedule 18 minutes per day, a 12-year old, 36 minutes.  Schedule this time at least five days a week.  We STRONGLY recommend that the student practice immediately after their lesson, and again the next day.  Studies have shown that immediate implementation of what they have learned that day results in stronger learning.  And remember, this is practice, not playing.
  2. Complete all assignments the teacher has given.  If you are unsure as to your assignments, check your email or log into your studio account. Your assignments are tracked there.
  3. Carefully review the comments from your previous lesson, and the main goals of the assignments.
  4. Arrive promptly at your lesson time. You reserve the time slot, not the number of minutes.

Teacher Expectations and Responsibilities

  1. Provide each student with the personal attention and respect necessary to develop his/her individual talents.
  2. Guide each student to a greater understanding and enjoyment of music.
  3. Guide each student towards an awareness of her/his capabilities – clearly communicating short-term and long-term goals. This may be verbal or written communication.
  4. Encourage a feeling of success at each student’s individual rate of learning.
  5. Guide each student towards Musical Independence and Initiative through a balanced program of theory, technique and repertoire.
    • Theory – studying the “grammar” of the language of music.
    • Technique – the physical mechanics of the instrument
    • Repertoire – a list of pieces to be learned based on standard classical, jazz and popular music essential to gaining an understanding and appreciation for music of many different kinds
  6. Report the progress of the student to the parent, listen to any concerns and answer any questions that the parent and student may have.

Attendance

Students are expected to attend all scheduled lessons per each spring and fall semester.  All parents receive an attendance contract to sign upon enrollment.

Our tuition and enrollment fees are non-refundable and makeup lessons are not scheduled. Please plan lesson times and and other extracurricular or social engagements accordingly. Student are allowed one makeup class each semester, in the form of a group performance class.

Participation in summer lessons is strongly encouraged similarly to Fall and Spring lessons. Our students are learning a new language, and leaving that language for 3 months means a loss of the very skills they have worked so hard to develop during the other 9 months of the year. Summer lessons provide reinforcement, continuing new ideas, and a brief change of pace.

Practice

Preferably, practice every single day. We know that this is a tall order, and most likely a student will find 5 days of practice.  If the target is all days, then there is an inner drive to keep progressing.  Set expectations at five days, and you’ll get three.  So, aim high!

The absolute best time for the student to practice is immediately after their lesson, definitely on the same day. Remember, lessons are not practice in and of themselves. Students need to implement their learning immediately, on their own and in their own way.

Playing the piano or any other musical instrument is a physical skill and you get out of it what you put into it. If practice is done inconsistently, you’ll get inconsistent results.

Absence

Makeup lessons are not scheduled or guaranteed. At the conclusion of each semester there is a performance class day/makeup class with several times to choose from.  Please note that these makeup classes are not for students who miss lessons due to play dates, games, non-emergency doctor appointments or family vacations.  Tuition is based on a specific time slot being made available for our students and when a lesson is missed, that time slot is forever lost.

Drop-off/Pick-up

Prompt drop off and pick up are expected. Parents are welcome to wait in the waiting area.

Private Lesson Tuition

See Financial Responsibility Contract here.

Recitals and Public Performances

Each student is expected to participate in at least two performances per year. Please see calendar for more specific dates!

Festivals, Certificates and Theory Exams

The Austin Center for Musical Excellence is a member of MTNA, TMTA and ADMTA, so our students are eligible to participate in local and statewide competitions and festivals. We also work with our students in participation in UIL solo and ensemble work.

Our students also have the option of participating in London College of Music exams. This international program has a rigorous curriculum, including well-defined theory and performance standards.

Inclement Weather

It’s Texas.  Weird stuff happens.  Should lessons need to be cancelled due to bad weather, the lessons will be made up at no additional cost to the parent or student.  The lesson may be made up as a master/group class or regular private lesson.

Summer

In order to maintain their teacher’s availability for fall, all students are required to register for our summer program.   Should you choose not to participate in summer session, you will risk losing your slot with the studio.  If you know you will be traveling most of the summer, we do have a pay-ahead option that we would be happy to discuss with you.