shared by a reader: studio policies

We received this studio policy from a reader and thought we’d share! If anyone else would like to share some of their policies, feel free to comment or send us an email! Sometimes I think it is so helpful to read other policies to get some ideas. Here is what our reader, Michelle, said:

I have been teaching for 7-8 years. I currently have a small studio with only 2 students. I’ve had excellent piano teachers who had smoothly-run studios, which is where I have gotten ALL my ideas. I live in a small-town, relatively low-income town and especially enjoy teaching children.

Payment: I typically request that payment is received at the end of the month. However, my student’s parents (or students if they’re adults) commit to paying at the end of every month. If they can’t commit, then I ask that they pay by lesson. For example, I have a student now who has a pretty fluid lesson time because she’s heavily involved in dance as well. Since once every 2 months or so she has to miss a lesson for a major rehearsal, we usually pay per lesson–that way neither of us is being cheated out of money.

Practice: For younger students, I tell them how many times they need to practice each song. It’s easier for them. They have to keep track of it. That way I can ensure that they get all of their practicing in, even if if takes longer than a certain number of minutes. For older students who I know are more dedicated to improving their songs daily, I recommend a certain amount of time because they’re more likely to use it wisely.

Rates: I typically charge $10 for 1/2 hour and $15 for an hour. Here in my town, I’m one of the more expensive teachers (they’re SO cheap here, but then again, I’m one of the only ones with a degree too). If a student can’t afford that, then the student’s parent and I will sit down to discuss a better cost for their family.

Recitals: Twice a year I have the students do recitals for the student’s family. As my studio grows, I will be doing group classes every other month and recitals 3 times a year for everyone in the studio.

Missing Lessons and Making them up: If a student has to miss a lesson, I need to know beforehand. I’m willing to do a make-up lesson, as long as it’s a valid excuse. If the student is a no-show, there is no option of a make-up lesson.

Materials: I order the materials for my students (because there is no good music store in town and I know what I’m looking for) and the student pays for the material. Understanding that music can be expensive to buy, I try to be judicious in my purchases. I also have a good library of my own for more advanced students and will (sometimes!) make copies of individual pieces if I think that we’ll only be doing one or two songs out of that particular book. Students are required to have their own notebook.

Thanks for sharing, Michelle!

Jennifer Boster

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