Studio Policy

Studio Goal:
The study of music benefits every child, teenager, and adult. Music studies increase concentration abilities, testing scores, reading levels, math skills, and overall quality of life. Whether it’s classical, jazz, popular or new age, at Hawker Piano Studios, I believe everyone should love to make music. Creating music brings so much joy and allows great self expression. With great teachers guiding them, students can always discover the joys of studying music!
While a great teacher is key to a student’s success, parents also play an important role as piano study requires discipline and commitment. Well rounded musicianship is important, thus lessons involve: sight reading, ear training, improvisation and composition, theory, and ensemble skills. With lessons, practice, and dedicated study, students at Hawker Piano Studio will cultivate their musical skills and talents, enjoy performing at recitals and other occasions, and discover a deeper appreciation for music.

Lessons:
Private lessons are given weekly in 30 minute, 45 minute or 1 hour sessions depending on the age and repertoire level of the student. Each semester includes 15 weeks of private lessons and several group classes on holiday weeks. Calendars will be given out before the beginning of each semester, informing students of the studio schedule. Please ensure that students arrive promptly to receive all of their lesson time.

Expectations:
Students are expected to come to lessons fully ready to learn. Best behavior is expected during lesson time from all students. Lesson time is specifically reserved for each student so please arrive promptly, wash your hands, and wait in the waiting area.
The amount of preparation time and practice shows directly in the student’s progress. Practice and other goals will be made, added to and adjusted personally with each student so that each can reach success. Please concentrate on following written comments from lessons and reaching goals during this time, not just watching the clock. Trimmed nails are necessary for proper hand position both at practice time and lessons.

Materials:
For lessons, students are responsible for providing all books in use to every lesson. They are also required to provide a binder or notebook to record assignments in.
A practice instrument is required for all students. While keyboards are acceptable for beginning students, from the second year of lessons students are strongly encouraged to have an acoustic piano. Weighted keys develop the correct finger strength, hand playing position, and sound necessary for developing proper piano playing skills. Please remember to keep the piano tuned regularly for your student.

Tuition and Payment Policy:
Tuition includes each student’s private lesson time that I have set aside specifically for each student. Tuition also incorporates time spent attending and presenting at national and state conferences to improve my teaching skills.  Attendance at professional concerts, preparation for student recitals, entrance work for students participating in festivals, lesson preparation time, as well as the time spent searching for appropriate music and materials for each student counts into tuition as well. Tuition will increase yearly to match.
Tuition is due at the beginning of the semester or may be split into two payments (due by Week 1 and Week 8). At the beginning of each semester, a $25.00 Recital and Materials Fee is due with the first payment. This fee covers recital venues, copies, studio incentive programs, and books bought for students. If books purchased exceed a certain amount, an additional materials fee will be charged. If tuition is not received before the second lesson of the semester, an automatic $10.00 late fee will apply. If no tuition is received before the third lesson, lessons will be suspended.

Recitals, Group Lessons, and Summer Lessons:
Each fall and spring semester a recital will be held for the students to have the opportunity to publicly perform. Developing performance skills at recitals prepares students for all kinds of public presentations in their futures. Parents and family are invited to attend and cheer on their child. Please come in church dress for recitals.

Group lessons benefit students of all ages as they provide performance practice while lowering performance pressures.  Games with groups and making music with friends are also great parts of group lessons.  Partner lessons at the teen age can also be very beneficial.  Interested students will be placed with appropriate age group if available.

Summer time means less stress from school and more free time to focus on piano lessons. A ten week summer semester is offered to students as a means to secure their place in the studio. Along with private lessons, we plan summer camps and fun group lessons for the summer. Please watch for details on activities for summer 2016.

Dismissal and Termination Policies:
Whenever problems or questions arise, please feel free to talk to me and we will work to solve it. In return if a difficulty comes up for me, I will come directly to the student and the parent to work it out. However if the trouble continues I, as the teacher, reserve the right to dismiss the student. Problems can include: recurring failure to attend lessons or prepare for lessons, disrespectful behavior or conduct, and not paying tuition/material bills.

If a student is moving or ending lessons for any reason, they must inform me one month ahead of time. Otherwise, tuition is still due that month.

Missed Lesson Policy:
Hawker Piano Studios cannot handle make-up lessons due to travel commitments with studios across the area. I do offer great alternatives if you cannot make your lesson – lesson swaps and Facetime/Skype lessons.
Each student also has the option of placing their name on a swap list that will be handed out to all participating students. On the swap list will be the studio schedule with students’ names and phone numbers. Students with conflicts can trade lesson times among themselves when needed.
Please be assured that your tuition is always working for your child as I spend a great deal of time outside of lessons choosing repertoire, planning, strategizing, attending competitions, etc. So, even if you have to miss a lesson and cannot use the alternatives offered, you don’t have to worry about receiving less for your tuition.