Studio Policies, 2016-17 School Year

Annual Schedule

The studio year begins on Monday, September 12, 2016 and is divided into three quarters and a summer session. During the school year, students will receive 30 lessons. Lessons for the school year end on Monday, May 22, 2017.

The summer quarter begins on Monday, June 5, 2017. Students who have studied all year are eligible to take 6 free summer lessons. Extra summer lessons may be added with a per-lesson charge.

Attendance & Payment

Unless other arrangements are made, lessons will be held in your home. Lessons are typically 45 or 60 minutes. 30 minute lessons are offered for students who are age 3.

Learning happens best when lessons are attended regularly. Please make every effort to attend your weekly lessons. 

Annual tuition is collected in full at the beginning of the school year or in three installments due on September 1, 2016, December 1, 2016, and March 1, 2017.

Tuition may be mailed, given to the instructor at a lesson prior to the due date, sent through online banking, or paid online with a credit card or PayPal (follow the directions on the invoice).

Tuition that is late will incur a 15 % late fee. 

Students wishing to take extended time off from lessons must continue to pay tuition or will forfeit their spot in the studio and be placed on the waiting list for a new spot should they wish to return to lessons.

Terminating Lessons

Lessons may be terminated by the student at any time. Any tuition that has been paid will not be refunded. 

The instructor may terminate lessons at any time. Potential reasons for termination include non-payment, poor attendance, lack of practice, discipline problems, or non-compliance with studio policies. Any tuition that has been paid will not be refunded.

Required Equipment

Piano Students 

  • A piano that is kept tuned and in good condition with all keys sounding, no keys sticking, and a damper pedal that functions properly.

  • An electric keyboard is acceptable instead of a piano if it has 88 weighted and touch sensitive keys, a functioning pedal, a music stand, and a proper keyboard stand and bench.

  • A metronome (or access to a metronome app at each practice session)

  • Pencils

  • A timer or small clock kept by the piano

  • A binder (this will be provided by the instructor) 

Guitar Students

  • A properly sized steel or nylon string guitar. (Many intro-level instruments have nylon strings, and these are easier on a beginner's fingers. Do note, I teach folk-style guitar which is typically played with a pick on a steel-string guitar – if the student continues with me they will eventually need a steel-string instrument.)

  • Picks

  • A capo

  • A music stand (a metal folding one is fine)

  • A metronome (or access to a metronome app at each practice session)

  • Pencils

  • A timer or small clock in the student's practice area

  • A binder (this will be provided by the instructor) 

Voice students

  • A music stand (a metal folding one is fine)

  • A metronome (or access to a metronome app at each practice session)

  • A free Dropbox account that may be accessed by the student via phone, tablet, or computer – recordings for listening and practice will be kept here.

  • Pencils

  • Access to a piano, a keyboard, or a piano app

  • A timer or small clock kept in the student's practice area

  • A binder (this will be provided by the instructor)


Students must own all music they will use on a regular basis. Pieces that are not owned may occasionally be borrowed from my library. Additionally, the studio subscribes to several online music sources and purchase licenses to print other pieces. You will be billed for music that is purchased for you. A fee is included in the tuition to cover the subscriptions and studio-wide printing licenses.

“Fair use” photocopies may be made of music that you already own so that we can scribble on or cut up the score for purpose of analysis or to make it more portable in the students' binders. Note, however, that for most festivals and examinations, photocopied music brought into the room is cause for disqualification. If you make copies of your own music, please be careful with them.


This year's performances include:

  • October Disney themed recital

  • December retirement home holiday performance

  • February surprise-partner duet recital

  • April formal recital

Festivals & Events

Students who meet the eligibility requirements are invited to participate in the following events:

  • Fall Festival – November 5, 2016 – Sponsored by Virginia Music Teachers Association (VMTA) – students perform one 20 th  or 21 st  century classical piece and one piece from a different historical period. Open to piano and voice students.

  • Junior Composers Competition – February 1, 2017  Submission Deadline – Sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) – Categories for all ages with cash prizes.

  • Hal Leonard Vocal Competition – February 1, 2017  Submission Deadline – Sponsored by Hal Leonard Publishing – Students enter in either or both the art song and musical theater categories singing two pieces from a published list of required repertoire. The competition is free to enter, and entries are done via YouTube video. Cash prizes and honorable mentions. 

  • Theory Mastery Day – February 11, 2017 – Sponsored by VMTA – Students take graded theory exams and receive certificates.

  • Spring Festival – March 2017 (dates TBA) – Affiliated the NFMC – students perform two pieces, one of which comes from a list published by the NFMC and the other a free choice within given parameters. Students receive ratings for their pieces which translate into points which a student collects from year to year. When a student reaches 15 points, she or he is awarded a trophy. At 30, 45, 60, etc points, the student is awarded progressively larger trophies. A maximum of 5 points per category may be earned each year, so it takes students 3 or 4 years of participation to earn a trophy. Open to piano and voice students. In addition to performance categories, students may enter the festival taking written theory exams.

Fees for entering festivals and competitions will be assessed as needed.