Studio Policy - 2024
Thank you for choosing us for your piano tuition! In order to ensure that students get the most effective and creative teaching possible, we have established the following policies:
- Your enrolment reserves your lesson place for the whole year. Current Term Dates can always be found on our website at hilbertsmusic.com
- Lesson Fees must be paid at the time of each lesson or in advance. Full term payment, by due date, gains you an additional discount – amounting to nearly two free lessons every term. Please place your payment (with the correct amount) in an envelope with your name on it, as this avoids using up your lesson time in finding change. Fees which fall into arrears will lose the discounted lesson offer, and may also incur a $40 late fee for our extra admin time needed to follow up overdue accounts.
- Lesson Length: Please select the correct lesson length for the grade/level the student is doing. The above lesson lengths are the minimum level at which a student will need a longer lesson - and some students will benefit by upgrading their lesson length sooner rather than later. Note, there is an additional discount for longer lesson lengths, as part of our comittment to assisting families.
- ‘Pupil Free’ School Days: Piano lessons will begin on the Monday in the first week of each school term. A pupil-free day at school won’t cancel your piano lesson. (Dates for each term can always be found on our website)
- Public Holidays: Lessons usually run at the normal times on public holidays, however if you have an unavoidable commitment due to the public holiday, please let us know a week in advance, and we will replace your lesson within the same week.
- Lesson Absences: Your lesson time is reserved for you, for the whole year - we guarantee to keep that lesson time just for you, and consequently, when you are absent we cannot just fill that time, with another student, just for that day - we cannot use that time for anyone else, and so your absent lessons must be paid for. However, there are alternatives we offer to help you make the most of that time. (If you cannot take advantage of the following options, rest assured we still use your absent lesson time for you, by researching/planning future repertoire material, etc, for you.)
> Option 1: Use your absent lesson time for a phone lesson, or online lesson - this option is particularly useful in the case of minor illness or transport problems, etc.
> Option 2: Use your absent lesson time by sending audio/video recordings to your teacher (prior to that time) and your teacher will review them in your absent lesson time, and send you a critique of your work, and some direction for what to do next with your practice. This option is especially useful if you are absent due to school excursion or family vacation.
> Option 3: Swap lessons with another student - If you are interested in this option, you must put your name and phone number on the 'Swap List' beforehand! Please ask us for the swap list details if you want to add your name to this - and remember, being on the Swap List will also mean being flexible to help others out when they need to swap their time. Alternatively, you can also use our Vacant Lesson List – ask your teacher for details.
For any of the above options, please give one week's prior notice for absences (and as much notice as possible in the case of illness). All lessons, present or not, must be paid for.
Teacher Absence: Occasionally the teacher may be absent (for professional development courses, music competitions & exams, or due to illness) & lessons will be either carried out online at your normal lesson time, or rescheduled to a mutually convenient time, at the teacher's discretion.
- Students' midweek Practice time - in order to make reasonable progress with any instrument/voice it is important for students to play regularly at home between lessons.
> For beginners we recommend just five minutes each day.
> As students progress through the P-Plate levels up to Grade 1, daily practice sessions of 10 to 20 minutes are very beneficial.
> Intermediate students (grades 2 to 5) need about 20 to 40 minutes a day.
> Advanced students (grade 6 and above) are encouraged to commit to 1-2 hours on five to six days of the week, where possible.
We are more than happy to help with ideas for structuring and motivating effective & efficient at-home practice sessions – Please feel free to ask if you need help with this. We often find that those who take the time to put in regular practice, tend to improve their playing and enjoy it more...and those who are enjoying their playing tend to practice more! So our aim is to help mid-week practice become as rewarding as possible :)
Students will need a piano at home to practice on each day. For beginners, a new or second hand piano, or a proper digital piano (with hammer-weighted keys) is good. Please avoid a 'keyboard' (ie, with spring-loaded key action) as the touch is not weighted and is completely different, not allowing students to develop hand and finger strength, and correct touch sensitivity, and this problem will significantly retard their progress. (If you already have a 'keyboard', you could use it for the first few lessons, while sourcing a better instrument, ready to move on.) NB. Students in intermediate and advanced grades, may need to upgrade their piano as they progress, to make sure that the instrument is capable of the techniques that they are learning at these levels - Please check this with your teacher.
- Discontinuing your Lessons: As your enrolment reserves your lesson place for the whole year, if you decide to discontinue lessons (either mid-term, or at end of any term) we require a minimum of 4 weeks notice for this, so that we have time to offer your lesson place to a new student. In the event of less notice a cancellation fee equivalent to 4 lessons may apply. In the event of a student being unable to continue lessons, for any reason, a refund request must be made in writing within 14 days of the last lesson attended. In the event of a refund for discontinued lessons, any discounts for lessons already taken are void. Refunds incur a $30 admin fee, to cover the time involved.
- Music & Copyright: Original copies of current music for students must be purchased, otherwise parents/students are breaching copyright law – Fines for breaching copyright in Australia are in excess of $1,000 per piece. (For info on copyright check out: http://www.apra-amcos.com.au) We estimate that you need to allow about $90 to $130 per year for your music - however it may be a little bit more if the student is progressing more quickly. Buying music promptly helps students to progress & get the best value from your lessons. And of course, where possible (for studio licenced or copyright-free materials) we are happy to provide sheet music free of charge.
- Our Students' musical achievements are often congratulated in the Studio Newsletter, and/or on the Studio Website, and may include a photo/video of the student (although surnames are never given, for privacy reasons). Student photos may occasionally also be used in other studio advertising (no student names will be used in this case). If you do not want a photo/video displayed in the newsletter, in a concert video, on the website, or used in other studio advertising, please opt out by letting us know in the comments box on the enrolment form, or via email. Please also ensure that your child knows to step out of any group photos at our concerts and piano party group classes as all group photos are posted to our website.
If you have any queries about any points above, please feel free to phone Anne on 0402-824-353 to talk about it, we appreciate your feedback.
Congratulations on taking Piano Lessons - There are many great mental, emotional, educational and neurological benefits gained in learning piano!
The conditions above are not meant to be difficult or restrictive, but simply to set out a good understanding from the beginning. This will enable lessons to run smoothly, teachers to focus on giving creative, effective and good quality tuition, and encourage students to progress efficiently and happily in our music studio community.