Studio Policy

2017-2018 Studio Policies
Effective September 1, 2017
Brand new students (that have never played an instrument) are asked to make a six month commitment to lessons.  There is no written contract that binds you; this is something that you simply have to make a commitment in your heart for.  There is no way to "try out" guitar (or any other instrument), for example, to see if it works for you, due to the significant time and effort it takes to get results. We will help you achieve the results, but you must make the commitment on your end.
  • Lessons are scheduled weekly, normally 4 per month.  There is no lesson on 5th weeks.
  • In-person, studio lessons are scheduled every 45 minutes, Monday-Friday afternoons.  Due to the natural time required in getting one student out, and the next one in, lessons will generally not last exactly 45 minutes; sometimes they will be a bit longer, sometimes a bit shorter.  Occasionally, Mr. Norton might also take 5 minutes or so of a lesson block to briefly chat with a parent while your student tunes his instrument or warms up.  This will not adversely affect instructional time.
  • Online lessons are scheduled every 30 minutes on Saturday mornings, and are conducted via Facebook Messenger, or Apple FaceTime.  The student will initiate the call to the studio at their appointed lesson time  If Mr. Norton does not immediately answer, wait about a minute, and try again.  The content will be largely the same as would be covered in an in-person class, with the tremendous time advantage to the student of not having to travel to the studio.  The student also has the advantage of being already warmed up and tuned up prior to their lesson time.
  • The lesson fee is the same. whether in-studio, or online.
  • Lesson fees are $160 per month per student.  You may take a $25 discount if you pay in cash.  No further discounts, such as multi-student, military, etc. are offered.
  • You will be billed on the 15th of the month for the following month's fees.  Example, September fees are billed on August 15.
  • Fees unpaid by the 1st of the month are considered late.  A $10 late fee will be added to your account.
  • Fees unpaid by the 1st lesson of the month will result in the student being removed from the schedule.  The student may be easily re-instated, if another student has not taken that spot, by paying the overdue lesson fee and the $10 late fee.  If that spot is already taken, the student will have to choose another opening.
  • There is no refund if a student withdraws during the course of a month.
Due to abuse of our former makeup policies, there is no opportunity for makeup lessons at all.  You are welcome to come to class, or not, but there will be no makeup, nor lesson fee credit, if you choose not to come.
If the student is ill, or has been actively ill in the last 24 hours (example: fever or vomiting), please do not send them to class.  Inform the studio, and we will work out an online lesson via Facebook Messenger or FaceTime at a convenient time over the coming weekend.  Online lessons are about 30 minutes in length, with largely the same content as an in-person lesson, with the convenience of not having to travel to the studio.
If your instructor is absent, you will be given a lesson credit card to use toward your next fee payment.  This card is not replaceable if lost.

The studio will be closed on major holidays, and you will not be billed for these days: New Years Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving Thursday/Friday.  In addition, the studio is closed when students are out of school for Spring Break, and Christmas and New Year's break.  We will follow Poquoson public school's calendar with regard to breaks.

We will follow Poquoson public schools with regard to inclement weather.  If they are closed for incoming weather, then we will close also.  We will schedule an online lesson at an agreeable time to make up.  However, if they are on a 2 hour delay with regard to remaining snow on the streets, for example, then we will be open.
  • The student is expected to arrive prepared to play, with their sheet music or appropriate materials. The studio will not keep copies of the student's music on hand.
  • The student is expected to have an appropriate musical instrument at home for practice, and to keep it maintained properly, tuned, and in working order.
  • All guitar, bass, and ukulele students should bring their own instrument to class.
  • Students should be prepared to acquire and maintain the appropriate technology device and software that is used for their curriculum:
  • Guitar, bass, and ukulele students:  Yousician software, running on a late model PC, Windows 7 or newer, or late model Apple computer, OSX 10.9 or newer; or Apple or Android tablet (running the exercises on a cell phone only is not really practical, and is not recommended).  The basic Yousician software is available FREE to our enrolled students, but they offer a Premium service available for a subscription fee.  The basic service is adequate for most students. 
  • Piano students:  Piano Maestro software, running on an Apple iPad 4 or newer; or, Simply Piano software for Android tablets (Simply Piano will run on Android phones, but again, not recommended.  Piano Maestro is a FREE download from the Apple App Store.  Peninsula Music students have full access to the program as a result of our site license.  Simply Piano is available as a download from the Apple App Store or from the Google Play Store, as appropriate.  Simply Piano does not have a site license plan, so each student must subscribe on their own.  The cost is about $8 a month.  
  • DO NOT DOWNLOAD ANY APPS UNTIL THE FIRST LESSON.  We will decide which app is the best one for you at that time.
  • Computers or tablets should have a working webcam and mic in order to do online lessons in the event of illness or weather closing.
Students are encouraged to practice 5-7 days a week, for a period of one minute per day, per year of age, for best results.  For example, a 10 year old should practice 10 minutes a day, 5-7 days a week.  Adults should practice 1/2 hour per day.  Longer practice periods will not necessarily be better, or produce faster results.  Consistent, short duration, daily practice will produce results.  Cramming before coming to class will not.
The studio reserves the right to terminate a student from the program for the following reasons:
  • Inconsistent attendance, or repeated no-shows for lessons.
  • Inconsistent or no home practice
  • Repeated failure to bring materials or instrument to class
  • Repeated refusal to participate in class
  • Damage to studio property
  • Failure to pay lesson fees by the 1st lesson of the month
In addition, the studio reserves the right to end a lesson early if one of the following situations applies:
  • The student is not adequately prepared
  • The student is not feeling well, agitated or upset, unusually non-cooperative, or otherwise "not themselves".
  • The student's instrument has a mechanical problem that we can't fix in 5-10 minutes.
I accept these policies for the 2017-2018 lesson year, and look forward to a great experience!  
Student's Printed Name
_______________________________________ _____________________
Student's/Parent's Signature Date