MISSION STATEMENT: Coaching and encouraging children and teens to enjoy making music for a lifetime.
A $40 Registration/Reservation Fee will reserve a lesson space in my studio schedule for the school year (August/September to mid-May). The registration fee is non-refundable except when no suitable class or private lesson time is available. The fee is then used to help defray the cost of theory games and teaching aids, office expenses, handouts, ensemble books, music library materials, incentives and awards, and the annual spring piano celebration (recital).
MUSIC & MATERIALS:
Music and materials needed cost about $60 per year per student. Re-registered, continuing students will pay this at the beginning of summer session and new students will pay this fee at the beginning of the school year with the Registration/Reservation Fee. Any fees left over at the end of the school year roll over into the new year. New students will receive a three-ring binder for weekly practice plans and handouts when they begin lessons.
PIANO TUITION for Online or In Studio Lessons:
Preschool/Kindergarten Classes (Ages 4-6): $80 per month for 40-minutes weekly
Older Student Classes (1st grade+): $85 per month for 50-minutes weekly and $95 for 60-minutes weekly.
Partner Lessons (all ages): $100 per month for 40-minute lessons.
Private Lessons (all ages-limited availability): $130 per month for 45-minute lessons plus a 15-minute computer lab session.
Due to our ongoing pandemic situation this year, four 1-hour Group Musicianship Classes, one the first semester and three the second semester, are scheduled through the year for all students (except for new beginners), based upon the students’ ages and skill level.
Lesson tuition includes 30 lessons for the school year (from August/September to early/mid-May), extra help days, Spring Piano Rehearsals and Celebration and 2 bonus lessons. By September, each student will receive a copy of the Studio Calendar for the first semester and Studio Policies, which will be put in the back section of the student music binder for student and parent reference. These documents will also be emailed to parents and available on the studio website.
Annual school year tuition fees are divided into three (3) equal quarterly installments and due the first day of each month from September through May. Families are welcome to pay three (3) months tuition in full or pay monthly installments. A late fee of $20 is charged for any tuition installments received after the tenth of the month. A $35 service charge will be charged for checks returned for insufficient funds. Checks should be made payable to Marci Pittman.
Homeschooled Students who take lessons during the public-school day will receive a tuition reduction.
Piano classes are small (no more than four students) and each student has the use of a digital piano or keyboard. The goal of each class is to create a positive, fun, relaxed learning atmosphere. Friendships develop and the joy of sharing music is experienced. Students may progress more rapidly in a stress-free piano class environment and are grouped according to age and ability. Students are responsible for bringing ALL materials with them to each class session. Piano classes generally follow the local traditional school calendar, beginning in late August/early September and ending in mid-May. In my experience, motivation for consistent progress and excellence is the greatest challenge for students today. Working in small groups, students learn not only from the teacher but also from each other. I have observed that student enjoyment and enthusiasm is enhanced, interaction and positive peer pressure provide positive motivation for accurate playing, playing in groups significantly improves rhythmic ability, and students see others working at learning the same skills and feel less isolated as they practice at home.
If I am unable to place a student into a class appropriate for his or her age and ability, I will teach a private lesson if my studio schedule permits. If later, I have a weekly group that would be appropriate for a private student, I will request that the student join the group.
The Private Lesson Program includes a combination of weekly private lesson instruction of 45-minutes and Group Musicianship Classes. The weekly private lessons are preceded or followed by an individual 15-minute computer lab session. Usually six times during the school year, I will schedule a 1-hour Group Musicianship Class for my students for listening exercises, theory review games, ear training, music history and playing in ensemble. Students are grouped roughly by age and skill level. These classes will replace the private lesson for that week and no new materials are assigned. Group Musicianship Classes will be clearly indicated on the studio calendar so that you may plan your schedules accordingly.
Summer Session will be the months of June & July. Re-registered, continuing students are requested to schedule a minimum of four lessons during those months, private or group, and will be billed for one month’s tuition along with the registration/reservation fee and materials’ fee. Summer scheduling is more flexible for lesson time and length. Students who DO NOT sign-up to take lessons during summer session are still required to pay the tuition and fees to hold a spot in the studio for the new school year.
A lesson time is reserved for students each week and month of the school year, based on the studio calendar, whether the student attends each lesson. A student who does not attend a lesson will simply miss the benefit of that lesson. Unlike a doctor or a hairdresser, I cannot re-sell that time, nor can I create extra hours in the day in which to give rescheduled lessons. Students who miss lessons due to busy schedules, lack of preparation, or vacation times are not eligible for a rate adjustment. Rescheduled lessons are at the teacher’s discretion.
Illness: For the health of all, do not bring a sick student to their lesson. Students must NOT come to the music studio if they have, or have had in the past 14 days, a cough, a fever, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, flu-like symptoms, gastrointestinal upset, or experienced a loss of taste or smell. Students who are too ill to attend school are also too ill to attend their lesson. If a student cannot come to his/her lesson but feels well enough to have a lesson online, this may be arranged for the scheduled lesson time.
In the event of teacher illness or emergency, your teacher is entitled to cancel one lesson a year, for which there will be NO reduction in tuition. It is rare for me to cancel lessons due to illness, and whenever possible, I will attempt to offer a rescheduled lesson as the calendar permits.
Every student will stop taking lessons at some point. Please make this decision thoughtfully with plenty of discussion between the teacher, parent, and student so that lessons can cease with a positive sense of closure. For this reason, the teacher requires ONE MONTH’S advance written notice (e-mail notice is acceptable) prior to discontinuing lessons.
DAILY PIANO PLAYING:
Daily playing time is essential for students to experience success in learning their materials. Families and students should have a plan for when this playing time will take place each day. The student should fill in a weekly playing chart (on the assignment sheet) and be responsible for completing the materials on the assignment sheet. Each first-year student should commit to playing the piano and the materials assigned daily for 15 to 20 minutes, five days a week (5 to 15 minutes daily for 4 to 6-year-old students). Students beyond their first year of lessons should commit to playing their materials assigned daily for a minimum of 20-30 minutes, five days a week. Unprepared lessons cost the same as prepared ones, but their value is substantially compromised. It is consistent, efficient, daily practice that leads to the satisfaction and joy of steady progress towards solid musicianship that may be enjoyed for a lifetime.
Please note that these policies are in accord with recommended professional policies of the Music Teachers’ National Association and the Music Teachers’ Association of California. Tuition fees take into consideration that I must provide my insurance, retirement, social security, and continuing education costs, as well as bear the expense of equipping and maintaining my studio, instruments, libraries and other equipment and supplies. They also take into consideration that I spend even more hours in planning, study, scheduling, phone calls, e-mails, texts, bookkeeping, and organizing other studio related responsibilities, than I do in actual lesson time. Teaching is my profession, my business, and my art; I wish to present and live up to policies that give me the time and financial security to devote most of my energy to the creative act of sharing music with students. I acknowledge my students' and their parents' place in a three-way relationship, and pledge to do my best to make music study a rich, growing experience for my students.