Studio Policy | dhhow music: studio for advanced music studies

Studio Policy

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Contact Details

The following information will be collected and must be current:

  • Student Name
  • Student E-mail (if applicable • COPPA guidelines are followed)
  • Student Cell Phone (if applicable • COPPA guidelines are followed)
  • Student School Grade & Name of School
  • Student Current Age
  • Student Birth Date (if needed for application/registration form)
  • Parent/Legal Guardian Name
  • Parent/Legal Guardian E-mail
  • Parent/Legal Guardian Cell Phone
  • Name of Responsible Adult(s) allowed to drop-off and pick-up Student

Communication

The first line of communication will always be by e-mail to the student and parent. Parents will be copied on all e-mails unless specified otherwise. The second line of communication will be by text messaging to the student and parent. Parents will be included in all texts unless specified otherwise. (Please note that phone calls will go directly to voicemail and will probably not be returned in a timely manner.) If you do not hear back from me within a day, please text a follow-up. THANK YOU!


Tuition Rates

Please contact me through the “Contact” webpage or at dhhow.music@gmail.com for current tuition rates. If you arrived at this website from the Westside Music Conservatory, please note that as a master teacher, my lesson fees are significantly higher than than the published tuition rates posted at the Westside Music Conservatory website.


Registration & Fees

There is no annual registration fee or deposit required for students in my private studio. There are no additional fees for studio performing workshops, rehearsals, or recitals.


Billing

Parents will receive invoices via e-mail through EvenSteps. Payments may be made online using credit card, ACH, or PayPal. Checks are also accepted but not preferred; $20 fee will be assessed for returned checks.

Books, materials, and non-studio entry/application/registration/master class/examination fees that are paid by the teacher will be billed as they occur on your monthly statement. I will let you know all registration/application fees in advance. Books from the Bookmarkette (Sheet Music) Store at the Westside Music Conservatory will also be included on the monthly invoices, as well as payments for any theory tutoring or piano practice sessions with assistant instructors.


Make-Up Policy

Lessons cancelled more than 24 hours in advance are considered EARLY CANCELS and are eligible for a make-up lesson. Make-up lessons MUST be rescheduled within one month of the cancelled lesson at times offered by the Conservatory, but mutually agreed upon. There are NO REFUNDS for cancelled lessons that are not made up within one month of the cancelled lesson. Lessons cancelled fewer than 24 hours in advance are considered LATE CANCELS and are NOT eligible for a make-up lesson.

Absence due to an illness or family emergency is considered an EARLY CANCEL. Forgetting your lesson or cancelling your lesson at the last minute because your child wants to go to Disneyland is considered a LATE CANCEL.

Students who consistently cancel and/or reschedule their regularly scheduled lessons will be DROPPED from the lesson schedule and become FLOATERS. FLOATERS are students who are NOT assigned a permanent lesson time. They are slotted in week by week as the schedule permits. Students who miss multiple lessons in a semester may be dropped entirely to make room for students on the waiting list.


Illness

If your child wakes up ill or is sent home from school due to illness, please e-mail/text me immediately to reschedule that day’s lesson. Absence due to an illness or family emergency is considered an EARLY CANCEL. Your child must be fever-free, vomit-free, and diarrhea-free for 24 hours before attending a lesson. (Sneezing and runny noses due to allergies are, of course, a different matter.) Although you may think your child is feeling well enough to have a lesson, I do not want any unnecessary spread of viruses, diseases, etc. Several of my students are asthmatic and/or suffer from chronic bronchitis (myself included), so please be conscientious! If your child does come to a lesson and is obviously ill, (s)he will be sent home immediately, and you will be charged for the lesson. My teaching schedule has enough flexibility to occasionally accommodate lesson time changes.


Conservatory Etiquette

There are many studios at the Conservatory, please refrain from wandering around and speaking loudly in the common waiting area. All the teachers can hear your conversations, and it is very distracting for the students taking lessons.

PLEASE NO RUNNING!
PLEASE NO PLAY DATES!

You are more than welcome to do homework or read quietly in the common waiting area. Do not enter any studios/classrooms without first asking for permission. THANK YOU!


Food & Drinks (NO PEANUTS)

No food and drinks are allowed in the studios and classrooms at the Westside Music Conservatory. If your child needs to have a snack before the lesson and cannot eat outside or in your car, please do so in the outdoor common waiting area in at the Conservatory.

As several students have severe peanut allergies, please NO FOOD CONTAINING PEANUTS!


Personal Hygiene

Please be reminded that the studio and theory work areas are intimate spaces, especially on warm-weather days. If necessary, please have your child shower AND change into freshly laundered clothing before coming to the studio; teenagers may also need to use deodorant and/or brush their teeth. All students must wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer (available in the studio) before their lesson.


Drop Off & Pick Up

A parent/guardian must be present for and actively observe all lessons, performing workshops, and studio recitals for students through school grade 5, unless previous discussion has resulted in other arrangements being made. The key to a child’s early musical success is parent involvement, and the priority that the family places on music in the home. The monthly Theory Group & Playing Classes are, however, for students only.

If you need to drop off your child early and/or pick up your child late, please do NOT assume that 1) I will be at the Conservatory, 2) that another teacher will be at the Conservatory, or 3) that the school operations manager will be at the Conservatory.

Although there is a school operations manager, she is not always at the Conservatory on the days and/or times that I teach there. Please be reminded that she is not a babysitter. Her office does not overlook the common waiting areas. If your child is too young to stay home by him/herself, then your child is too young to be unsupervised in the common waiting area; we have several exits—the front door opens on Wilshire Boulevard—as well as an open-access kitchen.

Students who are regularly dropped off more than 5–10 minutes early and picked up more than 5–10 minutes late will be billed a $25/15-minute babysitting fee, rounded UP to the nearest ¼ hour.


Attendance

Attendance is mandatory for all scheduled lessons and Theory Group & Playing Classes, as well as for studio performing workshops and studio recitals. In addition, all students in school grades 2 must participate in the annual MTAC (Music Teachers’ Association of California) Certificate of Merit Evaluations. Students who are early readers may participate in Certificate of Merit as soon as they are able to take the written theory part of the evaluation without reading help from an adult. Students have the option of substituting the Certificate of Merit participation requirement by participating in the more difficult The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) Certificate Program examinations in both Performance & Academics (written theory/harmony/history subject examinations). Careful preparation is necessary for the RCM exams and participation for my students is highly encouraged and strongly recommended! Additional events, including festivals and competitions, will be suggested for individual students when appropriate.

Students who miss lessons, Theory & Playing Classes, studio performing workshops, or studio recitals for unexcused reasons; and students who are unprepared for Certificate of Merit will be dropped from the studio roster to open space for students on the waiting list.


Lesson Length

Lesson lengths are determined as follows (Certificate of Merit Levels):

Level: Lesson Length

  • Preschool, Pre-Preparatory: ½ hour/week
  • Levels Preparatory, 1, 2: ½ hour/week
  • Levels 3, 4, 5: ¾ hour/week
  • Levels 6, 7, 8: 1 hour/week
  • Levels 9, Advanced, Advanced Panel: 1-1½ hours/week

Longer lessons and/or more frequent lessons are recommended for:

  • Students who want extra help with theory
: add 15 minutes to regular lesson length.

  • Students who are playing at a significantly higher level than their C/M level
: add 15-30 minutes to regular lesson length.
  • Students who are pursuing more advanced study and are preparing for competitions
: double regular lesson length.


Practice Schedule

Required minimum practice schedule (written theory assignments not included):

Level: Practice Schedule

  • Preschool, Pre-Preparatory: 20 min.; 6-7 days/week
  • Levels Preparatory, 1: ½ hour; 6-7 days/week
  • Levels 2, 3, 4: ¾ hour; 6-7 days/week
  • Levels 5, 6, 7: 1 hour; 6-7 days/week
  • Levels 8, 9: 1¼ hours; 6-7 days/week
  • Levels Advanced, Advanced Panel: 1½ hours; 6-7 days/week

Longer practice sessions are recommended for students who are pursuing more advanced study and are preparing for competitions (e.g., double the required minutes per day). Progress is directly related to quality practice time. Motivated younger students should take advantage of their less demanding school schedule to build technical skills, repertoire, and musicianship before the rigors of high school.


Community Service

Community service and volunteer work are extremely important to me. I would like to encourage all of my students to participate in at least one community service program through music this year! Students in Grades 6-12 are strongly encouraged to join the MTAC Santa Monica Bay Music Students' Service League (MSSL).

Please share your music!  It is a wonderful gift to the community 

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