Studio Policy

Dear Parents,

Please take a moment to read this through and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m looking forward to working with your son/daughter in the coming months and wish them all the best for a successful, productive, and fun year!

Thank you in advance,

Caitlin 

 

2020-2021 ACADEMIC YEAR

 

IMPORTANT DATES:

Week of September 14, 2020 - lessons begin (SECOND week of school)

Weeks of December 21, 2020 to January 1, 2021 - NO LESSONS (Christmas Break)

Week of March 15 to 19, 2019 - NO LESSONS (March Break)

Week in May TBD - NO LESSONS (Midland Music Festival - Piano Week)

1 Week TBD - NO LESSONS (Flex Week TBD by Teacher)

Week of June 14 to 18, 2021 - last week of lessons (SECOND LAST week of school)

 

TUITION:

Tuition is calculated for the year, but divided equally over 10 monthly payments. Payment can be made one of two ways:

 

OPTION 1: Post-dated Monthly Cheques

All 10 post-dated cheques are due at the first lesson.

Please date cheques for the 1st day of the month and make them payable to 'Caitlin Gervais'.

If you need to withdraw from lessons part way through the year, the remaining cheques will, of course, be returned to you. However, there will be no refunds for any unused lessons already paid for in the current month at the time of withdrawal.

 

OPTION 2: Monthly E-Transfer/EMT (Email Money Transfer - through online banking)

Due the 1st of each month, sent to gracenotes.caitlingervais@gmail.com. You will receive an automatically generated invoice a few days before payment is due on the first of the month.  When setting up the e-transfer, no secret question is required as I have automatic deposit enabled.

 

For students with 30 minute weekly lessons (beginner to RCM Grade 2):
$850 for the year ($85 per month)

For students with 45 minute weekly lessons (RCM Grade 3 to RCM Grade 4):
$1275 for the year ($127.50 per month)*

* This category also applies to half hour students being picked up and dropped off at Ecole St-Joseph's or Canadian Martyrs (post pandemic).

For students with 60 minute weekly lessons (RCM Grade 5 and up):
$1700 for the year ($170 per month)

Extra lessons, periodic lessons, and theory tutoring is based on a rate of $25/half hour.

When a lesson falls on a statutory holiday, you will see a single lesson refund processed to your account on that day.  This refund will go towards lowering your following month's invoice.

 

LATE PAYMENT POLICY:

Lesson fees are billed in advance of each month.  Invoices will automatically be sent by email a few days before the start of a new month.  Payment for the upcoming month is due by the 1st day of that month (i.e. fees for March are due March 1st, etc.).  If payment is not received, an automatic invoice reminder will be generated on the 8th.  If no payment is received by the 15th of the month, an auto-generated late payment fee of $10 will be added to the following month's invoice. To avoid any late fees, it is recommended that you set up a repeating e-transfer for the 1st of each month, or, if paying by cheque, you are welcome to give me post-dated cheques for the year in September.

 

 ATTENDANCE:                                        

Other than special circumstances such as prolonged illnesses/injury or severe winter storms, all absences will result in a forfeited lesson, even with advanced notice. I am not able to rearrange lessons if something comes up or they are on vacation, etc., as my time is reserved specifically for each student and I'm not easily able to fill their spot with another student. These policies are in accordance with the Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association policies, and as an ORMTA member, I am required to adhere to. However, if you need a permanent lesson day/time change because your current time slot is no longer working for you, please don't hesitate to let me know. I will do my very best to find a spot that works better for you for future lessons. Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Below is the copy of the official Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association's Music Studio Policy. (Please note that no. 7 refers only to registered performances like exams and music festivals.)

 


An interesting article, that helps explain lesson attendance policy:

http://ottawasuzukistrings.ca/makeuplessons?goback=.gde_1798069_member_141460975

 

ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL FOR PRIVATE MUSIC INSTRUCTION:

The Education Act of the Government of Ontario provides the opportunity for students in Ontario schools to receive music instruction, often by a private music teacher and to be excused from attendance at school. In Chapter E2, Part 11, Statute 21.2(e) of the Education Act Revised Statutes of Ontario, it states: "School attendance may be excused when the child is absent from school for the purpose of receiving instruction in music and the period of absence does not exceed one-half day in any week." (Government of Ontario, 1990, p. 36)


***NEW*** for the 2020-2021 school year:

In the event of winter weather that's unsafe for travelling, or if a student is sick but feeling well enough to have an online lesson from home, I will be offering remote lessons via Zoom or Skype at your student's usual lesson time.  Please be sure to contact me first thing in the morning so I have a heads up and can plan accordingly.

 

KEYBOARD POLICY:

Having a proper instrument for practicing on is key. Purchasing a piano as opposed to a keyboard is a costly investment, but it will certainly lead to better results. A student who practices on an acoustic or a good quality digital piano will be a more successful pianist as pianos don't have the limitations that keyboards do. Although I will accept beginner students with keyboards, their keyboard must be touch sensitive (be able to control volume of sound by how hard the keys are pressed), polyphonic (be able to sound more than one note at a time), a minimum of 76 keys (88 is better), white key width of 2.3cm, and preferably be weighted keys (simulates the action of keys on an acoustic piano, rather than the feel of pressing buttons). The keyboard must also have a pedal, which can usually be purchased separately. Once a student enters RCM grades, an acoustic piano or a good quality digital piano is most definitely necessary, otherwise, it would be detrimental to your student's developing technique if they were to continue practicing on a keyboard.

 

PRACTICE:

To move along at a good pace, it is my hope that students aim to practice at least 5 days a week.  But, I also understand that in this day and age, families are busier than ever.  So I ask that parents and students work together to do their best as far as practicing goes, and understand that the more practicing that is done each week, the faster they will move along and vice versa.  My goal is to make piano lessons a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone, and not for it to cause stress in your homes.


NEW COVID-19 POLICIES & PRECAUTIONS:

Due to the ongoing pandemic, I will be going to great lengths to keep the studio clean and germ free for your students', myself and my family's safety.  Please be aware of the following protocols:

  • On the front porch, there will be a sanitizing station set up. I would ask that all students please use the hand sanitizer BEFORE entering. I would also ask that students leave any backpacks, trinkets, etc. that they don't need at home (unless they are coming straight from school, of course). 
  • After sanitizing, students will enter through the front door. They are asked to remove their footwear and wait on the mat. Once the previous student has excited the studio, the arriving student may enter and hang their coat on the designated hook and place their shoes on the designated mat in the studio. While they are doing this, I will be sanitizing the piano, doorknobs and any other surfaces that the previous student may have touched. After their lesson, students will exit via the back door (kitchen door) of the studio where they can use sanitizer again before leaving via our side entrance. Please be mindful of lesson times and be sure your student arrives and leaves promptly. If a student is late being picked up, I will kindly have to ask them to wait outside until their ride arrives. This scenario will avoid any students crossing paths in the foyer or studio.  
  • During the pandemic, I would kindly ask that parents and other family members or caregivers refrain from coming in for the lesson. During non-pandemic times, I'm quite happy to have parents and caregivers attend, but for now, we just need to limit the number of people in and out of our home as best we can. Please don't hesitate to text, email, Facebook message or leave a voice message for me if you have anything you want to discuss and I will happily get back to you when I'm not busy with a student. Thank you for your understanding.
  • Masks must be worn for lessons. Please bring your own mask (cloth or disposable) and have your student put it on outside, BEFORE using the hand sanitizer and entering, and not take it off until after they've exited our home. Please make sure students have a comfortable mask that stays on and doesn't require constant adjusting and touching of their mask.
  • Students are asked to remember their own sharpened pencil, an eraser and any and all books/binders that they need for their lessons. I will not be using my personal copies of materials during this time as it is too hard to disinfect books.
  • My studio is now equipped with two acoustic pianos, side by side, so my students and myself will not have to share a piano during a lesson and will be able to maintain better distance from one another (as best we can).
  • If students have been around anyone that has been sick, they themselves have had any symptoms of any sort of illness, or they have travelled to the GTA or beyond within the last 14 days, I would ask that students please NOT come to their lesson. I am happy to do their lesson with them remotely, at their scheduled lesson time, via Zoom or Skype, so that students won't have to forfeit their lesson. I'd rather everyone err on the side of caution during these times.

There is a high risk individual in our family, and I have a few students who are also high risk. So a huge thank you to everyone for working together during this time to help keep everyone safe and healthy!