Studio Policy & Tuition

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 

 

2021-2022 ACADEMIC YEAR

 

IMPORTANT DATES:

Week of September 13-17, 2021 - lessons begin (SECOND week of school)

Weeks of December 22, 2021 to January 3, 2022 - NO LESSONS (Christmas Break)

Week of March 14 to 18, 2022 - NO LESSONS (March Break)

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

Week of June 13 to 17, 2021 - last week of lessons (SECOND LAST week of school)

*** PLEASE NOTE ***  I've eliminated my 'Flex Week' this year. Should I end up needing a week off due to extenuating circumstances (i.e. I get sick, bereavement, etc.) that week of lessons will just end up being tacked onto the end of the school year. So now there is one more lesson in this year's schedule (36) than there have been in previous years (35). This adjustment is reflected in the small change in tuition. 

 

TUITION:

ENROLLMENT FOR THE YEAR:

Tuition is calculated for the year, but divided equally over 10 monthly payments.  (Based on a $25/half hour rate, 36 lessons in a year.)

Payment is made monthly in advance, and can be sent via e-transfer to gracenotes.caitlingervais@gmail.com (no secret question required).

You will receive an automatically generated invoice a few days before payment is due on the 1st of each month.


For students with 30 minute weekly lessons (beginner to RCM Grade 2):
$900 for the year ($90 per month)

For students with 45 minute weekly lessons (RCM Grade 3 to RCM Grade 4):
$1350 for the year ($135 per month)*

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

For students with 60 minute weekly lessons (RCM Grade 5 and up):
$1800 for the year ($180 per month)


When a lesson falls on a statutory holiday, lessons are cancelled and you will see a single lesson refund posted to your account for that day.  This refund will reduce that month's invoice.

New students beginning mid-year will start lessons at the beginning of a month.  If a student withdraws from lessons part way through the month, there will be no refunds for any unused lessons already paid for that month, but they are welcome to continue their lessons until the end of the month.


PAY-AS-YOU-GO:

Pay-as-you-go occasional lessons and trial lessons are available at a rate of $30 per half hour and based on teacher availability.  

 

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, a handy option is to set up a recurring e-transfer for the 1st of each month.

 

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)


SEVERE WINTER WEATHER POLICY:

When the roads are unsafe to travel, please don't risk your safety for a piano lesson.  We have a couple of options: we can meet on Zoom for our lesson at our usual lesson time (assuming it's a snow day and the student is at home), or I can move their lesson to Friday of that week at their usual lesson time.  Alternate arrangements can also be made if necessary.


ZOOM LESSONS:

In the event of winter weather that's unsafe for travelling, if a student is quarantined, or they are sick but feeling well enough to have an online lesson from home, I do offer remote lessons via Zoom 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 vs. PIANO POLICY:

Having a proper instrument for practicing on is 'key' to a student's success. (Pun most definitely intended, hehe.) 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 piano or a good quality digital piano will be a more successful student as pianos don't have the limitations that keyboards do. Although I will accept beginner students with keyboards, their keyboard must meet the following criteria:

  1. It must be touch sensitive (able to control volume of sound by how hard the keys are pressed)
  2. be polyphonic (able to sound more than one note at a time) 
  3. a minimum of 76 keys (88 is better) with white key width of 2.3cm
  4. preferably be weighted keys (simulates the action of keys on an acoustic piano, rather than the feel of pressing buttons)
  5. must have a pedal which can usually be purchased separately
After the first year of lessons, an acoustic piano or a quality digital piano is really 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.  (The amount if time each day is dependent on the student's level and ability.) 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.


COVID-19 POLICIES & PRECAUTIONS:

Due to the ongoing pandemic, I will continue to keep the studio clean and germ free to the very best of my ability 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 in the designated spot in our foyer. Once the previous student has excited the studio, the arriving student may enter the studio and hang their coat on the designated hook inside the studio. During this time, I will be sanitizing the piano, doorknobs and any other surfaces that the previous student may have touched. After their lesson, students will exit the studio where they can use sanitizer again on their way out. 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 have to politely ask them to wait outside until their ride arrives.   
  • For now, 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 (not buffs or bandanas) 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, well fitting mask that stays on and doesn't require constant adjusting. 
  • 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.
  • The studio is equipped with two acoustic pianos, side by side, so students and myself will not have to share a piano during a lesson and we will by able to maintain physical distance (as best we can).
  • Lastly, before coming for a lesson, please use the Ontario covid school screening tool: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/context.  If a student doesn't pass the screening for that day, I am happy to do their lesson with them via Zoom at their scheduled lesson time, so that students won't have to forfeit their lesson. If in doubt, I'd rather everyone err on the side of caution right now seeing as most students have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated yet.

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!