Exact policies differ slightly depending on venue and medium. Here is a general outline of my expectations from students
Exact practice needs of each student depends on age, goals, and other factors. Expectations are set on a case-by-case basis. However, *all* students are expected to practice outside of band and lessons at least twice per week. Band class is not an acceptable alternative to practice, and lessons are not ‘tutoring’ for band class in a traditional sense. Students struggling in band should generally take that up with band directors, as curriculum between lessons and band (while related) are not the same. Students in lessons typically excel in band not because we cover band music, but because we cover the mechanics of the instrument, and we spend our time becoming more fluent music readers. Very specific assignments and objectives are kept in a shared Google doc and I expect that said document is referenced while practicing.
It is a given that students arrive at lessons with their instrument and music. It is not a bad idea to have a secondary backup instrument, and such things can be found very cheaply on eBay and elsewhere on the internet. It is not my responsibility to provide music or instruments in the event that it is forgotten or lost. Often, in the case of lost music, I have and can share a digital copy, if I am notified in a timely manner. Parents– your children benefit greatly from your help with organization and calendar keeping!
For lessons taught virtually, it is imperative that students have a music stand, a chair, quiet space, and a stable internet connection. In the event of a poor connection, I will ask for adjustments to be made. It is highly advisable that students have a ‘place’ to practice, with a stable chair and a music stand. This encourages focus, and having a physical space for practice encourages having a mental space for practice as well.
Attendance and Make-up Lessons
I ask for one week of notice for changes in schedule for reasons such as vacations and school functions. If a student is feeling ill, I will accept cancellations and make-up requests *the night before*, no later, and I will check with the student’s band teacher to confirm. If a student goes to school that day, it is expected that he or she will also attend lessons, including Fridays before three-day weekends. Leaving early for vacation is not a valid reason for missing a lesson, unless I am notified a week or more in advance.
I will absolutely not honor cancellations and make-up requests issued the day of the lesson, for any reason (although a heads-up is still welcome). I will consider extreme emergencies on a case-by-case basis, and I will ask for verification.
These policies are not personal judgments on character, and I do not take breaches of this policy personally. I recognize that things happen. They happen to me as well. Please understand however that it is my responsibility to ensure equitable, fair instruction for all of my clients.
Different venues have different payment policies, but I always seek equitability in payment. My personal payment options are quite flexible, and include monthly invoices payable via cash, check, credit card, PayPal, Venmo, and Zelle. I will work with students in moments of heightened need in terms of attention or financial difficulty, to the degree that it is possible. I have limited financial aid available, and often employ students to help with studio tasks.