Studio Policies

Private Lessons:  Students are expected to attend lessons on a weekly basis.  Lessons will be offered for 30, 45, or 60-minute periods, based on each student's age and level.  In addition to weekly lessons, a group class will be held once a month (in place of that week's lesson), with a focus on theory, performance, and collaboration.
Group Classes:  Group classes will be held for one hour, once a month at scheduled times.  In order to provide the best learning experience, students will be put in small groups based on their age, level, and availability.  Attendance is required and there will be no makeup lessons for missed group classes.  Parents may attend group classes to observe, but this is not required.
At the Studio:  Students should arrive a few minutes early for lessons and be prepared with all lesson books and materials.  However, please do not arrive more than 5 minutes early for lessons.  If I have a previous student, arriving early can be a distraction during their lesson, and if I do not have a student, that is my personal time, used for planning purposes. I will not unlock the door until 5 minutes before the first lesson of the day.  Parents will observe lessons for young students (see parental involvement below) and siblings are welcome, but should quietly wait in the waiting area.  If there is a lesson before yours, please enter quietly and be respectful of the previous student while you sit in the waiting room.
Parental Involvement:  Parental involvement is an important and necessary aspect of the Suzuki method.  Parents of Suzuki students are expected to quietly observe and take notes during the lessons of students in order to act as the “at-home” teacher when practicing.  The Suzuki method is designed for the parent to be much more involved in lessons and home practicing than traditional methods of teaching. The most progress is made when all three parts of the Suzuki triangle (parent, teacher, student) are involved.  The teacher will decide when the student has reached a level of independence and can take responsibility for his/her own lessons and practicing.
Electronics:  Electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops should not be in use during lessons unless they are being used to take notes or videos for home practicing use. I do understand that there are occasional times when parents may need to take a phone call or send a text during a lesson, which is fine, but parents must be attentive during lessons in order to take thorough notes.
Calendar:  Regular lessons and group classes will occur from September-May with breaks for holidays. Multiple performance opportunities (some of which are mandatory) will be available to students throughout the year and students are encouraged to perform as often as possible. Recital dates will be given ahead of time so that families can plan on being available for those events.
Summer:  Students will be required to take either 8 lessons or 4 lessons and 1 camp in the summer (June-August) in order to hold their spot for the following school year. This encourages continual practice and learning. The schedule for the summer will differ from the rest of the year, offering various options for lessons and summer camps throughout the summer months. I cannot offer refunds for missed lessons in the summer, but I can be more flexible if lessons need to be rescheduled for things that come up.
Make-up Lessons:  One week each semester will be devoted to make-up lessons only and each student will have the opportunity to make up one of their missed lessons during that week. I will not be able to make up for more than one lesson per semester. Please remember - your lesson time is reserved for you only and due to a full schedule of students, I cannot reschedule lessons during the week unless I have a cancellation. However, students may swap lessons with another student if they are unable to attend their regular lesson time. Families who choose to be on the swap list will be given a list of lesson times and contact information of other students with whom they can swap lessons. It is the parent’s (or student’s) responsibility to make arrangements with the other student. Please notify me of swapped lessons as soon as possible.
Payment: Payment must be received at the beginning of each month. Email invoices will be sent prior to the due date of the payment as a reminder. Payments can be made online or by check. If paying online, payments are due on the first of each month and can be made by clicking the link in the emailed invoice. If paying by check, payments are due at the first lesson of each month. If payments are late, an overdue notice will be sent indicating a late fee. Prices may differ between students, depending on the length of their lessons.
Practice and Preparation At Home:  Students are expected to practice daily. There is no requirement for the length of practice sessions, but students/parents can expect that practice times will increase as students advance in their studies (see attached paper for suggested practice times based on age). Students should strive to be diligent, but also efficient in their practicing: Fast practice produces slow results and slow practice produces fast results! If progress is not being made due to lack of practice, a practice schedule will be enforced and termination of lessons may occur if the lack of practice continues.
Instrument:  Students are required to have an acoustic piano at home. Exceptions may be made for keyboards at first, depending on their quality, but if a student is committed to lessons, investing in a piano is necessary. The piano should be in a quiet place without distractions.
Student Materials:  The teacher will purchase any materials/books needed for the student and add the cost to the next month’s invoice.  A library of books and other materials will be available for students to borrow for temporary use or until their own books or materials can be purchased.
Termination:  Lessons may be discontinued due to disrespectful behavior, consistent absences, unpreparedness, or if payments are not made on time. One month’s notice must be given if a family makes the decision to stop taking lessons.
Teacher Absence:  The teacher has the right to miss lessons because of illness or other commitments.  These lessons will be rescheduled or refunded.
Office Hours:  The teacher will be available to talk briefly before and after lessons.  If more time is needed, an appointment can be made or parents can reach the teacher by phone (717-512-1594) or email (rachelrennels@gmail.com).  Texting is the best option if you need an answer quickly.