Studio Policy

Tuition & Payments
Tuition is based off the length of student lessons. Payments for lessons can be made by check, money order, credit card, or online via PayPal. Payments by cash will be accepted on occasion, however, it is not preferred.
 
Discounted Cash Rate – Payment via check/money order/cashiers check/cash

  • 30 minute Weekly Lessons    =   $115 monthly payment
  • 45 minute Weekly Lessons    =   $172 monthly payment
  • One hour Weekly Lessons     =   $230 monthly payment

 
Standard Rate – Payment via Credit Card or Online

  • 30 minute Weekly Lessons    =   $119 monthly payment
  • 45 minute Weekly Lessons    =   $178 monthly payment
  • One hour  Weekly Lessons    =   $238 monthly payment

 
Payment for lessons is due on the 20th prior to each new month of lessons. The payment for 1st month of lessons is always a full month, no matter what the starting date is. The 2nd month will be pro-rated to reflect any overpayment in the 1st month. 
Each following month will be the same payment, regardless of how many lessons are in the month. Your payment by the due date is greatly appreciated. You can pay online, by mail, or by dropping off your payment at the studio.
 
Checks need to be made payable to: Musical Accents
Mail payments to: Musical Accents, 8802 Deerwood Dr, Rowlett TX 75088
 
If you’re absent or the studio is closed, your payment is still due by the 20th of the month before the new month of lessons.  If your payment hasn’t arrived by the 2nd of the lesson month, you will be charged a $15 late fee, which is due immediately.  If you haven’t paid for lessons by the 5th of the following month, you will be removed from the schedule. Please talk to your instructor if there are special circumstances and we will try to work with you as best as we can. Regarding Bounced Checks: You’ll have to pay a $10 bank fee if you bounce a check, $10 for each bounce. Typically, checks bounce twice.  Tuition may be adjusted annually.
 
Student Withdrawal Notice
In the event that you need to cancel lessons, you will be required to provide a 30-day notice (via email or written) prior to leaving. Before you make that decision, please speak with your instructor about your situation. We require notice because it takes a lot of time & effort to fill specific time slots. Failure to provide a 30-day notice will result in cancellation fees determined by your lesson length:

  • 30 Minute lessons = $57.50 Cancellation Fee
  • 45 Minute lessons = $85 Cancellation Fee
  • 1 Hour lessons = $115 Cancellation Fee

  
Understanding Tuition Costs
Do you ever wonder where your tuition dollars go? Here is some insight on what your fees cover so you can better understand what we provide for you:

  • Teacher Experience
  • Teacher Formal Education & MTNA Certification
  • Teacher connections with other professionals in the industry
  • Time spent with student in lessons
  • Time spent planning student lessons
  • Creating customized video lessons & backing tracks to supplement lessons
  • Trips to music store
  • Shipping costs associated with music
  • Sales, Property, and other taxes
  • High Quality Instruments (Professional quality acoustic and digital instruments)
  • Upkeep of all instruments
  • Planning recitals, workshops, & all other events
  • Time spent at recitals, workshops, & all other events
  • Teacher Development
  • Teacher salary
  • Teacher retirement

 
Other Fees

  • Registration & Technology Fee

An Annual Registration & Technology Fee of $50 is due at the first lesson, along with the 1st month payment. This Registration & Technology Fee is a yearly fee and will be due again on the month you started lessons. Students who are currently taking lessons (as of Sep 1st 2015) will pay the fee by January 15th yearly (1st week of Spring Semester). Here is what this fee covers:
 

  • Administrative time & logistics
  • Studio subscriptions to various sheet music & music technology websites/apps
  • Setup & continued maintenance of Student Dropbox & Evernote Folders
  • Reservation of your time slot

 

  • Consultation Fee

Prior to signing up, a consultation is highly recommended. This gives the teacher, student, & parent an opportunity to evaluate, ask questions, and participate in a ‘mini-lesson’. A 30 minute consultation fee is $30. An hour consultation fee is $55. This does not apply to your lessons – it is a separate fee prior to signing up for lessons.
 

  • Performance Fees

There are many performance opportunities throughout the year. Fees are required in order to ensure a quality venue, hire personnel (if necessary), and sometimes provide a reception. The majority of events fees are due 4 weeks prior to the event date.
 

  • Fall Recital at Mesquite Arts Center = $10
  • Spring Performance Recital = $25
  • SummerJAM = $50 

 
 
 
 
Music Orders
Music (sheet music, lesson books, digital music, etc) orders are placed throughout the year, depending on the students’ particular need. You are required to purchase & have materials designated by the instructor, depending on the program and curriculum. First time students will receive information on how to purchase materials in their lesson, with a follow-up email. The most convenient way to order music is via Amazon or directly through the publisher via website. If you have issues ordering the music, the studio can place the order for you. All monies for music orders must be received before an order is placed.
 
Calendar
A calendar of studio events, payment reminder dates, studio breaks, & Student/Teacher makeup weeks is available on the studio website (“Resources” then “Calendar”) and in your Student Dropbox folder, under “Resources”. Please refer to this calendar in advance to avoid possible schedule conflicts.
 

There are a total of 46 possible lessons scheduled in the yearly calendar (including 2 student makeups & 2 performance events which count as lessons) & 8 studio breaks each calendar year. Most studio break weeks coincide with school breaks (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break). Lesson days that fall on these holidays (Memorial Day, July 4th & Labor Day) will be rescheduled. Since the majority of students/families prefer not to attend lessons on these ‘Holidays’, rescheduled lessons will be worked in based on student & studio availability. 

 Student Makeup Lessons
Each student will have the opportunity to makeup 2 lessons throughout the year. The Student Makeup Weeks will occur on:

  • Last week of Fall/Winter 1 Semester (right before the Winter Holiday Break)
  • Last week of Spring Semester (right before Summer Break 1).

 
Students that haven’t missed any lessons will have the option of attending, giving them a ‘Bonus Lesson’. Make-ups will only be allowed during these 2 weeks. The only exception is if a student misses 2 or more lessons leading up to a performance event; there may be an opportunity to schedule a makeup pending the studio availability. Another makeup alternative involves a Skype internet lesson. If you have a high quality web camera (or tablet with high-quality cam), then we can conduct an online lesson during your scheduled lesson time. There are no refunds for missed lessons and you can’t deduct a missed lesson from the next month’s payment. Your lesson time is paid for in advance and the instructor is paid to be available within that time frame.
 
Teacher Makeup Lessons

In the event that the instructor has to cancel due to an emergency or unplanned event, makeup lessons will be scheduled at a time that works best for the student.


Studio Opportunities

  • Programs – There are a variety of programs & curriculums available that can be tailored for each individual student, regardless of their age & skill level. Certain programs require a level of commitment: Casual, Consistent, Committed. These levels are defined in the practice section below. More info on the music programs can be found on the website – www.musicalaccents.net/piano-programs :
    • Traditional (Casual, Consistent, Committed)
    • Jazz (Consistent, Committed)
    • Contemporary (Casual, Consistent, Committed)
    • Blended: A combination of traditional blended with contemporary (Consistent, Committed)
    • Recreational Music Making (Casual, Consistent)
    • College Prep (Committed)
    • Ensemble/Band (Casual, Consistent, Committed)
    • Guitar (Casual, Consistent, Committed)

 
 

  • Performance Opportunities: There are a total of 4 scheduled performance events hosted by the studio each year:
    • Fall Recital – Mesquite Arts Center
    • Holiday Recital – NorthPark Mall
    • Spring Recital – First Christian Church of Rowlett
    • SummerJAM – Plaza Theatre in Garland

All students under the age of 18 are expected to perform at least 2 of these events. Adults have the option of participating yet highly recommended as it is an integral part of musicianship and developing confidence in performance. Remember, two of these events count as scheduled lessons. My goal is to help students develop self-confidence, stage-presence, and discipline while expressing musical creativity. 
 

  • TMTA Student Affiliate Program: Students under the age of 18 have the unique opportunity to participate in state-sanctioned events through the TMTA (Texas Music Teachers Association). More details are available on the website: www.musicalaccents.net/tmtaprograms  A yearly fee of $10 is due by the middle of September in order to participate in the following opportunities:
    • State Theory Exam
    • Composition Contest
    • World of Music Exam
    • Performance Contests
    • Piano Ensembles

 

  • Studio Examinations & Testing:
    • Piano Curriculum Series – This new program is a year-long study of music (repertoire, sight-reading, theory, ear-training, music history) which culminates with an examination at the end of Spring. Students can learn at their own pace and enter at any grade level. Highly recommended to those who seek a challenging program that is graded & self-paced, allowing the student to participate in other studio events without the typical pressure of most examination programs.
    • Musicianship Exam – This studio exam (taken in the Spring) offers an opportunity for all students to test in these areas: Theory, Ear-Training, & Sight-reading. Students under the age of 18 who don’t take part in the TMTA exam will be recommended to take this exam. Adults have the option to participate as well.

 

  • Festivals: Piano Festivals are events where students can play up to 2 pieces of a certain genre and perform solely in front of a judge. They will receive a certificate and specific remarks regarding their performance. Some festivals offer a 2nd round, which is a competition round and students can win cash & trophies.
    • Hymn Festival
    • Jazz/Pop Festival – Includes competition round.
    • Contemporary Classical Festival – Includes competition round.

 

  • Competitions: This year, the studio has made it a priority to find & enter students into a variety of competitions. These events allow students to compete against others with similar skill level and are great incentives to practice and prepare for. Some types of competitions the studio will be entering students into this year:
    • Classical Piano Performance
    • Contemporary (Pop) Piano Performance
    • Jazz and/or Pop Composition
    • Jazz Performance
    • Technology-Related Competition

 
 
Technology:
 

  • Evernote: Every student will be synced to the Evernote app - a hub for students, assignments, recordings, other media, important notes, assessments, and anything else digital-related. Students will use this daily during practice & parents will use this to keep track of students progress & practice. This is available for all devices & computers - on Android, iOs, and downloaded app for PC or Mac.

 

  • Youtube: Every student will have their own ‘Youtube Playlist’, which will contain an assortment of videos: Recitals & other performances, studio recordings, tutorials, and recommended videos to watch.

 

  • Recording: During the lesson, there may be a need to video/audio record a segment of the lesson for reference the following week. When the need arises, I will record segments of the lesson and upload to Evernote so the student can use as a resource during their practice. Students also have the ability to record their practice from home using Evernote.

 

  • Computer Workstation: Students have the ability to study & practice music theory/ear-training drills outside of their lesson time in the waiting area. The computer workstation is designed to give students exposure to area needing more time than the weekly lesson allows. Customized theory drills will be assigned to students throughout the year (www.musictheory.net & Tenuto app) and students can work on these drills at the workstation, with headphones, which will help with concentration.

 

  • iPad: Students that have access to an iPad will use this in their lessons and as an aid to practice. The apps encompass all aspects of music learning and will be an integral part of our lessons. If you don’t have an iPad, we will still use the studio iPad in lessons to reinforce/learn concepts. Those with Android tablets can still use them in lessons for recording, Youtube, Evernote, theory websites, and apps for both platforms.

 

 
Studio Music Library: Students wishing to borrow music from the Musical Accents Lending Library may do so by checking our materials for a maximum of four weeks.  The lending library serves as an excellent tool for sight-playing materials, reviewing repertoire, watching videos, and listening to music.
 
Practice Expectations
Students are responsible for practicing & completing assignments given to them.  Students must also remember to bring the following materials to lessons:

  • Organized Binder with pockets for handouts
  • All books currently in use (even is no piece is assigned in a book that particular week)
  • iPad, Tablet, Smartphone (optional – if the student has access)

 
Commitment Levels: Certain programs require a level of commitment; please see Program section above:

  • Casual – Only available to adult students. Practice schedule is inconsistent due to work-related activities. It is recommended to practice 2-3x a week with one of those being the day after lesson.
  • Consistent – The typical student falls into this category. Practice 4-5x a week and takes part in most of the studios events & performances. Adults have the option of performing.
  • Committed – Serious students with aspirations of performing and/or studying music at an advanced level. Practicing every day is recommended, along with taking part in all performances, festivals, and some competitions.

 
Guidelines to facilitate effective practicing:

  • Maintain practice time at a daily minimum arranged with your instructor:

         30 minute lessons = 20 minutes daily:  5 days a week
         45min – 1Hour Lessons = 30 minutes – 1 Hour daily:  5-6 days a week

  • Practice directly after your lesson and the day after – the most effective & best time to practice!
  • Give practice time the same priority as homework and/or other daily activities.
  • Schedule practice at a regular time every day.
  • When desired, break practicing into smaller sessions to help maintain concentration.
  • When practicing, avoid distractions such as television, pets, visitors, phones, or interruptions for chores.
  • Regularly review daily all items listed on the Student Assignment Sheet (Dropbox)

 
Proper Studio Use

  • Please wait in studio waiting room unless you are a parent observing lesson for the purpose of helping the student during their practices at home.
  • Students may practice on the keyboard in the studio waiting room to warm-up. Please use headphones that are provided.
  • No open containers with liquid or food allowed.
  • Computer is allowed for music educational purposes only. Training will be provided by instructor.

 
Involvement of Parents or Guardians

  • The adult’s most important role is to listen to the student with encouragement and enthusiasm.  I recommend that parents or guardians sit down with the student at least once a week to see that all assignments are practiced and to offer support. Young beginner students (Age 5-8) need adult parents or guardians to be present at every practice.
  • Parents or guardians should provide a piano that is well-tuned & maintained (at least once every 6 months) acoustic piano or an electronic keyboard. There are certain minimum requirements involved when purchasing an electronic keyboard. It needs to be at least 76 keys (88 is preferred) and have semi-weight action keys. If the keys are light-weight, then the student will have trouble playing a traditional piano, whether it be in the lesson, recital, or at school. Also, a metronome (digital or app), and a quiet place to practice is extremely important. Materials will be discussed in the first lesson and will be emailed promptly.
  • The parent’s or guardian’s responsibilities include bringing the student to lessons on time, and picking them up on time. If dropped off early (no more than 10 minutes), then students may wait in the studio waiting area practicing on the studio keyboard, studying on the computer workstation, or just relaxing.
  • Cars may park outside directly in front of the studio. If no parking is available, please park on the same side of the street where the studio is located.
  • Parents are encouraged to call me if there are any concerns or questions.  It is my goal to give your child a positive learning experience in a supportive and musical environment.  Calls can be made between the hours of 10:00am-9:00pm to 972-333-3677. I can also be reached by email: steve@musicalaccents.net. Contacting by email is preferred unless you need to speak in detail about a particular matter.

 

 

For online piano lessons, please visit:

www.onlinepianostudios.com