Piano Studio of Martin E. Kabule

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Studio Policies and General Information


Click here for a printable "Studio Agreement" form.

Greetings and welcome to piano lessons! In this outline you will find information about me, my teaching experience, procedures and policies of the studio and related topics. Please take a few moments to carefully review the contents of this packet.

RESUMÉ

My resumé is current to date, and contains information regarding my education, teaching experience, professional activities, performance experience and other information pertaining to my entire musical background.

CLASS CONTENT

Music is a language--and like any language, there are many basics which must be mastered prior to advancing to more complex applications. During a course of study, I attempt to cover all areas of musicianship: theory, technique, formal analysis, harmony, ear-training, sight-reading, performance, and a comprehensive study of musical literature in a progressive fashion. I truly feel that a well-rounded musical education helps students define for themselves what music means to them.

Please bear in mind that no two students are exactly alike, and children (as well as adults) learn at different rates of speed. Even brothers and sisters within families differ radically in motivation and temperament. Therefore, I approach students as individuals and attempt to challenge each according to their own unique potential. Music is not easy, and may not always be "fun". However, given sufficient time and structured practice, it does become enjoyable to master the many different aspects of this art.

BILLING POLICY

As a member in good standing with the Washington State Music Teachers Association, the Oregon Music Teachers Association, the Music Teachers National Association and several other professional music organizations, there are certain guidelines to which I strictly adhere regarding missed lessons, the billing process and late fees. These guidelines are consistently maintained, and cannot be altered as they allow the business portion of piano lessons to flow smoothly and equitably. Currently, my monthly rates for piano lessons are as follows:

30 minute lessons
45 minute lessons
60 minute lessons
75 minute lessons
90 minute lessons
$70.00/month
$105.00/month
$140.00/month
$175.00/month
$210.00/month

These monthly fees reserve a weekly time slot which works like rent one would pay for an apartment. These are flat fees to reserve your, or your child's, weekly time for lessons, whether you choose to attend or miss. Fees are charged by the month, and are not lowered nor refunded for missed lessons. Please bear in mind that, during the year, some months will contain an extra week for which there is no additional charge. It is highly recommended that you attend regularly during these months, helping you to compensate for any lesson(s) you may have missed during the year.

MISSED LESSONS AND "MAKE-UPS"

The studio shall not assume any financial responsibility for a student's absence(s). Monthly rates are flat fees, and shall not be lowered nor refunded for missed lessons. "Make-ups" simply are not possible. Please bear in mind that some months contain an extra week for which there is no additional charge. It is highly recommended that you attend regularly during these months in order for you to compensate for absence(s) you may incur during the year.

If, for some reason, a lesson must be missed, please notify me at least one week (or not less than 24 hours if possible) in advance. Please be certain to do so by telephone as e-mail is not always reliable.

TERMINATION OF LESSONS

If a student and/or parent should decide to terminate lessons at any given time during the year, the studio requires a TWO WEEK WRITTEN NOTICE. Such notice must be delivered to me (Martin E. Kauble) personally (or, if the studio is closed, the document may be deposited into the locked "drop box" by the gate latch). The studio will not accept/recognize e-mails nor telephone messages as documentation for said notice. Regardless of when appropriate notice is given, such student/parent shall be financially responsible for the following two weeks/lessons, whether the student/parent chooses to attend or be absent.

PAYMENTS AND LATE FEES

All fees for lessons are due in no later than the 10th of each month. Bills are submitted during the last week of each month for that particular month. Please do not pay in advance. If you pay by mail, please be certain to send the remittance so that I receive it by the 10th. If you have forgotten my address, simply give me a call and I will give it to you.

If you drop by to pay, and the gate is closed, please place your payment in the locked drop box by the gate latch.

PLEASE BE SURE TO REMIT BY THE 10TH. Late payments upset my personal bill-paying process as well as my personal income. It is necessary to ensure that these payments are received on time. Therefore a $10.00 late fee shall be assessed for any payments received after the 10th of each month. This late charge would best be paid at the time that the month's fee is remitted, or it will appear on the following month's statement.

If payment has not yet been received by the 15th, additional late charges at the rate of $2 per day shall be added to the original fees. If this process continues through the end of the month, such student shall be terminated by the studio and the matter shall be turned over to a collection agency for resolution.

ELECTRONIC DEVICES

Any and all electronic devices must be turned off before entering the piano studio. Such gadgets are extremely disruptive/distracting to students (and particularly annoying to me). Failure to comply with this ruling may result in the termination of lessons.

ATTENDANCE

Regular attendance of lessons is an issue of responsibility and choice on the part of parents and students. Again, the studio shall not assume any financial responsibility for student's absence(s) due to illness, weather, sports, etc. The studio shall, however, assume financial responsibility should I (Martin E. Kauble) become ill, be out of town, or cancel for any reason. The month's regular fee will then be reduced by that particular amount.

NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

There are only two national holidays when the studio will be closed, and for which there shall be no rate reduction: Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The studio will be open for lessons on all other national holidays for those who choose to be here. If you will be gone on a national holiday, please let me know as soon as possible so that I may adjust my teaching schedule to better accommodate those who will be here. Again, please bear in mind that there are no "make-ups" nor rate reduction for those choosing to be absent on national holidays.

SUMMER MONTHS

Piano lessons continue as usual during the summer months. This is a private piano studio, and does not follow any type of "academic shool year". If you and/or your family will be out of town at any time during the summer, please let me know well in advance so that I may adjust my teaching schedule.

If you should arrange any "trades" with any other families during the summer, such arrangements need to be made by the respective families and must be mutually agreeable. The studio must be made aware of any and all such arrangements, and shall not assume any responsibility for miscommunications nor financial misunderstandings.

If a student will be taking the entire summer off, such student's time slot may be reserved by paying for the time slot in full and in advance. I do not recommend this, however, since the student will lose so much progress during the hiatus. Nevertheless, the time slot will need to be filled unless the full fee is paid to reserve the time slot until the fall.

MUSIC

When the need arises, the studio shall determine which music books and supplies should be purchased. Music orders will require shipping, and may take some time. If any music needs to be ordered at the studio's expense, the studio needs to be reimbursed upon arrival of the music in order to prevent late charges.

PRACTICE AND PARENTAL SUPPORT

Sufficient scheduled practice time on a daily basis is the surest guarantee that you, or your child, will experience consistent progress at the piano. Learning the necessary skills to become proficient at the keyboard will not occur by simply going to piano lessons. It takes committed practice on a daily basis during the week to put skills covered at the lesson into motion.

Parental support is an extremely important factor in musical training. Children whose parents take an active and honest interest in their child's progress tend to be more enthusiastic and productive. I strongly urge a parent to attend the weekly lesson(s)--this way, the parent is better equipped to assist his/her child with home practice sessions.

As mentioned before: music is not easy and can, at times, become frustrating. Adults often take for granted that children are rarely self-motivated and lack the maturity (and self-discipline) to put in that all-important practice session. With commitment to learning the art of music comes the decision to practice on a regular basis. Consistent progress results in pride, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment!

SPORTS AND EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Although this is a private piano studio, and is not affiliated with any school district, it is no less an educational institution--and must be regarded as such. It is the position of this studio that piano lessons are to be treated with the same level of importance as any other subject your child may be studying in school. It is also the position of this piano studio that sporting events and other extracurricular activities are not considered valid excuses for not practicing during the week. As an instructor of piano, I would no more accept this reasoning than any other teacher at an educational institution. Sports and music may not always be mutually compatible, but need not be mutually exclusive. Please respect my curriculum and my commitment to your child's musical education by maintaining a priority level for piano studies equal to that of other school subjects--regard it as a "private extension" of academics that would otherwise be unavailable to your child.

RECITALS AND PERFORMANCES

During the year, several performance opportunities are made available to qualified students. These events provide pupils with further incentive to practice and excel, and can have a positive effect on a student's sense of accomplishment. Recitals build confidence and reinforce the concept that good practice habits result in good pianists.

When students reach an appropriate level of advancement, they will be eligible to participate in the studio's Honors Recitals. These take place each Fall and Spring at the McClelland Arts Center. The charge for the use of the facility is minimal ($40/hour), and is distributed equally among the participating students' families.

Students who take part in these programs commit to the event at least four months in advance, thereby giving ample time to prepare their respective piece(s). All music--except duets--is to be memorized. Deadlines for preparation are imposed and strictly adhered to in order to ensure that all participating students are secure with their piece(s). Those students whose piece(s) is/are not performance-ready by the deadline shall be withdrawn from the program.

Students scheduled to perform for recitals are required to attend and perform. Except in cases of family emergency or illness, students may not "drop out" from the program. Such behavior then affects the entire recital, and is not fair to the other performers (nor me!).

Performers must be at the facility no later than 20 minutes before the beginning of the recital. Participating students and their families are expected to remain for the duration of the entire recital, thereby providing ample audience and respect for all performers.

ADJUDICATIONS, SYLLABUS, FESTIVALS AND COMPETITIONS

Each year, the various organizations of which I am a member provide educational and competitive opportunities for qualified students. Such events may be offered by me to those students who seem to possess the necessary maturity, discipline, talent and temperament to participate in such events. If a student/family is interested in attending any event in order to help with making committed decisions, please let me know and I will provide you with pertinent information. Bear in mind that these opportunities require a high level of determination, more serious practice habits--and the ability to perform in a competitive arena with a high level of confidence and intensity. As is the case with recitals, deadlines shall be imposed and strictly adhered to. Students who commit to such events must be "performance-ready" by the deadline or must be withdrawn.

PARKING

Please park in my driveway, but not in front of the bay doors. Please park to the far left or in front of my truck (underneath my deck).

Please--do not use any of my neighbors' driveways for any reason. Don't forget, I have to live with them and they with me.

GROUNDS

The piano studio is part of my private residence, and must always be regarded and respected as such. Please do your part to maintain the premises for the sanctity of my home.

Please! No playing on the lawn, in the flowerbeds, around or in the water feature, etc. I work very hard to maintain these locations so that they may be enjoyed by everyone.

Feel free to enjoy the sitting area before or during lessons if the weather is nice. If you should elect to sit outside during your child's lesson, the sitting area is an ideal location to read, relax, etc. Again, all I ask is that you respect the premises.

Obviously I frown upon the disposal of gum and other debris on the premises. Please take your disposables of this sort with you.

STUDIO PROCEDURES

Remember--the studio is an extension of my private residence and must be regarded (and respected) as such. Please remove your shoes (check them before entering) during rainy weather or if they are dirty/muddy/gross underneath.

No food nor drink (except water) is allowed in the studio!

Please take personal responsibility to uphold this directive--it is very uncomfortable for me to have to continually remind people of this. If in doubt, don't bring it in...

Office hours shall be determined by the gate--if the gate is closed, the studio is closed; if the gate is open, the studio is open... it's that simple.

Please do not "drop by" after hours. If the gate is closed, assume that I have company, I'm asleep, I'm not at home, or I simply do not wish to be disturbed. The best (and most logical) approach is to call the studio and arrange a time to come by.

Do not ring the front/rear door bells of the house--nobody will ever answer.

CODA

As a piano instructor, I support and care for all of my students and their families in a very special way. One-to-one education is very concentrated, and the bond between teacher and student can grow quite strong. Nevertheless, the studio reserves the right to terminate a student's lessons for the following infractions:

  1. Inappropriate behavior toward me on the part of the student. This includes violent outlashings, swearing, defamation of character, unacceptable advances or any other displays which fall outside the realm of common respect and decency.

  2. Inappropriate behavior toward me on the part of a student's parent(s). This includes all of the above.

  3. Attendance at lessons in any type of intoxicated state.

  4. Failure to pay monthly lessons in full.

If you should arrive early for your scheduled lesson time, please wait until no earlier than five minutes before your scheduled time before entering the studio. Further, please be prompt in picking up your child after his/her lesson if you must be absent during that time. Each student is entitled to his/her privacy during lessons--please work to extend to one another this very important courtesy.

Lesson time must remain as focused as possible--siblings are welcome to attend provided they remain still and quiet. It is very difficult and tense if I have to teach while a sibling is walking/running/jumping around and making various noises during a lesson. Please take the initiative to remove a sibling from the studio should this situation begin to arise. Again, it is very uncomfortable for me to remind a parent of this procedure should the need arise, so please help me to keep the atmosphere of the lesson time free from such annoyances.

If you have any questions, please call my studio at (360) 423-3072 at any time. An answering machine is on 24/7, and this number does not ring my private residence. Simply leave a message-I'll return your call at my earliest convenience.

Thank you for taking the time to read and understand what I expect from myself, my students and their families. I look forward to our musical journey together!

Sincerely,
Martin E. Kauble, NCTM




Click here for a printable "Studio Agreement" form.

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