Rebecca J. McFarland Clarinet Studio Policy

 

I can be reached with questions outside of regularly scheduled lessons most easily by phone (703-763-9406), email (rjmclarinet@gmail.com), or on this website. I will be sure to return your emails and calls as promptly as possible. You may reach me by text message, however please understand that I will not answer any method of contact while I am teaching, and that I will return your message as soon as I am able. Messages sent between noon on Friday and noon on Sunday will be answered as promptly as possible when I return to the office from the weekend.


Tuition

Tuition will be due in 10 equal payments between September 2018 and June 2019 regardless of the number of lessons held each month. Each student will receive up to 36 lessons per academic year (see details below). Tuition rates are as follows:

  • $35/ 30 min lesson x 36 = $1260/ academic year or $126 / month
  • $50/ 45 min lesson x 36 = $1800/ academic year or $180 / month
  • $65/ 60 min lesson x 36 = $2340/ academic year or $234 / month

If a student does not attend all 36 lessons before the end of the academic year (all dates noted on studio calendar), there will be no refunds. If a student is ill, or is unable to make their lesson time, please refer to the make up policy. Once a student has received 36 lessons, they may buy more lessons on an hourly basis (at the above rate), but it is not required. The number of lessons will be tracked in the online system. In the event of a dispute about the number of lessons that have been given, the number of lessons reflected in the online system will be the final word. 


Payment

Payment is due by the 10th of each month and may be made in the following formats:

Payments made after the 10th of the month will be assessed with a $35 late fee. If tuition is not paid by the end of the month in which it was due, the student’s regular lesson time will be forfeited to a student on the waiting list, and the student will be dismissed from the studio. 


Make Up Policy

The tuition based system guarantees that I will be available to teach each student 36 lessons per academic year. Please see the studio calendar for the dates that I will be available to teach. If a regular lesson is not held due to a holiday, a student illness, a student scheduling issue, or a teacher absence, lessons can be made up on the make up dates listed in the studio calendar. Make up lesson days will be held on pre-arranged dates, and scheduling is on a first come first serve basis. There will also be an optional “swap list” (details below) so students can trade lesson times with one another in the same week to resolve conflicts. The only make up lessons given outside of the pre-arranged make up dates, or the swap list will be in the event that the teacher is unable to be present for a regularly scheduled lesson.


Swap list policy

The swap list is an optional list that each family may choose to join at the beginning of the school year. Lesson times and family contact info (parent name, phone number, and email address) will be on the list, so that if a one-time conflict arises (for example, a band concert), you may contact another family to trade lesson times to avoid a missed lesson.

If you choose to opt in to the swap list, you agree to the following:

  1. A lesson swap must be arranged and agreed upon with 48 hours’ notice.
  2. All parties involved must treat each other respectfully.
  3. All parties involved have the right to refuse a proposed lesson swap.
  4. All parties involved must contact the teacher to confirm an agreed upon lesson swap.
  5. All parties agree that if two students show up for one lesson, the regularly scheduled student will receive the lesson, and the other student will not be eligible to make up the missed lesson.
  6. Any violation of these rules will result in immediate and permanent removal from the swap list.

Cancellation

  • If you must cancel your lesson please give me at least 24 hours’ notice via email, phone call, voicemail, or text message. If you would like to reschedule on one of the predesignated make up lesson dates, please communicate that when you cancel the lesson.
  • Should you give me less than the required notice, the absence will be considered unexcused, and will count toward the total number of lessons paid for that year. You will not be allowed to make it up on one of the make up lesson dates. 
  • If the student is sick or if there is an unforeseen emergency, their absence will be excused, and you will be allowed to reschedule on a make up lesson date. .
  • Scheduling conflicts such as band concerts, or vacations should be resolved in advance by using the swap list (48 hours’ notice required) or requesting a lesson on a make up lesson date (24 hours’ notice required). 
  • I reserve the right to cancel lessons at any time, however I will always make an effort to reschedule canceled lessons and I will always give you advance notice if possible. I reserve the right to have a qualified substitute cover lessons if necessary. 

Drop Off/Pick Up

If you do not wait for your child on location, please drop off and pick up your child in a timely manner. My schedule can be very tight, and a late arrival, or a late pickup can have significant consequences. If tardiness becomes a regular occurrence the student’s continued tutelage will be at the discretion of the teacher.


Lesson Termination

Ideally, any decision to discontinue lessons is made thoughtfully with plenty of discussion between the teacher, parent, and student so that lessons can cease with a positive sense of closure. If you choose to end lessons, the teacher needs notice by the 15th of the month. If notice is not given before the 15th, tuition for the following month will still be due whether or not lessons are taken. Note: At the discretion of the teacher, students may be dismissed at any time if they have unpaid tuition, an excessive amount of absences/unprepared lessons, or if they show lack of interest/bad attitude. In the event of a dismissal from lessons, there will be no refunds.


Inclement Weather Procedure

In the event of a snow day or any other inclement weather, please be advised that lessons are not immediately canceled if the local school districts are closed or delayed. I will send an email to all families by noon regarding lessons if the weather forecast is looking unsuitable for travel. Make up lessons will be given only on the pre-arranged make up dates.


Studio Fee

A fee of $100 will be due at the first lesson of the academic year to cover the following operational costs:

  • Recital fee (venue rental, pianist performance fees, etc.- see more information on the recitals below)
  • One solo piece per student per academic year
  • Humidifier packets as needed for students with wooden instruments
  • Plastic reeds (for students to borrow in their lesson if they do not arrive prepared with appropriate reeds)
  • Teaching supplies (Method books, practice challenge prizes, etc.)
  • Office supplies (Student notebooks, copying material, software, etc.)
  • Subscriptions (My Music Staff, Sight Reading Factory, International Clarinet Association etc.)

Recital

The studio recitals will be held near the end of the academic year as a chance for all students to perform. The cost of participating in the recital is covered as a part of the studio fee, however parents/guardians are responsible for the cost of rehearsals with the pianists that are hired to perform with students. 


Materials

In the event that materials not covered by the studio fee (books, reeds, etc.) are purchased by me for your student, I will always email before I place an order to confirm that it is alright to charge your account. If I email you and I do not hear back I will assume it is a positive response and charge your account. The only way to prevent me from ordering something is to reply to my message and tell me not to order. 


Required Materials

The following materials are required but not provided by the teacher:

  • Clarinet in good working condition
  • Mouthpiece
  • Ligature
  • Silk Swab (not felt!)
  • Pencils with working erasers
  • Minimum of 5 working reeds
  • Reed case/appropriate storage method
    • We will discuss appropriate reed storage methods at the first lesson
  • Tuner and Metronome
    • These may be approved apps on a smartphone/tablet, however the device should be in the primary possession of the student so practice time is not hindered. Physical metronome/tuner devices will most likely be the best option for focused practice.
  • Lesson notebook
    • A notebook will be provided at the first lesson- if lost, no replacements will be furnished.
  • Lesson binder (not provided)
  • Assigned lesson music, school music, audition materials, etc.
  • Cork Grease
  • Any other materials requested by teacher

Please consult with me before purchasing any new materials (ex: mouthpieces, ligatures, metronomes, tuners, clarinets, music, etcetera). I can guide you to the best, budget-conscious choices that will also serve the student appropriately. For reeds I recommend Vandoren Traditional (blue box), Vandoren V12 (grey box), or Vandoren Rue Lepic 56 (black box). I can help you choose the appropriate number or strength. You may purchase reeds directly from me by personal check, cash, or paypal (depending on what I have in stock in the studio). 


Parent/Guardian Attendance

Parents/Guardians are not required to attend their student’s lessons except for the first lesson of the school year. The first few minutes of the first lesson of the year will be dedicated to going over and signing the “Parent/Guardian Agreement to Policy Terms” form and the “Student Agreement to Expectations” to ensure that all parties understand their commitments and responsibilities when signing up for clarinet lessons.


Photo/Media Release

I want to respect the privacy of all of my students and their families, therefore please inform me if you will or will not allow photo/video/audio of your child to be used on the studio website and/or Facebook page. Please note that I will not use last names in any captions. You have the right to change your preference in this matter at any time. Please notify me immediately in the event that you no longer want media including your child on these sites and I will remove it as soon as humanly possible.


Thank you for your interest in clarinet lessons, I look forward to a rewarding musical experience together.