Thank you for allowing me the privilege of teaching your child piano and percussion! I believe music is for everyone and can be enjoyed with the right introduction and tools. I have a passion for teaching and experienced enthusiasm for the instruments I teach. I belong to many organizations that will benefit you or your child for piano, percussion, mallet instruments, and the music business. Please use me as a resource. Thank you for placing your trust in me as a mentor. I know that the following policies seem perhaps tedious and formal, but I find that more info rather than less makes for better relationships and less confusion. In order to take full advantage of our tie together, I have established the following policies for 2020:
- As your teacher I will be prepared and present to teach 40 weeks per year. Students will have 36 individual lessons and 2 recitals. I will be taking the month of AUGUST off for professional development so I can continue to be the most up to date teacher and performer possible.
- I will develop curriculum specifically for each student, to match learning style, interests and goals.
- I will provide an enthusiastic, supportive and positive environment, utilizing a variety of educationally sound methods and materials.
DRUM LESSONS & PIANO LESSONS: Ages 7+ through adults are usually 45 minutes. For younger children, ½ hour may be more appropriate and this will be accessed with parent. All styles and levels through advanced.
MARIMBA/MALLET lessons are 45 minutes long (special arrangements can be made to use a school marimba or xylophone for practice, smaller mallet instruments can also be purchased at certain music stores, see instructor for advice.). Music Theory is included with mallet lessons. Longer lessons are always available, please discuss with instructor and parent. Beginning to intermediate.
Students younger than 7 years will be evaluated on a case-by case basis whether they will be able to focus and uphold a practice regimen. Younger students are greatly helped by having a practice partner (an adult).
Lesson Times: I try to work with each of my students in order to give them the most convenient lesson time. Please be as flexible as possible when informing me of your available times.
Location and Schedule: Piano & Drum lessons are offered at my home studio in Milwaukie OR. To give everyone as productive and uninterrupted of a lesson as possible, it is very important that you observe the following:
- Please enter at the rear mudroom door no more than 5 minutes before your lesson time, unless otherwise instructed. Please remove shoes unless needed for some drum lessons (per instructor). Drummers enter and go to the basement studio. Pianists may enter the living room through study and start Hanon warm-up if instructor is not yet present.
- My break/transition times are designed to help me re-group, organize, breathe, and do other necessary things to assist me in teaching you most efficiently. Because of this, I ask that you not arrive early or stay later than your lesson time.
- To help prevent the spread of illness, students must wash their hands before playing the piano or starting a drum lesson.
- If you are more than 15 minutes late picking up your child, a $5 charge will be added to the monthly tuition fee per every 15 minutes of being late.
- Parents are required to be available during lessons (either at the lesson or via cell phone). In the event of an emergency, if a parent cannot be reached, you agree that I will be permitted to exercise my discretion in providing care and treatment for your child. Parents agree to hold me harmless for any such care and treatment decisions. As a clinician and teacher of percussion in the schools, I carry an up to date first aid card, have Epi-pen and Glucagon training, and am background-checked in several districts.
- The studio is my home as well as a professional environment for learning. Please do not bring small children or animals into the home (the resident dogs and official greeters will get stressed out) and the student needs to have a lesson time free from distractions from younger siblings.
Attendance: Regular and prompt attendance is required to make appropriate progress. If you are unable to make it to a lesson, please call me, email me, text me, or leave me a message. email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or my cell: 503-704-1934 (René Ormae-Jarmer). SEE MISSED LESSON POLICY.
A yearly, non-refundable $50 registration/materials fee for new and returning students (not to exceed $50 per returning family) is due by your anniversary of start date to reserve a place for the year.
Private Piano Lessons: Tuition for 30-minute private lessons is $1,740 divided into 11 monthly payments of $145. At this price, the student is guaranteed that I will be prepared and present to teach 36 weeks per year, includes 2 recitals and additional opportunities for performance classes. As students advance, their lesson time will need to increase. Tuition for 45-minute private lessons is $2,280, divided into 11 payments of $190. NOTE: NO TUITION OR CLASSES IN AUGUST. You will be notified of any additional costs for materials such as books or special projects. Payment is due in advance, by the 1st of every month. A $10 late fee is assessed for payments received after the 10th of the month. Families should expect a yearly increase in tuition appropriate to cost of living increases and services offered. Cash, Check, PayPal is accepted. To avoid PayPal fees, please use “Friends & Family”.
Summer lessons, with the exception of AUGUST are encouraged as I do teach year round (with breaks, see 2020 schedule). Protect your investment by not letting large amounts of time go by without continuing to learn music. With any music instrument, it only takes about 2 weeks to lose at least a month or two of progress. So continuing year round is highly encouraged. Students who take entire summers off end up having to relearn about a month’s worth of lessons to catch up to where they left off instead of going forward. Gaps in the summer schedule mean that I will unfortunately have to fill the lesson time with another student and you may not be guaranteed the same spot in the fall schedule. Schedules are always in motion however, so I will try my best to accommodate. See the new 2020 schedule and you will see that there are already some summer weeks scheduled off as part of the studio schedule.
After years of bumping forward payments and making up lessons (many of which are again missed), I am now moving to a very common no makeup lesson policy. I am doing this to make it easier for everyone for payment, scheduling, and to reduce stress regarding makeup and bumped lessons.
Because specific times are set aside for specific students, a student who does not attend a lesson will simply miss the benefit of that lesson. Tuition covers far more than the scheduled lesson time with your child, so you do not need to worry that missing a lesson means wasting money. I frequently use missed lessons to plan for your child’s progress, locate materials, planning, strategizing, etc. See the "Where Does My Tuition Go?" brochure for more details. There are no refunds or discounts given unless I am unable to teach the promised number of lessons as I have built in FLEX weeks to be sure to fulfill the set amount of lessons per year. If I miss a lesson, I will make myself available to make up that lesson within ONE month or schedule it in to the FLEX week. There are many options below for a lesson that is missed. I do need 24 hours notice for cancellations, and any no call/no show lessons are forfeited. A forfeited lesson counts as a lesson taught since I was present to teach the lesson and time was set aside for the student. Communication is important and I do care about my students and families and don’t want to worry, so if you miss a lesson, I would appreciate an email or text.
Missed Lesson & SWAP LIST Options:
- Phone or “Zoom” lessons during the student’s regular lesson time are also an option. Video feedback lessons are also an option. The student sends in a video of their practice on a piece and I provide feedback via email.
- In the case of inclement weather—please check your email lesson status.
- Lesson swaps: Families of private students may trade their lesson time with another student (“Lesson Swap”) to help avoid absences. Here are the rules of a the lesson swap:
- I must be informed prior to and after arranging a swap.
- No make-up lessons will be given if any confusion from this arises.
- Should 2 people arrive at once, I will teach the one whose lesson is normally at that time.
- Please inform me if you do not wish to have your name included on the swap list.
- The swapped lessons must be the same length or shorter, but not longer.
- Swapping lessons is done by families. The teacher is not involved in the process.
- Please let me know if you are OK with being on the Swap E-Mail List. The swap list is updated several times a year.
Students who are ill should not come to piano lessons. I reserve the right to send a student home if they arrive sick. Sick child policy: Students are not allowed to come to lessons if they are too ill to go to school, have flu like symptoms, i.e. cough/fever/vomiting/runny nose/eyes. If students are only mildly ill, please email me and we can do a phone or Zoom lesson. If you have a computer with a camera close to your piano or a laptop that you can move close to the piano, please create a free Skype account and add my name to your contacts (or add my phone to your Facetime). I am in the process of setting up Zoom.
Please keep in contact with me regarding your child’s progress and practice habits. On occasion I have a student quit without my ever knowing that there were struggles with practice, commitment, or habits. With open communication, your music teacher can address these issues so the student can overcome challenges and benefit from a life-long love of music. I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR A KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH ME REGARDING PRACTICE PROGESS OR LACK OF…..
Email is my most efficient method of communication email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or you may call me at my phone: 503-704-1934.
At times, I will post schedules, make announcements, and write articles on the blog using student’s first names only (no pictures). Pictures and videos of my students may be posted periodically on my website with no names attached. Student’s music and recordings from studio competitions may be posted on the blog for the benefit of helping other teachers and students. By signing this agreement, you are giving permission for pictures of your students to be used for marketing purposes for Rene’s Drum and Piano Studio only. Any other uses are on a case by case basis with permission of parent/guardian.
Recitals and Opportunities:
Many opportunities for recitals and other events occur every year. I keep my students informed of these opportunities through a periodic newsletter or emails. I do require my students to participate in all studio activities including our fall and spring recital. Each recital is usually followed by a reception for the students depending on the facilities. Parents are encouraged to bring a snack to share (preferably a healthy, no nuts option).
Books and Materials: I will let you know what books are necessary for the student's progress, and fees will apply for reimbursing me. I keep and provide most all books, however if needed, most books can be purchased at Rhythm Traders, Harmony Road Music, Portland Music Co., and Trade Up Music. It is important that books be purchased in a prompt manner, so most of the time I have them on hand and you may purchase them from me directly. I understand the expense that books can incur, and I promise that I will only choose books that I think are necessary and beneficial for the student's progress.
It’s best to have a bag dedicated to music lessons for sticks and other supplies….. This will be used to keep assignments, handouts and Home Practice Journals in order.
For Piano Students:
Materials and books will be provided at the beginning of each Term, or throughout the
year. Please pay for them when you receive them.
The student needs to have an acoustic piano at home, a metronome and a foot stool if
they cannot reach the floor. Talk to me about finding a good instrument.
Digital Disadvantages: The problem with digital pianos is that they can't really duplicate the tone
and touch of a real piano. Even with today's technology individual notes may be quite accurately
reproduced, but the tone of notes sounding together, as in an acoustic piano - with complex
harmonics mixing and resonating against a flexible wooden soundboard - cannot be matched. As a result, most music sounds rather sterile played on a digital piano. Digital pianos don't feel like real pianos. "Touch Sensitivity" and "Weighted Action" is not the same thing as the sophisticated inner mechanism, or "action", of an acoustic piano. Digital pianos merely simulate the touch of pianos and don't provide the same feedback or responsiveness to your playing, so your performance range is limited. Digital pianos are counter-productive when it comes to technique and dynamic performance. These skills cannot be practiced on a digital keyboard and then applied to a real piano action. It's not the same thing. A real acoustic piano also represents a stronger commitment to a student and calls for more respect, as opposed to a digital keyboard that may represent the same thing to a child as a computer, an electronic game-station or a CD player. Something else to consider is that an acoustic piano, that can last 100 years and will hold its value far better than a digital piano or synthesizer/keyboard.
For Drum Students:
A high quality full size practice pad, sticks from Vic Firth in both 5a and MS2 Corpsmaster, at least a snare are required. Also, at some point a drum set will be required. It is possible to do the first couple of months without a drum set, but let’s consider that when your student wanted to sign up for drums, he or she did not imagine themselves standing at a single drum. The entire drum set is also taught along with rudimental, orchestral, and other percussion family instruments. No one learns to drive a car without a car. Please see me for tips on how to choose a drum set used or new. There are options for quieting in the home environment and for ear protection.
Practice Time and Other Requirements:
~I will recommend an appropriate amount of daily practice time that will be in line with the student’s music goals. Success in music required a combined effort between teacher-student-parent. Notebooks and practice books are very important to bring to each lesson to record progress and assignments. Students must also have the proper equipment at home.
~ Even if a student has not made time to practice, there is always something to learn. However, practice is important, and I recommend at least ½ hour to one hour per day. It is important for students to develop, with parental support, a regular time set aside for going over the lesson so progress can be made.
~I have a variety of parental support materials and instructions so that practice does not create tension between the parent and student. It takes time and patience to help a new music student create the habit of practice. Please see me for help in this area. PRACTICE IS NOT PUNISHMENT! It should always be approached in the most positive way possible. See instructor for help and inspiration in this area if needed.
A note about distractions: with today’s technology and family activities, sports, busy work schedules, it is imperative that practice be SCHEDULED IN a consistent manner. Protect that time, set up a habit, and it will be part of your life in a positive way instead of a battle. Please communicate with me regarding practicing issues.
Practice on a piano is required to make progress. Please try to have your piano tuned at least once a year (the best times are spring and fall). Practice on a pad, snare drum, and yes a DRUM SET is crucial for progress for the drummer. Without these tools, progress will be slow. Students need support of not only a teacher, but the right equipment.
A Metronome (for drummers one with an ear phone jack) is necessary for all students. These days, a good app for the phone is fine. Fingernails must be kept short at all times. Parents should plan to attend their child’s lesson at least once every 3 months. This helps keep you in touch with your child’s progress, accomplishments, and difficulties.
Each Student agrees to arrive at each lesson on time, well-prepared and with the required music books. I recommend having a special bag for all music items. Please arrive hydrated and nourished, bring a water bottle if needed. Thirsty and hungry students have an especially difficult time concentrating. A healthy snack (not a sugary or caffeinated one) will help the learning process.
Dismissals and Termination:
If for any reason you must stop lessons, 2 weeks notice is required. At that time, I will pro-rate the tuition for your final month to reflect the number of lessons that you have received based on the last lesson date. You will be required to pay this balance. Regrettably, I will have to dismiss a student if any of these circumstances occur:
*Failure to pay tuition on time *Persistent absences
*Uncooperative attitude *Failure to follow practice as instructed
*Lack of progress due to insufficient practice or unfulfilled requirements
Thank you for abiding by these policies to help your child’s piano lessons be the most productive and efficient! Thank you also for the privilege of allowing me to teach you! I look forward to a great year.
Extreme Emergency Cases:
A trip to ER, car accident on the way to piano lesson, death in a family. I will do my best
to find time for one make-up per Term in these cases.
Snow/Freezing Rain Days:
Lessons are done via Zoom, FaceTime, Video, or a phone at a regular lesson time.
Any lesson that I have to cancel will be made up in a timely manner within 1 month or FLEX week.
Parking: Please, pull through to the right and park so that the next lesson can continue through the loop.
This studio is the extension of my private residence, so, please, remove your shoes.
*NEW--Dogs and the “Greeting Committee”: As most everyone who chooses to study at my studio knows, I have two dogs, Ruby and Tana. They LOVE people and get very excited and want to be a part of the lesson. I am training them to become good studio dogs and always inform anyone who studies with me that I have dogs. Most of the time, they are either in day care, busy with a “babysitter” bone, or sequestered by my awesome family. However, please help me to make everyone comfortable by allowing me time to transition between lessons, make arrangements for them, etc. I would never have any animals at my studio that would pose a threat, so meeting them for first lesson is crucial, then they will be your best friends. It is a liability issue to have any other foster dogs at the studio, so be assured that if I do (which I do once in a blue moon) that the dog will be researched and safe for all. This being said, please be sure that small children and strangers to the studio are known to me so we can be assured not to distress the dogs or visitors. I will do my best to assure safety at all times, however, in this new year policy, by signing below, you hold me unaccountable for any and all possible issues regarding the resident dogs. Any outside or new visitors to the studio need to be known to me before the lesson. Also, please do not allow the dogs to escape, they both are “bolters” and we live on a busy street and it’s extremely dangerous for them and the traffic outside the house.
Photo & Video Release Form:
Photos of students as well as video and audio recordings of student
performances may be posted online and used by the instructor for
promotional materials and studio newsletters. If you do not wish for your
child’s picture to be posted online, simply write me an exclusion request.
Rene’s Drum/Piano Studio