What’s Mr. B.’s contact info.?
Cell# : 980-329-7471
Please feel free to contact me with any questions. A phone call to clarify a practice question can make a student’s weekly practice much easier and avoid unnecessary confusion and frustration. It also makes our next lesson much more productive and will maintain your child’s enthusiasm.
What kind of lessons does Mr. B. teach?
I teach private vocal, piano, and guitar lessons mainly. I’ve been hired to teach choirs, choral workshops, music theory workshops, and song writing/composition classes as well.
Where are the private lessons held?
At my home music studio. I live in Ballantyne, and our house has a music studio with guitars, drums, keyboards, microphones, and recording technology.
What are your private lesson rates?
I use a “standard monthly rate” approach to lesson fees that entitles a student to a month’s worth of weekly lessons at their scheduled time, prorated to the duration of the lesson. The rate remains the same regardless of whether there are 4 or 5 weeks in any given month. That means that some months you will have a “Bonus” lesson at no additional cost to you. The standard monthly rate schedule is in effect all year including the summer. This simplifies the payment process and makes it easier from a budgeting and scheduling standpoint for everyone. For those who want make-up lessons for missed time due to summer vacations, it is very easy for me to do that during the summer to ensure each student gets a full month of lessons.
*All my students who began before Sept. 2017 are grandfathered in under their present tuition rate, and the new rates do not apply to them.
The Standard Monthly Rates (as of Sept. 2017)
$140 per month for weekly 30 minute lessons
$210 per month for weekly 45 minute lessons
$280 per month for weekly 60 minute lessons
*Lesson payments are due at the last lesson of each month for the next month’s lessons
How does the payment process work?
Payment is once a month and is due on the last lesson of the month for the next set of monthly lessons. One small clarification, the “last lesson of the month” is most often during the last week of the month but not always, depending on vacations and holidays…etc. For students who take extended vacations in the summer, I have the flexibility in my summer schedule to make up large amounts of missed lessons. Because of this, the tuition for June, July and August will remain the same as it is during the rest of the year.
I accept cash, checks, and all major credit and debit cards. First Data who handles about 80% of all online purchases processes my credit and debit cards. All credit and debit card information is strongly encrypted and kept at First Data. For your privacy and security, I do not keep anyone’s financial information. As of September 2015, you will also have the option to use an auto-draft option. There is a small convenience fee of 2.75% for all credit, debit, and auto-draft transactions.
How are lessons scheduled?
For simplicity, I try to stick to the same time each week, but I do rearrange lesson times when I’m able to if either the student or I have a schedule conflict.
What is your policy for cancellations, rescheduling and lesson credits?
I always try to be as flexible as possible when a student needs to reschedule a lesson, but during the school year, my flexibility is limited since my schedule is often fully booked. If a lesson is canceled by a student for any reason, the student’s lesson fee is not refunded even if we’re unable to reschedule. However, if I need to cancel a lesson I will issue a credit towards that student’s next month total if we’re unable to reschedule.
What about Teacher Workdays, Holidays and Bonus Lessons?
My lesson schedule does not always follow the CMS calendar, particularly in regard to teacher workdays and some holidays. Some of these days I will be teaching private lessons and some of them I won’t. To avoid any confusion, I will give everyone advanced notice of my schedule so that you will be able to pay the correct prorated amount for the upcoming month if it affects your lesson day.
There are a few exceptions to this policy, because of Bonus Lessons. Over the course of a year students receives about 4 Bonus lessons. Bonus Lessons occur in months where there are 5 of a particular day on the calendar. These Bonus Lessons go towards covering Labor Day weekend, Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, Spring Break, and Memorial Day weekend where I will be taking vacation time to be with my family. Since the Bonus Lessons cover these vacation days the payment amount in these months will remain the same.
What happens if we’re late?
Each lesson happens during the scheduled timeslot. I usually have lessons before and after each student and must stay on schedule so I don’t encroach on other students’ time. However, in the event that I’m late, I will still give you the full amount of time starting from when I arrive.
How do I start lessons?
Once you’ve read this entire page you will call Mr. B. and schedule your weekly lesson time. This initially reserves your time slot. Your reservation is completed once your 1st month’s payment is received. At your first lesson, you’ll sign a sheet that lists all of these policies and acknowledges that you understand and agree with them. You’ll also sign a standard photo and video release form that allows me to use student performances to promote my business. The signing of the policy sheet will be an annual requirement. The purpose of this is to avoid any misunderstandings in the future and inform everyone fully from the start of how lessons work in my studio.
What do we do if we need to stop lessons?
A student can stop lessons at the end of any month, and will need to finish out the month they paid for. The remaining balance for the month will not be refunded if they stop before the end of the month. Also, as a courtesy, I ask that I’m given at least two weeks notice before lessons are stopped. This will give me time to fill the soon to be open timeslot. If I can’t continue to teach your child I will also give you at least two weeks notice and try to recommend other teachers who are available.
What suggestions do you have for practicing?
Do it!!! More specifically, beginners should practice at least 20 min./day, intermediate students 30-40min./day, and advanced students 45-60min/day. Often times our schedules are busy and regular practice is hard to make happen. I’ve found that the best way to create a habit of regular practice is to “make an appointment with yourself” at the same time every day. That might be right after school at 4:30 or first thing in the morning at 7:00 am. The time of day doesn’t matter – it’s the fact that you keep a regular time. This one thing will propel you forward faster than anything else!!!!
When you practice make sure to cover all your assignments. I can’t stress this next thing enough……LISTEN to yourself. It’s very easy to go through the motions of doing your 20-30 minutes without listening to how you sound. Do you like how you just played? Are there any trouble spots? How can you fix them? These are some of the most important questions you can ask yourself while practicing and will lead to great success for you!
What equipment will I need for lessons?
Piano: You will need a piano or electronic keyboard that has “fully weighted” keys. Weighted keys are essential for building finger strength, flexibility, expressive technique. Non-weighted keys feel have no resistance (they feel like organ keys as opposed to the weighted feel of piano keys). For an inexpensive keyboard, I recommend the Casio CDP-120. It is usually $399.00, but you can get them for close to $350 with coupons and sales at the Guitar Center. You will also need a practice journal for me write down your weekly assignments. I will provide your books and CDs.
Guitar: You will need a guitar that is the appropriate size. I recommend starting on an acoustic guitar as opposed to an electric guitar. The acoustic guitar has more resistance which is good for building finger strength, flexibility, and technique. Classical or steel string guitars are both fine although the classical nylon strings are easier to play. The rest of the gear involves a case to store the guitar, a chromatic guitar tuner with a sweeping display, guitar picks (medium thickness), and an extra set of strings in case one breaks. You will also need a practice journal for me write down your weekly assignments. I will provide your books and CDs.
Voice: Most of all, you will need a healthy voice, so get lots of rest, drink lots of water, and try not to yell or misuse your voice. You only get one so take good care of it. You will need all of your music available for each lesson. So keep it organized in a 3 ring binder so it’s ready at all times. You will also need a practice journal for me write down your weekly assignments.
Are there any other things I should know to be well prepared?
For everyone: Be on time, be prepared with your music and equipment.
For guitarists: Be tuned before each lesson, it’s a big time saver.
*Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net