Below you will find answers to some of your most frequently asked policy-related questions. All students and parents agree to follow these rules as a part of their continued enrollment. You can expect the same level of respect from me in return.
Your First, Two Lessons
If you’ve never played an instrument before, you might not know what to expect at your first, two guitar lessons. For starters, for your first, two lessons, you pay as you go – bring cash or a check with you to each of these two lessons. And if your first lesson happens to be towards the beginning of the month, at your third lesson, you’ll have to pay for the remainder of the lessons you’ll have that month.
Keep in mind that the first, two lessons allow us to get to know each other. We need to make sure that we’ll be able to get along and work together. Sometimes personalities don’t jive, or people have different expectations. It’s not personal and if it doesn’t work out, I can try to point you in another direction or towards another teacher.
Bring your guitar. Bring a guitar cable, if you have an electric. You don’t have to bring an amplifier. You’ll also have to purchase a staff paper notebook, but you really don’t have to worry about that until our second or third lesson – or if you’re totally new to the instrument, until you’re sure playing guitar is right for you.
Paying for Lessons
Bring cash or a check to the first lesson of every month. Take a look at a calendar beforehand, count the number of lesson days you’ll have for the month, and multiply by your cost per lesson. Yes, this requires a little planning, but it’s not that bad. Also, if you know for certain that you can’t make a lesson for the coming month, and you won’t be able to schedule a make-up lesson, you can pay for one lesson less for the month – but you have to tell me at the beginning of the month what date(s) you won’t be around.
Lesson Cancellations, Absences, Sickness
If you need to cancel a lesson, no problem! If you cancel the day of your regular lesson time, for any reason, you still have to pay for the lesson. Sorry, but their are no exceptions – even if you are sick. I think you can understand why I have to have this policy.
If you cancel more than 24 hours before your regular lesson time, you are entitled to a make-up lesson or credit towards your next month’s payment – your choice. Every effort will be made on my part to schedule make-up lessons the same week as the missed lesson.
A cancellation is only valid if it is made verbally, by phone, or in person! No emails. No text messages. Yes, you may leave a voice message – that counts. You have to call me at the following number: 312-350-7349. You can also tell me at any lesson that you can’t make your next scheduled lesson if you do so unambiguously. (If you just say “I might not be able to make next week’s lesson,” it doesn’t count.)
If you want to make the lesson up (which I always prefer), and you have to leave a voice message, please leave detailed information about other days and times you’re available. If you would prefer credit towards next month’s payment, that’s simple enough. Just pay for one, less lesson the next month, and let me know, when you do.
What about me? When can I, your teacher, cancel lessons? I also have to give you 24-hour’s notice for a lesson cancellation, with one exception: if I am sick, I can cancel on the same day, and you will be entitled to a make-up lesson, credit towards the next month, or refund.
Discontinuing Lessons Permanently
Just like with lesson cancellations, I need 24 hour’s notice prior to your assigned lesson time if you decide to discontinue lessons altogether. If you do not give 24 hour’s notice, the lesson will be considered a same-day cancellation; and you will be expected to pay for the lesson. This is just being courteous. Don’t be a meanie by not calling, not showing up, not paying, and never talking to me again. Besides, when I run in to you on the street it’s going to be really awkward.
Students and parents will not be refunded for lessons paid for in advance if they decide to discontinue lessons in the middle of the month or if they have lesson credits.
Cancelled or Bounced Checks
If you pay me by check and it bounces, you are expected to pay for all of my banking fees related to the bounced check. I will provide you with any necessary documentation, and you will reimburse the full amount, in addition to the month’s lessons within a reasonable amount of time.
Learning Resources and Materials
From time to time, students will be asked to purchase equipment or supplies as a part of their continued music education. Most items cost under $15, but a few might be closer to $35. Here are just a few things I may recommend that you pick up: metronome, tuner, string winder, strings, sheet music, staff paper, guitar cables, capo, music albums, or digital download songs.
When you start lessons with me, I’ll ask you to purchase staff paper from me, at cost. I buy it in bulk, so it is cheaper than going to the store to buy it. We’ll use it every week to keep track of our lessons, keep everything in one place, and actually write out music. Pretty cool. And, it’s only about $5. A worthy investment.
I also have a short, recommended list of supplies that just about every student should have. Nothing cheap here – these are the exact products that I use myself. They’re my favorites and, I think, have the best bang for your buck.
Don’t waste my time. If you’re not going to practice, I won’t teach you. I don’t want to teach you. I don’t say this to be mean – it’s just a reality of learning an instrument. It takes hard work. I expect my students to practice for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.