Bornstringed Studio Policies
Lessons will be held weekly except for school holidays. I don't have any plans to travel until the week of Thanksgiving, but if something does pop up I will do my best to inform you at least a week in advance and will work with you to reschedule lessons.
If your student needs to miss a lesson for any reason, please let me know at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled lesson time. If your student missed school because of an illness, please do not bring them to their lesson that day. Let me know and I will work with you to make up the lesson. If you forget about a lesson or schedule something else during a lesson time and forget to let me know about the change 24 hours in advance, you will still be charged for the lesson. Letting me know in advance allows me to schedule another lesson during that slot. It's a loss of income for me otherwise.
I charge $25 for a 30 minute session. That can be paid at the lesson or it can be paid in a lump sum monthly. I don't always have change on me, so any additional payment can be credited to the next lesson. Checks can be made out to "Sarah Huber". I also accept Paypal and Venmo. I'm happy to send you the information you need for those.
Practice Time and Parental Involvement
This should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: students should plan on practicing regularly throughout the week, so be prepared to help your child find a regular time to practice every day. Taking music lessons is a big time investment as well as financial investment for any family. There’s only so much I can do with your student in one half hour each week and I send your child home with things to practice and work on every single week. To make sure your student gets the most out of their lessons, and you the most out of your money, practice is essential. They *will* make progress if they find the time to practice at home. I know everyone has a lot going on, but practice is just part of the process of learning an instrument. I encourage students to practice 5 days a week for 20-30 minutes. But you know what? 5 or 10 minutes is better than 0 minutes. What matters is that they practice and that they practice regularly. And they'll need your help in prioritizing practice time and making it fun! Think of music lessons being less like story time at the library, where you go and don’t think about it until you go again next week, and more like math class, where what you learn this week builds off of what you learned last week and you need to practice adding during the week to get better at it before you can learn to subtract. Make practicing a part of the family weekly schedule. Use it as a way to break up homework sessions. Help make it fun for your student.
Support from parents is crucial to the student’s success. I’ll write down their assignments for the week in a notebook and send home music and the ocassional worksheet in a folder. Read that with them, help them remember what they worked on in lessons, ask them to teach you what they’ve been learning, ask them to play something for you. It'll mean a lot to them and it'll help them enjoy practicing.
Musicians play instruments. For the greatest amount of progress and success in learning an instrument, possession of an instrument is ideal. I realize that this can mean a large financial investment, but it doesn't have to. There are plenty of affordable options that don't involve running to Walmart for a guitar. Even for young students, having a real instrument is preferable to having a toy or very inexpensive instrument. Real ones stay in tune better, are easier to play, sound better, and will inspire greater pride as your student gets older. Yes, they are more expensive, but they are worth it.
Pianos are their own challenge. I don't expect every family with a piano student to run right out and purchase a baby grand for their living room. But, rather than not having any keyboard at all, shop Craig's List and try to find an electric keyboard in your price range. Or visit some yard sales. Or check out a music shop and see if there are any used instruments.
I am more than happy to talk to you about instruments and help you find the right one for your student, your family, and your wallet. Just know that this is all part of being a musician.
Students should realize that a huge part of being a musician is playing in front of people. There will be various opportunities throughout the season to perform. We usually have a recital in December and in June, though that might be a little different this year. (Bear with me.) There are coffeehouses every month at Sanctuary that I'll be using as another opportunity for some students to practice playing in front of an audience. Please be open to these opportunities and help your nervous students realize that music brings joy to people, that nobody will be judging them, and that the more they play for people the easier it will get.
- Please come up the ramp and use the front door. Don't worry about knocking when you arrive - I'm probably finishing up with a student. Just come in and have a seat in the living room, immediately to the right as you enter.
- Feel free to stay for your student's lesson if you'd like. Most lessons are at the piano in the living room. A few happen in my studio down the hall to the left of the front door. You can feel free to hang out in the living room or leave and come back later. Just try to be punctual - there's probably a lesson right after your student's.
- I have two cats and a dog. They will be put away for lessons and we try to keep our floors and furniture vacuumed, but let me know if there are any major allergy concerns.
- The turn around in the driveway is wide enough to fit 2 cars (although maybe not in the winter time). Please be aware that there will probably be students before and after you and park accordingly. If things get messy and if the weather permits, you can always park in the church parking lot next door and take the steps down to the house.
- The Studio is on Facebook! Follow my studio page for updates, the occasional video of someone doing something awesome, and musical inspiration: facebook.com/bornstringedstudio
- New this fall: the Studio is on Instagram! Follow the studio account for updates, pictures and short videos of students doing surprisingly awesome things, and musical inspiration: @bornstringedstudio
Feel free to get in touch with me at any time.