Private Teaching Studio Policies

Regular lessons


  • For most students, I recommend weekly half-hour sessions, for which I charge $30 each.  Students who demonstrate consistent work habits and proficiency may benefit from weekly full-hour sessions ($60 each); I am happy to discuss this possibility if it appeals to the student.
  • If you are unable to commit to a weekly appointment time, you may schedule individual “ad hoc” lessons up to 30 days in advance.  (Rates for ad-hoc sessions are higher than rates for regular weekly lessons.)  See below for details.
  • Once we’ve established a weekly lesson schedule, you’ll begin to receive an email from Acuity Scheduling during the last ten days of each month, listing times that I’ve reserved for you for two months out.  (So at the end of December you’ll receive your Preliminary Lesson Schedule for February.)  This is a great time to compare your lesson schedule to your personal calendar to be sure there are no conflicts with travel or special events.  You can reschedule or cancel any conflicting lessons as described below, up to 24 hours prior to the lesson time—though of course I appreciate as much advance notice as you can give!  (Most schedule-related emails will come from, so please add this address to your spam filter’s whitelist.)
  • 48 hours prior to any scheduled appointment, you should receive an email from Acuity reminding you of your appointment.  This email will include a button to give you one last chance to reschedule or cancel your appointment (up until 24 hour prior to the appointment) if a last-minute conflict has arisen or illness is looming.
  • 24 hours prior to the appointment, you should receive a text message reminder of the appointment, also from Acuity.
  • You can view, reschedule, or cancel any of your currently scheduled appointments at any time (up to 24 hours prior to the lesson time) on my Scheduling page, assuming you’ve already created an Acuity account.   For more information about how I use Acuity Scheduling, click here.

Billing & Payment

  • During the last ten days of each month (in conjunction with but separate from your Preliminary Lesson Schedule), you will receive an emailed Lesson Schedule & Invoice from Freshbooks that details all lessons scheduled for the coming month, along with any music purchases and other expenses that may have been added to your account over the previous month.  (Most account-related emails will come from, so please add this address to your spam filter’s whitelist.)
  • When you receive it, please confirm that the lessons on your invoice match those on your personal calendar.  If there are discrepancies or conflicts, please either reschedule or cancel lessons as needed using Acuity, or notify me by email immediately of any conflicts so that the invoice can be adjusted.
  • Once you have confirmed that your invoice is correct, you may submit payment online or by other means; see my Payment Page, available in the Contact menu under “Send a Payment,” for details.
  • Payment for regular invoices is due on or before the first day of the month.  An invoice is considered past-due if has not been paid in full by midnight on the invoice date.

Cancelling individual lessons

  • I will assume that our lessons will continue at their regular interval (e.g., every Wednesday at 6:00 PM) unless you inform me otherwise either through Acuity or by email.  If I receive such a notification before the due date of the invoice that includes the lesson in question, I will simply remove the fee for the cancelled lesson and issue you an updated invoice.
  • If you discover that illness or other conflict will prevent you from attending a session for which you have already paid, please reschedule or cancel your appointment using Acuity as soon as possible (but no later than 24 hours in advance of your appointment) so that I can offer the vacant time slot to other students.  If you prefer, you may instead send me an email to cancel or reschedule an appointment, but please do not attempt to cancel or reschedule a lesson by text message, phone call, verbally, etc., without also following up with an email.
  • Students whose accounts are in good standing (i.e., no past-due invoices) may apply the payment from their cancelled lesson to an “ad-hoc” session (as described below) to make up the missed lesson, or simply apply the credit to the following month’s lessons.
  • A student who develops a pattern of frequent cancellations may be asked to release their regular lesson time and switch to an “ad-hoc” lesson arrangement, as described below.
  • My professional schedule does occasionally create conflicts with regularly scheduled student sessions; in these instances I do all in my power to arrange for acceptable alternate lesson times, usually finalizing such arrangements several weeks in advance of the conflict.
  • If inclement weather arises after the 24-hour cancellation deadline has passed and traveling to your lesson would be risky, please consider safety a priority, and stay home.  (I do appreciate your contacting me to let me know not to expect you.)  I will happily issue account credit for such cancellations.


  • An appointment will be counted as a “no-show” in my system if it is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, or if the student is more than 5 minutes late in arriving (and has not contacted me to indicate that they are en route).
  • Because reserving a session under your name prevents me from offering it to other students, I do not issue refunds or credits for “no-show” appointments.
  • For this reason (among obvious others), I strongly recommend that students be diligent about personal care and health. If your health is questionable 48 hours before your lesson, the best course of action is usually to reschedule or cancel your lesson, and plan to use your lesson time to rest and recuperate.  If the following morning you feel sufficiently recovered to have a lesson, you can always schedule a make-up session, or even “un-cancel” your lesson (by contacting me directly), if your original time slot is still available.

Discontinuing lessons

  • When the time comes for you to discontinue studies with me, just let me know—preferably at least a month prior to the date of your last lesson, so that I can begin to make your lesson time available to other students.  I’ll remove future appointments from my calendar, and will refund any fees paid for lessons you won’t be taking.  (I usually send money via ZellePayPal, or Venmo, but if you prefer an old-fashioned paper check I can make that happen too.)

Ad-hoc lessons

  • Ad-hoc coaching sessions are usually available, based upon cancellations and gaps in my regular schedule.  You can view available time slots for ad-hoc sessions on this page, also accessible from the “Contact” menu under “Schedule a Session.”
  • Rates for ad-hoc sessions are higher than those for regular weekly sessions.  Current rates are always posted on the scheduling page.
  • In order to minimize conflicts with students requesting ongoing weekly lessons, I do not schedule ad-hoc sessions more than 30 days in advance.
  • Shortly after scheduling an ad-hoc session, you will receive an invoice for the session fee.  (Most account-related emails will come from, so please add this address to your spam filter’s whitelist.)  Payment for that invoice must be received in advance of the session (or paid in person at the time of the session), or a $5.00 late payment surcharge will be added to the fee and the invoice will be considered past due.

Past-due invoices

  • Payment for any invoice is due before midnight on the date of the invoice.
  • If any unpaid balance remains 7 days after the invoice date, Freshbooks will send you a courtesy reminder.
  • A late payment fee of 18% APR will be added to any balance still outstanding 30 days past the due date, and compounded every 30 days thereafter.
  • Failure to bring an invoice current after 60 days may result in third-party collection activity and corollary additional fees.
  • Clients with multiple outstanding invoices can pay the entire amount due in one transaction.  See this page for instructions.
  • A regular student who develops a pattern of frequent past-due invoices may be asked to release their regular lesson time and switch to an “ad-hoc” lesson arrangement, as described above.  Note that rates for ad-hoc lessons are higher than rates for regular weekly lessons.

Website logins

I use a number of online resources to help me run my business, and students & clients may find themselves with a number of separate logins for these services.  (Some day when I’m rich and famous I’ll be able to afford a web programmer who can wrap them all up into one login, but until then this is what we have.)

You are certainly welcome to use the same password for each login if that makes it easier for you, but each password is defined and maintained separately.  Note that, as with any good online security system, I do not have access to “see” any saved passwords, regardless of where they are maintained—though I can help you reset any of these passwords if you misplace your login information.

Acuity (Scheduling)

  • In order to facilitate rescheduling or cancelling appointments at your convenience, I recommend that you save your contact information in the scheduling widget I have embedded in the “Contact” area of my website.  This widget is powered by Acuity Scheduling, and your login information is kept separately there.  (I usually recommend one Acuity account per household, though if multiple family members often have separate lesson times you may find it more convenient to create an account for each student.)   Schedule-related emails will usually come from

Freshbooks (Billing)

  • To manage my invoicing and payment, I use Freshbooks, a wonderful service that not only streamlines my accounting but also maintains online records accessible by each client.  By visiting you can review the details and status of any invoice I’ve sent you since January of 2014.  (You should have received an email invitation with login information when I first set you up in the system, but you can always click the “Forgot your username or password?” link, or contact me directly, to regain access.)  In general, each household has one account at my Freshbooks site, regardless of the number of siblings, etc., who study with me.  Billing-related emails will usually come from

My website (Online resources)

  • I may also invite you to log into my main website,, in order to access co-curricular resources, including those I’ve uploaded specially for you onto “Your Page.”  Each student will usually have their own login for this purpose (e.g., two siblings may have different user IDs on this site), and these are managed in the “back end” of my own website using the Private Content WordPress plugin.  Emails about my private website will usually come from

Life happens

You and I both have lives outside of our music studies.  If I find that the practices described above need to change, I will do my best to let you know of those changes.  If you find you’re having trouble with any aspect of this document, please ask for a few moments to talk about your concerns.  I want to do all I can to help you make music you love to make!

Thanks for taking the time to slog through all of these details.  Of course, don’t hesitate to let me know if I can clarify anything for you, now or in the future.  I appreciate the opportunity to work with you!