Studio Policy

Your understanding of studio policies helps make sure I can focus more of my attention on building a creative learning environment, and less on administrative tasks.  I’ve designed the following policy with your most important questions in mind.

Tuition  (AKA, “What’s it going to cost me?”)

  • Tuition is charged in flat, monthly rates from August through May.  Please contact WPS for current tuition rates.
  • Monthly tuition rates are based on a total teaching commitment of 32 weeks this academic year (August 2023 – May 2024).  Please note: a total of 34 lessons are actually provided on the calendar.  This means missed lessons are already factored into the year’s tuition. 
  • Payments are due on the seventh day of each month.
  • A late penalty of $10 will be automatically assessed for any payments received after the seventh of each month.
  • An annual materials fee of $95/student will be charged in August 2023, or upon registration.  This covers all books/materials/technology, etc. for the academic year.
  • Payment is accepted by cash, check, or online credit card payment through My Music Staff.
  • If paying by check, please make checks payable to Christina Whitlock.  Payment can be made in person, or checks can be mailed to my home address
  • Should you choose to discontinue lessons prior to June 2024, a cancellation fee of $60 will be added to your account.
  • A fee of $50 will be assessed for any returned checks.
  • Account balances of $200 or more, left outstanding for more than two weeks, will result in suspension of lessons until the balance is reconciled.

When do we have lessons?

  • Lessons are scheduled Monday through Thursday this year.
  • The studio will be CLOSED the following dates (for the 2023-2024 year):

    August 1st -11th

    October 9th-13th

    November 20th-24th

    December 25th – January 12th

    March 25th-29th

    May 20th-31st

  • Lessons on holidays, apart from those included in the weeks mentioned above, will meet as scheduled, unless communicated otherwise by either party.
  • Any additional studio closings (other than those listed above) will be compensated by Mrs. Whitlock, whether that be in the form of group instruction or additional private lesson time. 
  • Group performance classes will take place occasionally throughout each semester, in lieu of private lessons for the week.  These classes are designed for students between the ages of 5-18 (student age and level of repertoire determine class assignments).   

What about summer?

  • Multiple summer lesson packages will be offered. Enrolling in a summer package holds your place in the Fall 2024 roster.

What if we can’t make it to our lesson?

  • Consistency in lesson attendance is important to a student’s success in music.  Please make every effort to keep your scheduled lesson time a priority.  
  • Remember: missed lessons have already been factored into tuition rates for the year.
  • Due to scheduling restrictions on my part, rescheduled lessons should never be expected.  I would ALWAYS rather see a student than miss them, but current demands on my roster do not allow for reschedules or makeup lessons at this time.
  • If you are unable to attend a scheduled lesson, you may choose one of the following options:
    • Zoom Lesson:  This is a terrific way to make a lesson happen if transportation issues arise, or if there is a conflict with the Sick Policy.  Zoom lessons will take place during your regularly scheduled lesson time.
    • Video Lesson:  If a Zoom lesson is not an option, students are welcome to send me recordings of their lesson work for the week.  I will utilize their assigned lesson time to provide feedback and help them with their next steps.
  • Please note, these options are ONLY available to those who provide advanced notice of their absence.

What is your Sick Policy?

My home studio is a high-traffic area, with many students coming and going each week I appreciate your help in making sure we only share music and laughter here (and as few germs as possible!).

  • Students missing school the day of their scheduled lesson due to illness should not attend their lesson that day.   Please refer to “What if we can’t make it to our lesson?”  
  • Students should be vomit-free and fever-free for a minimum of 48 hours before attending a lesson in my home.
  • Any instances of head lice or bed bugs in your home need to be communicated to me BEFORE attending a scheduled lesson.  I promise discretion on my part, but please understand the importance of working with me to minimize risk to other families, as well as my own.
  • All sick policies apply to those coming inside to make use of the waiting area and/or bathroom.  Any ill-feeling accompanying parties are kindly asked to wait in their vehicle.  
  • Please keep me informed of any additional health situations that might be considered questionable.  
  • I reserve the right to end a lesson at any point due to concerns about sickness.

What do I do when I arrive?

  • Lessons take place in my home, located near the Robinwood addition in Muncie.
  • Please park in the driveway, not in the street.  Parking on the far left side of the drive (with the single garage door) is preferred, when possible.
  • Ring the doorbell at the time of your lesson. In order to maintain focus and productivity through all lessons, please do not ring the doorbell more than two minutes prior to your scheduled lesson time.
  • We have a fun-loving beagle-mix named Wilson.  He will be kept out of the studio area, though he DOES have a “big-boy bark” and you may hear him wishing he could greet you as your enter and exit our home.  (For those with allergy concerns, please contact Mrs. Whitlock)

Do you have a waiting room?

  • A small waiting area is provided in the studio.  Please limit accompanying parties as much as possible. Michael and I kindly request your respect of our public and private space, limiting your wait time to the studio area, and – when absolutely necessary – to the guest bathroom around the corner.
  • Please make sure young students and siblings bring something to occupy their attention.
  • Siblings under the age of 7 should remain supervised at all times.
  • Please review bathroom etiquette (flushing, hand washing, etc.) with any young individuals using the bathroom.  Due to the current health climate, we are trying to limit bathroom use as much as possible (though, of course, anyone in need is absolutely welcome!).
  • Parents are welcome to observe lessons at any time, though they are not required to do so.  

What are your Expectations?

I expect my students to do the following:

  • Play the piano a minimum of five days each week at home.  There is no substitute for time at the piano.  As students advance, this goal may increase.  The length of recommended practice time will vary by individual and will be discussed in lessons.  However, my primary emphasis remains focused on playing as frequently as possible.
  • Ask any questions as they arise.  
  • Try their best.
  • Communicate honestly.
  • Spend time each week studying the assigned material, as well as playing for enjoyment.  A balance of both types of playing is important.  

I kindly request parents do the following:

  • Communicate openly with me regarding questions of progress, scheduling, etc.
  • Be timely in lesson arrivals and pick-ups.
  • Help make sure all necessary books and materials are getting to the lesson.
  • Check in on weekly assignments
  • Encourage practice and performance at home.  Show interest in what your child is doing.  Some students do well with guided practice time with mom or dad, while others are more independent.  Either way, make sure your child knows you are supportive and invested in their musical journey.  
  • Help enforce musical studies as a discipline AND a form of entertainment.  We must balance both aspects of musical training.  Students often need encouragement exploring one of these aspects more than another.