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 33 weeks this academic year (August 2020 – May 2021).  Please note: a total of 34 lessons are actually provided on the calendar.  This allows for one cancellation at no charge to you).  
  • 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 $80/student will be charged in August 2020, or upon registration.  This covers all books and materials for the academic year.
  • Payment is accepted by cash, check, or online credit card payment through My Music Staff.
  • 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 2021, a cancellation fee of $60 will be added to your account.
  • A fee of $40 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?

  • PLEASE NOTE:  Lessons will remain online through the month of August.  At that time, assuming conditions allow a safe return, I will work with families on an individual basis to determine proper protocol for physical lessons.  This will involve the wearing of masks and limiting of any accompanying family members.  
  • I hope all WPS families understand my heart’s desire to proceed with an abundance of caution.  40 students come through my home each week, and the responsibility I feel to avoid becoming a point of origin for spreading this virus is intense.  I will do anything within my power to protect my WPS families!  
  • Lessons are scheduled Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00am and 7:00pm
  • The studio will be CLOSED the following dates (for the 2020-2021 year):

August 1st -7th

October 12th-16th

November 23rd – 27th

December 21st – January 8th

March 22nd – 26th

May 17th – 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 result in a rescheduled lesson at a mutually-agreeable time, or a pro-rated adjustment to student accounts for the following month.
  • 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).   Sadly, group performance classes will be discontinued until current concerns of COVID-19 improve. 

What about summer?

  • Students are expected to choose from offered packages between the months of June and July, or pay the expressed holding fee to remain on the academic year roster for the upcoming year.

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.  
  • Due to scheduling restrictions and childcare arrangements on my part, rescheduled lessons should never be expected.
  • If you are unable to attend a scheduled lesson, you may choose one of the following options:
    • Skype/FaceTime 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.  Skype/FaceTime lessons will take place during your regularly scheduled lesson time.
    • Pre-Recorded Lesson:  Students may submit video recordings of their assigned repertoire before their scheduled lesson time.  Videos may be uploaded to the (private) Studio YouTube Channel, or sent to me directly.  I will then use their assigned lesson time to provide written and/or video feedback, as well as follow-up assignments.  
    • Bonus Assignments:  If technology is not going to allow for a Skype/FaceTime lesson or a Pre-Recorded Lesson, I will use the student’s lesson time to design an individualized assignment for the week to come.  The assignment will be delivered electronically to the email I have on file.  
  • 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 approximately 40 students coming and going each week Now, more than ever, 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.  For the time being, accompanying parties will not be permitted in the studio.  
  • 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 will continue to take place virtually for the time being.  When we resume physical lessons, they take place in my home studio.
  • Please park in the driveway, not in the street.  You are welcome to park on either the far right or far left of the three-car drive.
  • When physical lessons resume, please do not plan to enter my home until the previous student exits.  If there is no student before you, please text upon arrival.  Ring the doorbell (as opposed to knocking on the door) 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 assigned lesson time.    
  • Please plan to remove all shoes once inside the front door.  You are welcome to keep socks or slippers here for comfort.
  • We do have a new puppy.  Welcome to the studio, Wilson!  (For those with allergy concerns, please contact Mrs. Whitlock)

Do you have a waiting room?

  • In an effort to protect all students and families in this time of COVID-19, I kindly request NO additional parties accompany students to their lessons.  Only one student will be permitted in the studio at a time, and no additional family members.  
  • A small waiting area is provided in the studio (please note, this is no longer a separate room).  Michael and I kindly request your respect of our public and private space, limiting your wait time to this designated room, and to the guest bathroom around the corner, when necessary.  
  • The waiting area currently consists of a 2-person bench, and a few magazines.  Please make sure young students and siblings bring something to occupy their attention during lessons, particularly if they need to wait for a significant amount of time.  
  • Siblings under the age of 8 should remain supervised at all times.
  • Please review bathroom etiquette (flushing, hand washing, etc.) with any young individuals using the bathroom.  
  • Of course, parents are welcome to observe lessons at any time.  
  • Please give advanced notice if a student wishes to bring a friend to observe a lesson.  This can be a terrific addition to a lesson, on occasion, but could require modifications to our lesson plan, based on the individual.

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 students playing the piano each day (or as close to this 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.
  • Read student’s notebook each week.  
  • 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.