2015-2016 Studio Policies

Philosophy and Mission

  • To inspire and share a passion and love of music to last a lifetime

  • To develop a strong foundation in music fundamentals including theory, technical skill, performance, and creativity

  • Music instruction is tailored to each student and incorporates learning activities that support the student’s individual learning style.

Attendance

The tuition you pay reserves an exclusive weekly time in my schedule.  Unlike a physician or hairdresser, I cannot re-sell that time nor will I create extra teaching time in which to give lessons.  Make-up lessons for an excused absence (illness, family emergency, required school-related event) will only be allowed when I have a cancellation from another student, leaving an open lesson time in my schedule.  I must be notified by the parent (K-12) at least 24 hours in advance and you must make a request to be put on the make-up list when notifying me of a cancellation.  The only exception to this policy is if your child (or adult student) becomes ill the day of lesson.  In this instance please notify me as soon as possible, so that I may fill their time with a student on the waiting list.  If it is necessary for me to cancel, the lesson will be made-up ASAP.  Lessons may be conducted via Skype/Facetime in certain situations (student feels a little sick, but can still concentrate for a lesson, poor driving conditions, etc.).

A personalized calendar (outlining lesson days, group classes, recitals, etc.) will be distributed via email and snail mail before the school year begins.  There will also be a calendar in the student’s assignment book.  Make-up lessons must be completed before May 20th, 2016 and only two will be allowed from September through May. 
 

Inclement Weather
Should the need arise to cancel lessons due to snow, ice, or any inclement weather, lessons can be conducted via Skype/Facetime or can be made up at a mutually convenient time. The lesson may be made up in the form of a group class or an individual lesson at the teacher’s discretion.  If schools are canceled, the teacher will contact you to evaluate the situation.

Arriving and Leaving the Home Studio
Please let yourself in through the front door and wait in the studio waiting area when you arrive.  Please do not arrive more than a few minutes before your lesson time as it is a distraction to the teacher and student whose lesson is in progress. Parents/guardians/siblings are welcome to wait in the studio waiting area while the student is having a lesson.  Students must be picked up from lessons on time.  Students are not allowed to wait for their ride outside.  Please park in front of the house or in the turnaround area in front of the house.

Tuition
When a student enrolls for lessons, they are reserving placement in the studio for the entire school year (September – May).  Tuition is divided into 9 equal monthly payments (September – May) for 33 lessons (29 private, 4 group).  30 minute lessons = $108/month; 45 minute lessons = $162/month
 
An invoice will be emailed to each student/family on the 25th of the month for the following month.  
Monthly tuition is due at the first lesson of each month in cash or check (payable to “Becky Baker”).  Your payment will be considered late if it is not received in person or via mail by the first lesson of the month.   A $10 per week late fee will be charged for all payments not received by the first lesson of each month.  A $25 fee will be charged for returned checks.  If you wish, you may pay for several months at a time or schedule to have your bank draft a check each month.  Monthly tuition pays for the weekly lesson, my preparation time for lessons and group classes, preparation for your child’s participation in special events (i.e. festivals, composing or performance competitions), professional dues that allow students to participate in special events, and other overhead costs (insurance, taxes, etc.). 

Registration Fee
Each student will be charged a non-refundable annual registration fee of $100 in August.  This registration fee holds a lesson time for school year (Sept-May).  This fee also covers:

  • Lending Library usage
  • AIM registration fee
  • Incentive/Prizes
  • Recital rental space and preparation

Adult students pay a non-refundable annual registration fee of $50 in August. 

Group Classes
Group classes will be held four times a year at the home studio.  If a student is unable to attend a group class, there will not be a make-up lesson option.  Group lessons will be held in lieu of private lessons during the following weeks:
Week 1: September 1 – 4; Week 2: October 26-30; Week 3: February 22-26; Week 4: May 2-6

Summer 2016 Lessons
Summer lessons will be held in June and July of 2016.  Students who are unable to continue lessons in the summer will lose their current lesson time, will be put on a studio waiting list and are not guaranteed a lesson time in the fall of 2016.  Summer registration will start in April 2016.

Recitals
Performance is an integral aspect of music learning.  It builds confidence, provides motivation and strengthens goal-setting skills.  There will be two recitals held this year:
Saturday/Sunday, December 12/13, 2015 (time and place TBD)
Sunday, May 1st, 2016 (time and place TBD)
 
Please invite friends and family to these special musical celebrations!  Programs will not exceed 60 minutes.  Participating students and their families are expected to remain for the duration of the entire recital, thereby providing ample audience and respect for all performers. 

Festivals and Competitions

      1.  Achievement in Music (AIM) Festival – Saturday, November 21, 2015 @ Butler University MANDATORY for all students           
           (K-12th grade). 
If unable to attend AIM, the tests will be administered at the lesson following AIM day.
The Indiana Music Teachers Association’s AIM Festival provides a musically well-rounded goal for each year of piano study, as well as a written evaluation of the student's performance skill and musical understanding.  Students will also receive a participation medal.  This is a non-competitive festival. Twelve different levels of achievement are outlined for four areas: Repertoire, Sightplaying, Keyboard Skills, and Theory (written and aural).  Fee: $30

       2.    Opus Composition Competition Festival (sent via mail in mid-March, 2016) Optional Event

The Opus Composition Festival is a competitive event designed to encourage students to create and write music.  The Opus Composition Festival promotes creativity and educates students in the art and craft of musical composition.  All students who enter receive a special certificate of participation, a ribbon, and a judge's comment sheet.  Fee: $15-$30

Piano Maintenance

All students must have an in-home acoustic piano or an 88 weighted key, hammer-action digital piano with a damper pedal.  An acoustic piano must be well tuned, with even tone and consistent key responsiveness. A piano needs proper maintenance in order to extend its life and performance. All acoustic pianos must be tuned a minimum of once a year. I can recommend a piano technician.

Piano Practice
At lessons, I will model helpful practice strategies that can be used at the piano to make practice effective and rewarding.  As a general rule, I require students to practice a minimum of 5 days a week (not including their lesson day).  The recommended amount of practice time will be discussed with each student at their first lesson and throughout the year.  Parents should supervise practice much like they would supervise homework.  Over time, the goal will be for the student to become an independent, self-motivated practicer. 
 
Students and parents must follow the assignment book for weekly assignments and practice tips.  I encourage all parents to listen to assigned pieces each week.  Students through 6th grade will sometimes be involved with practice incentive programs.  Parental involvement is vital to your child’s musical development and progress.

Termination and Dismissal

If for any reason you must discontinue lessons prior to completing the 2015-2016 school year (September – May), a full month’s notice is required.  Full payment for the final month of lessons is required.  The teacher reserves the right to terminate lessons with any student for non-compliance with any of the stated lesson policies and requirements.

Studio Website: www.bakerpianostudio.com

The studio website contains a secured log-in area where parents and adult students can log-in and access their own home page containing an account summary to see recent tuition payments and what is owed.  Once logged-in, click on “HOME” in the upper left corner.  Your account info will appear on the right side of your home page.

MISC.

  • Be sure nails do not extend beyond the fingertip.  Long fingernails preclude the development of good piano technique.

  • Students are not allowed to use electronic devices during their lesson, unless we are using it for an educational game, listening or recording purposes.

  • Students are not allowed to chew gum during lessons.  If they arrive to lessons with gum, they will be asked to dispose of it before beginning the lesson.

  • During student and group gatherings and performances, the teacher reserves the right to use video recording or to take photographs of students for use in the studio scrapbook, advertising materials, lesson demonstration and studio owned websites.

  • Parents/Guardians are always welcome to be an occasional guest at the lesson.

  • I do not answer my phone while I am teaching.  The best time to reach me is between 9 am and 2 pm on weekdays.T  here is very limited time to talk before and after lessons because the next student will be waiting for their lesson. Please feel free to call/text me at (317) 432-2029 or email me beckybaker2@gmail.com, with any questions or concerns you might have.

About Dr. Becky Baker

Collegiate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Music degrees in Piano Performance and Flute Performance from Western Michigan University

  • Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy from Butler University

  • Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of South Carolina

Professional Membership

  • Music Teachers National Association

  • Indiana Music Teachers Association; currently serving as President (2012-2015)

  • Greater Indianapolis Music Teachers Association

  • Indianapolis Piano Teachers Association

Teaching Experience

  • Private Piano and Flute studio for 24 years

  • Collegiate Positions: University of South Carolina, Erskine College, University of Indianapolis, IUPUI