Studio Handbook and Policies

This handbook and policies document spells out the respective contractual obligations and responsibilities between the Creative Keys, LLC, and the student/responsible Parent. Creative Keys, LLC, has found that the relationship between Creative Keys, LLC, and student/responsible Parent works to everyone’s benefit if we clearly set out the terms and conditions under which the Creative Keys, LLC, will provide the music instruction program to the student. Therefore, all parties agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

What’s the Creative Keys recipe for success?

Excellent, creative teaching + enthusiastic, dedicated students + engaged, supportive parents = Competent, well-rounded musicians

Philosophy

At Creative Keys we believe music instruction should be:

  • Excellent – piano instruction should be individualized and comprehensive and help students develop excellent technique and musicianship
  • Creative – creativity is a critical and fun part of learning music – we’re creative at every lesson at Creative Keys
  • Social – There’s something powerful and inspiring about playing and creative music with others – our unique comprehensive lessons bring students together every week to play music together

Teacher Responsibilities

  • Create and implement individualized instruction for each student, maintain a positive and enthusiastic atmosphere for learning, and encourage a feeling of success at each student’s individual rate of learning.
  • Provide music and materials and assignments matched to individual student’s needs, goals, and learning style and maintain a large music lending library.
  • Offer performance and enrichment activities with a balanced program of theory, technique, ear-training, sight-reading, and performance opportunities.
  • Continue to further teaching skills and music knowledge by belonging to professional organizations, attending workshops, reading professional publications, and engaging in other activities leading to professional growth.

Parental Responsibilities

  • Be involved and be a cheerleader – helpful, interested and supportive!
  • Provide a well-maintained piano or good quality digital keyboard.
  • Help students reserve a regular time for practice each day.  This can be done all at once or divided into two or more daily practice sessions.
  • Provide a practice environment that is free from interruptions – family, friends, TV, computer, or phones.
  • Be financially responsible and communicative.  Check your student’s notebook, studio website, and studio emails regularly and communicate any questions or concerns you may have about your child’s progress.

Parent Involvement

Students have the greatest success when parents are involved in a student’s music education. Please show your support by doing at least TWO of the following each week:

  • Attend your students private lesson (required for students 10 and under)
  • Be involved in your child’s at-home practice as appropriate for their age and skill level – younger children especially need help from parents with their practicing and will benefit from one-on-one daily assistance
  • Learn to improvise with your child and improvise together frequently (no music skills needed)
  • Play duets with your child
  • Schedule time once or twice a week to have students give you a “mini-recital” of their assignment sheet
  • Listen to classical, jazz, and other music together and discuss what you like
  • Take lessons or practice yourself!

Student Responsibilities

  • Arrive at each lesson on time, well-prepared, and with all books and materials.
  • Practice – In order to progress satisfactorily, daily quality practice is necessary and required.
  • Participate in studio activities, performances, and Keyboard Gymnastics Events. Students may also participate in events sponsored by the Tucson Music Teachers Association, such as recitals and the Piano Ensemble Concert.

Practice

  • Students who complete four weeks of “full practice” the previous month will earn a practice payout of $5.00 given to the student in cold hard cash at the first lesson of the month.  Parents must verify that the student has completed an honest week’s practice by signing their notebook and practice logs. Students must have all assignments completed and lesson performance must support the practice records.
  • To qualify for the practice payout, students are expected to complete SIX days of FULL practice each week and complete their daily practice logs. In the event of vacations, illness, etc., students may practice extra to make up for missed practice sessions.
  • Full practice is defined as completing every required assignment as listed on the assignment sheet. For example: practice the B minor scale five times perfectly each day, play measures 9-12 three times in a row correctly, etc. Specific directions are outlined in the student notebook and available online.
  • In general, expect 15-20 minutes daily from students grades K-2, 20-30 minutes from students grades 3-5, and at least 30 minutes for all other students.  Daily practice times may vary depending on the length of time it takes to complete each assignment each day.
  • 30 minutes spent on Piano Maestro can count for one day of practice each week.
  • Students receive free full practice credit on Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Independence Day, and the student’s birthday.  30 minutes of Sunday hymn or primary song review may count as practice for students who for religious reasons choose not to practice their regular assignments on Sundays.

Music and the Lending Library

Creative Keys provides all required method books and materials as well as some supplemental music.  Books and scores may be professionally printed or prepared from the unlimited reproductions licensed music owned by the studio.  Creative Keys carefully follows copyright laws.

Our vast lending library gives students access to an enormous quantity of quality music and arrangements in many styles and genres – classical, jazz, popular, holiday, contemporary composers, etc.  Students may check the music out as often as necessary, but must agree not to photocopy copyrighted material.  Music must be returned in good condition.  Damaged music will be replaced by the student or becomes the property of the student as part of the music included in their tuition.

What does tuition pay for? 

Far more than a weekly private lesson!

  • An individualized plan for the student’s course of study
  • Teacher experience and training accumulated over a lifetime
  • Preparation and rehearsal time for the Piano Ensemble concert
  • Continuing education including annual state and national conferences
  • Studio scheduling, planning, communications, administration and organization
  • Exploring new music, trips to the music store, expanding and maintaining the studio lending library
  • Instrument acquisition and maintenance
  • Planning and expenses for performances and recitals
  • Office supplies, computer lab equipment and software
  • Facilities, taxes and insurance, utilities

Tuition

Tuition is based on a comprehensive three month term of study, not on individual lessons.  Tuition includes a minimum of 10 scheduled events (lessons and lab, performances, enrichment activities) each term.  In addition to scheduled lessons and events, tuition includes:

  • local Keyboard Gymnastics materials and events
  • music, materials, and access to the studio lending library
  • incentives and rewards
  • lab fees, materials, and studio subscriptions such as Piano Maestro, Noteflight, and others
  • community service events and field trips (does not include admission or ticket prices)

Tuition does not include fees for TMTA events or other events sponsored outside of the studio, such as the TMTA Piano Ensemble Concert, Keyboard Gymnastics of Phoenix, Clavinova Festival, competitions, and Merit Scholarship auditions.  Additional private lessons for enrolled students may be scheduled at the rate of $68 an hour.

Tuition is due on the 15th of the month, one month in advance, and may be paid by check or credit card.  A late fee of $20 will be applied to invoices not paid by the due date. Students may not participate in lessons or studio events if tuition and fees have not been paid.  Lessons missed due to nonpayment will not be rescheduled.  All past-due accounts receive a courtesy email and phone call before lesson termination occurs.  Should something come up where you cannot financially fulfill your commitment to your child’s piano lessons, we appreciate and encourage advanced notice and open, ongoing communication. Returned check fees are $30.00.

Families should expect a yearly increase in tuition appropriate to cost of living increases, expenses, and services offered.
Comprehensive Piano Lessons
30 ensemble, 20 private, piano lab
$384 each term
$128 monthly installments
Comprehensive Piano Lessons
30 ensemble, 30 private, piano lab
$486 each term
$162 monthly installments
30 minute private lesson, piano lab
$378 each term
$126 monthly installments
45 minute private lesson, piano lab
$531 each term
$177 monthly installments
60 minute private lesson, piano lab
$684 each term
$228 monthly installments

Summer Term

Summer music instruction is very important, both to maintain skills learned over the past year and to explore music outside of the traditional lesson setting.  In order to maintain enrollment in the fall, all students are required to register for the summer term.  Students who do not enroll in summer term will be placed on the studio wait list if they desire to re-register in the fall.

Both private lessons and workshops are scheduled during May, June and July.  Scheduling is more flexible during summer term and allows for summer travel and other activities.  Students may reserve private lesson time, take workshops, or both.  Summer workshops are very popular with students.  If desired, additional private instruction may be reserved at the rate of $68 an hour.

Base Tuition – Summer Term
4.5 hours private instruction OR workshops
OR a combination of private and workshops
$336 term
$112 monthly

Flexibly Scheduled Students

Flexibly scheduled lessons are available for adult and older teen students.  Students schedule and pay for blocks of 3-4 lessons which are scheduled outside of prime teaching hours.  Lessons may be rescheduled with at least 24 hours notice.  Flexibly scheduled lesson tuition includes instruction, music, materials, access to the piano lab and related subscriptions.  Students are welcome but not required to participate in studio recitals and enrichment activities.  Fees for flexibly scheduled students are:

30 minute private lesson $37
45 minute private lesson $54
60 minute private lesson $71
Recital or Enrichment Activity $20

Term and Payment Schedule

Fall Term – August, September, and October
Winter Term – November, December, and January
Spring Term – February, March, and April
Summer Term – May, June, and July

July 15 – Fall Term Tuition Due or 1st Payment
Aug 15 – Fall 2nd Payment
Sep 15 – Fall 3rd Payment
Oct 15 – Winter Term Tuition Due or 1st Payment
Nov 15 – Winter 2nd Payment
Dec 15 – Winter 3rd Payment
Jan 15 – Spring Term Tuition Due or 1st Payment
Feb 15 – Spring 2nd Payment
Mar 15 – Spring 3rd Payment
Apr 15 – Summer Term Tuition Due or 1st Payment
May 15 – Summer 2nd Payment
June 15 – Summer 3rd Payment

Cancelled Lessons and Rescheduled Lessons

The tuition you pay reserves an exclusive weekly time in the schedule for your student.  In order to be fair to everyone enrolled in our large studio, missed lessons cannot be rescheduled or made up.  We do offer the following options should you need to miss a lesson:

  • Lesson may be taught via Skype or Facetime during the regularly scheduled lesson time.
  • Students may email videos of their assignments in advance of the missed lesson.  The instructor will view the videos during the lesson, provide feedback and send a new assignment sheet.
  • If lesson times open up due to cancellations, these will appear on the online studio calendar and students may reserve an open time in lieu of their missed lesson.
  • Tuition includes a minimum of 10 events each term, but the studio often schedules more than 10 events.  Students may enroll in additional enrichment activities or other events in lieu of a missed event.  Students with perfect attendance are welcome to take advantage of these additional events as well.

Due to their nature, it’s not possible for group activities such as ensemble classes, enrichment activities, and recitals to be rescheduled or made up.  No show lessons will not be rescheduled.

Lessons cancelled by the instructor will be rescheduled, and may be a private lesson or enrichment activity.

Discontinuing Lessons

Every student stops taking lessons at some point and it’s important lessons culminate positively.  Thus, the studio strongly encourages one month’s notice prior to discontinuing lessons.  Either party may terminate lessons at any time.  However, at the discretion of the teacher, students may be asked to discontinue lessons at any time if they have unpaid tuition, an excessive amount of absences/unprepared lessons, or if they show a lack of interest or refusal to cooperate during lessons.  Tuition and fees are non-refundable regardless of the party terminating the lessons.

Parking

Please drive slowly and do not park on the street.  Use the circular driveway to drop off and pick up students, but please do not park there.  Enter the circular driveway from the east and exit from the west.  Please park on the west side of the studio, by the garage.

When You Arrive

  • Please arrive ON TIME with your music, assignment book, and any other relevant materials.  Lessons will begin and end on time, and students who are late will have what remains of their lesson time.
  • When you enter the studio, please remove your SHOES – this prevents little rocks from damaging the wood floors.
  • Please wash your hands when you arrive, and be sure your FINGERNAILS are trimmed at least twice a week.  It’s impossible for students with long fingernails to use correct technique on the piano.  Students who trim their nails just before their lesson will have practiced with incorrect technique all week.
  • Please put away electronic devices and CELL PHONES during lesson time, including tech lab time.
  • Please don’t bring beverages, candy or gum into the studio.  If you bring a snack, please eat it in the kitchen area.  To protect our instruments, no food or beverage other than a closed water container is allowed anywhere else in the studio.

Keyboard Lab Expectations

Creative Keys Music Studio students have access to our Studio Technology lab where they use iPads, keyboards, and the internet. Students using the keyboard lab and equipment at Creative Keys agree:

  • To respect all studio property and to use equipment carefully.  If a student does not respect the property in the lab, their use of the lab will be discontinued and parents will be charged the replacement cost of intentionally broken items. Normal wear is expected.
  • To only use the studio iPads and Internet to complete the work assigned to them.  Students may not do homework, email, social networking, or any other personal activities on the studio equipment without express permission from the instructor.
  • To immediately report access of inappropriate material to the teacher.  The studio has three levels of hardware and software filtering.  While precautions are made, it is possible that students may accidentally access objectionable material on the Internet.
  • They will not:

    • upload or download any file without the teachers permission
    • disable, change the settings or in any way damage the devices
    • access or modify another student’s materials, scores or files
    • copy, download, or distribute any copyrighted material without permission

Contacting the Studio

A TEXT or an EMAIL is the best way to reach me and I check my email several times a day.  I prefer not to answer the phone during lessons so if you must reach me during lesson hours please send a quick text or email.

Respecting Students and Studio Property

Students are expected to respect studio instruments, equipment, and music, and will be responsible for replacing damaged items.  Students are also expected to show respect for the instructor and other students in the studio.

Medical and Liability Statements

This Studio Policy is a legal contract made between Creative Keys, LLC, and the family, for the provision of private music instruction services by Creative Keys, LLC, to Student. The undersigned has read the Creative Keys Studio Policies found at www.creativekeysmusic.com/handbook, and fully understands its terms, conditions, and provisions. The undersigned agrees that if any portion of this Studio Policy is held to be invalid, then the remaining portions shall continue in full force and effect.

Unless written notice is given to the studio, permission is granted to Creative Keys, LLC, and its operators to seek medical treatment for the participant in the event they are not able to reach a parent or guardian.

To ensure your students’s safety, please be sure to pick him/her up promptly after class/lesson time. Creative Keys, LLC, instructors and staff do not supervise children before and/or after classes/lessons. Children are under supervision during their instruction time only. Neither instructors nor staff are responsible for supervising children outside of teaching time.

Parents, legal guardians of minor students and adult students fully waive and relinquish any and all claims against Creative Keys, LLC and its owners, instructors, agents and employees from injuries or damages as a result of participating in any activities or classes in any way associated with Music Vault Academy. I further agree to indemnify and hold harmless Creative Keys, LLC from any and all claims resulting in injuries, damages arising out of, connected with or in any way associated with the activities of any of the programs.

Photo and Video Release

By initially below, I hereby give permission to Creative Keys to take photographs and videos of my child(ren) and use them in printed or online formats for advertising and educational purposes. Photos and videos may be used in the studio scrapbook, advertising materials, lesson demonstrations, professional presentations and blogs, and on studio owned websites, blogs, and Facebook pages. The studio follows online safety rules in this matter. Photos taken by the teacher OR that are shared with the teacher by other parents or students of gatherings or performances become the property of the studio, may be edited, and can be used at the discretion of the teacher in regards to the studio. I expressly release Lynnette Barney, Creative Keys, and Music Together from all claims which I have or may have for invasion of privacy, defamation, or any other cause of action arising out of exhibition or distribution of any materials in which my child(ren) may appear. This Consent is binding upon heirs and future legal representatives.

Please INITIAL one line below:

_____ Instructor may use student photos and videos as described above, may identify student by first name, and may tag the parent(s)

_____ Instructor may use student photos and videos as described above but please do not identify or tag the student

_____ Instructor may NOT use student photos or videos as described above

PARENT AGREEMENT: I have read the Studio Handbook and Polices at www.creativekeysmusic.com/handbook and agree to abide by all the terms and conditions in that document.  I acknowledge my financial responsibility to Creative Keys and understand the cancellation and rescheduling policies.

________________________________________ Parent Signature

________________________________________ Date

Please note that my policies are in accord with recommended professional policies of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the Arizona State Music Teachers Association (ASMTA), and the Tucson Music Teachers Association (TMTA).

Creative Keys, LLC, reserves the right to update or modify these policies at any time and without prior notice unless a material change is made; in which case we will notify you through the email you have on file. Your use of our services following any such change constitutes your agreement to follow and be bound by the policies as changed.