In-home and remote lessons
Currently we are teaching both in-home and remote lessons. We have been evolving our teaching practices throughout the Covid pandemic to meet our students' and families' needs and comfort levels. For in-home lessons, we cater to the comfort of our families, students, and teachers in regard to masks and cancellations for illness. For any in-home lessons, there will be a $15 trip charge added to the cost of your lessons.
Paid Trial Lessons
New students will sign up for a paid trial lesson with an instructor. One lesson will be taught and if the student/teacher relationship is satisfactory for both parties, then weekly lessons at an agreed upon time between the student and teacher will commence. Students may take paid trial lessons with as many instructors as they would like before settling on the best fit.
Weekly Time Spots
Lessons are set up on a weekly basis and once the lesson time is determined, it is considered to be the student’s time spot for the school year. Some changes can be made when after school activities change, but changes are dependent upon the teacher’s availability.
We follow the DPS schedule for most breaks and holidays. We observe the following holidays: DPS Spring Break, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving week, and the two-week break over the winter holidays. We do teach on President’s Day, and MLK Day, because they fall shortly after the winter break. We also teach on teacher inservice/planning days. If the student doesn’t follow the DPS school calendar, schedule adaptations can be made via communication between the teacher and student/family. Teachers have the option of teaching over the DPS Spring Break, Thanksgiving Break, and the Winter Break, but most opt not to teach. If the student is interested in lessons during those times, please ask the teacher about their availability. Individual invoices will be sent for cases where lessons occur at a time not ordinarily on the schedule.
Payment can be made on the musiclessoncafe.com website for paid trial lessons, as well as semester and monthly lesson payments. If the student decides to continue on a weekly basis, the family has the option to pay for the semester or to pay in four equal installments for the fall and five equal installments for the spring. Summer invoices are collected at the beginning of the summer term. Early bird pricing is offered and is due before the semester begins for the entire semester. The deadline dates for early bird pricing will be available on the website and will be announced via email updates to students and families of the Music Lesson Cafe. Regular rates apply to semester payments and monthly payments received after the early bird payment deadline has passed. When starting lessons mid-semester, we will directly send the family an invoice with the remaining lessons for the semester or a monthly invoice, depending upon their preference.
Make Up Lessons/Credits
If the student has a schedule conflict with their weekly time and proper 24 hour notice is given, it is possible to complete a make lesson with their teacher. Make up lessons don’t need to be completed the same week and can happen anytime within the semester. Some teachers are busier than others and will find it difficult to make up lessons. In that case the student can receive a make up lesson the last week of the semester or they will receive a credit for the lesson the following semester. Students will be allowed to carry over two credits from any semester to the following semester. If a student misses more than two lessons during the semester, they will forfeit the extra lessons. It is up to the student/family and the teacher to try to manage make up lessons during the semester.
Teacher Schedule Changes
Many of our teachers are working musicians and some of them perform often and go on tour occasionally. Please be flexible with our teachers if they have performances or tours. We ask for them to give their students as much notice as possible if they have upcoming absences, but occasionally they will have a performance opportunity come up at the last moment. In this case, your teacher is required to provide make up lesson times at some point within the semester. If you are not able to come up with a mutual time that works, you will receive a credit the following semester for the lesson that was paid. If it is the end of the term and you have outstanding credits, you can carry over a maximum of two credits to the following semester.
We hold in-person annual spring recitals. We highly encourage our students to participate in recitals, as it motivates practice and is a great experience having to prepare and perform. All levels are welcome and beginners are encouraged. We have students as young as 5 years old perform short pieces at recitals and the age range is typically 5 - 18. Occasionally adult students perform at the end of recitals. In-person recitals are $25 per student and help cover the rental of the facility, refreshments, programs, and teacher time spent setting up the event. More information will be provided to our students/families about recital dates early in the spring semester.
The teacher will choose books that are most appropriate for the student and their level. Most often the teacher will request the Music Lesson Cafe to order the books and they will be delivered to the teacher’s residence and will be brought to your home. For remote students, books will be shipped by the MLC to your home. Books are often not determined for the first few lessons and are often settled upon within the first month of lessons after the student’s aptitude is assessed. Students pay only for the cost of the books and an invoice will be sent for the books. Occasionally teachers will purchase books for students and clients can reimburse them directly or the teacher will have the student or family order the books themselves. In this case, there is no need for the MLC to be involved with teaching materials.
Most teachers will be available through the summer months, but occasionally teachers take the summer off. The MLC will let the parent/student know in the spring if their teacher plans to teach during the summer and if not, will offer to place the student with another teacher for the summer months if interested. We offer lesson package discounts for early bird registration by May 11th for the summer in groups of 4-12 lessons. These packages take into account that there are roughly 12 weeks during the summer term. We realize that many people travel during the summer and we would like for our students to continue with lessons even though they may not take lessons on a weekly basis.
The Music Lesson Cafe requires a 24 hour cancellation for lessons without penalty. We realize that oftentimes it is impossible to cancel with this much notice due to illness or unforeseen events. If you cancel with less than 24-hours notice, you will forfeit your lesson time and will be charged a $22 fee per child/lesson for cancellation. You will be refunded the amount over that cost that you have prepaid, including any in-home trip fees. The lesson time will not be made up. You MUST cancel at least 2-hours before the start of your scheduled lesson. If you fail to cancel at least 2-hours before the start time (including if a teacher drives to your home), you will be charged the full amount for the lesson with no refund offered.
The Music Lesson Cafe lifted its mask mandate and proof of vaccination for in-person lessons in April, 2022. Our teachers are fully vaccinated and boosted. In certain cases, individual teachers might choose to continue masking during lessons. In these situations, the Music Lesson Cafe will fully support the decision of the teacher. If the student's family prefers masked lessons, our teachers will be happy to comply.
Cancellations due to illness
If anyone in the student's household is possibly contagious, the family must cancel their in-home lessons. As teachers we have to stay as healthy as possible and it is especially important in the age of Covid. The teacher reserves the right to leave the lesson if they are uncomfortable due to the family/student being ill. In this case the teacher will be paid and the student will forfeit the cost of their lesson. If the teacher cancels a lesson due to being ill, they will make every effort to make up the lesson. It may be possible to take a remote lesson instead of an in-person lesson if the teacher’s schedule will allow.
A grace period of 9 days is allowed on invoices. After that time, a $20.00 late fee will be assessed. If payment is overdue by more than 14 days, we reserve the right to discontinue lessons with our students.
We realize that safety is a concern when teachers are working with children whether remotely or in our students' homes. We process background checks on all teachers through backgroundchecks.com by processing a County Criminal, US AliasVERIFY and US OneTRACE search.
If a family decides to discontinue lessons, a two-week-notice needs to be given, otherwise the family will be responsible for any lessons within two weeks that are on their teacher's schedule. If the family decides to discontinue in the middle of a semester, the number of lessons paid for versus the number that have received will be settled in a final invoice or refund, minus the two-week notice.