In-home versus remote lessons
Currently we are teaching both in-home and remote lessons and have taken steps to follow Covid-19 sanitation and mask wearing advice by the C.D.C. As vaccines are being received by the community, we are evolving our business to meet our students' needs and comfort levels. In-home lessons must be approved by the director and our teachers who are choosing to teach in-home. For any in-home lessons, there will be a trip charge added to the cost of your lessons. A Covid-19 waiver and sanitation guide must be signed for in-home lessons to commence.
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.
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 your 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.
Pre-Covid, we held annual spring recitals at Bethany Lutheran Church on Hampden and I-25. During Covid we have held virtual 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 towards the end and we often have a teacher perform to finish the recital. There are no participation fees for remote 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 only pay 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 teach through the summer months, but they have the option of not doing so. 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 10th for the summer in groups of 4-6 or 7-11 lessons. These packages take into account that there are roughly 11 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.
Lessons canceled by the student with less than 24 hours notice for any reason other than family emergency will not be made up, nor will the cost of the lesson be refunded. The nature of teaching music lessons is based on a weekly appointments through the school year. For this reason it makes little difference whether a client cancels with an hour’s notice or a weeks notice. It is unlikely that the time slot can be rebooked.
All students/families requesting in-home lessons will be required to sign a Covid-19 waiver and a sanitation guide. All teachers who intend to teach in-home must sign the same waiver and sanitation guide. All waivers must be received by the director before any in-home lessons can be scheduled. The Music Lesson Café is offering remote and in-home lessons as options during Covid-19. Teachers and families who both mutually want in-home lessons are welcome to proceed with such lessons after waivers are signed, but it is considered to be at their own risk.
Cancellations due to illness
If your child or household is ill or possibly contagious, you must cancel your 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 their lesson fee. If your teacher cancels a lesson due to being ill, we 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 your home. We process background checks on all teachers through backgroundchecks.com by processing a County Criminal, US AliasVERIFY and US OneTRACE search.
If you decide to discontinue lessons, a two week notice needs to be given, otherwise you will be responsible for any lessons within two weeks that are on our teacher's schedule. If you discontinue in the middle of a semester, the number of lessons you have paid for versus the number that you have received will be settled in a final invoice or refund, minus the two-week notice.