Below is my studio policy, please read it carefully.
LESSON PLAN AND PROGRAMS
The lesson plans include a balance of artistry, theory, ear training, sight-reading, technique, and repertoire appropriate to the student’s level of proficiency. Aside from the the study at the piano, I incorporate a variety of musical activities during lesson times on the floor and at the piano to teach and reinforce learned concepts.
In each quarter, all of the students enrolled in Comprehensive Piano Programs and Honors Program are entitled to receive 13 private weekly lessons that include elements of musicianship such as sight reading, ear training, and music theory.
Comprehensive Piano Programs:
Elementary Level: Required for all beginning/transfer students at the elementary level (up to level 3). Basic musicianship skills are covered in areas such as reading, rhythm, ear training, and technique through level 3 of most method books. The length of lesson is 30 minutes for students (beginner – level 1), and 45 minutes for students (level 2~3). Students in this course are expected to participate in all studio events and recitals. Participation in the annual Certificate of Merit test and local festival events may be recommended.
Intermediate/Advance Level: This is the course of study for students beyond level 3 of most method books. The length of lesson is 45 minutes for students levels 3 – 5, and 1 hour for students level 6 and higher. The course covers comprehensive technique, repertoire, theory and musicianship. Students in this course are expected to participate in all studio events and recitals. Participating in the annual Certificate of Merit test is expected, and local events participation is recommended.
Enrollment in this course is only based on my recommendation for students beyond level 3. The student must be willing to commit to the more rigorous demands from this course. This course covers everything in the Comprehensive Intermediate Course but focuses more on finer elements of artistic performance and musicianship skills. The length of the lessons is 1 hour or more, and may subject to more frequent but shorter lessons 3 weeks prior to a competition or an event. The student will be expected to participate in the Certificate of Merit program, local festival events, and other competitions.
Recreational Adult / High School Students Program
This course is for adults and busy high school students who want to study and play recreationally at an elementary, intermediate, or advance level. A curriculum will be individually designed to meet the needs and goals of the student. The student will receive 12 weekly private lessons in each quarter. Participation in studio events is optional. Students are welcomed to attend informal recitals each quarter for performance practices.
Popular and/or Beginning Jazz Piano Focus
This program is for students who would like to learn skills and techniques that are specific to the popular and jazz music world. This course will focus more on understanding chords, pattern recognition, improvisation and less on developing sight reading and notation skills. A classical technique foundation will be a corequisite.
SUMMER QUARTER PROGRAM
The studio offers year-round lessons. It is important to continue lessons through the summer months. Most students’ skills regress over the summer without lessons to keep them practicing. At least eight summer sessions are required to reserve the spot in the fall. If no summer lessons are taken, your time-slot in the next teaching year will be forfeited to accommodate new or existing students. The full summer quarter includes 11 lessons in the months of June, July and August.
Options for the summer session include concentrated lessons on popular music skills, improvisation, composition, introduction to beginning jazz or specific period of classical music (e.g. Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th/21st Century). I am able to accommodate these lessons with more flexibility during the summer.
Tuition is payable by check, cash, or credit card in quarterly or monthly installments. Quarterly tuition is due the first lesson of September, December, March, and June. Monthly tuition is due the first lesson of each month. A $15 late fee is charged for payments received after the 10th of each month. A monthly bill will be sent out, which will include the following month’s installment, any music or supplies that have been purchased, traveling reimbursement, and any applicable event fees. Tuition is subject to raise by 3~5% per year. Please contact me for more detailed info.
As a convenience to most families, I do travel to homes for lessons for a higher fee. This fee will be higher than the fee for lessons at my home studio since it will be covering my traveling time between students' homes. An additional charge for mileage ($5-$10) will also be added, depending on distance.
Please make checks payable to Dustin Callahan Music. Payments can be mailed to: 17375 Brookhurst St. Apt. 112, Fountain Valley, 92708
PRACTICE AND PROGRESS
Regular and punctual attendance is required to make maximum progress in piano studies. All students are expected to practice at least 5 days per week. The emphasis will be put on the quality versus quantity of practice time. I recommend the following practice schedule:
Beginners – 15 ~ 20 minutes, 5-6 times/week
Elementary level – 30~40 minutes, 5-6 times/week
Intermediate level – 45-60 minutes, 5-6 times/week
Early Advanced – Advanced -- 1~2 hours, 5-6 times/week
Parental involvement promotes progress in students' music studies. Open communication between parents and teachers is strongly encouraged. Please talk to me about any concerns or questions that you may have in regards to you or your child’s progress. I am open to any suggestions and ideas that may help you or your child.
1. A minimum of twenty-four hours advance notice is required for cancellation of a lesson. It is unacceptable to cancel a few hours before the scheduled lesson time.
2. Make-up lessons will not be available for last-minute cancellations (less than 24-hours notice) such as sporting events, parties or other social events, forgetting a lesson, “I didn’t practice,” and transportation problems.
3. Time lost due to lateness on the part of the student cannot be made up, nor will a credit be issued.
4. Make-ups can also be given in 15-30 minute increments added on to lessons until the time is made up.
5. Make-up lessons will be given if the teacher makes the cancellation. If no make-up lesson is given, I will credit it to the student’s account.
6. Only 2 makeup lessons are allowed per quarter. In each quarter, there will be a few days reserved for makeup lessons. Lessons missed within a quarter will be rescheduled on those days, made up during another student’s cancelled lesson slot, or swapped with another student’s time. Lessons that conflict with studio breaks or missed due to illness or family emergencies will have priority on the rescheduling days over lessons missed due to social or sporting events. Missed lessons will NOT be credited or made up in the next quarter.
If I am ever more than 15 minutes late to a lesson at a student's home, I will stay for the full agreed-upon time or make it up at the student's earliest convenience (next lesson, for example).
PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES AND EVENTS
There are performance opportunities available to students of Dustin Callahan Piano Studio, including studio recitals, local festivals and competitions. Students are not required but encouraged to participate in the events.
1. Students will purchase a lesson book, theory book, and other books or sheet music as needed.
2. I will provide an assignment notebook. It is used to keep assignment sheets, theory assignments, and handouts from me. It can also be used to keep any loose-leaf music sheets
3. As a convenience to you, I will obtain the materials and add the cost to your next month’s tuition bill. I will let you know what new books are needed for the student’s progress.
4. Students also can use music from my digital music library to get started on a new piece of music. Often, I will ask students to buy a paper copy of the music with higher quality edits and fingerings. All students enrolled in the Certificate of Merit program must buy books of their repertoire, as photocopied music is not allowed. The digital music library (in PDF format) offers the students a chance to play a variety of pieces without having to purchase the materials.
DISMISSAL AND TERMINATION
I will dismiss a student if any of these circumstances occur:
*Failure to pay tuition on time
*Lack of progress due to insufficient practice
In the event that the student has decided to discontinue lessons, I require a written notice at least 1 month ahead. No refund will be given, thus the student must finish the remainder of the month or forego any unused lessons.