Mr. Doug Norton | Music Teacher
Studio Policies -- Effective March 1, 2024
Brand new students (that have never played an instrument) are asked to make a six month commitment to lessons.
There is no written contract that binds you; this is something that you simply have to make a commitment in your heart for. There is no way to "try out" guitar (or any other instrument), for example, to see if it works for you, due to the significant time and effort it takes to get results. We will help you achieve the results, but you must make the commitment on your end.
Lessons are scheduled weekly, normally 4 per month. There is no lesson on 5th weeks.
Lessons are 45 minutes in length, and are scheduled at the top of the hour, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00. etc.
Online lessons (available for adult students only; we do not offer online lessons for school-aged students) are conducted via Google Meet. The content will be largely the same as would be covered in an in-person class, with the tremendous time advantage to the student of not having to travel to the studio. The student also has the advantage of being already warmed up and tuned up prior to their lesson time.
Mr. Doug will initiate the call to the student at the appointed time.
Students arriving late to a lesson, whether in person or online, will only have the remainder of their appointment block. We cannot extend a late arrival into another student's lesson block.
REGISTRATION and FEES:
Lesson fees are a flat rate of $150 per month, per student. We accept cash, personal checks, and most credit cards. If at all possible, we prefer cash or check, as there are substantial bank processing fees involved with credit card processing that are burdensome to small operations such as ours. Thanks for your consideration.
We do not assess an application fee or registration fee.
Your first month's fees are due at registration to hold your place. You will receive an invoice by email after you register.
Registrations are accepted year-round, and once registered, your student will start their lesson program the first week of the next month. Example: If you register on August 15, then your program would start the first week of September.
The lesson fee is the same, whether the lesson is in-studio, or online.
Lessons are billed on the 15th of the month, for the following month. Example: September's fees are billed on August 15, October's fees are billed on September 15, etc. Fees are due and payable immediately.
Fees unpaid by the 1st lesson of the month will result in the student being removed from the schedule. The student may be easily reinstated, if another student has not taken that spot, by paying the overdue lesson fee and the $10 late fee. If that spot is already taken, the student will have to choose another opening.
There is no refund if a student withdraws during the course of a month.
There is no opportunity for makeup lessons at all. You are strongly encouraged to come to class, but if you do not, that is your prerogative. However, there will be no makeup, nor lesson fee credit, if you choose not to come.
Exception: In the event of illness, or bad weather closings, we will re-schedule your lesson if at all possible (the 5th weeks with no lesson can be used effectively in this case).
If the student is ill, or has been actively ill in the last 48 hours (example: COVID-like symptoms, flu, strep throat, producing lots of snot, fever or vomiting, diarrhea, pink eye, etc.), PLEASE do not send them to class. A rule of thumb would be that if the student is not well enough to go to work or school, then they should not attend lessons, either. Please inform the studio at least 1 hour prior to the scheduled lesson time, and we will re-schedule your lesson if at all possible. We appreciate your concern for the studio's health and well-being.
In the event that Mr. Doug is absent, you will be given a lesson credit to use toward your next fee payment. He will notify you as soon as possible if there is a necessary absence.
If Mr Doug has a planned absence (travel, training, etc.), your billing will be adjusted accordingly before the fact.
The studio is open year round, except for holiday closings, or special weather-related closings (detailed below).
We will be closed on major holidays, and you will not be billed for these days: New Years Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving Thursday/Friday.
In addition, the studio is closed when students are out of school for Spring Break, and Christmas and New Year's break.
We will follow York County School Division's calendar with regard to these breaks.
We will follow York County School Division with regard to inclement weather. If they are closed for incoming weather, then we will close also. We will re-schedule your lesson if at all possible.
However, if they are on a 2 hour delay with regard to remaining snow on the streets, for example, then we will be open.
The student is expected to arrive prepared to play, with their sheet music or appropriate materials. The studio cannot keep copies of every student's music on hand.
The student is expected to have an appropriate musical instrument at home for practice, and to keep it maintained properly, tuned, and in working order. Mr. Doug worked as a piano tuner and technician for major touring and recording artists for many years, and can recommend a competent, professional technician in your area that will assist you in keeping your piano properly tuned and maintained. In addition, we retain the services of an expert guitar and violin technician, Mr. Jerry Wade, who performs service and repair on site at the studio.
All guitar and bass students should ordinarily plan to bring their own instrument to class. If the occasion arises where a student is unable to bring their own instrument for whatever reason, we will use the lesson time to work on music theory and reading at the piano (which all students will do occasionally as part of their curriculum, anyway).
Students should be prepared to acquire and maintain the appropriate technology device and software that is used for their curriculum (this is not an immediate need, and we will discuss this when the time comes). We have found that most people already have a tablet or computer that is more than adequate, and the software is inexpensive.
For online lessons, computers or tablets should have a working webcam and mic.
Students are encouraged to practice 7 days a week for optimal results, although we realize that this might not be always feasible. Elementary school age students should practice 10 minutes a day, every day of the week..Middle schoolers should practice 20 minutes a day, and high schoolers and adults should practice 30 minutes a day. Longer practice periods will not necessarily be better, or produce faster results. Consistent, short duration, daily practice will produce results. Cramming before coming to class will not. Mr Doug will not ever beat up a student for not practicing; life happens, and there are many other complicating factors in everyone's life. However, growth will come sooner, and results will be more pleasant with consistency.
TERMINATION OF LESSONS
The studio reserves the right to terminate a student from the program for the following reasons:
Inconsistent attendance, or repeated no-shows for lessons.
Inconsistent or no home practice
Repeated failure to bring materials or instrument to class
Repeated refusal to participate in class
Damage to studio property
Failure to pay lesson fees by the 1st lesson of the month
In addition, the studio reserves the right to end a lesson early if one of the following situations applies:
The student is not adequately prepared
The student is not feeling well, agitated or upset, unusually non-cooperative, or otherwise "not themselves".
The student's instrument has a mechanical problem that we can't fix in 5-10 minutes.