Studio Policy

Studio Location - Murrieta, CA

Students come from Murrieta, Temecula, Wildomar, Menifee, Winchester, French Valley, Lake Elsinore, Fallbrook, Sun City, and other cities in the Inland Empire.

Trial Lesson

If you would like to schedule a one-off trial lesson to see if I am the right teacher for you, the fee is $60 for a 30-min session. 

Yearly Registration Fee

Payable upon enrolling in the studio and every September thereafter.

  • Individual: $85
  • Family: $160

Tuition

There are four tracks:

  1. Fun Track - for students who want to keep music in their lives but are unable to commit to weekly lessons. Tuition is $120 per month for two 30-min lessons or one 60-min lesson. This track is also suitable for busy adults. 
  2. Recital Track - for students who want to make steady progress and perform in recitals. Tuition is $220 per month for four 30-min lessons. 
  3. Festival Track - for students who want to perform in recitals as well as participate in music auditions, festivals, and exams. Tuition is $315 per month for four 45-min lessons.
  4. Competition Track - for advanced level students (level 6 and above) or students that want accelerated progress. Tuition is $400 a month for four 60-min lessons.

What is or is not included?

  • Tuition covers not only lesson time spent with the student, but also time spent in preparation for the student, including development of teaching materials, choosing appropriate repertoire, and planning for the student's individualized course of study. I also spend much of my non-teaching time researching various teaching books and new methods, studying different music audition/testing requirements, practicing and learning new repertoire, performing, attending meetings, recitals, teacher conferences and other professional development courses.
  • Tuition includes all lesson materials, printouts, books, and practice/achievement incentive awards. All students will be provided with carefully selected method books and music that are appropriate for their level. Students are expected to bring all books to their lessons. Lost books will be charged replacement cost.
  • Tuition also includes use of the studio's lending library, for 'one-off' events such as music festivals and competitions, where the student needs to follow the syllabus and learn a particular set piece just for that event. All books and music borrowed for such purposes must be returned in their original condition. Printouts of music that is in the public domain and free of copyright may be used for teaching purposes. I also write and arrange teaching pieces and exercises on the Sibelius software - such pieces may NOT be photocopied and redistributed elsewhere and must be returned if you terminate lessons.
  • Tuition does not include fees for recitals, competitions, auditions, or festivals.
  • Tuition will be prorated if you start in the middle of the month.
  • Tuition is paid monthly, by cash or check, before or at the first lesson of each month. Late payments (not received by the second lesson of the month) will incur a $10 late fee. Returned checks will incur a $30 fee. 
  • I offer merit based studio scholarships to students that work hard. The value is $10 per month for Festival Track, and $20 per month for Competition Track. To quality, the student must participate in the studio recitals and two other outside events (if unable to participate in studio recitals due to conflict, then substitute another outside event), AND receive Superior rating/Branch Honors in Sonatina Festival/Certificate of Merit or receive an award in a competition.
  • All fees are reviewed and subject to increase every September. The above fees are current till September 2018.

Calendar

  • September - May: students receive four private lessons a month, on a weekly basis. If there are five weeks in a particular month, I will advise which week is the "off" week, or we will use the extra week for make-up lessons.
  • June - August: the studio typically takes a few weeks off during the summer, and the monthly tuition is prorated accordingly. Students who choose to take vacation outside of the studio break can not be guaranteed their lesson time spot in the next school year, unless tuition is paid for and make-up lessons scheduled. 

Cancelations and Make-Up Policy

  • Be prompt to your lesson. If you are late to your lesson, you will only be given the remaining time.
  • If you cancel a scheduled lesson for any reason, your monthly tuition remains the same. Provided advance notice is given (BEFORE the day of the lesson), you may reschedule your lesson.
  • If your lesson falls on a holiday, you may reschedule. There is no refund if you choose to cancel instead.
  • Make up lessons can be in the form of longer lessons the following weeks, if scheduling allows. If you cancel your lesson on the day of the lesson, or forgot to show up, no make-ups will be given, and there will be no refund or credit. If you cancel a make-up lesson, no further make-ups will be scheduled.
  • Unless the teacher cancels a lesson, students may not adjust their monthly tuition by reason of reduced attendance that month, even with advance notice.
  • If you terminate lessons in the middle of the month, your tuition will not be refunded.
  • If the teacher cancels a lesson and rescheduling is not convenient for the student, you will receive a credit. 

Studio Etiquette

  1. Clean hands with a wet wipe when arriving at the studio. 
  2. Absolutely no touching the piano case, lid, legs, strings, or anywhere on or inside the piano!
  3. Siblings can stay in the room if they can remain quiet. No playing with toys, running around, or touching the piano. No playing under the piano. No wandering around the rest of the house. Children younger than 7 must have adult supervision.
  4. No talking on the cell phone during lessons, unless it is an emergency. 
  5. No eating inside the studio. 
  6. Do not throw candy wrapper or other trash in the courtyard or on the driveway.
  7. Parents please pick up students on time. Students should not be waiting on the street to be picked up. The studio can not be responsible for watching over the student after the lesson ends.
  8. Respect other student’s time and privacy. Do not arrive early before your lesson time. When it is your time, come inside the studio. If I don't see the next student, I may sometimes run overtime with the current student. If you must leave on time, let me know.
  9. Remember to take all of your personal belongings with you at the end of the lesson, especially your music books! The studio is not responsible for any lost items.
  10. Bathroom: students may use the bathroom in the house, provided they are not afraid of dogs. The studio is not responsible for any accidents or injuries. 

Instrument and Practice

Ashleigh Stepanyan

  • All students are expected to practice on a daily basis. 
  • Students should practice on an acoustic piano rather than a keyboard or digital piano. The action, touch and sensitivity of an acoustic piano will help students to develop a good, solid foundation and fine musicianship. For absolute beginners, a keyboard is OK for the first 6 months of lessons, if there is already a keyboard in the house. Many shops also offer rental options. If you are looking to buy, read my blog article on Piano Buying Tips
  • A piano needs to be tuned on a regular basis. Tuning can make a big difference to the well-being of a piano. A well maintained piano is not only a valuable asset to the family, but can also inspire students to practice more! I can recommend qualified piano tuners and technicians.
  • Every student should have a metronome.
  • A piano bench with adjustable height is highly recommended.
  • If the student is very young, a foot stool is necessary during practice, until the student is tall enough to reach the pedals.

Parents Responsibilities

  • Bring students to lessons on time. Pick up students on time. Pay your tuition on time.
  • Make sure students bring all of their music books to the lessons.
  • Check that students have trimmed fingernails before their lessons. Long fingernails scratch the piano keyboard. If a student comes to lesson with long fingernails, they will not be able to play, and the lesson time will be spent doing Music Theory and Ear Training.
  • Younger children may need help with practicing. Very few children will just go practice on their own without being reminded to do so! Be prepared to sit through lessons so you understand the materials taught and can help supervise home practice.
  • Encourage progress.

FAQ

Mila Rosenthal-Vincenti, age 5

Often parents ask me if they can stay during the lessons. If the student is a beginner this is highly recommended as the parents can see what is being taught and therefore help supervise the practice sessions at home. Parental presence, interest, support and encouragement is crucial in the learning process. As the student progresses, parents may reduce the number of lessons they attend. This helps the student to become more responsible in remembering what is taught at lessons and what their homework assignment is. Eventually the student should become totally independent and parents no longer need to attend lessons. For more questions, please visit the FAQ page.