Tuition Payment

  • Tuition is not only for the actual time spent teaching, but also time spent preparing for each student, as well as providing opportunities through teacher associations. Payment for the year is split into monthly payments, regardless of the number of lessons in the month.
  • Please make payment by the first lesson of each month (September to June.) You can pay by cash, check, credit card (through Stripe) or Paypal. The first three are preferred because they don’t cost me processing fees.
  • Late payments will result in a $10 late fee.
  • Any returned checks/rejected payments will result in a $20 fee.
  • If you wish to split tuition into two semester payments, you will get a 5% discount.
  • If you wish to pay for the entire year upfront, you will get a 10% discount.
  • Students who start mid-year will have a pro-rated tuition.

Missed Lessons

Several make-up weeks are scheduled throughout the year. There are no refunds or discounts for missed lessons that cannot be made up, unless I, the teacher, am unable to provide the full number of lessons. Exceptions will be made for absences due to severe weather, serious illness or family crises. If there are any lessons that needed to be refunded, account reconciliation will be done in June at the end of the school year.


Students are expected to practice five days a week. The most important day to practice is the day after the lesson, so what we discussed in lesson remains fresh. Two days off a week is OK, but students should not skip more than one day in a row (illness and travel are rare exceptions.) Students may record their practice time in their personal portal at Muzie.live.

Students agree to arrive at lessons on time with their relevant instruments, lesson books, assignment book, music paper, and pencil. If a student arrives late at a lesson, the lesson will still end at the normal time, and the lesson will be truncated.


I have been vaccinated with the first two doses but have not had the boosters. Due to my reaction to the first two doses, I do not plan to be boosted unless I must. Student vaccination status is private and makes no difference to me. Mask-wearing is optional. I am willing to wear a mask if asked; please talk to me if that is something important to you.

Facebook Groups

If you are on Facebook, you are invited to join either the Essential Music Lessons Parent Group or Essential Music Lessons Adult Learners Group. Important announcements will be made here (in addition to emails and texts/calls) and you can cheer on fellow students in their progress. You can also find various Live videos or blog posts here. It is also a great place to ask questions.

Works-in-Progress (WiP) Shares

Monthly Works-in-Progress Shares are designed to give an opportunity for students to present pieces they are currently working to their peers in a non-competitive, encouraging environment that supports collaborative learning. By listening to others present their work, students gain insight into different techniques and ways of approaching a piece of music. Students learn to listen intently and give comments on what they hear (only positive comments allowed!) By presenting, students practice performing, which aids in developing confidence. Students also gain public speaking skills as they talk about the piece they are presenting. The focus on “Works-in-Progress” rather than a completely finished piece, like one presented at a recital, allows students to become comfortable with not being “perfect.” WiP Shares will be held online via Muzie.live.

Due to time limitations, not every student will have a chance to present every month, but care will be taken to ensure that all students who have a desire to present will have a turn at some point. Students are encouraged to attend, even if they are not performing, to encourage their fellow learners.

Year-End Recitals

Participation in year-end recitals is optional, but highly encouraged. It’s time to celebrate! Students have the opportunity to present a piece that demonstrates the skills they have gained through the year. At least one in-person and one online-streamed recital will be held (any additional ones will depend on the number of students that sign up.) Awards will also be presented at the recitals.

Adjudications, Competitions, and Auditions

My professional memberships allow my students access to various festivals which include adjudications, competitions, and exams. Please talk to me if your students are interested in any of these opportunities as they take special planning. There is an extra expense for these, which is paid to the organization hosting the event.

An adjudication is a private, low-key assessment. Students perform a piece they have studied in front of an individual or small group of professionals who specialize in that instrument. Students receive feedback from the adjudicator/s on a form, explaining both what the student is doing well and what they can do to improve their playing. Students can choose their pieces from a long list with many options, and they do not need to be memorized. Students normally earn certificates and/or medals. This experience is fun and is a great way to grow as a musician, hearing things about music and performance from someone else besides me. It can also be a source of camaraderie and encouragement when multiple students participate in the same festival. I highly recommend adjudication participation for students who have reached an intermediate level of proficiency.

Competitions are more intense and are meant for advanced students who desire to see how they place in comparison to other players in the same age group. Sometimes, the competitions require students to learn specific pieces. Many times, the material must be memorized. Competitions normally have multiple levels as students progress. Video recordings or live performances in front of many people may be required at any of the levels.

Exams are open to students studying music theory, but it is not necessary for students to take them. They are recommended for those students who wish to have certificates and other accolades to record their accomplishments. They are also very useful for students who plan to study music in college. Some students may wish to audition for various ensembles or college. Auditions often require very specific preparation and students need to begin planning for auditions far in advance.


Each student will have a private portal in Muzie.live. In this portal they will be able to keep track of their practice time, watch videos of lessons, upload videos of themselves playing that I can watch and comment on during the week, and so forth. This will also be the platform for any WiP Shares, online lessons or streamed recitals.