Lesson Policies
Monica A. Schwartz, Bassoon
3239-B Corporate Court, Ellicott City, MD 21042 410-905-0997 (mobile)
jazzcanary@gmail.com – www.monicaschwartz.com
mail:  6819 Ridge Rd Marriottsville, MD 21104

1. Cancellation Policy: Please notify me if you need to reschedule or cancel a lesson with 7-days notice. If you need to cancel with less than 7-days notice, the missed lesson will need to be paid for before another lesson can be scheduled. Missed lessons will need to be paid for even with last minute illnesses and unforeseeable circumstances that do not allow for 7-day notice. Some of these lessons can be made-up. Please see #3.
2. Accidentally missing a lesson or no show without notice: payment for that lesson is expected in full. I understand things happen but my time, coordination/cost of baby sitters (for example) still happened to make me available to be at the lesson.Thank you for planning ahead, but if you make a mistake or an unforeseeable conflict arises thank you for honoring this policy.
3. Policy on Emergencies and Illnesses: Please notify me by 12 noon (or earlier) same day if a student is ill or an emergency has occurred and the student will not be able to make their lesson. For missed lessons due to illness or emergency I will offer a make-ups if possible within 30 days. This make-up can be used for a make-up lesson at other times. It cannot be used towards a future lesson at a regularly scheduled time. Make-up lessons will only be issued once every 2 months. If I am not notified prior to 12 noon (via email, text, phone call) or a student has already been ill and missed a lesson recently, I regret I cannot offer the make-up lesson. A make-up is only available for illnesses and emergencies.
4. Regular students from September thru June pay a monthly tuition the first lesson of the month through the first week of the next month. In order to have a spot in the schedule that is regularly reserved, these students need to pay on this schedule.
5. If you have difficulty paying for a month of lessons at a time, please discuss with me an alternate payment plan and please use cash if at all possible.
6. Parents/students are asked to check their schedule and know their conflicts with lessons at the beginning of the month if at all possible. This saves students from paying for lessons they cannot attend.
7. New students can pay per lesson for their first month of lessons. Please still observe the 7 day cancelation policy.
8. Payments can be cash, check, or credit card.  For credit cards the first time is free, after there is a 2.75%-3.5% transaction fee.
9. Rescheduling Policy: every effort will be made to help reschedule a lesson when requested if 7- day notice is given. If there are no available times we can find in agreement in that month– that lesson payment cannot be carried over to the next month.
10. Thank you for minimizing rescheduling. The best time to reschedule is in person with datebooks handy at the beginning of a lesson as the student sets up their instrument.
11. Students who do not desire a regular lesson time can email me to schedule a lesson but should still abide by the 7-day cancelation policy once we have agreed on a time. Please be aware that regular students take most of the desirable times.
12. Email is the preferred method of communication. Texting is good for last minute news (i.e. “Will be 10 minutes late!” “Need 2 reeds today, how much do they cost?” etc.). Thank you for not texting unless it is an issue of immediate pertinence. I am very quick to respond to emails in most cases.
13. Please do no drop off students more than 5 minutes early or leave students un-attended after lesson times have concluded. Parents will be charged additional fees for this time after one warning.
14. Please register your contact information with me (an online form is located on my site under “bassoon students”) so I have up to date contact information. This is important if there is an emergency or weather conditions that require canceling lessons.
About Lesson Policies:
These policies have developed over my teaching career to help us all work better together. They help maintain an active studio so that I can be fully devoted to teaching privately. They are also necessary because I often arrange childcare during teaching times. I pay for childcare regardless of cancelations. These policies help us all know how to proceed so we can work respectfully together. Taking lessons from me is an acknowledgment and acceptance of these policies. Thank you for your understanding!
Several years ago I resigned from a very lucrative full time job to focus on private teaching and being more available to my students. Without these policies it would be difficult for me to count on making private teaching my profession. These policies may be different than other music teachers or a musician who already has a fulltime job and is supplementing income, a hobbyist, or a student teacher. I accept performing opportunities and other paying jobs as they fit around my teaching schedule because my teaching philosophy hinges on being available for regular lessons. I think back to my own development as a bassoonist, my teacher lived far away and I did not get regular lessons. I developed bad habits that took years to break. For example, I played on poor reeds that made those bad habits necessary just to produce the tone I wanted. Playing in tune was harder than it needed to be. Other skills seemed out of my reach because of a variety of bad habits I was not even aware of. I was not supervised in my development and had to spend more time un-learning those bad habits. I want to help my students succeed with minimal bumps in the road and know lesson consistency is the key! If any of these policies seem strange, I will be happy to discuss the thought process behind them but here they are stated concisely for your convenience.