Welcome! Thank you for your interest in The Piano Studio. I’m so happy to have you as a student. I hope you will enjoy your lessons as much as I will enjoy teaching you. I want you to feel relaxed and happy when you are in my studio. I like to have feedback from you, so please ask any questions at any time. And, remember…have fun! Theatre and music is fun and can be very fulfilling!
MY TEACHING PHILOSOPHY:
I approach each student differently. My approach is geared to how that individual learns. I know that there are different styles to teaching and every student is an individual. I look for the best way each individual student learns and work towards creating a style and environment that will benefit the student. My goal is to teach piano, voice and music theory, percussion, and theatre, but to make it interesting. I base a lot of my teaching skills on my mentor, my wonderful piano teacher I had as a young girl and the wonderful, attentive voice teachers I’ve had along the way. I do expect my students to practice and be attentive at their lesson. I expect them to be prepared with their assignments. I promote open communication with the student. This is one on one instruction and I welcome any thoughts or questions pertaining to the lesson at hand. I simply show how to play and/or sing, but it's up to each student to learn and be willing to benefit from the lesson. Above all, I want my students to learn and have fun doing so!
As far as vocal coaching or training a student the basics in voice, the same rules apply. The student needs to practice and be prepared. Every voice is unique and it truly is an amazing instrument. I teach students how to sing and to find their unique vocal clarity while teaching the skills to protect and maintain the voice in singing and on stage. The voice needs particular care to help it grow into the full richness that individual person has. I've seen too many singers lose their voice to incorrect singing and careless techniques and teachers who did not pay attention to what was happening to their students' voices. The singing and speaking voice should always remain as healthy as it can be and be cared for as a precious commodity. It's up to the student to work on their instrument, whether it's voice or piano or any other instrument.
I'm an actress and have extensive experience in the the Fine Arts. I welcome fellow actors and actresses to my studio to search for that perfect monologue or find the best and appropriate song for a particular audition. I also assist in scene work and utilize my background in singing and breathing technique to help develop the stage voice as a powerful instrument.
I do not believe in teaching someone who does not like to play or does not have any interest in music. If I find that there is a student who struggles with their lessons, I will suggest that the student find another creative outlet. There is nothing worse than teaching music to an individual who is not enjoying the lessons. If a child is forced to take music lessons when they are not interested, I feel that the child will never develop an appreciation of music or any other creative outlet because of the unpleasant experience in learning music under duress. As I stated before, there are many creative outlets and sometimes it takes a few tries to find your own niche!
Now, I need to know a little about you, so please have your Parent/Guardian (or yourself if 18 and older) fill out the following questionnaire:
Home Phone Number______________________________________
Cell Phone Number________________________________________
Student’s Birth date________________________________________
STUDIO POLICY Amended 2017
I teach Monday – Friday with an occasional Saturday. Please address me as Mrs. Meghan or Mrs. Elkins. (unless you are an adult yourself!)
Please be on time and prepared for your lesson. If I find that a student has not practiced and is not prepared for the lesson, the lesson may be cut short or not conducted at all and the fee for that lesson will still be charged.
The guardian/parent is most welcome to stay for the duration of the lesson, but must sit in the family room so as not to distract the student at lesson time. Please do not bring other children to the lesson if they are not students. If the lesson is conducted in the student’s home, please allow space for the student and teacher with no distractions.
If you are late, I will still conduct the lesson, but it will end at the time previously scheduled. Please be respectful of the fact that my time and my other students’ times are valuable. If the student is not at their home at time of the lesson, the lesson will be forfeited and the student will be responsible for paying that missed lesson. If proper notice is not provided or you show up late and/or you do not show up at all, payment is still due for the lesson.
The Piano Studio conducts lessons throughout the year, including the summer. Lessons will still be conducted if there is a school or state holiday. A minimum of 2 hours per month is required to maintain a time slot in the studio. The student is expected to pay monthly tuition for their day and time of lessons in order to maintain a spot in The Piano Studio.
No lessons will be conducted on the following Holidays, unless the student prefers to have a lesson, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day:
Fourth Of July
New Year’s Day
Music and Supplies:
I am more than happy to pick up any books or sheet music for the student, but it is up to the student/parent to reimburse me. Please be advised that I will teach theory along with performance technique. The student must learn theory in order to understand the certain techniques and functions of the piano and music in general.
Missed Lessons, Makeups, and Rescheduling:
Make-up lessons will be scheduled when a cancellation occurs 24 hours in advance due only to illness, inclement weather or extreme emergency. This does NOT apply if the student decides to do another activity on the day and time of the scheduled lesson-if this occurs, the student pays for that missed lesson.
Vacation, Vacation, Vacation! We all need them! But, it makes it very difficult to make up the missed lesson with a full studio. Written notice no less than 2 weeks is required for vacations or the lesson is forfeited and payment is still due for that lesson. The student may have a makeup lesson if the 2 weeks written notice applies. (Your time slot is already paid for, reserved and belongs to you, if it helps to look at it that way.)
If I miss a lesson, a makeup lesson will be scheduled or a credit will be applied to the following month’s tuition.
If you are coming to The Piano Studio, please do not park in the “Reserved” spaces in the cul de sac. Parking is available throughout the block and the blank spots are first come, first served.
Disrespectful or rude behavior, in any manner, are grounds for terminating the lesson. Respectful behavior and a good attitude are expected whether the teacher is in The Piano Studio or at the student’s home. If the lesson is terminated, payment in full for that lesson will still be due.
The Piano Studio charges $40.00 (*$50.00) per ½ hour, $55.00 (*$65.00) per 45 minutes and $70.00 (*$80.00) per hour. (Subject to change with proper notice.)
*$10.00 is added to each lesson if the lesson is conducted in the student’s home. If there are more students per house, there will only be a $10.00 charge for the duration of the time in the students’ home. There is also a discount for 3 or more students per house. Ex., for a house of three students, the amount per week will be $115.00.
The full monthly tuition is due at the beginning of the first lesson for that month’s lesson. There are no IOU’s. Monthly tuition not received by the 10th of the month will incur a late fee of $30.00. If a gentle reminder is needed, please let me know and I will email an invoice before the beginning of each month.
If the student will be out the beginning of the month, please make arrangements to mail the check before deadline or have a check prepared and given to the teacher before new month begins and before the student is out. Checks only, please. Make checks payable to Meghan W. Elkins. (There will be a $40.00 charge for any returned check.)
A Spring Recital is performed every year at The Arts Barn in Gaithersburg, MD, availability permitting. All students will be expected to attend and perform in front of an audience to show off all their hard work throughout the year. If the student is a beginner, there is not a requirement to play until the student feels comfortable enough to perform their piece well. The student is not expected to play if the student suffers from performance anxiety or is afraid to be up in front of an audience.
Taking A Break From Lessons:
Per policy, the student must maintain two hours a month in The Piano Studio to be a member. This applies to families of one or more students. If the student or family feels they need to take a break from lessons for a month or more (this includes summer lessons), the following two options apply.
Half hour students per household, one (1) hour tuition is due per month for the duration of the student’s absence until the student resumes a regular weekly schedule. ($80.00)
Hourly students and/or two students per household (totaling an hour), two (2) hours tuition is due per month for the students’ absences until the students resume their regular weekly schedule. ($160.00)
Per policy requirements, three or more students per household also accepts two (2) hours tuition is due per month for the students’ absences until the students resume their regular weekly schedule. ($160.00)
The studio will retain the day and time of lesson for the student(s) upon return. The student is still considered a member of the studio.
If there is an uncertainty to the scheduling in the new school year and the student/family is unable to commit to lessons until the schedules are set or if the student opts to leave the studio, please see the Cancellation policy. Reminder, if the Cancellation policy is chosen, there is no guarantee of the same day and time for lessons upon return.
A thirty day (30) written notice is required if the student chooses to leave The Piano Studio. The thirty day notice will be applied into the upcoming unpaid month, from the date of the last paid lesson, and tuition is due, in full, during this thirty day period whether or not lessons are conducted.
Acceptance and Signature:
Please print out two copies of the Studio Policy, read, sign and deliver one copy to the first lesson and retain a copy for your records. (highlight, select and print from website or I can email you a copy)
This Studio Policy is a legal contract made between The Piano Studio and Student or Guardian on this date, for the provision of private music instruction services by Studio to Student. Student or Guardian has received and read the Studio Policy and agrees to abide by its provisions, as a condition to teacher providing music lessons (teaching services) to student in exchange for payment.
The undersigned has read this Studio Policy, and fully understands its terms, conditions, and provisions, including tuition and cancellation policies. The undersigned agrees that if any portion of this Studio Policy is held to be invalid, then the remaining portions shall continue in full force and effect. The undersigned is required to sign said contract, retain a copy of the Studio Policy and forward original to The Piano Studio.
(Parent/Guardian of minor or Student 18 years and older)