Studio Policies

Lesson Term

The year is divided into three terms, with a specific number of private lessons per term, as follows:   

El Dorado County:
Fall Semester:  August – December = 19 Private Lessons (approximately 4 per month)
Spring Semester:  January – May = 19 Private Lessons (approximately 4 per month)
Summer Semester:  June – July = 6 Private Lessons (3 per month)

Solano County:
Fall Semester:  August – December = 10 Private Lessons (2 per month)
Spring Semester:  January – May = 10 Private Lessons (2 per month)
Summer Semester:  June – July = 4 Private Lessons (2 per month)

During each term, in addition to the above private lessons, the following extra activities will be offered:
  • one Studio Recording Sessions
  • two or more Community Service performances
  • and one large “Music Project” per term: the Annual Christmas CD in the Fall, and the Annual Recital & Award Ceremony in the Spring.
    
These additional Activities, with the exception of the Community Service performances, are offered at a small additional charge, to help cover the actual expenses involved with these extra services. There is NO “Teacher’s Time Compensation” calculated into any of these additional charges.  Please refer to the "Chart of Tuition Rate Plans" for a more detailed description of the additional charges.

Studio Calendar
This is handed out at the beginning of each semester. Parents and students are responsible for following the studio calendar and are expected to keep track of all listed studio breaks, observed holidays, community service performances, recitals, recording weeks, and tuition due dates. The calendar can also be found on the studio website.

Throughout the year, there are several one-week Studio Breaks. Five of these breaks are Working Breaks and only three of them are not.  During the 2016/17 calendar, these breaks are scheduled for the following weeks: 

September 26th - September 30th  -  Miss Nancy’s Birthday Break
November 21st - 25th  -  “Christmas CD Prep” Working Break
December 22nd - 28th  -  Year-End Studio Break
December 29th - January 3rd  -  “End of Fall Semester” Working Break
February 13th - 17th  -  “Recital Prep” Working Break
April 3rd - 7th  -  “Award Ceremony Prep” Working Break
May 29th - June 2nd  -  "End of Spring Semester" Working Break
July 3rd - July 7th -  Mid-Year Studio Break

A “5th Weekday” occurs when there are five Mondays, or five Tuesdays, etc., in the month, instead of the usual four. It happens four times in the year for each lesson day. For the Semester & Year-Round Rate Plans, the "5th Weekdays" are factored into the number of lessons given each term.  Students on the Ala Carte Rate Plan will either skip these 5th Days or use them as make-up days.  
 
Observed Holidays are Labor Day and Halloween, which are made-up with the nearest available weekend. The Thanksgiving holiday, the Christmas/New Year’s holiday season, Memorial Day, & the 4th of July occur during one of the Studio Breaks mentioned above and so don’t need a make-up lesson. 

Tuition
Tuition rates cover the regular private in-person piano lessons, as well as the extensive amount of time spent outside of the lesson planning for, preparing for, managing and monitoring each student’s lesson.  

Three different Tuition Rate Plans are offered to accommodate client’s varying needs and expectations. Each Rate Plan is based on the level of time, participation, and “seriousness” that the student (and family) is willing to make a commitment to. The first is the “Ala Carte Rate Plan” for “weekly” and “monthly” lessons without any long-term commitment. The “Semester Rate Plan” offers a discounted rate for a 5-month semester commitment, which would provide the opportunity to skip the Summer Session. The third plan is a “Year-Round Rate Plan”, which offers a greater discounted rate that also decreases over time.  

The "Ala Carte Rate Plan" can be paid on a lesson-by-lesson basis or a monthly basis. The “Semester Rate Plan” and “Year-Round Rate Plan” can be paid in full or on the “monthly installment” option, which includes a “processing fee” of $5 per month per student.  This processing fee covers the administrative tasks required for monthly billing, including but not limited to invoicing, reminder calls, and collection efforts.

Please refer to the “Tuition Rate Plan Summary” & “Chart of Tuition Rate Plans” for a more detailed description of each option.  

There are several extra features of piano lessons at Hegarty Piano Studio, such as performances, recording sessions, even a website showcase of student recordings, among many other things. Some of these extra features are optional and some are mandatory. At the “Ala Carte Rate Plan”, all of the extra features are optional and carry a small fee to cover expenses. The “Semester Rate Plan” requires attendance & participation in some of these extra events & activities, but offers a slightly discounted fee. The “Year-Round Rate Plan” does require attendance & participation in at least one of each type of extra event each Semester, but also offers a greater discounted fee and in some cases no charge for the extra features. Again, please refer to the “Chart of Tuition Rate Plans” for a more detailed description.


Transportation Fee
Lessons are taught in the student's home. There is a Transportation Fee per month per family for all lessons in El Dorado County. Each area has its own weekday for lessons in order to keep transportation costs as low as possible. The amount of the Transportation Fee depends on where the student lives and the rate Plan they are on, as follows:

Ala Carte Rate Plan
    $20/month in Pollock Pines and Placerville, within 4 miles of Hwy 50
    $25/month in Camino, Pollock Pines, Placerville, more than 4 miles of Hwy 50
    $25/month in Diamond Springs, El Dorado, Shingle Springs, within 4 miles of Hwy 50
    $30/month in Diamond Springs, El Dorado, Shingle Springs, more than 4 miles of Hwy 50
    $30/month in Rescue, Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills
    $35/month in Somerset, Fairplay, Lotus, Coloma

Semester Rate Plan
    $15/month in Pollock Pines and Placerville, within 4 miles of Hwy 50
    $20/month in Camino, Pollock Pines, Placerville, more than 4 miles of Hwy 50
    $20/month in Diamond Springs, El Dorado, Shingle Springs, within 4 miles of Hwy 50
    $25/month in Diamond Springs, El Dorado, Shingle Springs, more than 4 miles of Hwy 50
    $25/month in Rescue, Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills
    $30/month in Somerset, Fairplay, Lotus, Coloma

Year-Round Rate Plan
    $10/month in Pollock Pines and Placerville, within 4 miles of Hwy 50
    $15/month in Camino, Pollock Pines, Placerville, more than 4 miles of Hwy 50
    $15/month in Diamond Springs, El Dorado, Shingle Springs, within 4 miles of Hwy 50
    $20/month in Diamond Springs, El Dorado, Shingle Springs, more than 4 miles of Hwy 50
    $20/month in Rescue, Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills
    $25/month in Somerset, Fairplay, Lotus, Coloma

Discounts
The following discounts are offered in El Dorado County with all Rate Plans:
Military Tuition Discount    5%
Retired Senior (over 70) Tuition Discount   5%

The following discounts are offered in El Dorado County with the Semester Rate Plan:
Family Tuition Discount  -   With all lessons at 30-minutes ... 2 students = 2.5% … 3 students = 5%
Family Tuition Discount  -   With one lesson at 45-minutes ... 2 students = 5% … 3 students = 7.5%
Homeschool Tuition Discount* ... 1 students = 2.5% … ... 2 students = 5% ... 3 students = 7.5%
  *The Homeschool Tuition Discount is only available to those families who pay for lessons out of pocket.

The following discounts are offered in El Dorado County with the Year-Round Rate Plan:
Family Tuition Discount  -   With all lessons at 30-minutes ... 2 students = 5% … 3 students = 7.5%    
Family Tuition Discount  -   With one lesson at 45-minutes ... 2 students = 7.5% … 3 students = 10%
Homeschool Tuition Discount* ... 1 students = 2.5% … ... 2 students = 5% ... 3 students = 7.5%
  *The Homeschool Tuition Discount is only available to those families who pay for lessons out of pocket.
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Payment
Payment is due in advance.  Charter School students with Visions or Horizons can make special arrangements at Miss Hegarty's discretion.

The first month’s payment is due at the Interview, or upon official sign-up for lessons, whichever is later. If lessons start in the middle of a month, the 2nd month will be prorated.

No matter when your payment is due, Invoices will be emailed out on the third week of each month.  After the 1st month, regular payments are due as follows:
  • Ala Carte Weekly Rate Plan payments are due at the beginning of each lesson,
  • Ala Carte Monthly Rate Plan payments are due on the first week of each month, and
  • Semester Rate Plan & Year-Round Rate Plan payments are due on the last lesson day of each month for the upcoming month.

Payments can be made by cash or check. You are welcome to set up an automatic payment through your banks Bill Pay System and I can also accept payments through Chase QuickPay.

Please Note: I am a piano teacher, not a collection agency - and my bill will be the same amount & due at the same time every month - so please treat your payment to me in the same way you would your other regular monthly bills. Your payment is expected by the due date, no matter what, whether we have a lesson or not. If you cannot make your payment by the due date, you must call in a timely manner before the due date and discuss the situation with Miss Nancy in order to avoid a late charge of $25 per week.

Attendance
Please understand that the tuition you pay reserves an exclusive weekly or biweekly time in my schedule that is customized and prepared for. That time is not portable. Unlike a restaurant or a hairdresser, I cannot re-sell that time nor can I create “extra teaching time” in my week in which to reschedule lessons. In addition, regular attendance is very important to continuous progress.

There are NO refunds or credits for student missed lessons. Make-up lessons are provided as outlined below.

Attendance at the group activities and studio events is only optional at the Ala Carte Rate Plan, and only for some of the activities & events if you’re in the Semester Rate Plan. In the Year-Round Rate Plan, all the group activities and studio events are mandatory. The small “Event Fee” you pay reserves a space in these classes that cannot be resold - and the classes and events are more successful & beneficial to the students if there are many students participating. Therefore, there are no refunds for non-attendance of any mandatory group class or studio event.

Absences & Cancellations
  • Notifying Miss Hegarty of an absence, in person or by telephone, is required.  In other words, you need to actually speak with me at some point before the lesson to be cancelled.  Please ...
      • DO NOT send a text message (unless you cannot get a cell signal and have no other choice), and
      • DO NOT use the email (unless you are cancelling lessons more than 1 week in advance),
... to cancel a lesson.  If Miss Hegarty shows up for the lesson because your message wasn't received, you will still be charged for the lesson.

  • IS IT THE FLU OR A COLD?  If you have in-person lessons, ALWAYS tell Miss Hegarty if you or another family member are sick!  Out of consideration for the health of Miss Hegarty and other piano students (some who have asthma & other respiratory cautions), it is recommended that students do not attend their lesson if they have stayed home from school or work due to an illness, have a fever, OR are coming down with  something that might be contagious. It is also recommended that we do not have lessons if any family member has stayed home due to an illness, has a fever, or seems to be coming down with something that might be contagious. PLEASE call Miss Hegarty to discuss it before coming to the lesson.  

  • Please understand & consider that if you come to a lesson carrying a bug, and you expose me to the bug, then I might go around to other lessons, spreading that bug before I have symptoms.  Then when I do show symptoms, I have to cancel everyone else’s lesson.  So, instead of just one lesson missed (yours) an entire WEEK or more of lessons could be missed!   If you show up to a lesson with contagious symptoms, Miss Hegarty may send you home (or leave, if the lesson is at your home) if she determines that you are too sick to be at the lesson.  Remainders of such lessons will not be made-up.  

Make-Up Lessons
Make-up lessons are provided as close to the missed lesson as possible, usually in the evening, on a weekend, or during a time when another student has cancelled. Miss Hegarty keeps a careful attendance record, which, in the event of any attendance discrepancies, will serve as the official record. Please refer to the attached outline of “Tuition Rate Plans” for specific details.
 
Following are guidelines that apply to all students:
  • Lesson cancellation MUST be made 24 hours or more in advance in order to be considered for a make-up lesson.   A lesson will be NOT be made-up if:
- Less than 24 hours notice is given,
- No notice is given,
- The student isn’t home when Miss Hegarty arrives,

  • Absences due to sudden illness or serous personal emergency will be made-up at Miss Hegarty's discretion.

  • Available makeup times are limited and if a makeup time cannot be agreed on within 4 weeks of the cancelled lesson, then the student will forfeit the makeup.

  • There are NO make-up lessons for missed or cancelled make-ups. No exceptions.

In-Home Teaching
Please keep in mind these particular circumstances and policies for in-home teaching:

  • Although there is a 15-30 minute window between each home, if there is unexpected traffic or if one student's lesson runs overtime (which can happen when a student needs extra help, tests are being taken, or when new songs are being chosen), then all subsequent lessons may start late. When the lesson schedule is running late, each student will still get their full lesson time. If the lesson schedule is running more than 15 minutes late, I will always call to let later students know that this has happened and, if necessary, will reschedule the lesson to a "same-week" make-up time if possible, or credit the lesson as a "teacher missed" lesson.

  • Because I work in other people's homes and with children, it is mandatory that another family member, preferably an adult, be present in the house during the lesson and that the lesson be held in a common room of the house, in case of an emergency.

  • It is important that during the lesson time there isn't any loud television or music that can be heard at the piano and disturb the lesson. Also along these lines, if there are other children in the house, they should be asked to stay away from the "piano room" during the lesson and to try to stay quiet so they don't distract the student. (This is also an important environment during the student's practice time.)

Permanent Withdrawl
Your intention of withdrawal must be submitted to Miss Hegarty in writing. Students at the "Ala Carte Weekly Rate Plan" level do not need to give any notice. The students at the "Ala Carte Monthly Rate Plan" also do not need to give any notice, but they will not receive a refund for any remaining balance if lessons are cancelled mid-month. The students at the “Semester Rate Plan” and the "Year-Round Rate Plan" levels are required to give 1‐month paid notice.

If a Semester or Year-Round in-person student must withdraw registration in the middle of the contract term, upon cancellation you must either a) pay the balance of the contract plus any unpaid mandatory extra events in full, OR b) pay the difference between your contract and the "Ala Carte Rate" for the months under contract preceding cancellation. If a refund of prepayment is due, this adjustment will be deducted from the refund and will be refunded within 2-3 months of cancellation, depending on the size of the refund.

Failure to do so will be considered a Breach of Contract, which could result in Small Claims Court action.  If this occurs, you will be held responsible for all related legal fees and collection fees, including but not exclusive to attorney & court fees. With that legality said, please know that this situation has never occurred in the entire history of Hegarty Piano Studio.  

Policy or Contract Violation

If any student or parent violates the studio policies or the terms of the contract more than three times, then all lessons will be permanently cancelled without refund and all awards or rewards due will be forfeited. All books or equipment loaned  to the family will be due back immediately or the family will be charged & held responsible for the cost of the books or equipment.




A copy of the the Hegarty Piano Studio Policies for each county can be printed using the link below.

  Hegarty Piano Studio Policies  - El Dorado County














 


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but a lifetime is not enough for music”
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and my song"
 
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