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Policies, Billing, & Cancellations

At times, we may need to make changes or cancellations to our plans and services. It's important to have a clear understanding of the policies and procedures that govern these changes. This section provides all the necessary information regarding billing, cancellation, and other related policies.

Callie wants to ensure that students have a seamless experience when making any changes or cancellations. By understanding the policies in advance, you can be prepared and confident in your decision-making process. Callie's goal is to make sure that you receive the best possible service while being transparent about our business practices.

Billing

Let's talk about billing! The payment process is set up to be as transparent and convenient as possible for everyone involved. That's why there is an established system where billing occurs on a monthly basis. This way, you always know when the payment is due and can budget accordingly. All payments and invoices will be processed through the My Music Staff platform. Once lessons have been scheduled, a link will be sent to set up a log-in portal. Invoices will automatically be sent on the 4th Friday of every month. To ensure smooth processing of payments, Callie kindly asks that payments are made before the first lesson of each month. This allows for uninterrupted lessons. In order to protect Callie's time and the other students on her schedule, consistent or egregiously late payments will result in the removal of the student from the studio.

Scheduling

Lesson Scheduling:

In order to streamline scheduling and reduce overall confusion, lessons will be scheduled on an agreed upon day and time for the entire semester period. Please see below for an outline of the semester periods. By committing to this schedule, you are taking an important step towards achieving your goals and making progress towards your desired outcome!

Callie understands how important scheduling is for everyone, especially for those who are eager to learn and grow. That's why students will be accepted on a rolling basis, meaning that once you have secured your spot, your lesson times will not be changed without your prior agreement. This ensures that you can plan your schedule accordingly and focus on what matters most - learning and achieving your goals. Callie values the time and effort you invest in your instrument, and is committed to providing a seamless scheduling experience so you can make the most out of your learning journey.

Trial Periods:

Are you hesitant to commit to a full course of lessons after just one trial session? Making an informed decision before investing in your education is very important. That's why Callie offers a trial period option for new students. During this period you can take lessons as you would during normal sessions but without the pressure of being bound by our withdrawal policy. These lessons will be charged as normal, but will allow you to take your time to explore and decide if music lessons are right for you without any risk or obligation.

Breaks and Vacations:

Breaks and Vacations will follow the Newton Public Schools calendar with slight adjustments. Dates for the 2023 - 2024 semesters are as follows:

 

Fall 2023:

  • September 6th – Start of the Fall semester.

  • September 25th – Yom Kippur; no lessons*

  • October 9th – Indigenous Peoples' Day; no lessons*

  • November 10th – Veterans Day; no lessons*

  • November 22nd-24th – Thanksgiving Break; no lessons

  • December 22nd – Last day of the Fall semester

 

Spring 2024:

  • January 2nd – Start of the Spring semester

  • January 15th – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; no lessons*

  • February 18th-25th – School break; no lessons

  • March 29th – Good Friday; no lessons

  • April 14th-21st – School break; no lessons

  • May 27th – Memorial Day; no lessons*

  • June 3rd – Last day of Spring Semester

Inclement Weather and Make-up Weeks 2024:**

  • June 4th – Start of inclement weather and make-up weeks

  • June 14th – Last day of inclement weather and make-up weeks

Summer June 2024:

  • Summer lessons will roll on an "as desired" basis starting after the Juneteenth holiday and ending two weekends prior to labor day. There is a 48 hour (2 day) scheduling requirement. If you would like to schedule lessons during the summer, please reach out 48 hours (or more!) in advance of your desired lesson time. 

* This is a national or religious holiday where there are no lessons scheduled, but Callie is still available to teach. If your lesson date and time falls on one of these days and you would still like a lesson to occur, please reach out to Callie and she will be happy to schedule you.

** This is intended to be a week for makeup lessons, should inclement weather occur. However, this week can also serve as an extra week of lessons before the summer months for those who would like to be scheduled.

Cancellations

Student Cancellations:

Unexpected circumstances can arise, causing students to cancel their scheduled lessons. Please note that student cancellations occurring during the invoice period will not be refunded. It is important to stay in contact about any known absences before the invoice period so these lessons can be removed from the schedule and invoice. Callie will offer one makeup lesson per cancellation as a courtesy to the students who need to cancel within the invoice period. Please see below for information on makeup lessons.

Makeup Lessons:

Callie will do her best to find a reasonable time to makeup lessons that need to be canceled during the invoice period. A Zoom lesson at the original lesson time will always be offered. Please understand that in some situations, scheduling may make it difficult to accommodate every request. All makeup lessons must occur within 2 weeks of the canceled lesson. If a makeup lesson is not possible within two weeks of the canceled lesson, the canceled lesson will not take place and will not be refunded or credited. While this can be frustrating, this policy is in place to protect Callie's time and attention to scheduling. It is also to encourage students to treat their lesson times with care and importance in order to promote musical growth. There is the option to use up to two makeup lessons during the inclement weather week, should rescheduling within the two week period prove a challenge. Rest assured that Callie will do her best to find a suitable time for makeup lessons whenever possible.

 

Teacher Cancellations:

Teacher cancellations can be a frustrating experience for our students. Rest assured that if Callie cancels a lesson, you will receive a full lesson credit towards the next invoice period. Callie believes this approach is fair and ensures that you don't lose out on any of the value of your lessons. In the event that a teacher cancellation occurs at the end of a semester, it will be refunded in the original form of payment. This ensures that students and families are satisfied with their lesson experience.

Inclement Weather:

In the case of inclement weather, a notice will be sent out by 12 p.m. (noon) the day of lessons and lessons will move to Zoom. There is also an inclement weather make-up week built in to the schedule if Zoom is not preferable or if the student has a learning difference that makes virtual platforms challenging. This make-up week will take place after the close of the Spring semester. 

Religious Holidays:

Observed religious holidays will not be charged. Please check the dates above and notify Callie of any other religious holidays observed that are not listed. 

Vocal Health Cancellations:

As a singer or speaker, your voice is your most valuable asset. However, just like any other part of your body, it can experience fatigue or injury. This is why Callie reserves the right to cancel lessons if she notices signs of vocal fatigue or nodules during the session. It is important to remember that this is for your own benefit and to prevent further damage to your vocal cords. If such a situation does arise, don't worry! Your subsequent lessons will be refunded immediately and you will be recommended to seek medical attention from a qualified professional who specializes in vocal health. Remember to stay in contact with Callie throughout the process so that progress can be monitored and guidance can be provided on when it's safe for you to resume lessons again. By taking care of yourself now, you're investing in a lifetime of healthy singing and speaking.

Student Withdrawals

At times, students may find that they are not progressing as expected in their music lessons or that Callie's teaching style is not the best fit for them. In such cases, it is important to know that withdrawing from lessons is an option. When possible, Callie would love the opportunity to have an open dialogue about progress or the opportunity to refer you to another trusted teacher to see if it is a better fit. Every student has unique needs and learning styles, and Callie wants to make sure that they have the best experience possible, whether or not that experience takes place in Callie Emery Music Studios.

Please note that there is a three-week withdrawal period in which students can withdraw from lessons without being charged for the remaining lessons. However, if you discontinue your lessons before this period ends, you will still be charged for those remaining lessons. The aim of this policy is to ensure a pleasant and stress-free departure for both teacher and student and to encourage open communication regarding any concerns or issues.

Lesson Breakdown

When it comes to teaching music, it's not all about the technical aspects of playing an instrument. Establishing a strong relationship with students is just as important to their progress and success. Taking the time to get to know students and build trust can have a significant impact on their motivation and engagement in lessons. Taking small amounts of time during lessons to discuss personal interests or experiences can also help create a more comfortable and open environment for learning. Incorporating relationship-building into lesson structure can benefit both the teacher and student in their musical journey.

 

For performance-based lessons (voice and piano), not all of the lesson time will be spent performing. Lessons are designed to provide ample time for feedback and discussion to ensure that students acquire a deep understanding of their craft. Lesson structure focuses on building a strong foundation for each student, which ultimately leads to more effective learning. This also provides a supportive environment where students can ask questions and engage in meaningful discussions with their peers and mentors. This approach creates confident learners who are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in their field.

Dress Code

Callie believes that music is all about self-expression and comfort. Therefore, there is no official dress code. Please wear what makes you comfortable and allows you to perform at your best during the session, whether that is your favorite dress, your favorite dress pants, or your favorite sweatpants.

However, kindly keep in mind how your clothing may affect your instrument during the lesson. Loose or flowing garments could interfere with your ability to play the piano and garments restricting the midriff could interfere with your breath support while singing. So, please be mindful of this so that we can make the most out of our time together and create beautiful music!

Code of Conduct

Welcome to the section on code of conduct. At the core of Callie's teaching philosophy is the belief that a positive attitude and willingness to learn are essential for success. This applies not only to learning an instrument but also to developing as a musician and a person. This means being open-minded, engaged, and receptive to feedback. It also means taking responsibility for your own progress by practicing regularly outside of lessons. By embodying these values, students are better equipped not only to achieve their musical goals but also to cultivate skills such as discipline, focus, and persistence that will serve them well in all areas of life.

 

No one wants to be in a position where they feel uncomfortable or threatened. As Callie looks to eventually add more amazing music teachers at Callie Emery Music Studios, she wants to be clear about expectations for both students and teachers. This may not be the most comfortable topic, but everyone deserves to feel safe and supported during their lessons. Because of this, please below for a list of instances that will not be tolerated and a list of instances that are grounds for automatic cancellation.

The following instances will be issued a verbal warning, then a written warning, then lesson cancellation without refunds for the invoice period:

  • Harassment

  • Derogatory Language

  • Directed Insults

  • Aggressive Behavior

  • Repeated Poor Behavior

  • Repeated Non-compliance with instruction

The following instances will result in immediate cancellation of lessons, without warning and without refunds for the invoice period:

  • Physical Threats

  • Verbal Threats

  • Sexual Advances

  • Students found to be lying about contagious sicknesses to avoid student cancellations**

  • Students found to be studying with another teacher for their same instrument (i.e. a voice student of Callie's found to be studying voice with another teacher. If a student is studying voice with Callie and another instrument [violin, trumpet, cello, etc.] with another teacher, this is absolutely fine, in fact, it is encouraged.)

**This is a serious subject for both students and teachers, as it is not only our responsibility to educate students but also to ensure their safety and well-being from communicable illnesses. It is crucial that we take the necessary measures to prevent their spread within our lessons. It is therefore essential to be vigilant and take proactive steps towards reducing the risk of infections among students. We all know that accidents can happen anytime and we may not realize that we are sick until it's too late. It is important to keep a check on our health and inform our teachers as soon as we find out about any sickness. This not only helps in taking necessary precautions to protect ourselves but also protects other students from getting infected. However, we also understand that some students may try to deceive their teacher by lying about their health status to avoid non-refunded cancellations. This behavior not only puts themselves at risk but also endangers others who may share the lesson space or who come into close quarters with the teacher. As a result, any student found intentionally lying in this regard will be immediately removed from lessons without warning and no refunds issued. This strict policy ensures that we maintain a safe learning environment for all, while promoting honesty and accountability among our students. 

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