Studio Policies & Tuition

We have two parking spaces for our apartment. In order to help me maintain a good relationship with my neighbors, please ONLY park in the parking spaces marked for Apt #4. If you do not know where these are, please ask. If the family before you hasn’t left yet, please circle around the building and park on Sylvester St. If you’re picking up/dropping off your child, please do not block traffic in the alley.

Tuition for 2017-2018 will follow this fee schedule:

30 minute lessons $731.25/year, or 9 payments of $81.25
45 minute lessons $958.50/year, or 9 payments of $106.5
60 minute lessons $1,237.50/year, or 9 payments of $137.5

At this price, the student is guaranteed that I will be prepared and present to teach 32 weeks per school year (September-May), and have all of their books & materials provided at no extra cost. Summer lessons in June, July, and August may also be offered, and tuition for those will be separate. There are no lessons the week of Thanksgiving, December 17th-January 6th, and no lessons on Spring Break.

Payments are made monthly, due by the 1st day of the month, regardless of when the first lesson falls. Acceptable payment forms are: checks, or online payment, either from your bank or via Waveapps. Checks should be made out to Stephanie Berman. Bounced checks will be assessed a $25 NSF fee.

Any accounts unpaid after the 1st day of the month will be assessed a $25 late fee. This should be included in the payment. If an account remains unpaid by the last lesson of the month, lessons will not resume the following month until the account is settled.

Missed Lessons: Because specific times are set aside for specific students, a student who does not attend a lesson will simply miss the benefit of that lesson.  I will then use that time or other times to plan for the student’s progress, locate materials, etc. Please be assured that your tuition pays for far more than the time spent with your child. There are no refunds, discounts or makeups given unless I am unable to teach the promised number of lessons. Please do not send your child to lessons if they missed school that day due to illness!

Recitals and/or retirement home concerts can be viewed as a form of “makeup” lessons. I offer one each in December, and one each in May/June at no extra charge to you. In addition, you may trade their lesson time with another student (“Lesson Swap”) to help avoid absences. Use these rules to make sure swaps go smoothly:

  • I must be informed prior to and after arranging a swap.
  • No make-up lessons will be given if any confusion from this arises.
  • Should 2 people arrive at once, I will teach the one whose lesson is normally at that time.
  • Please inform me if you do not wish to have your name included on the swap list.
  • Phone or “Skype” lessons during the student’s regular lesson time are also an option for those that are mildly sick or for inclement weather.

I will assign the student practice guidelines and goals which are to be followed during home practice sessions. Parents are to ensure that their children are practicing at least five days a week, for about 30 minutes a day. This does not have to be all in one sitting


  • Be on time: If a lesson begins late on my account, I will make up the time. If you arrive late, I am not obligated to make up that time with you.
  • Be courteous: Please enter my home quietly and wait until it is your turn.
  • Be prepared: Your hands should be clean, hair pulled back from the face. Practice and assignments completed, practice recorded with parent’s signature. Bring all current music and your assignment book to each lesson.
  • Be eager to learn: Parents, no matter how much you want your child to learn, I cannot teach them if they are not willing. An uncooperative attitude in a student will result in the lesson concluding immediately that day.

Parents are encouraged to sit in on lessons and quietly take pictures & video to post to social media or to aid practice at home. At times, I may also take video or pictures of my students to aid in their development as musicians or to celebrate certain milestones. Social media posts will be under their first name ONLY. If you do not want your child’s picture posted to social media, you must notify me upon registration.

Students must have daily access to a sufficient instrument at home. Acoustic pianos are always best, but some types of digital pianos are sufficient.

Digital pianos MUST have 88 keys that are “weighted” and/or “touch-sensitive”, and have a foot pedal, a music rack, and a bench that sits at proper height for the pianist.

Keyboards without ALL of these qualities are not suitable for piano lessons. Families with acoustic pianos must commit to tuning their pianos at least once a year.

Lessons can begin if the student has a non-weighted key keyboard at home, but families MUST be willing to upgrade to an instrument that meets ALL the instrument expectations before the end of the second year of study. Students who are unwilling to upgrade at that time will be asked to withdraw from lessons. If you are concerned about the financial cost of a piano, please speak to me before your student has been in my studio for two years so that we have some time to formulate a plan of action.

If no improvement results after a discussion with both the student and his parents, I may dismiss a student for habitual problems with the following: not being prepared for lessons, late payments/unpaid accounts, lack of interest/effort on the student’s or parent’s part, disrespect, unwillingness to participate/learn during lesson time, etc. I will also dismiss students after three “no shows”. “No shows” occur when you fail to follow the above stated cancellation policy in non-emergency situations.

If you decide to conclude your lessons, please do me the courtesy of letting me know at the beginning of your last lesson.

CONTACTING THE TEACHERIf you need to talk to me about how lessons are going, please catch me at the beginning of your student’s lesson.