2018 – 2019

Northwest School of Music Studio Policies


General Information | Weekly private lessons are offered in 30, 45, or 60-minute sessions, depending on the student’s age/level. Private lessons are available for students ages 3-adult. We also offer group classes during the year, most of which are 45 minutes long. Group classes are offered for ages newborn – adult and schedules are to be announced throughout the year.


At The Lesson | Students are expected to arrive for lessons in a timely manner, with all required materials and music. If the lesson is at the studio, parents may remain in the waiting room, quietly watch, wait in their vehicle in the parking lot, or run errands so long as they return to pick up their student in a timely fashion.  To discuss student progress, parents are welcome to talk with the teacher during the first few minutes of the student’s lesson — but not afterwards, in order to respect the next student’s time slot. Any siblings or other people in the vicinity of a lesson being taught must be quiet enough as to not create a distraction.


Practice and Instrument | Students are expected to practice daily on a well-maintained instrument.  The practice area should be located in a quiet area away from distractions.  The most important time for the student to practice is immediately following the lesson – or at least on the same day as the lesson, after the student has received instruction.  Students should practice at least 5-6 days per week, for 10-60 minutes, depending on age and skill level. Your teacher will let you know how long would be best for each student to practice. You get out of it what you put into it – consistency is very important. The results speak for themselves. Acoustic pianos should be tuned annually. Band and orchestra instruments should be cleaned daily and otherwise maintained as needed.


Materials | Students are given an assignment binder after registering, which is used to keep track of assigned pieces and practice suggestions/goals for each week. All second year and higher students should have and regularly use a metronome.  The teacher will obtain all needed books and materials for the student.  The annual (first year: $65, subsequent years: $50) registration fee covers the cost of all needed books and materials for the whole year; however, if it is insufficient (due to unusual student demands) the student/parent is expected to cover the additional costs. The annual registration fee also entitles each student to use of materials from NWSM’s music lending library. New materials for the library may be purchased at students’ request. Please treat library materials with care. Damaged materials must be replaced at parents’ expense.


Calendar and Schedule | The annual amount covers 47 lessons each calendar year. NWSM does not provide lessons during the two weeks surrounding Christmas, the week of Thanksgiving, spring break week, the week preceding the start of the school year. 


Tuition and Payment | Students have the option of paying tuition in one of the three following methods.

  1. In equal monthly installments.  Payments are due by the 10th of each month.  Invoices are sent through email or through mail by request only. Please see our rate schedule for the amount due each month.
  2. In two equal installments.  Payments are due August 10th and February 10th. Students receive a 5% discount. These totals can be requested.
  3. At each lesson. Students who would like to pay at each lesson will pay a higher amount, at $30 for 30 minute lessons, $45 for 45 minute lessons, and $60 for 60 minute lessons.

Payments may be mailed (postmarked by the 10th) or given to the teacher at a lesson.  Late payments and returned checks will incur a late fee of $20.  Unpaid late fees may result in the termination of the student’s contract. NWSM reserves the right to adjust fees at the beginning of each new academic year.

Tuition may be paid via cash, check, card, automatic deposit using bank routing number (email nwschoolofmusic@gmail.com for information on setting this up with your bank account), or online via card or bank transfer.


Summer Months | During the summer months, private students are still expected to practice and take lessons. At NWSM, we feel strongly about continuing the student’s musical education throughout the summer months to ensure maximum retention and progress. In addition, please note that the tuition rate has been determined based on a 12-month calendar.  For these reasons, if a student fails to observe this policy by refusing to continue through the summer, the student unfortunately cannot be guaranteed a spot in the studio in the fall.


Makeup Lessons | Due to our full schedules, makeup lessons cannot be guaranteed.  However, if an absence arises due to unforeseen situations such as an accident or family emergency and the student indicates a desire for a makeup lesson, the teacher/office staff will make an effort to accommodate a makeup.  Please be courteous to the teacher and fellow students by notifying the teacher at least 24 hours in advance regarding any known upcoming absences.  If a makeup lesson is not able to be scheduled, students may be able to attend a group lesson instead, or a lesson with a different teacher than normal.

If given significant notice (prior to the start of the month) of upcoming vacations or other absences, reduced month tuition for those months can certainly be negotiated; otherwise, tuition must be paid in full each month, regardless of the number of lessons the student actually attends.


Discontinuing Lessons | Every student stops taking lesson at some point.  Ideally, this decision is made thoughtfully with plenty of discussion between the teacher, parent, and student so that lessons can cease with a positive sense of closure.  For this reason, we ask for two weeks notice prior to discontinuing lessons.  However, the teacher respects the student’s right to end lessons at any time.  Note: At the discretion of the director, students may be asked to discontinue lessons at any time if they have unpaid tuition, an excess amount of absences/unprepared lessons, or if they show a lack of interest.


Parent Participation | Parents are encouraged to be supportive and active participants in practice at home.  Parents are also encouraged to attend and quietly observe lessons approximately once a month.  Your child’s teacher will provide you with details of how you can best assist your child in their musical studies.


Studio Events | Each year, the studio schedules a number of both small and large events for students and their parents. Studio recitals are a formal setting and are exciting opportunities for students to showcase their hard work and improvement over the year in the presence of their family and friends. Recitals are not required, but are highly suggested and a lot of fun. Generally, there are recitals for Winter and Spring, but others may be offered throughout the year. These opportunities are communicated with students and families during the year.


Communication | There are many great ways to stay informed regarding studio news and events!

  • Studio Website: Visit www.gillianperkinsinternational.com to find teacher contact information, current studio policies and procedures, the studio calendar, archives of previous studio newsletters, and much more.
  • Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NWSchoolOfMusic Students and parents are welcome to join the studio’s Facebook page. “Liking” this page allows students to interact with the teacher and other students while maintaining the privacy of each student’s Facebook profile.

The best way to contact us is via email: nwschoolofmusic@gmail.com, which will be promptly returned with an email reply or phone call.  Phone calls are also welcome, but be advised that office hours are 2pm-6pm on weekdays. Please leave us a voicemail so that we can return your call.  The teachers welcome emails or text messages from students during the week if they have questions regarding their repertoire or other matters.