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Business Policy for Studio Spicer
Tim-Vincent SPICER, ARCT, BA, BEd, RMT

Policy Date:  May 2013 — this policy is subject to amendments as needed. *
Download/print this Registration Form & Policy as PDF


I have developed the following policy as a means to guide the "business" side of operating a music studio. New students must complete the registration form;  I use the information provided in order to:

1)  Collect identification documentation from each student and/or responsible parent
(to maintain accurate records of "who" is receiving instruction, "who" is paying); student’s date of birth is required for students taking exams or participating in festivals.

Maintain receipts & financial records of fees, official class lists (required to report revenue for income tax).

FEES — see the fees page for current rates. 

·         Fees are due in advance, payable on the first lesson day of each month;

·         Fees for missed lessons are not refunded; (this makes for difficult accounting and financial reporting);

·         A set monthly fee will be determined based on the lesson duration (30 minutes, 45 minutes, etc.). The monthly fee is determined by dividing the annual tuition into 10 equal payments (Sept to June).

·         Payment is accepted in the form of cash, cheque, money order or email transfer.  Receipts for annual tuition are provided for each taxation year, in January and June.

·         Cheques should be made payable to:  Vincent SPICER.


·         Missed lessons for any reason other than illness are forfeited.

·         Lessons missed due to illness or teacher absence will be credited toward the final (10th) payment in June if a make-up lesson isn’t possible.  A maximum of 3 “illness” excuses are accepted per year.

·         If possible, a make-up lesson will be provided for a missed lesson if there is an open time slot in the schedule but this cannot be guaranteed.  

·         Students are encouraged to be punctual; students who arrive late might have that lesson shortened if I have another student booked immediately after his/her lesson time. Where possible, I will try to extend the lesson so that late students won't be shorted on lesson time, but it must be understood that this cannot be guaranteed.

·         Missing lessons leads to poor progress and becomes discouraging for both student and teacher.

Rationale for this policy regarding fees and missed lessons:

I am interested in teaching serious students.  I make a serious effort to provide quality instruction. I operate on the values of responsibility, accountability, ethics, commitment and discipline. Non-refundable lesson fees paid in advance is further incentive to avoid absence which slows progress. Please understand that I am holding a specific lesson time slot for you on the agreement that attendance and payment of fees will be regular.  Most institutions and studios have the policy of non-refundable tuition. I am committed to reserving a lesson time slot for you; please be committed to show up for lessons.


·         Lessons are once per week, typically 4 lessons per month, with a duration of 30, 45 or 60 minutes. 

·         I do not provide lessons “every 2nd week” or on any other ad-hoc or casual basis. I have experimented with such arrangements in the past and this has never been successful for making progress; furthermore, I can’t have a time slot sitting “vacant” for half the time resulting in half the revenue.

·         Lessons will be conducted at Studio Spicer, currently located at my residence.  I do not travel.

·         I have no daycare; parents please do not bring pre-school aged children to the lesson. It has been my experience that this is disruptive.

·         Please do not bring snacks and drinks into the studio—this is lesson time.

·         For younger children, parents are requested to be present for the duration of the lesson.  There are two reasons for this: 

1)  This is for our mutual safety and protection.  Parents can observe that my methods, behaviour and interaction, are always conducted in a caring, respectful and professional manner. Please advise me if there are any medical concerns such as epilepsy or seizures, asthma, diabetes, etc.

2)  This allows more opportunity for teacher-parent communication, and most importantly, parents have the opportunity to know exactly the content of the lessons which will help parents reinforce the lesson practice at home. Parents can also see the progress of the student throughout the lesson. 


I will recommend an appropriate amount of daily practice time that will be in line with the music goals of the student.  Success in music/piano requires a 3-way combined effort, between student, teacher and parent. Many students will make use of a music dictation book (or iPad if you are so inclined) to record progress of the lessons. Reasonable progress can be expected and enjoyed if the student has a piano at home or regular access to a keyboard.  Students should follow the practice schedule that I prescribe; practice for most students should be daily (six days per week), but the duration and frequency will be prescribed based on individual needs.  For example, a student preparing for a recital or exam will have different needs/requirements than someone who is taking piano lessons for leisure enjoyment. Remember that the ultimate goal in most cases is the emotional fulfillment and enjoyment that music gives us.


Video or audio recording of lessons is not permitted at this time. I am looking into the possibilities of setting up digital video recording of lessons in the future as this can have some distinct learning advantages. But some issues of access, control and agreement will need to be worked out before this service can be offered.


Communication must be regular. Aside from occasional communication by phone, the usual form of communication will be either by traditional pen & paper using a music dictation/notation book, or, by current technologies such as iPad or email. 


I request one month notice when the student intends to stop taking lessons. This is usually convenient since lesson fees are paid one month in advance (at the beginning of each month). It also allows me to prepare to make a better closure to the final lessons. 

 FOIP Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy - Here are local copies of the FOIP Act and FOIP Regulation.

Suffice it here to say that any information that I collect on the Registration Form for Studio Spicer or in any other manner (phone conversation, email, etc.) will be kept in strict confidence.  Information on the Registration Form is used for me to report revenue for income tax purposes or for city license requirements. Biographical or personal information will not be shared outside Studio Spicer, except where required for registration for exam or festival purposes.  Sharing of information under these circumstances will always be with the knowledge, consent and participation of those students who decide to participate in such musical activities.

Thank you,
Tim-Vincent SPICER

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