Activation: The contract is activated (and the time/day officially reserved) when this form has been received and approved of by EM Vocal Studio, and when the first month’s tuition payment has been received.
Termination: If a student wishes to permanently discontinue lessons, take time off, OR reduce weekly lessons to bi-weekly lessons, he/she must notify EM Vocal Studio one full week prior to the start of the month in which the change should take effect. If proper notice is not given, full tuition (as agreed upon in this document) will be due for the subsequent month regardless of whether the student is able to attend. Exceptions may be made in extreme circumstances per instructor discretion. Students must not demand or expect exceptions.
Note: If a student wishes to permanently change his/her lesson day and/or time, or increase bi-weekly lessons to weekly lessons, he/she may contact the instructor at any time to check studio availability. If a suitable alternative can be found, the change may be made effective immediately.
Payment: Full tuition is due on the first day of each month. All payments must be made through our online store, via PayPal (to [email protected]), or via Venmo (@ Emily-Merrell17). Automatic bill pay is also an option, as long as the check is set to be delivered on the first of each month. EM Vocal Studio will always send a reminder text and email on or before the first day of each month.
Late Payment Penalty: If full tuition is not received by the third day of the month, a $10.00 penalty will be added to the balance.
Loss of Reserved Spot: If full tuition and $10.00 late fee are not received by the fifth day of the month, you will risk losing your reserved spot.
Additional fees are always optional.
Recital Fees: Recital fees vary with the nature and complexity of each recital. Official details about recital fees, commitment deadlines, etc. will be released several months in advance of each event. Recitals are never mandatory.
Sheet Music Fees: If the student wants to work on a song for which sheet music is not freely available, the student will be responsible for purchasing the necessary sheet music. The instructor will never require the student to choose a song for which sheet music must be purchased.
Student Attendance & Make-up Lessons:
Student Cancellation: Absolutely no refunds are given, nor will tuition adjustments be made for student cancellations. Please understand, tuition pays for time to be reserved. It is the student’s responsibility to take advantage of the time he/she has paid for.
Make-up Lessons: Each student is allowed two make-up lessons per semester (Semesters are January through May, June through August, and September through December). When given 24-hours’ notice or more, EM Vocal Studio will grant a 60-minute make-up lesson. When fewer than 24-hours’ notice are given, EM Vocal Studio will grant 30-minute make-up lesson. Make-up lessons must occur within one month of the missed lesson, or will be forfeited. Make-up lessons will not “roll-over” into a new semester. Students may check the public calendar for make-up options, or may wait for a list of options from EM Vocal Studio (sent out weekly, or as new spots become available). The instructor will take extreme circumstances into consideration.
No-Shows: If no contact has been made by the scheduled lesson start-time, students will not be eligible for a make-up lesson under any circumstances.
Tardiness: Lessons will end at their scheduled time, regardless of the student’s time of arrival. Similarly, if the student arrives early for his/her lesson, the instructor is not obligated to begin the lesson until the scheduled lesson time. Please note, if the student’s lesson is the first lesson of the day, and the student is early to his/her lesson, the studio may not yet be open for the day. The instructor will always be ready to open the studio and begin the lesson at the scheduled time.
Instructor Cancellation & Studio Closure:
Instructor Cancellation/Studio Closure: Instructor cancellations will result in a $70 credit to your account.
Explanation: Each hour reserved is worth $70. However, the number of lessons per month will vary throughout the year (e.g. most months have four Wednesdays, some months have five). To keep things stable, the tuition rate is constant, and remains balanced throughout the year. In other words, each month you pay an extra $10 or $20 (depending on whether you come every-other-week, or weekly), and every six or three months, respectively, you will have paid for an extra lesson (a third or fifth, respectively) within the month.
Holidays: Studio closures are guaranteed for Thanksgiving Day, December 24th and 25th, January 1, and July 4th. All other national and state holidays may be treated as normal business days, per instructor discretion. Students may always choose to use one of their make-up lessons if they would prefer not to attend on a non-closure holiday.
Frequency: Group lessons will be held once per semester (May, August, and December) and will replace one private lesson for the month in which the group lesson takes place. Tuition is not affected by group lessons. Students may not “opt out” of the group lessons, though they may choose to use one of their make-up lessons if they absolutely cannot attend the group lesson. Group lesson dates will always be available prior to the start of each semester.
Purpose and Content: The purpose of group lessons is to create a more well-rounded experience for each student, and to enrich the overall lesson content. The May group lesson is always a masterclass format – students will perform for one another, and will give and receive peer feedback. The August group lesson is always a lecture/group-participation class, during which we’ll hear from an expert in a related field (beat boxing, acting, rap, managing performance anxiety, career building and branding, etc.). The December group lesson is always a private concert and Q&A with a professional solo artist or group. See details here.
Group Make-up Lesson: An additional group make-up lesson may occasionally be added for students who are eligible for make-up lessons in the final weeks of the semester.
Repertoire: Repertoire must be approved by the instructor. In general, repertoire may be selected from any style, but must be appropriate, challenging, and must never put the student in danger of vocal injury. For participation in specialty recitals, repertoire must be chosen from a specific genre or list provided by the instructor.
Materials: Students should bring a 3-ring binder containing their music and any other written lesson materials to every lesson. It is also a great idea to bring a water bottle.
Distractions: Students should avoid distractions during lessons. Cell phones and other electronic devices are great for taking notes, but should not be used for entertainment/texting/emailing during lesson time, if possible. Siblings and parents can also be distractions. Of course, parents, siblings, and children (for adult students) are welcome, but siblings/children should be quiet and respectful; parents should let the student answer and respond to questions in his/her own way whenever possible. This is especially important for very shy students.
Studio Space: I expect students to respect studio equipment and space. Please do not touch the piano, computer, or any other instruments unless invited to do so. Please avoid rocking back in your chair, or putting your shoes on the seat.
Practice: Daily practice is the best habit for a healthy voice and speedy improvement. Even just 5 minutes each day is preferable to an hour once each week. Your vocal muscles are tiny and will atrophy very quickly with even a few days without proper exercise. On the other hand, they will get strong very quickly if you are practicing diligently! Singing along with the radio or while you are walking around your house does NOT count as practicing, unless you are thinking critically about your technique. Unfocused singing will only reinforce poor habits. Be patient as you try new things and take risks. Practice will rarely feel or sound perfect—learning something new is difficult and may be rough at first! As you begin to feel comfortable with one exercise/piece, it is probably time to move on to more challenging material.
Attitude: Lessons work best if there is a feeling of mutual respect and comfort between teacher and student. Students should feel free to express opinions, discuss musical experiences and thoughts, and ask any questions they may have. Students should know that music lessons are a safe place—there is no need to be nervous or shy. It is my job to help you succeed, not to make snap judgments about your talent or ability. Above all, I respect the desire to improve and to foster a love of music! I do not choose favorites based on talent—I will do everything I can to help each and every student achieve his/her personal best, no matter the skill level. Please strive for open communication in music lessons! Let me hear you take risks; let me hear you make mistakes. This is how I am able to help you improve.
Content: Your lesson content will be designed to suit your specific needs and goals, but should include most of the following (for all ages and skill levels): vocal technique and styling (Pop, R&B, Jazz, Broadway, Rock, Singer-Songwriter, and more), stage presence, developing thoughtful lyric delivery, piano for the self-accompanied vocalist, songwriting and composition, arranging, sight-singing, music theory, improvisation/ad lib, ear training, systematic repertoire development, concepts in character development for the musical actor, and marketing/branding for career-building. Please feel free to discuss your lesson focus preferences with your instructor. Adjustments will always be made to accommodate individual student goals/strengths/limitations.