The Guitar School Policy & Information
Pertaining to Guitar Lessons Conducted at My Home Studio Location:
Private Lesson Payment Details
All lessons must be paid in advance. There is a minimum advance payment of 4 lessons. Lesson fees are payable at the beginning of each period of 4 lessons. Lesson fees are not payable at the beginning of each month. You may pay by cash, personal cheque, or etransfer. See Tuition Fee document for current rates. Students will be provided with a payment / lesson schedule which I will fill in at each lesson to verify payment and keep track of attendance as well as the payment received date. The pay schedule should be brought to each lesson for me to fill out and not kept at home.
Teaching guitar is my profession, I don’t teach guitar because I have nothing better to do with my life or my spare time. This is my job, which I like. Teaching guitar is how I pay my bills to appease the money lenders, and feed my family. Therefore, payment of lessons on the appropriate date are greatly appreciated.
Group Lesson Payment Details
All group lessons, if you are taking part in them must be paid in advance either prior to commencement or at the beginning of the first class. Students in group sessions must pay for the entire duration of the 8 week course to be enrolled. You may pay by cash, personal cheque, or etransfer. See the tuition fee document.
Group lessons consist of 4 to 8 people. I like to keep the class sizes small. The duration of class lessons are 90 minutes. The classes happen once a week of a period of 8 to 10 weeks. There is no specific time of the year for group lessons. If I have the time or opportunity to offer group lessons I will and they are dependent on response and enrolment. Group lessons I offer are: “Guitar for Adult Beginners”, “Beginner Guitar for Teens”, “Rock & Blues Guitar for Intermediate Players”, and “Campfire Guitar”.
Forgot, Missed or Cancelled Lessons
If you or your child or teenager cannot make the lesson, please notify me ASAP. If possible, please notify me 24 hours prior to your lesson time. Email me or at the very last minute phone or text me on my cell 613-483-0377. Without any reasonable notification I will charge full rate for the missed lesson. There will still be a charge of $10.00 for any missed or cancelled lesson with notification. I could easily digress at this point, but will refrain from an inordinate literary personal rant, exposing a deep chasm of experience related to this topic. There is a small chance to none for a make–up lesson during that same week, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. In this busy life we live it’s not often we have the extra time we need.
Currently, 4 – 30 minute lessons are $84.00. If you incur the $10.00 fee for a missed or canceled lesson, the balance of the cost for the $21.00 missed lesson ($21.00 – $11.00 = $10.00) will be subtracted from the next payment of 4 lessons. Instead of paying the full amount of $84.00 for the next tuition instalment of $84.00, it will be reduced by $11.00 to a total of $73.00 for the next group or 4 lessons.
It is not uncommon that 30% of students will miss their lesson for no apparent reason knowing they will lose their lesson fee. If lesson cancellations become regular to the point of annoyance the student will find themselves off the roster.
Forgot, Missed or Cancelled Lessons
Simple! If a student misses a group lesson you forfeit the lesson fee and there are no make up lessons. NO EXCEPTIONS!
The student may notify me if they wish and make arrangements to pick up the lesson material for the group lesson/class they are going to miss. If you don’t call to arrange this I will just give you the material the following week.
Cancelled Private Lessons by Me
In the event I have to cancel a lesson, the fee for that lesson time will be carried over and applied to the following week’s lesson. This means there will be no charge for the lesson I have had to cancel. If possible, at your discretion and availability, a make up lesson may be scheduled realizing there is little to no chance of this happening.
As well, if lessons have to be cancelled due to bad weather the above applies. In the case of bad weather I will phone you. In some instances this may be last minute and I’ll try to phone and notify you 1 hour before your lesson time or as soon as possible.
Termination of Lessons
I’ve been teaching guitar a long time. I realize students come and go for various reasons. There is no penalty or cancellation fee, per se. If you would like to discontinue coming to lessons, you can finish up the period paid for. There will be no refund of remaining lessons paid for if you decide to leave mid-stream. Simply notify me when you know this is imminent.
The guitar students should be committed and enthusiastic regarding their lesson time. Please make every attempt to make the lesson each week. It is advisable to bring all previous lesson materials and books to each weekly lesson.
I enjoy teaching and am committed to helping students become a better and more proficient guitar player. I will try to make your learning experience meaningful, focused and as fun as possible. You learn better and retain more when you are enjoying yourself. I enjoy teaching and am committed to helping students become better and learned guitar players.
It is a huge benefit when students get enough sleep the night before the lesson day. Sleep is a necessary biological functioning mechanism that nurtures posture, enthusiasm, attention span, alertness, emotional well-being, and mood. Sleep fosters the ability to learn and retain information as well as keenly sharpen the ability to understand my humour!
It is my aspiration that students respect the learning materials I give them. That all papers are kept neat in a folder or binder and show up every week at the lesson. Papers that are shoved in the bottom of a Backpack or lunchbox, folded in half or quarters, wrinkled up, scribbled on, used as a serviette , or become lost is an apparent affront to the intellectual genius of the author who painstakingly scribed it’s content.
I believe the guitar is one of the coolest instruments on the planet! Guitar music is a great outlet for self-expression. Music is a wonderfully, amazing, powerful therapeutic conduit to help us navigate the various seasons of life we journey through.
Each student can come expecting to learn a lot, laugh, and be encouraged. I hope you will get as much joy out of playing the guitar as I have and that I can instil the pleasure, love, passion and discipline the best way I know how to propel you into the world of guitar playing.
Aggressive, disrespectful, rude and ill-mannered behaviour will not be tolerated. Life is short, let’s make the best of it, everybody needs to be nice. Guitar School students are expected to be polite, cooperative and respectful. I do not appreciate obscene or coarse language spoken by students or in song lyrics. Any type of sexual innuendo whether spoken, gestured or in song lyrics is completely out of place and unacceptable.
Hmmm, so this limits a lot of popular songs. With parental consent for those under 18 we can possibly learn these songs, if I feel like it, and as long as they are not over the top, I do have moral boundaries. Most kids and many adults have no idea what the song lyrics are about. For example, pick any AC/DC song. I can’t think of any AC/DC song that isn’t about sex, drugs, Rock’n Roll or partying. I can’t think of one positive song AC/DC has. AC/DC is light stuff compared to some of the over-the-top, in-your-face, overtly overly sexed main-stream pop.
I would be quite willing to share my views, opinions, and convictions about these topics if you are interested to know the below the surface ideological complexities of what I believe. Feel free to ask me but make sure you have some time to spare!
Lesson time goes by fast. Please be punctual and arrive 5 minutes before your lesson. We both need to respect the following students lesson time. When your lesson time is up, we are done, you’re out, and you’re gone! I don’t like to run over the lesson time and have to make other students wait. If the student after you has not arrived on time then we can continue until he shows up if circumstances permit.
I allow a space of 5 minutes between lesson times, this gives me a little bit of space so there is no lesson time overlap. This gives me the time needed to allow a student to pack up and go and allow the following student the time needed to settle in. This way no student will lose any valuable lesson time.
Liability and Assurance
I have ascertained liability insurance, which is a must with the Public and Catholic School Boards before I am allowed to teach in any of these schools. I also acquire a C.P.I.C. every year, which I must provide as well for the Limestone, and Catholic School Boards. The C.P.I.C. provides proof that I have no criminal record. This is especially required, and absolutely necessary when working with or volunteering with youth under the age of 18. From a parents perspective, which I am, this provides me (and you) with the assurance that my child, or your child, or yourself, is in a safe learning environment.
C.P.I.C. is an acronym for the “Canadian Police Information Centre”. (CPIC) was created in 1966 to provide tools to assist the police community in combating crime. It was approved by Treasury Board in 1967 as a computerized information system to provide all Canadian law enforcement agencies with information on crimes and criminals. CPIC is operated by the RCMP under the stewardship of National Police Services, on behalf of the Canadian law enforcement community.
I can only decipher, interpret, show you how, tell you why, give you pointers and advice, but I can’t do it for you! For the most part I do not determine your progress, YOU DO! Good intentions never got anybody anywhere. You must want to take action and do it. You have to practice, there is no other way to get better and move forward in your lessons. You will get more out of your lessons and your money will be wisely spent.
You should practice regularly, wisely and consider what you do with your practice time. I can give you some general and or specific guidelines. Set aside a time that will work best for you. Younger students will progress at a slower rate than mature students. Young ones should practice at least 10 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week.
Intermediate and advanced students should be practicing at least 30 minutes per day. In order to develop musical skills and obtain the most from a private or group instruction experience, dedicated practice is essential.
A teacher would always encourage more practice time. In my late teens and early twenties I practiced 6 to 8 hours each day. I was hungry to learn and willing to sacrifice other things to become a good player. It was hard work and long hours but I enjoyed it. Everybody’s goals are different. Your goals and time allowance should help determine your practice schedule.
Students Need a Guitar
Students need to have their own guitar at home to practice on. You can purchase, rent, or borrow an instrument. Avoid renting if you can, it can be costly. Guitars usually rent for $30 to $40 a month. If you decide to rent, ask if the music store will apply the rental fee towards the cost of purchasing it. 3 or 4 months of rental buys you a guitar.
It is important that a student has a guitar that suits their body size and the style of music they are interested in learning. It’s even more important to have a half decent guitar to play, not one that’s a piece of junk that has sat behind the TV in the corner for 15 years collecting dust. Get over any sentimental attachments to guitars that belonged to family members like Great Aunt Matilda, even if it was her first guitar 40 years ago. If it’s a collectors item and is still plays beautifully, then that’s a bonus, use it, but chances are it isn’t!
A guitar needs to able to be tuned and stay in tune. A guitar also needs to be easy to play, there are a number of playability factors that contribute to this. The easier the guitar is to play, the more likely the student will practice longer and enjoy the instrument. A bad guitar will definitely hinder a students progress and likely turn them off of practicing and guitar altogether.
The old adage of starting on an acoustic guitar and then moving to an electric in the next few years is not necessarily true. Electric guitars are definitely easier to sound notes on and have a higher “Playability Factor” in my books. The acoustic guitar takes a little more effort, and it is bulkier to hold. Most students do start on an acoustic guitar though. A half decent entry level acoustic guitar will always elevate and compliment the learning process.
Borrowing. If you can borrow from a friend or neighbour to get started, that is fine. Kingston has a fantastic resource called, “Joe’s Mill”, short for The Joe Chitlan Musical Instrument Lending Library. You can borrow a guitar from Joe’s Mill for a period of a month to six months. It’s a great place to start if you need an instrument. If your child decides guitar lessons are not for him or her in the early going, you just simply return the guitar and you haven’t wasted a nickel on purchasing one.
Joe’s Mill contact info, ask for Roger, he is the curator of the establishment.
If you need to buy an entry level guitar or better quality, I can give you a plethora of information to get you on the right path. I can help you decide between an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar and amp. I can direct you where to buy, and where not to buy in Kingston, and where the possible deals are.
I can also send you a very extensive, fine print 12 page document on “How to Purchase a Guitar”, where to shop and where not shop, and what to look for when buying one. You can expect to pay between, $90 to $200 for an entry level acoustic or electric guitar. You get what you pay for. If you know what to look for when buying a guitar, there are usually plenty of deals to be had on Kijiji.
I can help you with any immediate minor guitar setup and repair requirements. I can purchase strings for you and put them on the guitar if you need them. Strings cost from $7 to $12 dollars. If you would like to buy them, I’ll recommend the type, brand, and gauge of strings you should purchase. There is no fee for me to put them on.
The majority of teaching materials I hand out are computer generated by myself and printed off or photocopied. There will be a one time yearly fee of $18.00 to cover the expense of printing, printer ink, toner, and photocopies. This fee of $18.00 should be paid at the first lesson along with the fee for 4 lessons, $84.00, + $18.00 totalling $102.00.
Depending on learning requirements or the goals of each student, or group lesson, various types of books or learning materials may have to be purchased. I will recommend your options. Expect to pay at least $15.00 to $30.00 on one book depending on its content and author.
Workshop & Group Lesson Material Expenses
Guitar Workshops are one time events that are 2 to 4 hours in duration. All information discussed and taught are provided for students to follow along with. If there is a fee for the Workshop the materials are included in the Workshop fee. If the Workshop attended is offered for free, the information provided is available for purchase at a nominal fee.
The instructional materials and topical studies are generated and authored by myself over the course of many years of teaching. Depending on the Workshop topic, materials and fee’s will vary.
Group lesson students will receive a binder jam packed with instructional sheets and other stuff. The cost of the Group Lesson binder will be included in the Group Lesson Tuition Fee.
Typical Group Lesson Binder Contents
Each binder will basically contain the following:
One Inch White Binder
Cover and Spline Inserts
Student Pay Schedule
Student Lesson Schedule
Guitar School Policy and Information
Each Weeks Lesson Material – approx. 80 pages
Music Staff Pages
Chord Chart Pages
Fingerboard Chart Pages
Lined Paper for Notes
Jam Track links