Studio Policy

If you are accepted as a student in Tzu-yi Chen's studio, please realize you are making a commitment for the year.  This commitment is necessary to maintain continuity and progress in the learning period.
Each student must have an adequately maintained piano (not a digital or electronic piano), a metronome, and a special time set aside each day for the practice.  Student must commit at least 75-90 minutes per practice (dependent on the current level), and 90-120 minutes before any registered event. The piano should be placed away from TV and telephone to provide a quiet atmosphere for solid lesson preparation.  Consistent daily practice is expected of all students and parents are asked to help reinforce this agreement.

Inconsistent practice may result insufficient preparation for the events.  Teacher has the right to determine whether additional class has to be added before such event occurs.
Termination of this year-long commitment maybe initiated by the Instructor if the student does not adhere to preparation requirement.  If a family is transferred from the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, thirty days notice must be given.  No other termination situations are acceptable.

At Instructor's discretion, Instructor may hold group sessions the last week of the Fairfax county public school four grading periods.   These hour and a half sessions are held instead of regular private lessons.  These group lessons are designed to offer technique, rhythmic, theory, music history, and performance-practice opportunities in a group setting.  Instructor makes the appropriate evaluations and assessments based on the materials, which the students prepare for the festival events, testing exam, and annual recitals.  The extra length of the group lessons may be applied to make-up time for the individual lessons missed by the student.
There are many music activities available through various music organizations in this area.  Only the testing program of the National Guild of American College Musicians is the qualifying examination for all 50 states of United States.  The exam takes place in each summer (usually between May to mid-June).  If parents are interested in having their children (students) prepared for additional performing activities listed other than on WMTA (Washington D.C. Music Teachers Association), please advise me early in the fall (no later than September 30, 2019) so the appropriate music can be assigned and studied.

Studio recitals will be at the end of the year, based on facility availability.  Attendance is required!  Failure to participate in recitals is cause for dismissal.  Students need a skillful accompanist to go together to the concerto performance, please make your arrangements early.  Accompanists in this area usually charge by counting how many rehearsals you need before the event, and a separate fee on the event day.  Your applied piano Instructor will charge a separate accompanying fee per each event, and will not charge extra if the rehearsal already takes place within the applied piano lesson.

Instructor's many administration duties include:  
- Pay teacher's annual memberships at MTNA and WMTA (Washington D.C. Music Teacher Association) and American College Musicians, USA.
- Attend the mandatory meetings for teachers.
- Complete the event application for students and mail studio payments, when the event requires 
- Make arrangements to book the final recital.  If more than one recital occurs in the year, one student's parent per recital will be assigned to take charge of leading the entire performing group
- Serve as the assigned judge / monitor for at least 8-10 hours/per event 
- Collaborate with the representative chairs (of festival, test center, competition) for scheduling and in an attempt to facilitate the event
- Send event reminders to parents
- Collect the comment sheets, awards and certificates

  It is brought to my awareness that students need more informal performance opportunities before getting ready to play in competitive events.  Therefore, each student parent is assigned to co-lead at least one performing group a year, to produce informal community concert in a cooperate senior assisted-living home.  The duty includes gathering the recital repertory from students, edit the program template, confirm with the assistant living coordinator before the event, make sure the community service letters are signed by the coordinator.  Program template and letter template will be provided by instructor.  
  Dress code for recitals will require girls to wear skirts or dresses.  Young men should wear dress slacks and a nice shirt.  Jacket and tie are expected only at the end of the year program but are certainly welcome at the other programs.  Sneakers or sport shoes are not acceptable.   

Attendance at classes and recitals is REQUIRED.  A student unable to attend his regularly scheduled lesson should try to arrange a lesson time trade with another student.  A "Swap List" will be provided for this purpose.  It is the responsibility of the student requesting the "swap" to notify me when a trade is to take place.  If your student has a fever, please be considerate of me and the other students and DO NOT send him (her) to the lesson.  If they are too sick to go to school, they should not come to a piano class.  The extra time offered with the group lessons will cover a lesson missed when no Swap was made.  Make-up lessons will be offered ONLY if I have cancelled lessons due to illness, performing or judging commitments, this is non-negotiable.  So far, instructor has no problem with any parent based on mutual understanding and trust-worthy relationships. No refund will be made unless instructor cannot fulfill all the classes before July 31st 2020.

My current cell phone will be my primary work phone starting in August 2019.   Please call or text only when you will be late, absent, or decide to exchange lesson time with another student.  The phone will be switched on only during the teaching hours.  Other days the phone will remain switched off.  If you want to discuss anything over the phone or express any concern, please email me to: Please allow me 2-3 business days to reply, if it is not an emergency.

Tuition is based on the total fee for the lessons given within the Term.  This total cost is budgeted the number of monthly installments of the Term, regardless of the number of lessons given each month.  It is conceivable that some months may have no lessons (for example: Christmas break or summer vacation) but payment is still due. At least two lessons are recommended before the start of the school year in September, so the schedule will not run during the winter. 

There will be a $35.00 late fee due in addition to tuition for each payment received after the 7th of the month. THIS IS NON-NEGOTIABLE!!

Group theory classes for piano students are mandatory.  The group theory classes are held generally on bi-weekly basis, maximum 5 students in one class, total 16-classes from September to June.  These classes will cover the theory, harmony, ear training, sight-reading, rhythm, music appreciation, music analysis and music history.  
At the end of every winter and summer semester, 1 or 2 example test models will be given to evaluate students learning instead of the regular class.  This evaluation is for teacher to pace and adjust the study goals, to insure if certain concepts have to be reviewed. 
Please note, in certain months when there are vacations or holidays, the class dates may be rescheduled due to the availability of the Instructor. No refund will be made due to the cancellation by students.  
Students who take the group theory classes will add the total amount into the annual payment and divide into 12-months installment as well.

If you are late preparing for the event and desire to add additional lessons, please inform the Instructor for additional lessons. 
Additional lessons will first be deducted from your remaining registered lessons.  If you will have used all registered lessons earlier than the semester end, each additional class will be charged separately as a private piano lesson, and shall be paid in-full before the lesson begin.

Student/ Parent or Guardian acknowledges that piano instruction requires physical contact between student and instructor.