Private Piano Student Studio Policies

While studying piano with Kaarin from ages 10-17, our daughter not only became a true musician, but developed an informed appreciation for fine music and gained tremendous confidence. Much more than an excellent piano teacher, Kaarin served as a trusted role model, set high - yet realistic - expectations, and motivated through positive coaching and consistent encouragement. When our daughter is home from college and fills our home with beautiful music, we are reminded of the long-lasting impact Kaarin has had on our entire family.

-Susan Messina, parent of former student, Charlotte, NC, 2017

Below you will find information about the procedures and policies of The Record Studio. Please take the time necessary to carefully review the contents of this section in order to avoid misunderstandings. Please note: These policies are carefully maintained and cannot be altered as they allow the piano lessons and associated schedules to flow smoothly and equitably for all.


  • The value of consistent practice and attendance cannot be expressed enough. Music is a language - and like any language, there are many basics which must be mastered prior to advancing to more complex applications.  During a course of study, the studio endeavors to cover all areas of musicianship in a progressive fashion.  
  • It is the student’s responsibility to understand and fully incorporate what is being taught. Each student must give his or her full attention and try their best in order to progress and ultimately reach his or her full potential. The studio uses a variety of teaching styles and lessons are created to accommodate the student's learning abilities, but if practice does not take place, learning may not occur. In addition, valuable lesson time that you are paying for will need to be spent on reviewing and re-teaching what should have been mastered at home.
  • Learning an instrument is not easy and may not always be considered the most exciting thing to be doing. Do not be concerned if you child asks “Do I HAVE to practice now?” Given time and structured practice resulting in good practice habits, it does become immensely satisfying and will provide a lifetime of enjoyment.  
  • Music assignments and practice are expected to have the same priority as homework. A good habit to establish is always practicing on the same night as their weekly lesson – preferably as soon as they return home. You may view this evening as the night when they should least be required to practice, but it is actually the most important. This will ensure that the student does not forget the new material and will reinforce concepts covered during that lesson. You are always free to contact me at home with any questions regarding your child’s lesson assignment. 

Studio Procedures

  • Students may enter the studio up to five minutes before their scheduled lesson time. If you decide to run an errand during their lesson time, please make sure you are back at the end of their lesson as the studio cannot be responsible for the child once their lesson time is through. Remember - the studio is an extension of a private residence and must be respected as such.
  • Lesson time must remain as focused as possible - siblings and friends cannot attend the lessons. Even if they remain quiet, the student is still aware of their presence and cannot fully concentrate on their lesson.  It is very uncomfortable to remind a parent of this procedure should the need arise, so please help me to keep the atmosphere of the lesson time free from such disturbances. 

Parental Support 

  • Sufficient scheduled practice time on a daily basis is the surest guarantee that you and your child will experience consistent progress at the piano. Parental support is also vital part of music training. When parents take on an active and honest interest in their child's progress, the student responds with enthusiasm and productivity. A positive voice and gentle demeanor is necessary when working with the child during practice times. 
  • Adults can often forget that children are rarely self-motivated and lack the maturity and discipline to put into that all-important practice session. You are their teacher when they are not at their lesson. Commitment to learning the piano requires the decision to practice on a regular basis. And you may learn something about the piano in the process!

Attendance, Missed Lessons, and Make Up Lessons

  • Regular attendance is vital to every student’s progress. Each student needs to be well prepared and arrive at his or her lesson on time. The studio cannot assume financial responsibility for a student's absence, whether it be related to illness, weather, sports, etc. Monthly rates are flat fees, and will not be lowered nor refunded for missed lessons. Please bear in mind that some months contain an extra week for which there is no additional charge. It is highly recommended that you attend regularly during these months in order for you to compensate for absences you may incur during the year.  
  • If, for some reason, a lesson must be missed, please notify the studio at least one week (or not less than 24 hours if possible) in advance.  
  • The studio will assume financial responsibility should a lesson be cancelled by the instructor for any reason. A make up lesson will immediately be rescheduled or the month's regular fee will then be reduced by that particular amount. 

Other Activities

  • While it is understand that well rounded children will participate in a variety of activities (sports, music, school groups, etc), your child's music lessons are expected to be treated with the same level of importance as any other subject your child may be participating in. You are paying for quality lessons - ensure that your child gets the most out of them!

Music Supplies

  • There is a $200 non-refundable music supply deposit that is required at the time a student is accepted into the studio. As music books and supplies are given to the student, the cost of these materials will be deducted from the deposit. 

Lesson Termination

One month’s notice is requested in the event a student wishes to terminate lessons. The studio reserves the right to terminate a student’s lessons for the following reasons:

  • If he or she is irregular in attendance;
  • If he or she repeatedly fails to prepare assigned material;
  • If he or she is disruptive;
  • If there is any type of inappropriate behavior on the part of the student or the parent;
  • Failure to pay monthly lessons in full by the due date.


  • It is highly encouraged that students participate in a variety of musical activities. Please inform the studio of any performance the student is considering, whether it be playing for their class, the PTA or a local talent show, as it is important to be assured that your child is as well prepared as possible. 

Practice Habits

The development of good practice habits will go miles towards making this an enjoyable experience for your student. It is very beneficial to sit with your child during several of their practices each week as they are establishing their habits of practicing. Young children can easily get confused and will benefit greatly by your participation and guidance.  

Help your child develop good practice habits by:

  • providing a practice environment that is free of distractions;
  • setting up regular uninterrupted practice times and sticking with this schedule;
  • making the student's daily practice a family priority;
  • supporting your child by listening and showing interest in his or her music - don't criticize his or her playing;
  • attending concerts and recitals with your child.

Thank you for your support in the commitment to these studio policies.   

© 2018 TRS