Missed Lessons & Make-Up Lesson Policy
Your child’s music education is important and regular attendance needs to be a priority.
School-year lesson times are selected during the summer. It is usually impossible to reschedule your school year lesson time once the schedule is established for the semester. Please keep this in mind when you consider other activities.
Missed lessons or group classes by the student are not refundable and payment is still required. It is not possible to schedule make-up lessons when a student misses a lesson for any reason including illness or prearranged vacation. Please do not ask for a make-up. This policy exists to protect our teachers. (For an interesting article about this policy, see this article). Lessons missed by the teacher at any time for any reason will be made up at a mutually convenient time for the student and the teacher, or credit for the lesson will be given on the next month’s tuition. Abuse of this no-make-up policy will result in dismissal from the program.
Please do not assume that we understand that your child will miss scheduled lessons during holidays or other functions your child attends. Because our students come from many school districts, are homeschooled, or are not yet in school, the studio will not necessarily follow any particular school calendar, although we do try and align with the District 97 and District 200 calendars.
The studio calendar is arranged very far in advance, usually at the beginning of the school year. Important dates are emailed, placed on the My Music Staff online calendar, and posted in several locations in the studio. Please take some time to carefully review the calendar at the start of each school year and place important dates on your home master calendar. It is expected that families will look at the calendar and reserve recital and other performance dates regardless of other activities that add events to their calendar later in the year. For a child to feel immersed and committed to music lessons, it is important for them to develop a peer group to which they feel attached to. Please make OPSA events a priority to help us develop your families’ musical community. We try our best to make this easy for you by giving you plenty of time to plan.
If a student arrives late for a lesson, the student will receive instruction for the remainder of the scheduled lesson only. Our lessons are scheduled back to back and we try our best to maintain an on-time schedule.
Please do not bring sick children to violin lessons or arrive ill yourself. If a child or parent arrives at the studio ill, we reserve the right to send the parent and the child home. If a student is too ill for school, he/she is too ill for his/her music lesson. It is unacceptable to bring a child to a lesson when they have a fever. We work in close proximity and with our hands, so germs spread easily. Please consider the health and well-being of our instructors and the other families in our space. Online lesssons can usually be held when a child is feeling well enough for a lesson but is recovering.
Group lessons are an integral part of the program at OPSA. Attendance at group functions is required; please mark your calendars at the beginning of the year for these important dates.
For young violinists in a Suzuki Program, participation in group lessons is an essential part of the student’s development. Students and parents both find group classes to be fun and exciting. Group classes can be very motivating. Group lessons are held each week during the academic year. There are no group classes during the summer months. Missed group classes follow the same policy as our individual lesson policy (no refunds or makeups available).
Continual communication is a natural part of any educational endeavor. Open communication is strongly encouraged and appreciated between the student, parent, and teacher. Any conflicts or problems that may arise in the course of the semester should immediately be brought to the instructor or director’s attention.
Parent conferences without the student will be held in lieu of a lesson during one of the last few weeks of the school year. This time helps to give both the parent and teacher a chance to communicate each ones vision for the student and discuss how we are doing in terms of working towards this vision. Your child’s development–both musical and otherwise–is very important to us. These conferences help to make sure that the work we do each week and the daily work you do at home in regards to violin are helping to foster a healthy, happy and musical child. You will receive a questionnaire via email in order to help facilitate communication during this conference. Please submit it within a few days of receiving it as your teacher will want to prepare for your conference. Summer and fall scheduling are also typically discussed during this conference so as not to detract from instructional time during regular lessons.
The Oak Park String Academy is a twelve-month, year-round program–without exceptions. During the summer semester (June-July-August) students are required to take a minimum number of lessons in order to keep their spot for the school year. Most students opt to take additional lessons in the summer by taking 2 or even 3 lessons a week. Practice duration during the summer semester should be increased as there is no school during the day. The Summer Term is flexible in that students are only asked to sign up for a portion of the approximately 12 weeks of summer to allow for summer travel plans. Summer lessons are also flexible in that a student signs up for each lesson individually, and you are not necessarily tied into the same lesson time each week.
Study during the summer is crucial for students to maintain their progress. Information regarding the scheduling of summer lessons is discussed in May each year. In order to allow greater flexibility during the summer months to accommodate summer activities and family vacations, all lessons will be scheduled by appointment only. There are typically 11 or 12 weeks during the summer semester and we require students to take at least 7 lessons which allows for a lot of flexibility around family vacations, summer camps, etc.
Enrollment in the Oak Park String Academy (OPSA) is not a “payment per service” arrangement, but rather a tuition-based business. Enrolling in music lessons is a purchase of a teacher’s services and a reservation of the teacher’s time. Tuition entitles a student to school membership and scheduled weekly lessons. Your child’s lesson time is reserved for you; since time passes whether a student uses it or not, a lesson missed is time and money lost. The full fee is to be paid whether or not the student attends all lessons; lessons missed by the student for any reason will not be made-up nor tuition refunded. Notification of inability to attend a lesson is appreciated but does not excuse payment for contracted lessons.
Invoices are sent out via email at the end of each month. Payment can be made with Zelle, Credit Card, or ACH through our My Music Staff administrative program (link provided upon registration). Students can enroll at any time during the year if there are lesson spots available. Students will be charged from the date of their first lesson. An annual registration fee is charged at the start of the summer semester (or prorated at the time of enrollment) in order to reserve your spot in the program for the following school year. This registration fee helps to cover a small portion of costs such as hall rental, rehearsal space, some practice materials, piano maintenance, piano accompanists, and much more. The 2023-2024 registration fee is $170 per family.
Tuition is non-transferable and non-refundable.