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Policies and Procedures

Below is our list of policies and updated procedures for Garrett Music Academy.  When signing up for lessons at GMA, your enrollment form will list this information and request a signature as confirmation that you have read and understand all regulations.

*going into effect September 1st, 2023.

Garrett Music Academy Policies

Payment and Lesson Policies

Tuition per-student for Private lessons are as follows:

  • $160 per month for 30-minute private lessons, taken once per week. (Most students only take 30 minute lessons, unless longer lessons are suggested by the instructor.)

  • $240 per month for 45-minute private lessons, taken once per week.

  • $320 per month for 60-minute private lessons, taken once per week.

  • $180 per month for 30-minute Music Intervention sessions, taken once per week.

  • $360 per month for 60-minute Music Intervention sessions, taken once per week.

  • $340 per month for 60-minute Find Your Voice sessions, taken once per week.

If your first lesson falls in the middle of the month, you or your child’s tuition will be prorated for the 1st month to reflect only the lessons you actually receive. After that, a monthly flat rate will be charged and tuition remains the same each month. As stated in the Cancellation Policy (see below), occasionally, students will receive fewer lessons in a month only due to the presence of a major holiday or a shorter month.

We require payment for lessons due by the 25th of every month. Billing will go out on the 20th of the month for the upcoming month. Lessons must be paid in advance, otherwise they will be canceled until a payment is received. If accounts are 5 days past due, a $25 late fee will be charged and lessons will be suspended until payment is received. To avoid late fees and lesson suspensions, autopay is in place and highly recommended for all clients to enroll.


Students receive extra lessons throughout the year (1 in a given month) because some months have more than 4 weeks with their scheduled lesson day. Months with 5 lessons balance out the occasional months where a holiday causes a student to receive fewer lessons. When comparing tuition between studios, remember that some studios increase tuition or skip lessons for months that have an extra (5th) lesson. At the Garrett Music Academy, the 5th lesson is always included at no extra charge.

Transactions that are declined because of insufficient funds, past expiration dates or closed accounts, incur a $15 fee in addition to the month’s tuition charges. To avoid unnecessary fees, please remember to let us know if you close your account, change banks or want to use a different account/credit card, or need to update the information on an existing credit card.

There is a $40.00 return check fee. If a return check balance including the fee is not paid within ten days, the account will be vigorously pursued through collection activity permitted by law. If there is more than one occasion where a returned check comes back the fee will be $50.00.

The studio is closed for New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve. There are no tuition adjustments or make-up lessons given for lessons that fall on the above major holidays because all students receive additional lessons at no extra cost on months where an extra (5th) week occurs.

Please note that we DO NOT follow public school system schedules for staff preparation in which students are off from school. If the public school system has, for example, a teacher “in-service” day, you or your child will still have lessons that day. When in doubt, please call or email us so you do not forfeit you or your child’s lesson.

 

Cancellation Policy

Please recognize that you/your child’s lesson time is reserved specifically for you/your child. This means that you/your child’s lesson slot is unavailable to other students and the instructors at Garrett Music Academy have made a commitment to instruct you/your child at that time. Please make every effort to come to you/your child’s lesson and avoid scheduling other activities during that time. Consistent attendance helps ensure good progress. If you need to change your day/time, please work with the front office to find a day and time that works best for your schedule.

If you must cancel or reschedule a lesson:

  • A minimum of 12 hours notice is required if you would like to take advantage of a make-up lesson. Days/times are very limited for make-up lessons.  Inquire for availability with the front office.

  • Make-up lessons are not unlimited.

  • Please limit cancellations to no more than one per month.

  • The tuition fees for lessons that are canceled with LESS than 12 hours notice and not rescheduled and attended within one week are forfeited.

  • Make-up lessons will NOT be offered for “no shows”.

  • Make-up lessons will NOT be offered for cancellations of an existing make-up lesson.

  • Students may not use “credit” from a missed lesson to reduce the tuition for a subsequent month. The tuition remains the same; there are NO REFUNDS for missed and canceled lessons, unless caused by the teacher’s unavailability.

Never cancel a lesson because you/your child has not had time to practice. It is better to come in and review the material so progress is not delayed another week.

 

Sick/Illness Policy

To prevent the spread of illness to families, faculty, and staff, any teacher will reserve the right to deny a lesson or cancel a lesson early if the child is showing clear signs of illness, primarily if the symptoms result in the direct spreading of a viral/bacterial infection. Symptoms can include, but are not limited to (based on CDC guidelines): fever or feeling feverish/chills within the last 24 hours, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue (tiredness), vomiting/diarrhea.  

If a student exhibits one or more of these signs and a teacher deems it necessary to stop a lesson, the lesson will be canceled as a late-notice, without the option for a make-up lesson. To avoid this situation, we offer 2 alternatives per our current policy: 

1)  Request to reschedule the lesson by call/voicemail/email before the 12-hour notice window.

2) Request to switch the lesson slot to a virtual lesson on a platform of your preference (for the original lesson time, or for a rescheduled time).

 

Late Arrival

Please note that students arriving late will not have their lesson time extended. Our teachers typically have many students scheduled consecutively throughout the day and they will not impose upon another student’s lesson time. If you arrive late and your teacher is not in the waiting area, please go directly to your teacher’s room and let him or her know that you’re present so no additional time is lost. If you’re running more than 5-10 minutes late, it may be a good idea to call ahead and let us know that you’re on your way, but running late.

 

Withdrawal

As per agreement, students/parents must provide the office manager (not your teacher) 15 days notice for withdrawal from lessons and cessation for tuition charges. Requests made within less than 15 days will be required to pay a cancellation fee of $70.00. You may either email garrettmusicacademy@gmail.com or call us at 410-286-5505. To avoid potential miscommunications, we do not accept communications with your instructor or messages left on our voicemail for withdrawals. Teachers do not handle billing. Please contact the office manager.

 

Switching Teachers or Instruments

As a courtesy to the teacher, we do require two full-business weeks’ notice to switch teachers or instruments. Since our teachers are paid by the lesson this allows time to find a replacement student, and time for communications between instructors to ensure lesson continuity.

 

Substitute Teachers

Occasionally, a teacher may miss a lesson due to an illness or family emergency. Whenever this happens, the school will arrange for a substitute teacher or will attempt to reschedule your lesson. We’ve found that many students enjoy an occasional lesson with another teacher. Please let us know ahead of time if your child is uncomfortable with the teacher chosen and we will make arrangements with another teacher or work with you to reschedule with your current teacher. 

Recitals

Recitals are held twice per year, typically in late Spring and Winter. Participation is optional, but highly encouraged. Signs announcing our recitals are posted in the school well in advance. Students interested in participating in a recital should sign up with their teacher and begin working on a recital piece with their teacher 4-6 weeks prior to the recital. Space permitting, students who are not performing at a recital are welcome to attend. We occasionally take photos of students performing at recitals and sometimes post them on our school bulletin board, a digital picture frame in the waiting room, Facebook and our school website. If you would prefer not to have you or your child’s photo displayed, please let the office manager know.

Leave of Absence

Sometimes a student will leave town for the summer or must discontinue lessons temporarily. As a courtesy to the instructor and just as importantly to stop tuition charges on a timely basis, we still require the same advance notice to discontinue lessons temporarily as we do if the student is withdrawing from lessons. Again, please notify us with 15 days notice if you will miss lessons in the following month and do not wish to be charged. If you must miss lessons for an extended period of time (more than 3 weeks), students will be removed from the schedule. It is sometimes possible for a student to return to lessons in their old time slot, but we cannot “hold” or guarantee the student’s old time slot when the student will miss lessons for an extended period of time and does not wish to be charged during the time when lessons are being missed.

Care of Young Children

The school is not responsible for providing supervision before or after class. Parents with very young students are asked to remain in the school during lessons. Students are not to be left at the school for excessive time before or after class. Your child’s safety is important to us. Please make arrangements to pick up your child as soon as the lesson is over.

Additionally, siblings of students are welcome to wait quietly in our lobby during their siblings’ lesson time, with adult supervision. Since quality lessons require attention and concentration, we ask that children who are not participating in lessons remain with their parent, and do not play or run in the hallway. Magazines, books and crayons are available, but noisy activities are discouraged, as they could be distracting to students in lessons.

Inclement Weather 

In cases of inclement weather, all lessons will automatically become virtual. You will receive a communication from the Academy as a reminder and your teacher will contact you directly on the day of your lesson with the particular method and link. All lessons will be held as scheduled unless there is loss of power/internet services. In those cases, the lesson will be rescheduled.

Summary

We require payment for lessons due by the 25th of every month. Billing will go out on the 20th of the month for the upcoming month. Lessons must be paid in advance, otherwise they will be canceled until a payment is received. If accounts are 5 days past due, a $25 late fee will be charged and lessons will be suspended until payment is received.  

All communications regarding cancellations, scheduling, withdrawals and payment issues must be done by emailing us at garrettmusicacademy@gmail.com or calling 410-286-5505, not your teacher. Teachers do NOT handle withdrawals, leaves of absence, or payment issues.

Students must provide 12 hours advance notice for missed lessons in order to receive a make-up lesson. Never cancel a lesson because you have not had time to practice. Only one make-up lesson per month will be provided.

Your tuition reserves a place for you with a particular teacher at a specific time. 

Teachers typically have lessons scheduled consecutively throughout the day. Late arrival will result in lost lesson time.

To withdraw from lessons and discontinue tuition charges, students/parents must contact the school administrator and provide fifteen (15) days notice in order to discontinue charges.

Please do not send your child into the studio if they are sick and may expose our staff and other students to illness.

In addition, your signature also gives Garrett Music Academy permission to use your/your child’s photo image in print and other media advertising. If you wish to have your child’s picture not be taken please initial the Do Not Include my child’ picture option listed below.

 

Current Active Policies (expiring after August 31st, 2023)

1) We require 6 hours in advance notice for an “on-time cancellation”. Cancellations can be made via email, voicemail and phone call. If confirmation is before the 6 hours preceding your lesson, a credit will be given to the next unpaid week; however, if cancellation takes place inside the 6 hour time window, payment for that lesson will be charged and still be paid to the teacher. 

     RESCHEDULING:  Students are required to reschedule late cancellations within 1 week of the canceled lesson. *If the reason for late scheduling is due to sickness we will honor it as an early notice but no more than 6 times a year. A NCNS (No Call, No Show) occurs when a student simply does not call or show up. In that case, the lesson will be forfeit, the teacher is still paid and the family charged. We will remove you from the schedule if we cannot reach you within a week after a NCNS.
 

2) We require payment for lessons due by the 25th of every month. Billing will go out the 20th of the month for the upcoming month. Lessons must be paid in advance, otherwise they will be canceled until a payment is received. If accounts are 5 days past due, a $20 late fee will be charged and lessons will be suspended until payment is received.   If notice for missed lessons for the upcoming month have not been received by the 25th, invoices will not be adjusted.  The payment will be credited to the following month.

3) We DO NOT give refunds on music lessons, books, or accessories.  Any money that is received will be credited to your account for future lessons.

4) All scheduling changes are handled through the front office staff and NOT through your teacher. An alleged scheduling change facilitated by the teacher will not be recognized. Please conduct all communications by using the primary phone line 410-286-5505, or emailing garrettmusicacademy@gmail.com.

5) We take great pride in protecting your personal information. GMA is not liable for personal contact between students and teachers outside of GMA although we strongly discourage it. Please do not provide teachers with personal phone numbers or email addresses. All contact with teachers must be facilitated through the front office in order for us to protect your information. While we are not liable for social network contact such as Facebook, and Twitter, we strongly urge against this practice.

6) Due to the increased demand for lessons, we cannot hold lesson times for students that need to cancel/miss lessons for more than 3 weeks in a row. If you plan on keeping your spot and need more time than the 3 weeks to guarantee your teacher for lessons, a $50 per month hold will be needed to hold the spot. Lessons must be canceled 30 days in advance if you are no longer going to be taking lessons with the academy or taking a break for a period of time. Requests made within less than 30 days will be required to pay a cancellation fee of $70.00.

7) There is a $40.00 return check fee. If a return check balance including the fee is not paid within ten days, the account will be vigorously pursued through collection activity permitted by law.  If there is more than one occasion where a returned check comes back the fee will be $50.00.

8) From time to time, teachers will need to acquire a substitute to cover lessons due to illness or other professional obligations.  In this case, students will be notified of the substitution  and the lead teacher will provide lesson plans and information relative to each participating student to ensure quality and consistency.  Cancellation for substitutions will require a 50% lesson fee.

9) We do pursue collections both through a three-week in house procedure, as well as small claims court when applicable.  Accounts that are 2 weeks past due will have lessons canceled until payment is made. I have read and understand the information provided above. 

10) In addition, your signature also gives Garrett Music Academy permission to use your/your child’s photo image in print and other media advertising. If you wish to have your child’s picture not be taken please initial the Do Not Include my child’ picture option listed below.

PROCEDURE UPDATE as of May 19th, 2023:

To prevent the spread of illness to families, faculty, and staff, be advised that we are implementing a simple procedure moving forward.

Effective immediately, any teacher will reserve the right to deny a lesson or cancel a lesson early if the child is showing clear signs of illness, primarily if the symptoms result in the direct spreading of a viral/bacterial infection. Symptoms can include, but are not limited to (based on CDC guidelines):
-Fever or feeling feverish/chills within the last 24 hours
-Cough
-Sore throat
-Runny or stuffy nose
-Muscle or body aches
-Headaches
-Fatigue (tiredness)
-Vomiting/Diarrhea

If a student exhibits one or more of these signs and a teacher deems it necessary to stop a lesson, the lesson will be fully billed, regardless of minutes completed. To avoid this situation, we offer 3 alternatives to billed-cancellation per our current policy:
1) Cancel the lesson before the 8-hour notice window by call/voicemail/email.
2) For up to 6 sick-days per year, reschedule your lesson to another day even if you call/email within the 8-hour notice window.
3) Request to switch the lesson slot to a virtual lesson on a platform of your preference.

Reason for this new procedure:
There have been multiple occasions where a sick student has rendered their teacher ill for an extended period and, in some cases, most of GMA faculty and staff. As a result, the teachers have to cancel multiple lessons in the days following; this causes a loss of lesson time for other families and a loss of work for the teacher inside (and outside) of GMA. In some instances, it was noted that students missed school for sickness, but still were brought to their lessons afterward.  Please treat lessons at GMA like any other situation where illness could cause harm to others.
 

We thank you for understanding the need for this procedure, as we want to look out for the well-being of all of our students, families, faculty, and staff.

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