Full Studio Policies
Welcome to My Studio!

Greetings parents and students! I’m thrilled to be working with you and helping you reach your flute goals! The following policies exist so that we all (student, parent and teacher) share a common understanding and clarity of studio goals, rules, and business policies. Please read this information carefully and discuss any aspect of this policy with me.

My Contact Info

Cell Phone: 847-903-4086

Email: zoomflute@gmail.com

Website: www.shannapranaitis.com

 

Orientation Process for New Students

Here are some steps for new students to take prior to beginning their lessons:

1. Parent and/or student introduction interview with teacher

2. All materials obtained as directed

3. Read and sign studio policy

 
Goals

Goal-setting is important to me and during our first few lessons we will have open conversations that focus on goal-setting for student, teacher and parent. We will discuss specific aspects of flute playing and music that a student wishes to improve as well as identifying their strengths. At various times in our work together, we will take time to reassess and create new goals. 

 

The following are goals I hope students achieve after studying with me:

  • A strong sense of self-confidence and accomplishment

  • Communicate effectively (about musical or social things) 

  • Develop strong resilience skills (perseverance, determination, strength, focus) to overcome challenges faced in any aspect of life (academic, musical or personal)

  • Become proficient with time-management and organization skills

  • Set, work-towards, and achieve goals (musical, personal or academic) with discipline

  • Enjoy playing the flute and coming to your flute lessons

  • Become comfortable assessing and solving problems on your own –– Independence! 

  • Understand how to practice efficiently and effectively to achieve excellent results

  • Play a variety of music in different styles and time periods with appropriate musical phrasing

  • Play flute with a beautiful tone and brilliant technical proficiency

  • Understand how the flute works and its history

  • Develop a love of music in your daily life

  • Apply all the skills learned in lessons to other aspects of your life


 

Required Materials:

  1. Flute in good working condition, regular maintenance must be done (I can provide guidance on rentals or purchases, please let me help you!).

  2. Spiral-bound Notebook for weekly assignments and practice journal 

  3. Music stand for practicing (no wire folding stands!) Manhasset Music Stand or Peak Music Stand 

  4. Any recommended music, books and materials

  5. Metronome (Korg-TM60 or SoundBrenner App)

  6. Tunable App (available for iOS or android)

  7. Cleaning cloths for inside & outside of instrument (please ask for guidance if needed!)

  8. Quiet, distraction-free practice environment

  9. Somewhere to store music (a special bag or filing crate work well) 

  10. Desire to learn

 

Please bring your flute, all assigned music, and notebook to each lesson.

Lesson Expectations For Students & Parents
 
 

Students:

 

I do not expect nor want perfection from my students. I do not expect them to become professional musicians or music majors. I do expect a positive attitude, curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.

 

Every student progresses and learns differently. I focus on the process of learning, and I support and help each student on their own journey. Because of this, I expect each student:

  • Be willing to experiment with an open mind! You have no idea what you’re capable of if you stop trying--keep trying, it DOES get easier!

  • Communicate with me (and your parents) about any issues you are facing with practice, scheduling, performance, etc. Your lessons are a safe and open environment to talk about anything. It is an opportunity for self-growth. I am always willing to listen and help.  

  • Ask questions if something is unclear –– sadly I still have not developed telepathy skills. 

  • Silence your cell phone (not vibrate, silent!) so we can focus on you without distractions

  • Participate in as many studio classes, field trips, recitals, workshops, as possible. 

  • Support and encourage other members of the studio with kindness. 

  • Read and respond to emails, texts, voicemails within 24-48 hours.

  • Please bring your flute, all assigned music, and notebook to each lesson.

 

Students are expected to practice most days of the week and come to their lessons prepared and warmed up.

  • I will help each individual develop a daily practice schedule/plan and practice journal

  • QUALITY of practice is much more important than QUANTITY! 

  • Consistent, focused practice throughout the week is essential to achieving goals

  • You are your own teacher in the practice room, so it is critical to really listen to and assess what you are doing to help improve your skills. The mantra is listen, reflect, learn, improve—repeat.

  • Assignments to read, listen, or other online assignments are part of weekly preparation

  • Specific practice advice and guidance will be given → please try it as instructed. I want to save you time, not waste it with needless work.

  • Primary goal: learn or discover something new every time you play!

  • Of course, I understand that life can be extremely hectic sometimes! If a busy week happens with school or family obligations, just tell me.

Parents:

 

You are responsible for holding the student accountable for practicing. There is a direct relationship between parental and family involvement and a student’s success and improvement lesson to lesson. I want this weekly reserved time to be a positive investment and experience for everyone, and you are welcome to ask questions at any time during the student’s education. 

 

  • Practice is part of this commitment. Private lessons offer the opportunity to learn the valuable skills of goal-setting and time-management in addition to playing the flute. Consistent, focused practice throughout the week is essential.

  • I completely understand (and expect) that everyone will have some practice lapses, due to illness, travel, or special family circumstances. However, repeated failure to practice and/or the absence of a strong commitment to improve may result in my asking the student to discontinue lessons. Adult students may determine their own level of practice, involvement, and commitment. 

  • Lessons = teamwork. The Team = the student, the teacher, and the parent(s). Parents are expected to encourage students, to remind them to practice, and to help them obtain needed materials in a timely manner. When parents are involved and take music in their child’s life seriously (asking questions before or after lessons, taking an interest in their practicing at home, etc), students make significantly more progress.

  • Parents are expected to communicate any problems the student is experiencing at home regarding motivation, stress, or anything else that may impact their musical development.

  • Students will be expected to listen to a variety of recordings, complete online activities, read articles, watch videos, and complete assignments outside of regular flute lessons.

  • Parents are expected to sit in on the first lesson (and when possible more), and are welcome to attend any lessons at any time.
     

Parents of Students Younger Than 11: I require active parental participation for any student who is under the age of 11. 

  • Attend all lessons 

  • Follow along, taking notes or video in the lessons 

  • Help their child practice material covered in the lesson at home. I will do my best to make sure you understand how to help your child during practice sessions.

  • Ask questions before or after lessons about anything

Special Learning Needs: 

I expect to be informed of any special learning needs, including but not limited to the following:

  • Severe allergies (animals or food) or health concerns that might affect playing flute

  • Any physical impairment such as hearing, visual or motor skills issues

  • Any cognitive learning concerns (memory, language processing, reading, etc)

  • Anxiety concerns

  • ADHD or autism spectrum concerns

 

I have years of experience helping students with various needs. In order to best help the student, it is imperative that this information be communicated to me to ensure you/your child experience a comfortable learning environment. It also allows me to use my special skills and tools appropriately. Any information shared with me remains 100% confidential. 

Open Studio Policy

The studio maintains an open door policy: any student may attend and observe any other student’s lesson with permission. No one is obligated, but you are welcome.  

  • We learn so much from watching others! The more exposure we have, the more we learn. 

  • If we observe as an objective listener someone struggling with a similar issue we are working on, we often have an epiphany about our own work. 

  • For those interested in teaching, it is critical to observe someone teaching to see how they address corrections, what they address, etc.

 

Recitals

I provide two recital opportunities per year. One in the fall and one in the spring. Students are encouraged but not required to participate. Recitals are valuable opportunities to present and celebrate the work students are doing in their lessons, and to play in larger chamber ensembles. Every recital features a group flute choir piece with the whole studio.

  • Accompanist fees for one rehearsal (per recital) and the recitals are part of your monthly tuition.

  • If a student/family requests additional rehearsals, the additional fees are the responsibility of the student/family.

 

Studio Classes

Studio classes are either in-person at Vernon Hills High School or virtually. These are usually once a month. These are great opportunities to participate in group learning activities, flute choir, and/or learn from our special guests. Subject matters are mostly chosen by students. These are included in tuition and attendance is expected whenever possible. They serve as a make-up for missed lessons, an opportunity to learn something new. 

 
 
Communication

Please communicate with me by email, phone call or text. 

  • Email is my preferred form of communication and I check it regularly. I will use email to keep you updated about studio information. 

  • I do not answer my phone while teaching. During lessons, text is the best way to reach me.

  • Students are welcome and encouraged to contact me at any time with questions about lesson assignments, to share a funny picture of their pet, or to “just talk”. 

  • Please read and respond to emails I send you within 24-48 hours.

zoomflute@gmail.com

847-903-4086

 

I expect responses within 24-48 hours to any communication I send to students/parents, please. Especially to anything marked as [time sensitive].

 
 
Student Portal

The Student Portal is your exclusive set of resources for studio info, studio calendar, announcements, recital & studio class info, and Dropbox. 

  • Dropbox contains valuable resources I expect students to access as requested by me. These include recordings for at home listening, exercises, etc.

  • Password: f1ut3 (www.shannapranaitis.com/studentportal)

 

Schedule

The studio schedule is kept on a google calendar accessible via the Student Portal. What is posted on the calendar is what/when I expect to happen. Students are responsible for notating their lesson times and looking at the entire month, including alternate days of the week. Errors? Please tell me ASAP. 

 

Note: Failure to check the lesson calendar and/or properly notate your personal calendars does not exempt you from knowing its content. You can add events to your personal calendar, add notifications, etc, to be sure you never miss a lesson/event/rehearsal. 

Note: Failure to check the lesson calendar and/or properly notate your personal calendars does not exempt you from knowing its content. You can add events to your personal calendar, add notifications, etc., to be sure you never miss a lesson. 

 
 
Online Lessons

The same policies apply for Online Lessons as in-person lessons and will be held on the platform with the highest level of reliability, sound quality, and video for the student: FaceTime, Google Meet, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.  

  • Students must have a back-up platform chosen and ready in case of difficulty with the referred platform. 

  • Students are allowed and encouraged to record their lessons for later reference.

  • I will use a google doc notebook to track assignments and take notes during your lesson. You may write notes and thoughts into it as well. 

Due to our current COVID-19 crisis and all lessons being online right now, I am extending the policies about rescheduling lessons.

  • If you are not feeling well or have a conflict arise for any reason (ex: you're experiencing a really rough week and need extra time), I will happily reschedule your lesson to another mutually convenient day or time that week if you ask for it. This should not be considered a free pass to constantly reschedule every week. These are weird times for us all, and I want to offer you flexibility when you need it. 

 
Tuition

To maintain consistency in my student's growth, sanity in my schedule, and to simplify payments, tuition is a fixed monthly amount year-round. 

 

  • Tuition is due at or before the first lesson of each month, unless a prior arrangement has been made. 

  • Tuition is due whether or not the student attends the lesson. There are no refunds or credits for missed lessons. Please see the Attendance/cancellation policies for details. 

  • Failure to pay tuition by the second lesson of the month without prior arrangements will result in a $30 late fee. (If an extenuating circumstance arises, call me. I am happy to work something out to help you. There's always a solution!)

  • I will provide an invoice if there are additional charges (purchase of music or supplies from myself, etc). 

  • Extra rehearsals for chamber groups outside of lesson times are $20 per rehearsal

 

Tuition includes the following equally divided across 12 months:

  • a reserved weekly time

  • my preparation for each lesson

  • all studio classes 

  • recital fees for a 2 recitals per year

  • guarantee of 46 lessons per calendar year (in-person or virtual)

  • my own continuing education to be the best teacher possible 

 

There are a total of 6 weeks of vacation time to cover my time away for performances or other professional engagements, which I can use at any time.  If I do not use this time, they are weeks free to you. [The 6 weeks of vacation time for me are not billed to you.]

 

Generally, I observe the school district break schedules in December (approx. 2 weeks), and most likely the Spring Break (1 week). Any weeks off will be documented on the studio calendar. If it is not indicated as a week off, I am teaching that week. Other holidays, student absences or student travel should be considered foreseeable conflicts and will be handled under that protocol. 

 

During the summer months, lessons may happen in person or virtually depending on both my own and student travel schedules, unless I am taking one of my 6 weeks off. Any extended absences over summer months (visiting family in other countries, camps, etc) will be addressed on an individual basis. Please alert me as soon as possible if this will be your situation. I am happy to work out arrangements in these circumstances.

 

Scholarships

I believe all students who wish to learn should have access to high-quality instruction. Partial scholarships for lessons are available to highly dedicated students with financial difficulty. Please fill out the Scholarship Application Form on the website and I will contact you to discuss the options further.  

 
 
 

Attendance/Cancellation

Lessons are scheduled on a weekly basis. When a lesson time is agreed upon, we are all making a commitment to keep that time free from other appointments or activities. 

  • Make-ups for missed lessons are not guaranteed. In order for make-up lessons to be available, students must notify me of cancellations as far in advance as possible. 

  • Lessons missed by the student will not be refunded. 

  • If an emergency or major schedule change need arises, please contact me as soon as possible. I am always happy to find a solution for my students, and there are several options below when small conflicts arise. 

 

VHHS Students

For lessons scheduled during the VHHS school day: Unless a student is absent from school, s/he is expected to attend the scheduled lesson. If a student is present at school and chooses to miss the scheduled lesson time to attend to other school-related responsibilities (for ex: labs, make-up work, meetings with teachers) or fails to attend the scheduled lesson for any other reason without proper notification, no alternative time/day will be offered. This is a scheduled class in your day/week and needs to be treated as such.

 

Tardiness

  • If a student is late for a lesson, the time cannot be made up. 

  • Please give yourself time to park and be ready for the lesson.

Foreseeable Conflicts

  • It is your responsibility to inform me as soon as possible about conflicts (school-sponsored event or assembly, field trip, band concerts, dance recitals) or other conflicts during the scheduled lesson times. Last minute changes typically cannot be accommodated. 

  • Doctor appointments should not be scheduled during lesson times except in emergencies.

  • If I am not given at least 24 hours notice, you will miss the benefit of that lesson and no alternative time/day will be offered. 

What To Do:

Swap Lessons: The Swap List is in the student portal. Use the following rules to make sure swaps go smoothly:

  1. Swap with someone who has the same lesson length as you.

  2. When you have found someone to swap with, email me AND the person you are swapping with to inform me of the agreement. I will put it on the google calendar to make it official. 

    • VHHS: If it’s super last minute during the school day, text me.

    • If two people show up, I will teach the person whose lesson is originally scheduled at that time. 

    • No make-up lessons will be given for any missed swap lessons.

Request Alternate Day/Time Online LessonIf there is a serious conflict that cannot be resolved any other way, you may request an alternate day/time and do an online lesson. These are available with at least 24 hours notification and can take the form of Skype/FaceTime/Zoom/Google Hangouts according to my availability and are the responsibility of the student/family to request these options.

Teacher Absences

I am an active performer and travel to give workshops and concerts. There are many benefits to having an active performing musician for a teacher. However, sometimes I will need to reschedule lessons to accommodate tour schedules, unless I am taking one of my six weeks off. Most often this means, we will have the lesson online. Or I will reschedule/make-up the lesson to an alternate day/time in addition to your regularly scheduled lesson. 

Unforeseeable Conflicts

  • Illness:  I ask that you/your child do not come to the lesson if the illness is serious. Please notify me ASAP. We can have a lesson via Skype/FaceTime/Zoom/Google Hangouts instead of in person on a different day/time when possible, but it is not guaranteed. Otherwise, I cannot make up lessons but am happy to use that time in preparation for your child’s next lesson. The times we schedule for lessons are yours and I will do all I can in that time to best benefit you and your child.

  • Emergencies (broken arm, traffic collision, family emergency, hospitalization, etc.): Please communicate with me as soon as possible. Emergencies are dealt with on a case by case basis.

  • Weather-Related or Other School Closing Emergencies: In the event of an emergency school closing or weather travel emergency, lessons are given online at their original time unless otherwise requested/stated. Options: Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts.  It is strongly recommended that you register/set-up at least two of these services and test them in advance, so they are ready when/if needed.

Teacher Absences

I am an active performer and travel to give workshops and concerts. There are many benefits to having an active performing musician for a teacher. However, sometimes I will need to reschedule lessons to accommodate tour schedules, unless I am taking one of my six weeks off. Most often this means, we will have the lesson online. Or I will reschedule/make-up the lesson to an alternate day/time in addition to your regularly scheduled lesson. 

Withdrawal Policy

If for any reason you are considering discontinuing lessons, I ask that you speak with me so that we can work on it together. I fully understand that not every teacher is for every child and am always committed to what is in the best interest of each of my students. If we have decided it is best to discontinue lessons, I require 1 month’s advance notice in writing (before the 1st day of the month you wish to be the last month) and the tuition for that month. No refunds are given for unused tuition.

 

Also, remember that this is a relationship that has been developed over time. I care very deeply for my student's continued growth and development. If I can help transition in any way, I would be more than happy to do so! Need recommendations for a superb teacher that will be a great fit? Absolutely! Need to transfer long-range plans, development goals, and plans? I will gladly help!

 

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In the interest of fairness to all families and students, the above policies are applied without exception to all students in the studio. Failure to adhere to the above policies may be grounds for dismissal from the studio, with proper notice, or loss of scholarship.

 

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