Steele Music Studio

The Music Studio of Susannah Steele, located in Chicago, Illinois, offers private piano lessons for all ages and group music classes for young families.

Piano Studio Policies

Piano Lessons

will develop their abilities to their full potential while gaining a life-long appreciation of music. 


Are you interested in joining the studio?  Feel free to contact me to see if we can schedule an introductory piano lesson to determine if it will be a good teacher-student fit! 

All students receive a personalized approach to encourage and motivate them as they learn the language of music.  I accept students of all ages and abilities, from the absolute beginner to the advanced professional. My students have consistently received high scores at local and regional festivals, performed successful college auditions, and won piano competitions. This studio aims to provide a structured and well-rounded musical education, challenging the most advanced students with special needs.  Students dfkjhdskf

The following policies explain how the Steele Music Studio runs and what is expected of students. 
 

Please click the links below to jump to a specific topic.
 
STUDIO CALENDAR
TUITION AND PAYMENT
STUDENT EXPECTATIONS

ATTENDANCE
STUDIO INVOLVEMENT
PHOTO/VIDEO RELEASE
CONTACT ME
 

STUDIO CALENDAR

 
Fall and Spring semesters are based on a 9-month calendar from September to June. Many but not all studio breaks coincide with local school systems, so please refer to the online calendar and personal communication to keep track of the schedule.
 
The Summer Term will offer a variety of camps and lessons with flexible scheduling to accommodate vacations and time off. Summer schedule will be announced mid-spring. Students who take lessons in the summer are guaranteed a spot in the fall. Students who take the summer off will be placed on a waiting list for fall.
 
Please note: There are no reimbursements for missed lessons and tuition is never adjusted unless the teacher cannot provide the promised number of lessons. See
Attendance for more details.
 

TUITION AND PAYMENT METHODS

 
Lessons are billed on a tuition basis, divided into equal monthly payments from September to June.  Summer lessons will follow a different tuition and payment schedule.
 
Susannah Steele’s Music Studio accepts checks cash, and Paypal. Invoices are sent out at least one week prior to payment dates. 
 
Tuition reserves your weekly time slot. It also covers the cost of:
  • Lesson planning and repertoire selection
  • Piano tuning and maintenance
  • Costs associated with recitals
  • Professional studio memberships
  • Incentive programs and game materials
  • Studio insurance
 
Tuition does not include the cost of music. Lesson books, piano music and other supplies needed for lessons can be purchased through the studio on a reimbursement basis.
 
Registration Fee
Each family pays an annual registration fee. This pays for the cost of running the music studio as well as the time spent doing things in addition to actual teaching:
 
Other Information and Fees
  • $20 late fee for all payments received past the 10th of the month
  • $30 fee for all NSF checks.
  • If payment is not received by the second lesson of the month then no lesson will be given.
  • If you find that you cannot financially fulfill your commitment to lessons, advanced notice and open communication is greatly appreciated!
 
For current tuition rates, please contact the Steele Music Studio via email or call me at 336.847.8651.
 

STUDENT EXPECTATIONS

 
Although this is a private piano studio, and is not affiliated with any school district, it is no less an educational institution.  It is the position of this studio that piano lessons are to be treated with the same level of importance as any other subject your child may be studying in school.  It is also the position of this piano studio that sporting events and other extracurricular activities are not considered valid excuses for lack of practice during the week.  Please respect my commitment to your child's musical education by maintaining a priority level for piano studies equal to that of other school subjects -- regard it as an extension of academics that would otherwise be unavailable to your child.
 
On Lesson Days
Please arrive a few minutes prior to your lesson time. Knock, enter, and then wait quietly until your time.
 
Students are expected to bring all materials (assignment notebook, method books, other music, etc.)
 
All students are required to wash their hands before each lesson. Students may also be asked to remove wet/muddy shoes before entering the studio. (Bring an extra pair of clean shoes or socks if needed!)
 
Food, gum, and non-water drinks are prohibited in the studio.
 
Please refrain from wearing any loose bracelets or heavy jewelry on your fingers, wrists, or arms.  Nails must be trimmed.
 
Parents are welcome to come to any lesson, but should use discretion as to whether it will distract the student or not.  Friends should not attend lessons with the student.
 
Siblings who take lessons back-to-back are welcome to wait in the studio and silently read, draw, play on tablets, or work on homework during each other’s lessons. Please bring enough materials to stay occupied.
 
On Practice
 
Regular practice and cooperation is expected. A student’s progress is determined by their dedication throughout the week, not by simply attending lessons. Ideally, students should practice at least 4-5 days a week.
 
The amount of practice time will depend on the student’s age and skill level.  Students should practice long enough to work on each of their assignments every day. Quality and consistency is much more important than quantity of practice time.
 
PARENTS: Please help your student by creating a quiet space where the student can practice, and scheduling a time for practice each day.
 
Brief but frequent practice sessions often achieve the best results.  Students will see much more improvement with daily practice than with an entire week’s practice time crammed into the day before your lesson!
 
On Instruments
All students must have regular access to an acoustic piano or an 88 key modern digital piano with a weighted hammer action. Acoustic piano should be kept in good working order and should be tuned at least once a year.

To Parents

Because some students may learn more quickly than others, it is important that we are concerned with individual accomplishments in music.  Therefore, students and parents must be careful about expectations they have for their children or themselves.  Any musical skill takes patience and practice.  Keep goals challenging yet attainable, and remember to have fun! 

ATTENDANCE

 
Lesson times are weekly appointments. Each lesson time is reserved for a specific student, and it is their responsibility to attend.  Dance classes and sports do not offer reimbursements if you cannot attend a rehearsal or game, and music lessons are no different. A student who does not attend a lesson will simply miss the benefit of that lesson. Please be assured that tuition pays for far more than the time spent during lessons.
 
Any lessons canceled by me will be rescheduled at the earliest mutually agreeable time. 
 
Students who are ill should not attend lessons. If you are too sick to go to school then you are too sick for your lesson. Please notify the teacher by 12 pm if you cannot attend.
 
“No Shows”: Any student who misses three consecutive lessons without communicating with me in advance will be removed from the schedule without reimbursement.

Lesson Swap Schedule: To help accommodate an occasional unavoidable change in student's schedules, you can choose to be part of the Swap List. (Please let me know if you do not want to be included in the list.) Most parents receive only a few requests a year from someone who'd like to switch lesson times. Please let me know if you have made a swap so I can plan accordingly. It's easiest to just cc me on the final email between two parents confirming that a switch will be happening. 

Other Exceptions: As with anything, there may be other extenuating circumstances. Please talk to me – open communication is key!
 

STUDIO INVOLVEMENT

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in various studio events.  These events fall into several categories:
 
Recitals
Recitals offer students a sense of accomplishment and pride for their hard work. They also help them learn the importance of setting and achieving goals. Students will be given the opportunity to participate in several recitals each year—See the calendar for recital and other performance dates.
 
In most cases, memorization of performance pieces is required.  I reserve the right to deny any student the right to perform based upon their failure to meet the minimum standards of performance readiness. 
 
Festivals and Competitions
All students will have the opportunity to participate in at least one festival held by a professional music organization.  Specific participation and repertoire requirements will be discussed on an individual basis.  A modest registration fee may be charged.
 
Discontinuation of Lessons
 
Music is for life, but lessons are not always possible for a multitude of reasons.
 
Please communicate with me! If you are unsatisfied with your lessons for any reason or if you are contemplating quitting lessons, please speak freely to me about your concerns.
 
Discontinuation of lessons requires a 3-week notice. This gives us time to wrap up any current projects and discuss how the student can pursue any future musical goals. This also allows me the necessary time to fill that empty lesson slot so that I can avoid a loss in income. Thank you for your consideration.
 

PHOTO/VIDEO RELEASE

From time to time I use photos and short videos of my students on teaching blogs, social media, and YouTube for educational, professional, and marketing purposes. These videos and posts are often helpful to other teachers and much appreciated. If you do not want your child's image(s) to be used, please let me know in writing. In general, the students love to see their pictures and videos on my website or teaching page. They find it motivating and exciting to think that others want to know what they are learning. The students are identified only by first name.

CONTACT ME
 

I prefer to keep an open line of communication with all my students and families. Please feel free to email, text, or call me with any questions or concerns. Also, if something is happening at home or school that is affecting your child please let me know. Please err on the side of letting me know more so I can be sensitive to the needs of your child. A quick text on the way to lesson can make the difference between a great lesson and a difficult one. I also love to hear about the accomplishments of my students outside the studio and I hope you will feel comfortable sharing those things with me as well!

steelemusic@gmail.com
336.847.8651