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Studio Policies


Practicing is a vital part of your child’s experience with music lessons. Not only does it give your child confidence in their playing, but it also actively creates consistent progress in lessons each week. I expect each student to practice a minimum of 5 days a week for at least as long as their scheduled lessons are. For example, if your child is taking 30-minute lessons, they should practice 30 minutes per day.



Payments are due at your first lesson of every month. Payments are accepted through Zelle, Venmo, check, or cash once a month for the monthly tuition cost of your lesson package for the months of September-June.


There will be a $25 charge for any declined payments or returned checks.


A non-refundable $30 Registration/Recital Fee (Typically $60, reduced because of COVID) per student will be due at your first lesson each school year to cover the cost of the online or in-person recitals, as well as online resources such as Sight-Reading factory and Smart Music. If there is an in-person recital this year, I will ask you to contribute $15 to the accompanist.


Tuition holds your enrollment in the studio throughout the year and students are expected to continue lessons year-round in order to reserve their enrollment in the studio. There will be no adjustment in tuition for lessons missed by the student for any reason.​


​The length of your lesson is based on the level and age of the student. I will work with the parents to help determine a suitable lesson time for the student.


​If for any reason you are considering discontinuing lessons, I ask that you speak to me about the situation so that we can work on it together.  If you discontinue lessons, there will be no refund of tuition already paid. Please give me two weeks advance notice before discontinuing lessons to see if I can either help make lessons better for your child, or make room for other students that are interested in enrollment.


Summer Lessons and Retaining Studio Enrollment

Summer lessons are required to retain enrollment in the studio. Students are expected to sign up for 4 lessons through the summer. Summer tuition will be due on or before June 1st. After payment for summer lessons, tuition won’t be due again until the end of August.  


Because there are limited weeks available in the summer, I can offer only 1 makeup lesson per student during designated makeup times. That includes makeup lessons for illnesses and any other reasons. Please plan your summer in advance and try to schedule other fun summer activities around your lessons.



Students are encouraged to play in studio recitals. Recitals are a wonderful time to invite family and friends! Please be respectful of the facilities that have allowed us to be guests. If anything is damaged by anyone in your party, you agree to pay for the damages. Because of COVID-19, this year lessons may be held on an online conferencing platform Zoom because of closures. Family and friends may tune in if they wish. I have lowered the registration fee to $30 this year in anticipation of this. If we do end up meeting for a recital in-person, I will ask for each person to contribute $15 to the piano accompanist to supplement the registration fee.

Sick Days, Makeup Lessons, and Weather Policy

There are 3 makeup weeks scheduled for each school year. Each student may come during their scheduled lesson time on the weeks designated for makeup lessons. If no makeup lessons are needed, students may use this time slot for an extra/bonus lesson. 

If you can't make it to your lesson, please let me know. I offer Skype, FaceTime lessons, or phone meetings during your scheduled time if you prefer when a student, parent or sibling is sick or traveling.

It is fine to work out a time swap with another student if you choose.  As the teacher, I will not cancel lessons unless I have a family illness or if I have a professional opportunity. I will make up any lessons I cancel by appointment during a time and day that works for both of us.

I will not cancel lessons due to snow or other bad weather for lessons. It is up to the parent to decide if they choose to attend during inclement weather. There will be no additional makeup days offered for such cancellations. However, I offer Skype, FaceTime lessons, or phone meetings during your scheduled time if you prefer.

Please see the separate document, “COVID-19 Release Waiver” regarding policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Student Attendance and Guardian Attendance Policy

Your tuition payment reserves the specific time slot that you are scheduled for your lesson. You must be on time to your lesson to allow other students to start their lesson on time. If you arrive to your lesson late, your lesson will be shortened to allow the next student to start on time. No partial refund on tuition will be given for shortened lessons due to tardiness.


A parent or guardian must be present at each lesson taking notes for the student. I do not allow a student or their siblings under the age of 16 to be dropped off without the presence of their parent or guardian at lessons at any time, for any reason, or for any length of time.  If a student is left for a lesson without a parent or guardian present when I have not given my permission, the student’s lesson will be discontinued and there will be no refund of tuition.


There are some situations in which the student has the ability and maturity to attend lessons without a parent present before the age of 16. I will work with the parent to determine if this is a suitable situation for the student, and I will give my written permission for the student to begin attending lessons without a parent or guardian on a case by case basis. However, the parent/guardian is still welcome to attend lessons at any time.



A guardian is an individual over the age of 18 who is authorized by the student’s parent or parents or by legal authorities to act as the student’s guardian at the student’s lesson and to take responsibility for following the studio’s policies as expressed herein. If the undersigned parent or guardian cannot attend a student’s lessons, an adult over the age of 18 must be in attendance as such student’s guardian and Sarah Stenbakken Violin and Viola Studios shall have the right to rely on the fact that such attendee has been authorized by the undersigned parent of guardian to act as the student’s guardian without obligation of inquiry.

Cell Phones

If you are attending your child’s lesson, please silence your cell phones during visits. Texting is fine if you need some form of communication. Please do not take any phone calls during lessons or go up into another area of my home to take a phone call, as it disrupts the lesson and interrupts family activities going on in my home. Lessons are short and designed for you to spend special time with your child.


If your child is attending their lesson without their parent/guardian, they may keep their phone on and available for calls to parents/guardians.


Lesson Etiquette / Sibling Attendance

When you arrive for a student’s lesson, please remove your shoes and come directly to the studio. If you arrive early, please wait in your until your lesson time. You are limited to the studio only while in my home. If you need to use the restroom, please use the one on the main level of the house. Siblings, parents and guardians are not permitted in any other area of my home. There is a limited amount of space in the studio with chairs for those attending the lesson. No food or beverages besides water please.


Do not leave any children unattended or allow children to run or play roughly in my home. Please have siblings play as quietly as possible in the studio room. The studio room is very small and accommodates only a small number of people. Please plan accordingly with the number of people you plan to bring to lessons.


Do not leave siblings unsupervised. This also means they are not to be left in the car or anywhere on my property without a parent or guardian. Parents are welcome to bring toys for siblings to play with. If a sibling brings an electronic toy, the sound must be completely turned off in order to not disturb the lesson.



Please park either in front my home or in my driveway. Please be sure to not block the driveways of any neighboring homes, and avoid parking in front of their homes if possible.

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