Studio Policy

St. Louis Percussion Studio

Offering the Finest Instruction in Total Percussion

Student Policy

These are the policies by which the St. Louis Percussion Studio operates.

The goal of the St. Louis Percussion Studio is to offer the student instructional education in total percussion, including snare drum, drum set, keyboard percussion, timpani, and hand percussion.  Percussion instruction is offered in two ways:

Percussion Classes:  designed for beginners to intermediate students, these classes will introduce the students to a variety of percussion instruments, but focus mainly on snare drum and keyboard percussion.  A minimum of six students is required for each class, which are 55 minutes long.

Private Lessons:  designed for highly motivated students who will practice at least five days per week.  Half hour and hour lessons are available.

Payment:  Tuition covers the cost of 32 lessons, however, you will be offered 34 lessons if lessons begin the first week of September. The two extra lessons are to cover the contigency of cancelled lessons, therefore, missed lessons will not be made up.  If students begin the second the second week of September, one extra lesson will be offered. After that, tuition will be at the per lesson charge. Tuition is due at the first lesson of each month.  A grace period of 10 days is allowed, however, a late fee of $15.00 is due after that.  Tuition covers more than just the lesson.  In addition, the students are prepared for participation in the Nation Federation of Music Clubs Solo Festival, the Informal Recital, the Formal Recital, and some students will participate in the Royal Canadian Music assessment.  Students also benefit by being able to borrow instruments, borrow music from the lending library, obtain assistance with school music, and profit from the years of my expertise and knowledge of the repertoire.  Parents benefit from phone calls to swap lessons, advice on purchasing instruments, assisting in purchases of miscellaneous percussion items and music, and help purchasing beginner’s packs.  Finally, tuition covers the time it takes to organize the festivals and recitals in which students participate.  Since books and materials vary by the age and ability of the students, those charges will be billed separately.

Should lessons be suspended for any reason before the end of May, tuition will be recalculated at $30 per lesson for half hour lessons, and $60 per lesson for hour lessons, retroactive to September and any outstanding balance will be owed immediately.

The tuition schedule is designed to keep the monthly billing simple, however, some families prefer to pay by the lesson. For those families, the following policy applies:

  • Your lesson time is not guaranteed. Families choosing the monthly billing will be given preference over per lesson students
  • A 24-hour notice must be given for missing the lesson.  Any notice less than 24 hours will result in a fee for that lesson. Simply “forgetting” the lesson or sudden illness will not be accepted as excuses for missing the lesson; the tuition is still owed and due by the following lesson. These missed lessons will not be made up.

Summer Lessons:  Lessons during the summer are offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00AM to 9:00PM at my studio in O’Fallon, Missouri, or at Vianney High School. Tuition is due for each lesson, however, you can pay by the month by totaling the lessons for that month if you would like. Students must give a 24-hour notice of missing the lesson, or tuition is due for that lesson. Simply “forgetting” the lesson or sudden illness will not be accepted as excuses for missing the lesson; the tuition is still owed and due by the following lesson. Students studying over the summer will receive first choice of times for the fall, depending on how many lessons they took; the more lessons, the greater chance of getting the time you would like for the school year.

Equipment:  Students studying privately must have daily access to a quality mallet instrument such as a 3 to 3.5 octave xylophone or a 4 to 4.3 octave marimba.  Bell kits do not count!  I have a limited number of rental instruments, or you can rent or buy from a reputable music dealer. The student must also have a snare drum, either stand alone or as part of a drum set.  Finally, access to a quality metronome, either a Tama Rhythm Watch, a Dr. Beat DB66, or a metronome app is recommended, however, there are several free metronomes on the internet.    Studies have proven what common sense tells us:  students will practice more on a quality instrument, therefore, I am making this requirement in the best interest of the student.

The Lesson:  When arriving for the lesson, enter the house through the garage.  Please remove your shoes in the laundry room.  Proceed downstairs, sit in a chair, and wait for me to complete the previous lesson.

Any student showing signs of an infectious illness will be sent home immediately.  If a child could not attend school, please do not bring that student to the lesson. In case of inclement weather, please do not risk your life just to make a lesson. Again, you are receiving two more lessons than the tuition covers, so you will only be missing a “free” lesson.  If you notify me in advance and provide alternate times, I will do my best to swap a lesson with another student that week.   Notification of missing a lesson with less than 24 hours notice will result in the loss of that lesson.

Practicing:  Students are expected to practice five days per week.  For instance, if the student practices Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, the student would then only need to practice two more times from Monday through Thursday.  Students are expected to know what they are to accomplish in each practice session, practicing the material until it is mastered, not just played correctly once.  Please do not use a clock to practice, putting in a set amount of time each day.  Each week’s assignments will vary, necessitating the need to plan out the sessions and then accomplishing those goals.  On average, students should be practicing according to the following schedule:

6th graders:  15-20 minutes

7th graders:  20-25 minutes

8th graders:  25-30 minutes

9th and 10th graders:  30-45  minutes

11th and 12th graders:  45-60 minutes

The Informal Recital:  The informal recital will be held in February approximately two weeks before Federation.  Students may dress casually, and parents are not invited.  (Think of this as a dress rehearsal).  Students will play a recital piece for the other students.  This is a required event.

The Formal Recital:  The formal recital will be held approximately one week prior to Federation.  Dress is a nice shirt, slacks, dress shoes, and a tie for the gentleman, and a dress or nice pants and blouse for the ladies.  Parents, as well as any other relatives and friends, are invited.  Gold cup trophies from Federation will be awarded, as well as any other honors that students have earned that year.  This is a required event.

National Federation of Music Clubs:  Every year, students participate in the annual festival held by the National Federation on Music Clubs.  Students enter one to four of the following categories:  Snare drum, Keyboard Percussion, Multiple Percussion, or Timpani.  The student is required to play from memory a solo from the list in the NFMC handbook, and a piece of his/her choice, for a total of two solos per category.  The student receives a rating of Superior, Excellent, Very Good, Good, or Fair with a point total of 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1 respectively.  When a student reaches a total of 15 points, the NFMC sends me a gold cup trophy which I have engraved with the student’s name, category, and year they received the gold cup.  This award is then displayed in the studio and presented to the student at the next recital.  I feel that students get positive feedback from the judges for this event, and that encourages the students to excel and feel good about their playing abilities.  There is a small entrance fee for each category that is due with the February tuition.

The Royal Conservatory Achievement Program

The Royal Conservatory Achievement Program (The Achievement Program) provides a recognized national standard of musical success through an effectively sequenced course of study from beginner to advanced levels.

The Achievement Program inspires excellence through individual student assessments and allows students to celebrate accomplishment and track their progress with others across the country. It also supports teachers with high-quality and innovative resources.

St. Louis Percussion Studio Tuition Statement

Class:  $300 each September-December, January-April, and May-August

Half Hour Lessons:  $960.00 for September through May payable $160.00 for the month of September, then $100 each month thereafter.

Hour Lessons:  $1920.00 for September through May payable $240.00 the month of September, then $210 each month thereafter.

Materials Fee:  $35 payable with September tuition.

Summer Lessons:  $30 per half hour, $60 per hour payable each lesson