Voice Lessons with Gwyn Sanborn
Temecula Music Academy
(951) 970-1085
 
Dear Parent/ Student,
            Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be your instructor! Music is a wonderful pursuit that can be enjoyed by all at any age. The rewards of studying music go beyond the music itself. It also develops self confidence, discipline, and responsibility. Studies have also shown that children who study music have greater academic success in school. It is my goal to provide a unique style of teaching and a rewarding experience. I focus on each student as an individual and create a productive and comfortable learning environment. I will focus on performance as well as technique. 
The following contract contains my policies and outlines my business terms which will help us avoid any misunderstandings.
 
Attendance
Lessons are once a week and are 30 minutes long. If desired, 60 minute lessons may be available. 
Due to limited time available, make up lessons are difficult to schedule, therefore please pick a lesson time that you are certain will work with your schedule. This will be your time and you will be held financially responsible for it.
            Consistent absence and/ or tardiness hinder learning, and may lead to the termination of lessons.
 
            Tuition
 
            *Tuition is $30.00 per ½ hour
            *Tuition is to be paid monthly:
                        $120.00 for a 4 week month
                        $150.00 for a 5 week month
*Tuition is due at the last lesson of the currently paid month for the upcoming month and no later then the 1st of the month, for example, the tuition for October is due the last lesson of September and no later than October 1st.
*Tuition turned in after the 1st is subject to a $15.00 late fee
*Lesson times will not be reserved without financial commitment.
*Please make checks payable to Gwyn Sanborn
*Tuition payments are non-refundable
*A $25.00 fee is charged for a N.S.F. check.
 
Cancellations
*A minimum of 24 hours advanced notice is required! If you need to cancel a lesson at any time you must call my cell phone and leave a message or text me. The number is (951) 970-1085.You may also use the form on the website calendar. Texting is preferred.
*If illness or an emergency arises you must call before your scheduled lesson time.
* If the student is absent and no call is received the lesson will be forfeited and you will be charged.
*A properly cancelled lesson (as described above) will be credited in the form of a make-up lesson.
*Only 1 properly cancelled lesson per 3 month period is allowed; any additional cancellations, regardless of reason, will be charged.
 * In the event that I cancel a lesson, credit will be given. 

Make-up Lessons From An Economist's Point of View- Please read and evaluate your reasons for cancelling.

"I'm a parent of children enrolled in Suzuki music lessons. I'd like to explain to other parents why I feel - quite strongly, actually - that it is unreasonable of we parents to expect our teachers to make up lessons we miss, even if I know as well as they do just how expensive lessons are, and, equally importantly, how important that weekly contact is with the teacher to keeping practicing ticking along smoothly. I think that it is natural for we parents to share the point of view that students should have their missed lessons rescheduled, but if we were to 'walk a mile' in our teachers' shoes, we might change our minds about what it is reasonable for us to expect of our teachers.
 Like many parents, I pay in advance for lessons each term. In my mind, what this means is that I have reserved a regular spot in the busy schedules of my sons' teachers. I understand - fully - that if I can't make it to the lesson one week (perhaps my son is sick, or we are away on holiday, or there is some other major event at school) then we will pay for the lesson, but that my teacher is under no obligation to find another spot for me that week, or to refund me for the untaught lesson. And this is the way it should be.
 In my 'other life' I am an economist and teach at our local university. Students pay good money to attend classes at the university; but if they don't come to my lecture on a Monday morning, then I am not going to turn around and deliver them a private tutorial on Tuesday afternoon. When I go to the store and buy groceries, I may purchase something that doesn't get used. Days or months later, I end up throwing it out. I don't get a refund from the grocery store for the unused merchandise. If I sign my child up for swimming lessons at the local pool, and s/he refuses to return after the first lesson, I can't get my money back. So there are lots of situations in our everyday lives where we regularly pay in advance for goods or some service, and if we end up not using what we have purchased, we have to just 'swallow our losses'. On the other hand, if I purchase an item of clothing, and get home and change my mind, I can take it back and expect either a refund or a store credit.
 
So why do I believe that music lessons fall into the first category of 'non-returnable merchandise', rather than into the second case of 'exchange privileges unlimited' (which I think is one of the advertising slogans of an established women's clothing store!)? Speaking now as an economist, I would claim that the reason is that items like clothing are "durable goods' - meaning, they can be returned and then resold at the original price - whereas music lessons are non-durable goods - meaning, once my Monday slot at 3:30 is gone, my son's teacher can't turn around and sell it again. The only way she would be able to give him a lesson later in the week would be if she were to give up time that she had scheduled for her own private life; and that seems pretty unreasonable - I can't think of many employees who would be thrilled if their bosses were to announce that they couldn't work from 3:30 to 4:30 this afternoon, but would they please stay until 6:30 on Thursday, because there will be work for them then!
 
Many teachers hesitate to refuse our request to shift lesson times (because our busy schedules do change), because unless they keep us parents happy, we will decide to take our child somewhere else for lessons (or to drop musical study), and they will lose part of their income. This is particularly true in areas with lower average income, where it can be particularly difficult to find students. So rather than telling us that 'well, actually, the only time when I'm not teaching and that you can bring your son for lesson is during the time I set aside each week to go for a long soul-cleansing walk, and I can't do that on Monday at 3:30 when you should have turned up', they agree to teach us at a time that really doesn't suit their schedule. Teachers who are 'nice' in this way often, in the long run, end up exhausted, and feeling exploited; they try to draw a line in the sand. However, too few parents ask to switch only when absolutely necessary, and too many parents want lesson times when it suits them this week, which is not the same time that suited last week. If the conflict arises because my child is in the School play, and they have their dress-rehearsal during his lesson time, then I feel that I must choose between the two activities, and if he attends the dress rehearsal my private lesson teacher doesn't owe me anything.
 
During May, my eldest son will be missing three lessons because he is going to accompany me on a trip to New Zealand to visit his great-grandparents. I do not expect my son's teacher to refund me for those missed lessons, or to reschedule them by 'doubling up' lessons in the weeks before or after our departure. Since there will be lots of advanced notice, I might ask her to consider preparing a special 'practice tape' for that period, or to answer my questions via e-mail, but if she doesn't have the time (the second half of April is going to be really busy for her, and she wouldn't be able to do the tape until more or less the week we left) and so has to refuse, then that's fine. I certainly don't expect her to credit me with three make-up lessons; there is no way for her to find a student to fill a three-week hole in her schedule during our absence. Instead, I hope that she will enjoy the extra hour of rest during those three weeks, and that we will all feel renewed enthusiasm when we return to lessons at the end of the trip."
Article Copyright © 2001Vicky Barham
Note: Ottawa Suzuki Strings policy is that lessons missed by the student are not made up
.

Materials
 
            Student materials consist of Karaoke music CD’s for songs they are currently working on. Songs may by downloaded and emailed to me Gwyn@socalvoicecoach.com. I use www.karaoke-version.com primarily because you are able to change the key of the song before you purchase it. If you do not need a key change www.amazon.com is a great resource.
Students will also need a notebook to hold notes and lyrics as well as a CD case to keep their CD’s in. We use a lot of CD’s so it is important to keep them together and protected. An mp3 player for their music is also very helpful and makes practicing easier.
Please remember to bring bottled water to each lesson; it is important to stay hydrated while singing.
            I will provide a CD of warm up exercises at the first lesson. Copies can be purchased for $1.00.
           
Practice
            *All students will need to put forth effort beyond time spent at lessons. Practice at home is essential; it reinforces and solidifies what is taught at each lesson.
            *Practice time should consist of ½ warm ups/ exercises( at least 15 minutes) and the rest can be used to practice your songs. Don’t forget to always include your stage presence when practicing.
 
Minimum Practice Time
Beginners: 25 min. three times a week
Intermediate (after 6 mo) 45 min. three times a week.
Advanced (after 1 year) 60 min Three times a week.
            *These are simply minimum practice guidelines. If you feel comfortable you can either practice longer or add another day. If at any time your voice feels tired or hurts, STOP. You can finish later when you feel better.
*Ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to practice. The only way to get better is to practice. Your voice is a muscle that needs to “work out” to get stronger.
The website provide a Practice log for each student and I encourage you to use it.
*I highly encourage parent involvement with their child’s music education. Children with parents who are actively involved on a consistent basis with their child’s education achieve greater success. Parents are always welcome to sit in on their child’s lesson. It will give you, the parent, an understanding of what your child should be working on. I can also explain concepts to you, which will help you, help your child.
*Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns. Thanks So Much!
Sincerely, Gwyn Sanborn (951) 970-1085
 
I have read and agree to the above stated contract.
 
Student__________________________________ Date_________
Parent (if applies__________________________ Date_________
Lesson Day __________________________ Time______________