Last updated on 4th September 2016.
This policy details the relationship between the teacher and the student and their individual expectations and responsibilities. By attending lessons with Windsock Music the student agrees to abide by the terms and conditions outlined in this document. The disregard of these conditions may result in loss of priority booking, postponement or permanent termination of lesson scheduling.
“Student” refers to the individual attending lessons with Windsock Music. If the student is not also the individual assuming financial responsibility, then Windsock Music should be notified in advance of the payer’s identity and relation to the student (such as a parent, partner, etc). The payer will be accountable for the student’s actions and their responsibilities as outlined in this document.
“Young student” refers to any student younger than 18 years old. Young students cannot be financially liable and responsibility must be assumed by an individual who is older than 18 years old, typically the student’s parent/guardian.
“Mature student” refers to any student older than 18 years old.
“Lesson” refers to an allotted amount of time agreed in advance between the teacher and the student, in which the student will receive musical instruction from the teacher to further their progress. Please note, the duration of the lesson is not measured from when the student starts playing their instrument, it is also inclusive of: assembly/disassembly of the instrument, discussions about music, troubleshooting, instrument repairs and scheduling of future lessons.
“Regular Lesson” refers to a repeating music lesson at an allocated time on either a weekly or fortnightly basis, agreed in advance between the teacher and the student. It is the assumption that regular lessons are ongoing and will remain unchanged in frequency, location and fee, unless alternative conditions have been agreed in advance between the teacher and the student. Regular lessons continue throughout school holidays, with the exception of young students taught at a school where lesson scheduling is only applicable during term time.
“Irregular lesson” refers to a music lesson on either an ad hoc basis or a repeat basis where bookings are greater than a fortnight apart. Irregular lessons should be individually booked as one-off events. Irregular lessons are considered lower priority than students on a regular lesson schedule so availability cannot be guaranteed by the teacher. In addition, a consistent lesson time may not be available for repeat bookings, and so the lesson location and fee may differ between bookings.
Lesson attendance will be defined and appear on invoices under the following criteria:
“Attended”: the student arrived to the lesson.
“Cancelled”: the student cancelled the lesson up to 48 hours prior to the scheduled lesson. A fee will be charged accordingly.
“Missed”: the student did not attend the lesson without giving the teacher prior notification. The full lesson fee will be charged.
If the student notifies Windsock Music of a cancellation within 24 hours advance or fails to attend (missed) the scheduled lesson, the student will be liable to pay the full fee of the scheduled lesson.
If the student notifies Windsock Music of a cancellation between 48 and 24 hours advance of the scheduled lesson, the student will be liable to pay 50% of the fee of the scheduled lesson.
If the student receives lessons at a third party venue and notifies Windsock Music of a cancellation between 7 to 3 days advance of the scheduled lesson, then the student will be liable to pay 25% of the fee of the scheduled lesson.
Unavoidable causes for cancellation, such as bereavement, or vehicle breakdown, or any reasonable situation will be left to the discretion of the teacher on an individual basis. The responsibility lies with the student if they forget or miss their lesson, and therefore the full fee will be charged. If the student is considering cancelling a lesson due to illness or injury they should consult their teacher before doing so because it is not always necessary to play an instrument in order to have a productive lesson. The teacher can tailor a lesson plan to the specific needs of the student’s ailment and teach alternative musical skills, such as aural training, rhythmic exercises, music theory, composing, etc.
If more than 2 scheduled lessons out of a 5 week period are cancelled at short notice or missed, the allocated lesson time will be reviewed and priority booking may be given to other students.
If the teacher cancels the scheduled lesson within 24 hours’ notice, the student may request their next lesson free of charge, equal to the duration of the cancelled lesson. Please note; teachers also have responsibilities as performing musicians and whilst every effort is made to prevent conflicting schedules, the situation is sometimes unavoidable. Under such circumstances the student will be given seven days’ notice and the teacher will reschedule the lesson for a mutually agreeable time.
Any cancellations made by the student or teacher will be noted as a charge/credit on the student’s account and appear on the invoice.
The student is encouraged to establish a regular lesson schedule, either on a weekly or fortnightly basis. If the student wishes to change the ongoing conditions of their regular lesson, it should be agreed in advance between the student and the teacher. The teacher will endeavour to accommodate requests to permanently reschedule a regular lesson, however, this is not always possible due to conflicting commitments. Lessons can alternatively be booked on an irregular basis but are considered lower priority and must be individually booked.
The teacher will often send a reminder message if a lesson time or location differs from the student’s regular lesson schedule. The student can check their personal lesson schedule at any time by logging on to the Windsock Music Portal online.
If the student arrives early to the scheduled lesson whilst another lesson is in progress, the student should wait on the premises in a non-obstructing area; during this time the student is encouraged to set up their instrument without causing disruption to others. If the student arrives late to the scheduled lesson, such time will be considered forfeit, but may be returned at the discretion of the teacher if good and valid reason is given.
If the teacher is late to a scheduled lesson, the lesson will begin upon the teacher’s arrival. If the teacher is unable to immediately account for the missed time, the teacher will discount the lesson fee appropriately and credit time lost to the student’s account. If the teacher foresees a scheduling issue (most commonly due to traffic), they will attempt to contact the student as soon as reasonably possible.
If there are concerns that the duration of a lesson is repeatedly being interrupted or compromised then the student should bring this to the attention of the teacher. It is understood to be a common occurrence that lessons can overrun or end early by a few minutes, and that this averages out over a period of time.
All teaching locations should be free of hazards and distractions with suitable lighting and easy access to a mains outlet. Please note that the teacher may play audio through a small amplifier, which requires adequate volume to compete with the student/teacher’s instrument.
Student visiting the Teacher’s home
The student should ring the doorbell once to announce their arrival and wait to be invited inside the teacher’s home. The teacher may request for the student to remove their footwear if it is wet/dirty.
Teacher visiting the Student’s home
A travel fee will be incurred in addition to the standard lesson fee, of which the student will be informed prior to their first lesson. The student should reserve a teaching area for the duration of the lesson. The student is responsible for providing a music stand.
Teacher and Student meeting at a third party venue
A hire fee will be incurred in addition to the standard lesson fee, of which the student will be informed prior to their first lesson. Whilst on the premises of a third party venue, the student is, in effect, representing Windsock Music and should show courtesy towards other students and users of the venue.
Teacher visiting young students at a school
It is the responsibility of the school to provide a suitable teaching area. If the student or their parent/guardians are unsatisfied with the teaching area, the issue should be discussed directly with the school.
The student is required to have a fully functioning instrument for their lesson. It is the responsibility of the student to maintain their instrument and replenish exhausted accessories, such as reeds and cleaning materials. The student should maintain a hygienic instrument by cleaning it after each use and avoid eating or drinking sugary drinks directly before playing. It is advised that instruments are serviced every 1-2 years to ensure optimum functionality and performance.
The student should have access to a music stand for use at their area of practice. It is strongly advised that the student invests in an instrument stand to encourage regular practice.
The student will be presented with a paper notebook during their first lesson for the teacher to document progress and set goals for following lessons. The student should bring their notebook to every lesson.
It is the responsibility of the student to purchase their own music books for use during their lesson. Please note, it is illegal for the teacher to reproduce sheet music that is not owned by the student. Occasionally the teacher will request the student to provide a specific book (typically for music examinations) or recommend music books appropriate to the abilities of the student. It is common practice for the teacher to annotate the student’s music books with a pencil.
Occasionally, the teacher might lend musical equipment or music books to the student on a short-term basis, which should be returned on request to the teacher. It is the responsibility of the student to replace these items in the event of damage or loss.
The student is responsible for establishing their own practice routine as advised by the teacher. Windsock Music recommends a minimum of 3x 20 minute practice sessions per week. Whilst the teacher will endeavour that the student makes satisfactory progress, success will stem from their individual enthusiasm to improve and excel.
The student should dress appropriately for the duration of the lesson and consider removing piercings or jewellery if it impairs the ability to play their instrument. If the teacher deems the student’s item of clothing inappropriate or impractical for completing the tasks in the lesson – such as low-cut tops, sunglasses, gloves, novelty contact lenses – the teacher reserves the right to postpone the lesson until satisfied.
Mobile phones should be set to ‘silent’ for the duration of the lesson to avoid distraction. Incoming calls should only be answered during the lesson if the teacher or student has announced at the beginning of the lesson that they are expecting a priority call.
It is the responsibility of the student to inform the teacher in advance of any medical or learning conditions that might affect their performance during the lesson; such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, epilepsy, partial deafness, etc. The teacher cannot be held accountable for any misjudgement if such information is not imparted.
The student should provide the teacher with their contact details prior to the first lesson; including full name, phone number, postal and email address. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the teacher of any changes to their contact details; the teacher cannot be held accountable for any miscommunication if the student fails to do so. The student can easily amend their contact details online by logging on to their personal account via the Windsock Music Portal and navigating to ‘Settings’.
For prompt response, the student should communicate with the teacher via text message. Please note, the teacher will often be unable to take calls as they are likely to be occupied teaching. For less urgent response, email is the preferred form of communication and the teacher will endeavour to respond to enquires within 48 hours. The student is encouraged to add the teacher’s contact details to their safe senders list or personal contacts to avoid incoming messages being flagged as spam.
With regards to young students, the parent/guardian should communicate directly with the teacher and not via the young student or school staff. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to inform the teacher of any foreseeable absences in advance, such as school trips, sports days, etc. The cancellation policy will be applicable if the teacher does not receive prior notification. It is the responsibility of the student to know when their lesson is scheduled, not the school or its’ classroom teachers. Similarly, the teacher is not responsible for ‘collecting’ the student from their classroom.
The teacher will inform the student of the lesson rate and any additional lesson charges, such as travel or hire expenses, prior to the student’s first lesson. Please note, these additional lesson charges will not appear on the invoice as a breakdown, but as a collective lesson fee. Lesson fees are subject to annual review; the student will be given a minimum of 30 days notice for any changes to rate.
The student will receive an invoice via email at the end of each calendar month, which should be paid within 15 days of the invoice date. The invoice will include any lesson or instrument rental charges, as well as fees for other items purchased from Windsock Music, such as concert tickets, exam fees, etc.
The preferred method of payment is via bank transfer which can be completed online, unless the student has agreed in advance with Windsock Music to complete payment via an alternative method. If the student wishes to complete payment via cash the exact amount must be given to the teacher at the end of each lesson. The lesson fee and cash amount received will appear on the student’s invoice. If the student wishes to complete payment via cheque there is a surcharge of £3 per transaction, which will appear on the student’s invoice.
If the student is experiencing any financial difficulties in meeting payment deadlines, or believes their invoice to be incorrect, they should contact Windsock Music immediately so that the issue can be resolved. If an invoice is overdue and the student has not completed payment, the amount owed will rollover to the next invoice. If more than two invoices remain overdue and payment has not been received, the student will be charged 20% of the total fee, every month until payment is completed. Please note, Windsock Music may postpone lessons until outstanding invoices are paid or if payment deadlines are continuously missed.
In the interests of young students whilst in the teacher’s care, the teacher is required to have a DBS check. In addition to Windsock Music’s own safety policy, it is common practice for schools to individually request a DBS from the teacher, and in some cases, require additional safeguarding training. The school is responsible for ensuring the safety of young students attending lessons on school premises and that the credentials of the teacher are current. The school may request additional safety checks from the teacher (at no expense to the teacher). Parent/guardians may request proof of the teacher’s credentials and a copy will be provided at the teachers convenience.
Parent/guardians are permitted to remain present in the teaching area for the duration of the lesson but should refrain from diverting attention away from the teacher. If the parent/guardian does not plan to remain present for the duration of the lesson, written permission should be given to the teacher stating that the parent/guardian is happy for the young student to be left in the teacher’s care.
The teacher will always ask for consent from a young student before making direct contact, which is sometimes necessary in order to demonstrate instrument technique, such as placement of fingers on the instrument, breathing techniques, posture when playing, etc.
Any communication outside of the lesson between the teacher and the young student should be conducted through the parent/guardian. The teacher’s contact details should not be shared with a young student unless the parent/guardian intends the young student to schedule their own lessons, in which case the teacher should be notified in advance.
The teacher will not accept invitations from young students on personal social media profiles. If a young student discusses any personal issues with the teacher during the lesson which raises cause for concern, the parent/guardian will be informed as soon as possible.
For educational purposes, the teacher will occasionally record audio or video footage in order to play back and critique performances. This multi-media content will not be saved or distributed without prior consent from the parent/guardian.
If you wish to query anything in the policy, or feel you have been unfairly charged, please contact us.