music classes

in Prineville, Oregon



Studio Policy and Commitment Contract
2019 - 2020

Welcome piano students and families! In this document I have listed all the essential things to know about piano lessons. Feel free to ask any questions or voice concerns. When you are comfortable with all the info, please sign it, keeping one copy for yourself and returning the other to me. This must be signed in order to continue lessons.

Thanks so much for taking the time to make music an important aspect of your family’s life!

Melissa Barker

What you can expect

Learning to play the piano is much more than reading a piece of music. In our time together we will not only be learning notes and rhythms, but how to make a piece of music truly musical. We will develop the ear by singing, playing “by ear,” and listening to recordings. We will learn about the history of music, how to play using chord charts (instead of written notes), and how to compose or improvise your own music.  Ultimately, our goal is to enjoy the music we make, no matter what type.

At lesson time

Students are expected to be prepared when coming to lessons each week. This preparation consists of showing up on time, bringing the necessary materials (notebook, piano books, practice schedule, and any other materials), and putting in sufficient practice time throughout the week. Make sure your fingernails are clipped (or you will be clipping them in the lesson), and your hands are clean (please wash them with soap and water immediately before beginning your lesson to prevent spreading germs).

Practice Time

Each student is an individual and, therefore, requires differing amounts of practice time. At the beginning of each lesson we will discuss how practicing went the previous week and will decide upon a length of acceptable practice for the coming week. Most students will be required to keep a record of his/her practice throughout the week. Although the precise amount of time may differ, a student is generally expected to practice a minimum of four to five days each week, completing each weekly assignment, no matter how large or small.


Parents are a key aspect to making practice-time a productive time. A parent must be supportive and encouraging of the student and make certain that he/she is practicing. This will often take the form of daily reminders, placing the importance of practicing right alongside homework. Although families handle practicing in different ways, a scheduled routine is successful for most students. Try practicing at the same time each day: before leaving for school, after getting home from school, or just after dinner seem to be times that work well for students. Please make it a priority in your household.

Performing Experience

Performance opportunities are essential for students to develop stage presence, self-confidence, and the desire to share their music-making with others. I strongly encourage students to take every opportunity to perform in front of others. Some students thrive on performances; for others, it's like pulling teeth. I have included 2 optional performances this year, as well as 2 required performances. Please place the following dates on your family calendar:

Piano Mocktail Party
(for students and their families)
Monday, November 4, 6:30pm, Ochoco Brewing Company
Holiday party
(for students only)
Friday, December 20, 3:15 and 4:45, Melissa's home
Performance at Retirement Center/Public Space
Winter 2019, date and time tba optional
Spring recital
(for friends, family, and anyone who wants to come!)
Sunday, May 31, 4pm, First Baptist Church

Materials Fee

At the beginning of the year each student will pay $40 on top of tuition to cover expenses such as music books, hands-on learning tools, composition books, recital fees, etc. This is a non-refundable annual fee. I will then provide all materials the student will need throughout the year. Parents will not be surprised with any unexpected fees, unless they choose to become involved in contests or festivals as the student becomes more advanced and will, therefore need to pay registration fees.


45-minute lessons $88/month
+ $40 annual materials fee
60-minute lessons $110/month
+ $40 annual materials fee

Monthly payments remain the same each month, even if the months do not have the same number of lessons. Payments are due by the 10th of each month. Five dollars will be added onto your bill each week tuition is late. Please make your check out to Green Grass Music.

Make-up Policy

At the beginning of each year, I will hand out a “swap list” with everyone’s names, contact info, and lesson times listed. In the case of absences, a student (or parent) may call or email another student to swap lesson times. If it does not work to swap lesson times, the student forfeits his/her lesson for the week. If I miss a lesson due to illness or emergency, I will make-up the lesson or credit that lesson to your next month’s bill.

Year-long Calendar

2019/2020 Schedule
September 16 – May 29

We will NOT be having lessons the following weeks:

Thanksgiving week (Nov 25 – 29)

Christmas Break (Dec 23 – Jan 3)

Spring Break (March 23 -27)
     *Monday students will not have lessons on May 25 (Memorial Day).
     *All other lesson days will continue as scheduled, even on "no school" days.

I have read and understood everything in the studio policy and agree to the policies therein.

Parent signature: ____________________________ Date: ________________________

I understand the importance of the statements above and commit to practicing the minimum of 4 - 5 days weekly, completing each weekly assignment, performing at least twice yearly, and coming prepared to each lesson. I also understand that if I am unable to meet these commitments, a probationary period of time may be instated and if no change is evident, lessons may be terminated.

Student signature: ___________________________ Date: ________________________