top of page

PJ MUSIC POLICIES

PJMUSIC STUDIOS POLICIES 2023 - 2024
Studio Number: (250) 213-9343 - Please use this number to call me
OR to text me Email: pamsmirl@gmail.com

Website: pjfinearts.com

Facebook

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY


REGISTRATION FEE

Registration Fees are non refundable.
New Students: $60.00 per student
Returning Students: $60.00 per student
It decreases to $45.00 per student IF the following are received by Sept 1/23:
a) Signed Registration form complete with cheque for registration
b) Post-dated cheques for 2023/2024 tuition
Please pay registration separately from September’s tuition cheque.


TUITION FEES (if you pay for a year you receive 2 months free)

Year(12 months) Monthly Quarterly(12 months)

Young Beginners Ages 4 - 5
30 minute lesson $1600.00 ($160.00/month x 12) ($500.00 x 4)
15 min lesson or 30 min group $800.00 ($ 80.00/month x 12) ($250.00 x 4)
Beginners Ages 6 & up, and Students Year 2 and above
45 minute lesson $2400.00 ($240/month x 12) ($ 750.00 x 4)
60 minute lesson $3200.00 ($320/month x 12) ($1000.00 x 4)
PAYMENT OPTIONS
Tuition may be paid with cash, e- transfer or post-dated cheques. All cheques must be submitted at the same
time as the Registration Form. Please write a cheque for the Registration Fee separately from the Tuition Fee
cheque(s). Make your cheques payable to PAMELA SMIRL
Monthly - Total tuition for year paid in TWELVE cheques, post-dated for the first of each month: beginning
Sept 1st, 2023 and ending August 1st, 2024.
Quarterly - Total tuition for year paid in FOUR cheques, post-dated for the first of each month:

Sept. 1st, Dec 1st , Jan. 1st, and Apr. 1st 

Yearly - Total tuition for year paid in ONE cash, e-transfer or cheque, dated Sept 30th
NSF Cheques: A fee of $35.00 will be charged for anycheques that are returned due to insufficient funds.


SCHEDULED LESSONS
My services are regulated by times slots reserved for each student. There are no refunds, or provision made for
missed lessons, other than the Make Up Lesson Weeks offered in the Fall and the Spring Sessions, which are for
illness only, and entirely at the discretion of the teacher. It is your responsibility to call and book the make up
lesson. Make up lessons will not necessarily be in your regular time slot. Anyone who misses a lesson due to other
reasons is encouraged to try and switch with another student.


TERMINATION OF LESSONS
Upon registration, a commitment is made to take lessons for the entire year. Should you need to cancel lessons,
one month’s notice (4 lessons) is required, and the applicable total will be forfeited or charged to you, and the
balance of payments will be returned. Respect is integral to any interaction between myself, parent and child.
This studio reserves the right to let go of any family for lack of respect to myself, poor behaviour by parent or
student, not making payments in a timely manner and/or not abiding by this studio policy. The same forfeit of

one month’s tuition fees (4 lessons) will apply should the Studio choose to terminate lessons for any of these
reasons.


PRIVACY
Each family is required to sign a media waiver to allow me to post pictures/performances on You Tube,
Facebook, my studio website, or on any promotional material such as posters or flyers. Last names are never
used. Those that choose not to consent are not shown on any outside media owned by the studio. Your
information will not be given to anyone else in the studio without your consent (i.e. swapping lesson times with
someone else).


BOOKS AND MATERIALS
You should budget $100.00 to $125.00 per year for books. As a service for busy parents/students, I am willing to
order any books that students may require. I will consult you before ordering any new materials, and invoice for
the cost of these plus postage upon arrival. The GST and postage will be lumped together on the invoice as
“Shipping and Handling.” Payment for materials ordered is due the week after the invoice is sent home.
Payment can be made as follows for materials: Cash (must be exact amount), cheque, or etransfer. If by etransfer,
it must be sent to pamsmirl@gmail.com and not to my cell phone. If by etransfer.


SERVICE I WILL PROVIDE AS A MUSIC INSTRUCTOR
I will provide a professional studio environment, free of distractions and conducive to music-making and
learning. As much as is possible, I will start and finish lessons on time. I will teach students how to master the
piano, and how to effectively practice at home. I will do my part to help each student achieve their goals and be
the best they can be; I will arrange a performance opportunity at the year end recital, as well as encourage
students to share their music at home recitals, and in the community at Seniors Residences, at school, church,
etc. I will teach the individual and adjust my teaching approach to the needs, strengths and weaknesses of each
student. I will include instruction in all areas of musicianship, including technique, sight reading, ear training,
theory, as well as music appreciation, composing, etc. as I am able. I will provide a positive and fun atmosphere
where good learning and beautiful music will be made!


STUDIO EXPECTATIONS
The following are my Studio expectations for each family that chooses to register as we work together to create
great musicians!


PARENT RESPONSIBILITIES
Please ensure you are on time for your child’s scheduled lessons, and enter the studio quietly. Lessons will not be
lengthened if you arrive late; your child will have the remainder of the lesson time that is left before the next
student arrives. Please ensure your waiting children are quiet and courteous, or I will have to ask you to make other arrangements for them. Please do not have conversations with other parents that are arriving or leaving, as I need all my concentration for the students.
All students must wash their hands in the studio washroom before their lessons begin, making sure that hands
are thoroughly cleaned, no dirt under fingernails, and nails cut short. Short nails are an absolute must for good
technique, and good technique is the foundation for everything else! It’s impossible for a student to play or
practice properly with nails that are too long: doing so undermines all the hard work of the student and the
teacher. Any student whose hands/nails are dirty, or whose nails are too long will be asked to address this during
the lesson, so please be sure to do so before the lesson begins. At home, check the length of nails before EACH
practice and cut them as needed: children’s nails grow quickly! I ask that you buy your own set of nail clippers
and keep them in your piano bag to use before the lesson and before the practice at home.
Provide your child with the best piano you can for daily practice.
Help your child find time daily for practice when they are not tired, and free from distraction and noise. Sit
down daily with your younger child and help them practice; sit down weekly with an older child and help them
practice. Encourage practice in a positive way and praise their efforts sincerely.

Please set up a regular practice time for your child, as doing so will help them get the most out of their lessons.
In the case of younger students, it is more successful if a parent sits with them during practice.
It is recommended that parents of younger students attend the lessons. This is to make sure you understand the
lesson so you can help them accomplish the goals of the lesson at home.


STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES
Arrive at lessons with ALL your books, assigned materials, piano binder, and flashcard case. At the studio, wash
hands, clean and trim nails before the lesson. NEW:
Decide on a practice time each day free of distractions. Thoughtfully practice technique, pieces and all other
assignments, using proper posture, technique and practice strategies that have been explained at the lessons.
Listen attentively at lessons.


PRACTICE GUIDELINES

No Practice = No Progress

Setting up a Practice Schedule = Regular Consistent Progress

Each student is expected to practice at home a minimum of five times per week. Progress is quickly made when
this is accomplished. Please be faithful in this: supervise if need be, implement a reward system if needed. Your
support in your child’s musical discipline is vital to their success. While having a regular time that you have
scheduled into your child’s weekly activities for them to practice is important, it is equally important for
students to know how to practice effectively and efficiently. This is why I begin teaching this to students (and
parents) as soon as possible. This helps students get the most out of the time they devote to practicing.
Beginners 15 to 30 minutes per day
Preliminary Students 30 minutes per day
RCM Grades 1 to 4 30 to 45 minutes per day
RCM Grades 5 and 6 45 to 60 minutes per day
RCM Grades 7 and 8 60 to 90 minutes per day
RCM Grades 9, 10 and degree 90 to 120 minutes per day

As outlined above, practice requirements vary for students at different levels. These numbers add up quickly:
2.5 hrs/week for 30 minutes of daily practice, 3.75 hrs/week for 45 minutes, and 5 hrs/week for 60 minutes. This
adds up to 75 hrs/year, 112.5 hrs/year or 150 hrs/yr respectively! Learning an instrument requires time spent
practicing, and this is why the quality of instrument you provide the student is so important.


GENERAL INFORMATION
Equipment Required:
1. A good acoustic piano will give the student the best possible start. A good digital piano,while adequate to
begin lessons, is not ideal, and will eventually need to be replaced by an acoustic piano. Although you may
spend less up front for a good digital piano vs. a good acoustic piano, the digital instrument will not retain
its’s value the way a good acoustic piano will. I owned a top of the line Roland Digital Piano which cost over
$10,000, and four years later I sold it for $2,500. If I had been trading it in for another instrument I could
have expected that amount to be lower, as there are always new digital models coming out that devalue the
older digital models. More importantly, there are many reasons why students cannot reproduce on a digital
instrument what they are being taught at the studio on an acoustic instrument. While a good quality digital
piano can approximate an acoustic piano, even with the very best and most expensive digital instruments
it’s only an approximation produced electronically. Many students who begin lessons on a poor quality
keyboard or digital piano become discouraged and quit. Please see my Q & A sheet on the differences

between instruments at scrutonpiano.com Purchasing an instrument can be overwhelming and I am happy
to help you find just the right instrument to fit your budget. Please speak to me before spending your
money: I’ll be glad to help!
1. The acoustic piano on which the student practices must be tuned once a year.
2. A bench at the right height. The student must be sitting high enough to be able to reach down to the keys.
If the bench is too low, please raise them up with a flat foam cushion, or consider buying an adjustable
bench. A footstool for students whose feet do not touch the floor. Please make sure there is adequate lighting
at the piano for the student. It is advisable to have a pair of nail clippersreserved for the student to be kept
in the piano bag at all times. Eventually, a metronome, or a metronome app will be needed.


OTHER INFORMATION
● Exam Students: Practical Conservatory Canada and RCM exams are held on line at various times or in
person January, June and August and are held in Victoria.. Theory Exams are a co-requisite to
receiving Certificates with RCM beginning at Level 5 and Conservatory Canada from Level 1 and up..
Theory is taught on line and in a class setting if numbers warrant, in the practical lesson or booked as
an extra lesson in addition to the private lesson if numbers are not sufficient to offer a class.
You, the parents, play a vital role in helping your child. Feel free to phone me with any questions or concerns
you may have. I look forward to working with you this coming year.

THE GIFT OF MUSIC LASTS A LIFETIME!

bottom of page