About Chris Sexton
Teaching Philosophy

Studio Policy


This policy and contract serves to define expectations for the student and, where applicable, parents/guardians of students.  Please fully read the entire policy before signing the registration form, and feel encouraged to ask questions if anything isn’t clear.

  1. Studio Expectations
    1. In lessons, students are expected to:
      1. Arrive on time for their scheduled lesson.
      2. Practice and/or be well-prepared for the lesson.
      3. Have an instrument and bow in working order.
      4. Have all necessary materials.  For string players:
          1. An instrument in working order
          2. A bow in working order
          3. All music
          4. Rosin
          5. Shoulder rest (for violin/fiddle/viola)
          6. Rock stop (for cellists)
          7. Be attentive and demonstrate good behavior.
      5. Provide adequate means of communication (both phone and e-mail) and notify the teacher immediately of any changes to contact information.
    2. Habitual violations of studio expectations (at least three consecutive times of the same or a combination) are grounds for dismissal from the studio at the teacher’s discretion.
    3. Parents/guardians (if student is under 18) are expected to:
      1. Arrange for the child to be on time for the lesson and promptly notify the teacher of any delays or scheduling conflicts.
      2. Provide the child with an environment conducive to good-quality practice.
      3. Provide the child with the proper materials as requested by the teacher.
      4. Make sure instrument stays in working order and notify the teacher of any problems with the instrument, bow, or any other difficulties.
      5. Check with teacher prior to lesson time if they will be bringing any additional children that are not private students of the studio to the lesson.
      6. Provide adequate means of communication (both phone and e-mail) and notify the teacher immediately of any changes to contact information.
    4. Sexton Music Studio office space is professionally rented out by the Bull Run Unitarian Universalist (BRUU) congregation. As clients of the renter, the students/parents/guardians will be asked to adhere to the BRUU Building Use Policy.
      1. Theft, vandalism, damage or destruction to the property in any way is strictly prohibited; violators will not only be immediately dismissed from the studio but will be subject to prosecution.
      2. No willful disruption of other church activities is permissible.
  2. Attendance and Absence Policies
    1. Student absences/cancellations are considered excused and may earn a make-up lesson under the following criteria:
      1. The teacher has received notification of the absence in an advance time of at least 24 hours, with the exception of family vacations, which require a minimum of two weeks’ advance notice.
      2. In the instance of less than 24 hours before the lesson time, the lesson will be only be excused if the student is ill, in an accident, or if there is a family emergency.
    2. Student absences/cancellations are considered unexcused and will not be made up if:
      1. There is no notification given to the teacher at all.
      2. The student has not practiced and cancels due to a lack of preparation for the lesson.
      3. The reasons given for missing the lesson are for any reason other than the one listed in Article II, Section A, Item 2 of this contract.
    3. The teacher is not responsible for students who arrive before their scheduled lesson time.
    4. Time will not be made up for students who arrive late to the lesson.
    5. Four excused absences within 6 months could result in a probationary review period for the student; however, three unexcused absences will result in immediate dismissal from the studio.
    6. Effective as of November 1, 2012: students, upon confirmed registration at the studio, are hereby required for a two-month minimum mandatory commitment.
      1. Exemptions from this clause will be permitted under the following circumstances:
        1. Unforeseen family emergency (death, serious illness, etc.).
        2. Personal injury to student or parent/guardian that otherwise fully compromises the student's ability to play or attend the lessons.
        3. Unforeseen AND unavoidable scheduling conflicts with scholastic functions (excluding optional extracurricular activity)
        4. Unavoidable change of address/residence out of the area
      2. Students/parents/guardians wishing to discontinue lessons after the two-month entry period must notify the teacher by the first lesson of the second month.
        1. Violations of this provision will be charged an extra fee of $30 for neglecting to inform the teacher of the discontinuation.
        2. Exemptions to this clause will be permitted under the terms of Article II, Section F, Part 1.
      3. In the event of a student beginning mid-month, the two-month commitment will be amended to an 8-lesson commitment.
      4. Students who are already enrolled as of October 31, 2012 are exempt from from the two-month commitment.
      5. Students who continue lessons after the mandatory period must adhere to policy outlined in Article IV, Section D if they must discontinue at a later time.
  3. Make-up Policy
    1. The make-up policy is defined as follows:
      1. Only two make-up lessons will be given to students per 6 months in the case of excused absences.
      2. Teacher absences due to illness, family emergencies, vacations or professional obligations will be made up.
      3. Make-up lesson times will be determined upon conference between the teacher and student, or the teacher and the parent/guardian if the student is under 18.
      4. There will be no lessons on Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, or Independence Day.  Other holiday lessons will be at the discretion of the teacher, and students/parents will be notified of such.  The student/parent will not be charged for that day if the student’s lesson time falls on one of those holidays.
      5. Lessons that are cancelled due to inclement weather can be made up upon request of the student.
      6. If a make-up lesson is cancelled by the student, it will not be made up.
      7. A student who wishes to swap lesson times with another student must give the teacher at least 24 hours’ advance notice.
  4. Billing and Discontinuation Policies
    1. Lessons are payable monthly in advance by cash, check, or online via PayPal. Other payment arrangements must be approved by the teacher.
    2. Lessons are $30 per a minimum time increment of 30 minutes.
      1. Students who request 60-minute lessons will be charged $50.
      2. Students/parents may receive invoice/receipt with each month upon request.
      3. Payment plans other than monthly payments will only be allowed upon notification to the teacher in advance.
      4. A family discount (two students or more) will be assessed for 30 minute lessons to each student; students on a family rate will be charged $25 per lesson.
        1. Lessons must occur in immediate succession to qualify.
        2. Additional students will be $25 per lesson; however, reduction to one student will result in the student being charged the normal $30 rate.
    3. As of November 1, 2012: a late fee of $30 will be assessed to an account if payment is not received by the end of the third lesson of the month.
      1. If lessons are not paid for (including the late fee) by the fourth lesson, lessons will be suspended until payment is received in full.
      2. If a suspension of lessons occurs as outlined in Article IV, Section C, Part 1, lessons will resume only on a two-month probation with the following provisions:
        1. Payment for the following month of lessons must be paid immediately in full before lessons will resume. Payment will be for four lessons unless otherwise indicated by the teacher.
        2. An absence on either the student or the teacher's part must be made up. No refunds will be given if the student refuses the make-up offer.
      3. Lessons may be reviewed for possible probation if there are two or more late fees assessed in four months.
      4. Late payments while on probation may result in immediate dismissal from the studio and discontinuation of further lessons.
    4. The teacher must receive at least three weeks’ advance notice if a student is discontinuing lessons.
      1. Any outstanding make-up lessons will be scheduled upon notice of discontinuation unless waived by the student or teacher.
      2. No refunds will be given to students who discontinue without proper notice

A completed and signed Registration Form is due by the date of the first lesson. 

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