It varies, but the truth is that with the way our curriculum is structured... it doesn't matter. There is a misconception that with many students, each one gets less time with the teacher. This would only be true if each student was learning separate material however we have a set pre-planned curriculum that means just like in school, all students are learning the same pieces of music and the same theory all together as a class so everyone gets the attention of the teacher for the full 45 minutes. Also the group environment motivates students to complete their homework and practice more readily in order to 'keep up' with their peers. Finally we ask people to think about normal school or university or arts schools and realise that almost every form of education is taught in a 'class' not to individuals and this is the norm because when done correctly, it is the most effective and efficient way to deliver tuition. Class numbers range from 4 or 5 to an upper limit of 10.
Due to the focus our lessons have on music theory (reading & writing music), we take students from 6 years old up. This is because theory can be a bit much for students not already doing some reading and writing in school. There are certainly people that will take your money and 'teach' from 3 or 4 years up, but if students are not taught (or don't grasp) theory as well as playing their instrument, they end up having to go back agin to a beginner level to learn it as it is integeral.
Really every student needs an instrument to complete their practice during the week, but we supply piano students with instruments at class. Guitar students do need to bring thir own instrument. Our teachers keep them tuned up each week and we offer re-stringing and maintenance services.
In our beginners group class program you are required to pay for a full school term (usually 10 x weeks) in advance ($12 per week for a total of $120.00). This includes all learning material, weekly homework emails, etc, there is no other cost involved. Places are paid in advance due to the popularity of the program and places being in high demand.
Sure, the reason we do not discount, refund or credit term fees once paid is that the term payment for each student is for their place for the whole term (10 weeks) because our costs (rent, room hire, teacher’s wages, instrument, insurance, etc) all stay the same regardless of if there is 10 students in a class or 2 students in a class. Our income (your semester fees) is used (like you) to pay in advance, term by term, for our afore mentioned costs. Also the places in each class are limited and therefor if a student gets sick or decides to discontinue lessons once the program has commenced, we cannot fill the spot left, as the group has already progressed through some tuition. This leaves us with a wasted spot and is unfair on the many students we turn away once the class is fully booked.
Private lessons are paid weekly. Each week, on the day of your lesson, you receive an invoice for that day's lesson. These are '6 day' invoices, meaning you simply have to make payment prior to your lesson the following week. Invoices are sent via email & text message & you can easily pay online with a CC or use the bank details on the invoice to pay via traditional methods. There is no 'lock in time periods' and no direct debits, you are free to stop and start when ever you wish.
Don't panic! Although in group classes we do not refund your payment for a missed lesson, we do send every student a weekly email with any learning material covered in class and a brief summary of what was covered so catching up is a breeze. Missed lessons in private tuition are simply not billed.
Can they ever!! We not only allow, but encourage parents to stay. Firstly it lets you help your child if they have any questions during the week, secondly many parents pick up some musical knowledge along the way and thirdly after seeing our classes and meeting our wonderful techers, most parents tell other parents about us which we greatly appreciate.