Pricing, Policies, & Location
1) Tuition for weekly half-hour lessons is a flat monthly rate of $80 (roughly $20 per half-hour lesson).
With weekly lessons, you pick a half-hour time slot that will work for you most of the time and you come each week at the same time. You can always reschedule lessons to a different time & day if you give me 48 hours notice (see policies below). The time slot is yours until you want to change it or take a break.
2) Tuition for weekly 1-hour lessons is a flat monthly rate of $150 (a $10 savings; roughly $37.50 per hour lesson).
This option is the same as above, but with longer lessons for intermediate or advanced players (longer lessons do not benefit beginners). You can also qualify for this money-saving option if you have two nuclear family members who each take half-hour lessons (for example: 2 siblings, or a father and son).
3) "A La Carte” (individual, non-repeating) lessons are available for $23 per half hour (not recommended)
This option is for people with a more chaotic schedule who can't find a time slot that will work consistently. With this option, you won't be given a regular time slot because I give scheduling priority to weekly students. You will need to contact me at least 48 hours ahead of when you'd like to have a lesson, and I'll let you know what I have open that week. I do not recommend this option in the long term because it tends to lead to inconsistent progress, and when you're not making steady progress, you tend to want to quit. But with that said, it's better than no lessons at all.
Pricing Is Based On A Long-Term Average Of 4 Lessons Per Month
Your flat monthly tuition gets you a lesson each week, and I guarantee that in the long term, you will average at least 4 lessons per month (or else I will adjust your tuition accordingly). In most months you will have 4 lessons, in some you will get 5, and sometimes only 3 (usually because of a holiday or vacation). However, the price will always stay the same because over the course of the year, each student will end up with over 48 lessons (4 per month).
This is actually a savings over the average price of "per lesson" instruction (you usually end up with a few "bonus" lessons each year), and it also simplifies and regulates your payments. You won't have to count the number of Mondays or Tuesdays each month to figure out what you owe, and you won't ever have to pay more than $80/month (or $150/month for hour lessons). Every year, I double-check the number of lessons each student will get - if your lesson day will receive less than 48 lessons that year, I will prorate your January payment to make up for it.
Should I Do Half-Hour Or Hour Lessons?
For beginning players, a half-hour lesson each week is plenty (any more would be overload). But intermediate and advanced players who want to supercharge their progress can step up to hour lessons (a good option for summer when there's less going on).
Payment Due Dates
Tuition for weekly students is due by the 10th of the month that you are paying for ($10 late fee after that). For example, you would pay for August's lessons by August 10th. If you are starting lessons mid-month, your tuition will be prorated based on how many lessons you have missed. If you choose to send your payment through the mail, please make sure it actually gets to me by the 10th (not just postmarked by the 10th). Payments are due by the 10th whether you come for your first lesson or not.
You can pay in person at your lesson time, send a check in the mail yourself, or set up one-time or recurring payments through your bank's online bill pay which will then mail me a check. Online billpay is nice because it's usually free and you'll never have to pay a late fee.
Week-to-week students must pay at their lesson.
No Credit Cards - I Only Accept Checks, Cash, or Bank Bill Pay
I accept local checks, cash, or checks sent by your bank through their online bill pay system. I do not accept direct electronic payments (except no-fee options like Chase's QuickPay), credit cards, or Paypal because the service fees would make it necessary to raise my prices. I'm a very small business, so I try to keep my overhead low to keep your prices low.
Please make checks payable to either me (Matt Morton) or my "D.B.A." music company, Studio 651 Ltd. (I'm a sole proprietor LLC in the State of Ohio). Please either bring your payment with you to your first lesson of the month, or if you won't have a lesson before the due date, mail your check to 3716 Dayspring Dr. Hilliard, OH 43026. Alternatively, you can leave your payment either in my mailbox or under my front welcome mat, in which case, please text me so I'll know to retrieve it. The fee for returned checks is $35.
The Benefits of Weekly Lessons Over Sporadic Lessons
Obviously there is a financial incentive to weekly lessons vs. a la carte lessons (you'll save $3 a week for half-hour lessons and $8.50 a week for hour lessons). But there is also another important reason why you should try your best to do weekly lessons: students who come each week are WAY more likely to stick with it and progress more quickly.
Usually when people go week-to-week, it's because they're planning to take lessons every other week or they want to wait until they feel like they've mastered what they've been working on before they come for another lesson. But lessons aren't just for getting new songs or exercises to work on, they're also a way to keep yourself inspired, accountable to your goals, and to catch any newly-developing bad habits before they've become too firmly entrenched.
I know from my own experience that I always practiced a little harder when I knew I had a lesson coming up because I didn't want to disappoint my teacher. Sometimes life gets crazy and the only practice you can fit in is right before your lesson, but at least with weekly lessons, you can't backslide for long. Also, going two or more weeks between lessons leaves a lot of time to get lost, get bored with the song you're working on, and/or practice something the wrong way and then have to unlearn it and relearn it the right way.
I don't want to come down too hard on a la carte lessons because they're still better than no lessons at all. And if a student is self-disciplined and committed to becoming better, they can definitely make them work. But I recommend them only as a last resort because for some reason, most students who go week-to-week end up coming progressively less frequently until one day, they just drop off the radar completely.
Cancellations & Make-Up Lessons (Not Due To The Student's Sickness)
In case you get sick, just let me know you’re not coming (obviously you can’t give 48 hours notice for that!). Then when you get well, we can either schedule a make-up lesson or refund/prorate your tuition.
Major Holidays and Two 1-Week Breaks (Summer and Winter) Are Built Into The Tuition Price
There will be no lessons on the following major holidays:
New Years Day (I do teach on New Years Eve)
4th of July (observed)
I also take a one-week break sometime in the Spring/Summer, and a one-week break in the Winter. These holidays and breaks are built into the monthly tuition price. Although this means that some students will only have 3 lessons in a holiday or vacation month, the monthly rate will remain the same because in the long term, each student will still receive an average of more than 4 lessons per month:
There are 52 weeks per year. If each student comes to 4 lessons per month for 12 months, they will get 48 lessons in 48 weeks. that leaves 2 weeks for Summer and Winter breaks, and 2 weeks of "bonus" lessons (if they aren't taken up by holidays). At the start of each year, I take a look at the number of lessons that students on each lesson day will receive in that year (factoring in my two breaks and holidays). If your lesson day will be receiving less than 48 lessons during that year (4 lessons per month), I will prorate your January tuition to make up for it.
I will teach every week, regardless of weather, and will cancel lessons for only the most extreme weather conditions. I may be teaching even if the schools are closed since lessons don't start until the afternoon and often the roads are safe by then. If we need to cancel lessons due to weather conditions, I will text/email/call (in that order) every student with as much notice as possible. If you don't hear anything, please assume that we're still on.
If you need to take a break or stop taking lessons, let me know at least 48 hours before the first lesson you won't be coming for. You will continue to be charged for lessons until you cancel.
My studio is a clean, comfortable, and well-lit learning environment that's way better than those phone booth-sized lesson rooms in the back of most music stores. There is plenty of comfortable seating for parents who would like to stay with their children during their lesson (no disruptive siblings or cell phones, please!). When you take lessons here, you'll have access to a great-sounding amp to play through, a huge collection of songs to choose from, and a professional studio to record your song ideas.
Our address is 3716 Dayspring Dr. Hilliard, OH 43026
My home studio is in Northeast Hilliard (near Mill Run, St. Brendan's, and the Hilliard East Pool) where Hilliard, Dublin, and Upper Arlington come together. Specifically, we're in the River Landings neighborhood, just north of Fishinger Rd. with quick access to 270. We're about 5 minutes South of Tuttle Mall.
You can get here relatively quickly from almost any part of the city. I have students from Dublin, Upper Arlington, Grandview, Worthington, Plain City, West Jefferson, Clintonville, Grove City, Groveport, Gahanna, Reynoldsburg, Pickerington, Westerville, and even as far away as Morrow County!
All students (including "a la carte” students) must give at least 48 hours notice of a cancellation in order to be eligible for a make-up lesson or tuition adjustment (refund). We will then try our best to find a time to do a makeup lesson. If we can't find a time that will work for a make-up, I can either refund you or we can prorate your next month's tuition.
The reason for this policy is that your weekly lesson time is a "lockout" of my time. In other words, I agree to not schedule anyone else into your time slot with the understanding that I will make money on that time slot. I regularly have waiting lists, and I often have week-to-week students looking for openings, so every time slot is valuable. If you cancel at the last minute, I've lost money that I could have made teaching someone else. But if I have enough lead time, I can contact another student and fit them into you slot. 48 hours might seem excessive, but I'm a one-person company - it might take me several hours to get to listen to your voicemail or see your text, and then it takes time to contact other students who might want your time slot, wait for their responses, and then give them enough time to change their schedule and arrange transportation to get themselves or their child here. 24 hours notice is often not enough time to get all of that done in my experience.