Studio Policies

Active Period: September - May

Fowler Piano Studio (FPS) will be governed by the following studio policies for private (i.e. one-on-one lessons). These policies are written for the protection of Fowler Piano Studio and patrons of FPS. These policies are subject to change or adjustment. Adjustment will be made annually before the start of each active period. Any changes during the year will be made only while giving due notice to current students about changes in studio policy. These policies are found on this website or in print upon request.

Previews, Enrollment, and Communication

• Entry into FPS is done through a preview. A preview is a free meeting where you get to sit down with me, ask questions about the music study, the studio, or anything else. If the student has previous study, they should plan to play for me.

• Previews can only last 30 mins or less due to schedule constraints. This does not mean I am not interested in your student, only that demands on my schedule are heavy.

• Enrollment at FPS is given upon invitation from the instructor after a free preview. All new students must complete a preview prior to enrolling. Then a studio contract must be signed and payment made and kept current according to the contract.

• At this time 30 min., 45 min., and 60 min. lessons are offered. The instructor determines how long a lesson is reasonable for each student. Beginning students will not be offered a 45 min. or 60 min. lesson time.

• The minimum age for enrollment is 5 years old but this does not guarantee acceptance into the studio. Students must be able to focus at least 20 minutes out of a 30 min. lesson. Students younger than 5 will not be admitted unless there is a compelling reason to do so. If I determine your child is not ready for study with me, your are welcome to come back the next year.

• Fowler Piano Studio welcomes families and is family friendly but does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of age, sex, sexual-orientation, gender, gender expression, religion, race, or ethnic background. The only requirement for entry into FPS is a desire to learn to play the piano, the necessary equipment to be successful, and abiding by the FPS Contract.

• The preferred communication method at FPS is through the studio email: This ensures that promises for services or other agreements are not forgotten or confused in the process. Calling and texting are acceptable forms of communication.


Scheduling for the active period (i.e. normal activities) begins no sooner than August 1st of the current year. Scheduling happens in waves and on a first come, first serve basis. Responding quickly to email will help ensure you get the day and time you want.

• Fowler Piano Studio operates in two periods: Active and Summer. The active period runs from September to May and is considered to be in normal operations. The summer period runs June through August; Schedules and studio policies operate differently in each phase. See Summer Policies below.

• Private Lessons are available year round and are encouraged during summer months to keep students learning and progressing. Students can take breaks during the summer period without losing their spot in the studio. You must make your intent to reenroll for the next year clear by May 1 of the current year. Your instructor will check-in with you about your plans.

• Scheduling priority is given to students in this order:

1. Students enrolled in the current the summer period

2. Returning students who were previously enrolled during the most recent active period

3. Accepted new or transfer students.

4. Students on the Wait List.

• Enrolled Students who wish to begin piano lessons later than September 1 must pay monthly tuition to hold their spot. Students have the same lesson time each week during the active period and that lesson time is reserved for them unless they forfeit it by breaking the lesson contract.

Tuition, Contract, and Payment

• Tuition payments are due in full at the first lesson of each month. Payment should be made by either cash or check. Checks should be made out to Fowler Piano Studio. Failure to pay tuition by the second lesson of the month will result in no lessons given unless payment has been made. Recurring late payments may constitute a breach of contract.

• Tuition covers all lessons in the month, whether three, four, or five lessons. Tuition does not increase because of five lessons in a given month and does not decrease if less than four lesson are given in a month according to the Studio Calendar (i.e. December).

• Parents/Students should not adjust monthly payment for any reason without prior approval of the instructor. Your instructor is happy to work with you if you communicate your needs. The instructor reserves the right to refuse certain requests.

• Check, cash, or Venmo are the only methods of payment. A returned check constitutes a breach of contract and the student(s) will be dismissed immediately unless tuition payment plus any bank fees have been paid. Only cash will be accepted after a returned check has occurred.

• Absence for two (2) consecutive lessons, without communication with the instructor, constitutes a breach of contract. The contract will be cancelled, no refunds on tuition, full or partial, will be given. The lesson time will be reassigned to another student.


  • (This clause only applies in pandemic conditions) The instructor reserves the right to move lessons online should local conditions warrant it. If lessons are moved online you will be given as much advanced notice as possible. Lesson tuition will remain the same. No adjustments to tuition or discounts will be given for lessons conducted online. Please see Make-up Lesson Policy for information on what to do if you are sick or diagnosed with COVID-19.

Wait List

• FPS maintains a waiting list. The best way to get on the list and get a spot at FPS is to schedule a preview, even if the studio is full. After a successful preview you will be placed on the waiting list and contacted according to your position on the waiting list. If you prefer to seeks lessons elsewhere please let me know.

• A current phone number and email address are required to be on the waiting list.

Placement on the waiting list does not obligate FPS to enroll the student within any specified time frame and does not obligate the student to enroll at FPS when space becomes available.

• If you are on the waiting list and enroll elsewhere, a courtesy email/call informing FPS of your situation is always appreciated.

  • I am happy to recommend other teachers in the area as well. The Tri-Cities is brimming with wonderful teacher talent!

Calendar, Sick Days, and Performing Opportunities

• Fowler Piano Studio shall operate according to the studio calendar, located under the Studio Calendar tab. This calendar will indicate days the studio will be closed.

• If your lesson falls on a day that the calendar indicates is closed, then there are no lessons that day. There will be no make-up lessons given for lessons that fall on those days. Those lessons are made-up during the months where there is a fifth lesson. Meaning that a fifth lesson in a given month constitutes a make-up lesson for lessons that fall on days the studio is closed.

• FPS is closed for memorial day, labor day, two weeks in December for the Holidays and other holidays as marked on the studio calendar. The December closure begins after the December studio recital and continues until January or when school begins again. Email reminders will be given.

• All students will have opportunities to participate in studio recitals and many other performing opportunities including competitions, adjudications, assessments, and more. Please check the studio calendar, it is posted each year in August for the entire year.

• To participate in musical events outside the studio please consult with your instructor. Generally, I encourage students to participate as much as they can in outside performing and musical opportunities.

• The instructor reserves the right to withhold students for participation in studio recitals if the student is not sufficiently prepared. A recital is a public performance and reflects on both the student and the teacher. The instructor works hard to ensure students are prepared for performances, so this will only be a last resort.

• The instructor will help the student determine what pieces the student should play in recitals and other performances and has the final decision on all repertoire studied.

Studio Expectations

• Fowler Piano Studio students are expected to be on time and prepared for each lesson. Cancellations shall be handled according to the Make-up policy. If a student is late, only the remaining time of the lesson can be given. I keep a tight schedule on teaching days.

• Students are expected to practice. Students may be excused early from lessons if they are not sufficiently prepared. There will be no refunds, full or partial, from lessons which students are excused early.

• Every student is responsible for purchase of their lesson materials. Materials are determined by the instructor. Purchase of materials is encouraged at local music shops or through FPS. If cost is an issue, please consult with me as there are options to minimize cost.

• Students should purchase the music prior to the first lesson.

• Every student has the right to be treated fairly. Students/Parents are encouraged to voice their concerns with the studio instructor early so that small issues do not become a crisis. Concerns will be heard and dutifully considered. Hopefully, a reasonable compromise can be found. However, the final decision rests with the instructor.


  • Fowler Piano Studio is independently operated by Benjamin N. Fowler. Patrons of FPS, upon signing a contract the signed agrees to these policies. Patrons are also informed that these policies periodically can and will change and will always be posted online. The online version in all cases will supersede all earlier versions of studio policies.

Summer Period Policies

• Fowler Piano Studio Operates according to these policies for the period June – August Summer is a wonderful time to spend outdoors, traveling and doing other activities not normally pursued during the school year. Fowler Piano Studio understands that breaks, vacations and other activities may occur during the summer months.

• Students may take breaks for the summer period without losing their spot in the studio, however their scheduled lesson time cannot be guaranteed when fall enrollment begins.

• If you want to take a break for the summer (i.e. no summer lessons) but want to keep your active period lessons time you can pay a non-refundable $100 holding fee to keep your lessons time for the following year.

• Students who want to take a break for the summer should inform the instructor of their intent to re-enroll in the fall by May 1 of the current year. Doing so will ensure a teaching spot in the studio, however the lesson time cannot be guaranteed. Returning students should schedule their active phase lesson time starting August 1 of the current year.

• Six weeks of lessons are normally offered during the summer. Lessons are à la carte, students pay only for lessons they take during the summer. (i.e. if you’re only available for three lessons, you only pay for three lessons.)

• Enrollment in summer lessons gives you priority scheduling for the next year.

Note: There are NO Make-up Lessons during the summer period. If the student misses the planned lesson for any reason, no credit or make-up lesson will be given. No refunds, full or partial, will be given in those instances. If the instructor has to cancel, students will be given lesson credit at the beginning of the next active period. No refunds, full or partial will be given during the summer.

Ending Lessons at FPS

If you decide that you no longer wish to continue lessons at FPS:

  • Please give 30 days written notice of your intent to discontinue lessons. You are still responsible for paying the last months tuition, or

  • You may also discontinue lessons at the end of the active period by letting the instructor know that you do not plan to continue the following year. This is a natural way to discontinue lessons.