Voice Lesson Policies for Private Students
Nathaniel C. Thompson, Voice Instructor
Dear Parents and Students,
I am providing you this information for you and your child to read and go over together before making any commitment for taking voice for this next year. If you are new and interested in lessons, please go here and register an account for scheduling and invoicing.
Click here to download a pdf version of this document.
Lessons are held weekly on campus or at my studio (located at 2010 Rolling Hills Dr., Pearland, TX 77581). Each lesson costs $30, and typically last 30 minutes. Lessons during school hours are limited to half of each class period’s duration, and may range from 24-30 minutes. In addition, back-to-back lessons (totaling one hour of instruction) are available outside school hours for students who wish to improve faster.
Students will study, train, and be instructed in a variety of subjects required for a well- rounded vocal performer, which may include but are not limited to the following: vocal technique, physiology, acoustics, music theory, sight-singing, diction, foreign languages, literary analysis, stagecraft and acting, task and time management, mental health, emotional regulation, and physical health and mobility.
Financial assistance is available for families and students with financial challenges. Please contact me directly for more information.
Lessons are billed monthly in advance (a billing period begins on the first day of the month and ends on the last day of the month). Payment for the first month’s lessons is due by the first lesson. Afterwards, payment for a month’s lessons is due on the 1st of each month.
The lesson schedule will follow the PISD calendar. Lessons that would fall on holidays, late arrival, or early release will not be scheduled. This means that during some months students will receive as many as 5 lessons but during other months as few as 1 or 2.
Please do not send payment with the student. I prefer payment online through my website (Card or bank transfer), Venmo, Zelle, Cash App, or Google Pay. Card payments are subject to a 2% convenience fee. Cash or checks may be mailed or handed to me directly. Receipt of payment is sent via email.
Monthly invoices are sent by email and are available to view through the student portal on my website. Payment is still due even if you do not receive an invoice. A $10 late charge will be added for late payments after a 10 day grace period. Failure to make timely payments may result in lesson termination.
Account balances (usually as a result of cancelled lessons or excess payment) are carried over to the next billing cycle. Students and parents may view their account history through the student portal, or may request a copy to be sent to them at any time.
Attendance and Cancellations
Unexcused absences will result in the student being charged full price for the lesson, and the lesson will not be rescheduled. Frequent unexcused absences may result in lesson termination.
Students are expected to be prompt. If a student is late for a lesson, it will still end at the scheduled time. If a student is more than 15 minutes late, the student may be marked absent (unexcused). Students are encouraged to contact me directly if they expect to be tardy.
If a student has a scheduling conflict (including, but not limited to field trips, doctor’s visits, tests, or special bell schedules) they must notify me directly at least 24 hours in advance. Neither the student’s school nor their choir director are responsible for notifying me of special bell schedules or other conflicts. If a lesson is missed without such notice, they will be marked absent (unexcused).
Excused absences will not be charged. A makeup may be arranged, or a credit will remain on the student’s account equal to the lesson rate. Excused absences will be granted for the following circumstances:
Emergencies of a serious nature (death or serious family illness)
Other absences approved by me at least 24 hours in advance
If I miss a lesson for any reason, I will give the student as much notice as possible and will make-up the lesson. In the event a make-up is not possible, a credit will remain on the student’s account equal to the lesson rate.
If a student wishes to terminate lessons, they should first discuss this with their choir director. If after contacting them they still wish to terminate, the student must notify me in writing at least 5 days before the next lesson.
A lesson materials fee of $20 will be applied for new students, who will be supplied the following items:
1 zipper bag
1 Mechanical Pencil
1 Kazoo (used for technical exercises)
1 pack of binder dividers
Assorted Reference Handouts
1 Theory Workbook (One-minute Theory by Holly Shaw-Slabbinck & Ronald Slabbinck)
Students may be required to supply additional materials as needed including, but not limited to musical scores, performance attire, etc.
Students are expected to practice. I have found that those students who consistently practice will improve much more over the course of a year than those who do not. I expect beginning students to spend at least 20 minutes, six days per week in practice. This is not much time, but promotes consistent, daily practice. As students progress and begin to prepare for contest and recital, more time will be required of them. Please encourage your child to spend time practicing.
Students enrolled in the choral program at their school will prepare music for a number of performances, including but not limited to: District, Region, Area, and State competition; UIL Solo and Ensemble competition; NATS Competition, and Cabaret, Pop Show, Musical, and Varsity Choir auditions.
Students are expected to participate in a studio recital at the end of the school year.
Students are expected to be prompt, courteous, and physically and mentally prepared for their lesson. This means that they will bring necessary materials to their lesson, and they will have spent effort practicing and learning the music for their lesson. I reserve the right to dismiss students from my studio who fail to make progress the way I or the choir director believe them capable of, who fail to participate in lesson activities required for study, or who otherwise fail to meet the expectations laid out in this policy.
Thank you for your attention and interest. I desire to teach students who are genuinely interested in learning and to prepare them to be good musicians. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me any time. I look forward to an exciting and successful year working with you!
Nathaniel C. Thompson
Last Updated 1/14/2023