Laura Bernay

Studio Policies

For students aged 7-17 enrolling with a regular time each week after school

TUITION includes your exclusive use of my time and expertise for your scheduled lesson. Once a consult lesson has been completed and you agree to enrol in the studio a commitment of at least one year is established by parent and student, and by me, the voice instructor. I turn down other students so I am available to teach you at that scheduled time. Additional fees may apply in cases where I have spent extra time outside lessons doing repertoire searches, accompaniments and obtaining music for you (see below for details regarding recording by a professional accompanist for advanced levels, a fee may apply).

PRACTICE Your commitment to a regular practice routine is expected whilst under my tutelage. Individual students will discuss with me length and content and methods for practising during the course of our lessons. Parents with children in the Junior Voice program are responsible for the practice routine at home. It is not acceptable to expect a child under the age of 10 to take full responsibility for the practice. Parents must supervise and in some cases practise with the child.

MATERIALS as well as in-studio expenses for accompaniments done in lessons by me are included in the enrollment fee as well as studio certificates, awards etc. It does not include the cost of music, CD’s, accompanists or fees associated with contests, Australian Music Examinations (AMEB), auditions, recitals etc. Students are expected to purchase their own personal library of music based upon my recommendations.

– exercise book for notes or ipad
– suitable portable recording device, ipod, ipad etc this is compulsory
– thumb drive (optional)
– music which you are asked to purchase or borrow

(i) music stand (ii) CD or iPod, ipad or MP3 player or any efficient recording device
(iii) a keyboard is recommended but not compulsory
(iii) any other instruments
(iv) sound output speakers to play the accompaniments on to practise with

PLEASE BE ON TIME for your lesson. This means arriving 2-3 minutes early. I am unable to extend lesson times to make up for lateness. Enter the studio and be seated quietly while I finish with the previous student. If you do not wish for another student to enter the room whilst you are finishing your lesson please inform me of this prior to commencing tuition. If you are the first student of the day please wait quietly on the bench outside, please do not knock, I will open the door when it is time.The waiting area is outdoors so if you are the first student and very early you may want to wait in the car until time. Check with me about this policy if unsure.

CLOTHING Wear comfortable clothing that you can breathe and move in. Some classes and lessons may have quite a bit of movement involved.

PARENTS If your child is between ages 7-10 and enrolled in the Junior Voice you may sit in on lessons from time to time or, if I think appropriate each lesson. I will discuss the appropriateness of this in each individual case. If you do sit in on lessons then you are expected to take notes in lessons and are encouraged to discuss the student’s progress (with me separately).
Parents of students not in the Junior Voice program are not required in lessons and are welcome to attend lessons from time to time in a supportive but non-intrusive role. Please do not interject during the lessons. Please arrange with me prior to the lesson if you wish to attend.

CONTACTING ME is done by email for any rescheduling of lessons (see below how it works). For letting me know last minute if you will be away that day you may sms me or email me. Cancellations are strictly non-refundable. Please read
If you wish to discuss issues pertaining to your or your child’s progress please let me know and I will phone you.

EXAMINATIONS -AMEB – I reserve the right to decide if and when a student is to present for an examination. Students who are not adequately prepared will not be permitted to present.

EISTEDDFODS I will inform you of eisteddfods and talent quests, auditions and any other relevant performance opportunities and guide you how to prepare for these.

ACCOMPANIMENTS In lessons I provide students with enough accompaniment for practice purposes. For exams and important performances students are required to hire a professional accompanist and this cost is paid by the parent. I will advise on who to contact. It is always best to spend as much time as you can afford with a pianist before the event.

RECITALS Sometimes small recitals in lessons are planned and for older students can take place at a public venue. Solo recitals for general students are recommended but not compulsory. I endeavour to hold studio events throughout the year but I am well-aware that students are flat out most of the year with school productions so I keep this in mind if I schedule my own events.

FEES are payable in advance by the term according to how many weeks are in a term (varies between 8-11). (for Adults see Adults page)

ENROLMENT FEE There is an enrolment fee which applies for the year. This is paid to show a commitment for at least 1 year.

EARLY BIRD To qualify for the Early Bird fee payment must be made on or before the due date marked on your term account. After that fees must be paid by the first lesson of term or the place in the studio will be forfeited. Fees are not refundable. I will try to accommodate other activities in which the student may be involved, but it must be understood that this is not always possible. If this commitment does not receive sufficient priority then this type of tuition is probably not suitable. Please read Regular attendance at lessons is necessary to ensure continuous progress. If too many of the regular lesson times have to be missed due to clashes with other commitments then casual lessons may be an option.

MISSED LESSONS Cancellations are strictly non-refundable. Please understand that I am there to teach even if you do not attend. Should hospitalisation occur a refund can be arranged if a medical certificate is supplied. In the case of illness, 24 hours notice must be given and then in this case you may then find an alternative time during that week (see below for rescheduling). If I have a vacancy then I will offer that to you in that same week only if there is a vacancy. If this new time is unsuitable then the lesson will have to be forfeited. If a new lesson time is made and you miss that lesson then the lesson will not be offered again. In some cases (due to serious illness or serious family difficulties) a lesson may be made-up during the holidays. Please read

If you have the very beginnings of a sore throat please advise me prior to the lesson. Text is fine.

If you are able to go to school/uni/work, you should come to the lesson but inform me of your condition (ie no more sore throat maybe just some blocked nasal passage but otherwise throat fine). Other work can be done in the lesson and I will ensure you have something to go on with for when you recover that week.

RESCHEDULING PRIVATE LESSONS DURING THE YEAR You may reschedule your private lesson occasionally if required by swapping with another student for that week. In this case you may email me (please not sms) and request phone numbers of other students in alternative times. In your email you should list the days and times you are available so that I can choose the appropriate people for you to contact.
Please do not sms me or ask me at the end of the lesson when it takes up the next person’s lesson time.
At least 7 days notice must be given. It is then up to you to make the swap. The more notice you give others to swap the better the chances are of getting your request. Most people are happy to oblige knowing that one day it may be them asking a favour. If you do not wish your name and number to be givien to another parent please advise me.
NB.In the case of swapping with another parent an email of your exchange with the parent who is doing the favour for you must be CCd to me by you. Please text, phone or email the parent you have asked to swap for you the night before to remind them.

SCHOOL HOLIDAY LESSONS are optional and sometimes recommended for students preparing for AMEB examinations, auditions, or other performances. Extra fees are charged. There are no makeup lessons in the holidays if you have missed a lesson.

HOLIDAYS DURING TERM TIME “Term Tuition” payments means exactly that. As with many other extra curriculum activities this means that should you decide to go away on a holiday during term then this is your choice and fees are not refundable. If you know you are going to go away some time during the year but would like to keep your place for that lesson time when you come back then full fees apply. As there is always a waiting list I am not able to hold this time and must take on a new student who has been waiting for a place. Upon your return you may then be required to go on the waiting list for a new time if and when one becomes available. The missed lessons cannot be made up or credited to the following term’s fees. This arrangement secures a continued place in the studio. If this is not suitable then “Casual Rates” may be considered but you will not have a secured time slot. In the event that I am away you will not be charged for lessons. Please read

CASUAL LESSONS for adults (age 18 and above) are scheduled as required if and when the vacancies arise. See Adults

TERMINATION OF TUITION (FOR TERM ENROLEMNTS)2 full weeks’ notice (14 days) is required or fees for the following term apply. This also applies during the summer holiday period over December/January each year. See Fees