Tuition Payments
What does Tuition Cover?
Each student comes for 30 or 45 minutes each week; however more time each week is spent by the teacher to make lessons enjoyable and a success.
  • Weekly preparation for each student’s lesson—each student is different and I plan accordingly.
  • Time spent with each student weekly 
  • Time spent bookkeeping and scheduling
  • Time spent searching for new music, materials for student
  • Membership in local and national teaching organization
  • Expense and time spent at music teacher association meetings/clinics and continuing education
  • Studio expenses
  • Instrument tuning/repair
  • Subscription to pedagogy magazines
  • Time spent preparing and planning for performance opportunities (recitals, Christmas Sharing, TMTA events) 
  • Self-employment taxes
Tuition is based on a 10-month period with 36 weeks of lessons from August-May, divided into equal monthly payments.  Tuition remains the same each month. Each student’s time is reserved exclusively for them for the entire year.  The cost for 30-minute lessons is $95 per month.  Tuition for 45-minute lessons is $140.  There is a $50 non-refundable registration fee per year per student ($85/family) which covers supplemental music to loan to students, printing music from music clubs and subscriptions,  awards and prizes, expenses for group lessons, recital costs (refreshments, printing programs, etc). Tuition is non-refundable and is due at the first lesson of each month; Invoices are emailed to you.  I make it simple by having the  same amount due at the same time each month.  Payments received after the 8th of the month are considered late and a $20 late fee will be charged.  If your child needs new books, I will purchase them and include it in the invoice that month.  I enjoy teaching students, but this is my business and your prompt payment is appreciated. 
Payment can be:
  • sent directly from your bank to me, which is easy and convenient. Most banks will either do automatic payments you can set  up each month.  
  • Zelle payments
  • brought by the student (cash--exact amount OR check made payable to Karen Van Sickle
ADULT STUDENTS have two options for tuition:  monthly tuition, or "pay by the lesson" which is $25 per 30 minute lesson or $37.50 per 45 minute lesson).  With this second option, adult students pay for 4 lessons at a time and  have more flexibility in scheduling those lessons due to work, travel or family obligations.  Please contact me for more information about this option. 
Attendance at Lessons
Your tuition reserves a specific weekly time slot for each student and because of a very full teaching schedule, make-up lessons cannot be guaranteed. Please make this appointment a priority for you.  I realize missed lessons, for whatever reason, can occur.  One additional lesson has been built into the calendar to accommodate for one missed lesson. I will do the best I can to reschedule any lesson a student has to miss with advance notice. Students who fail to come to lessons without notification will not be eligible for a make-up lesson. If your child has missed school due to illness, please call, email or text to cancel their lessons.  Even if they seem “fine,” in my experience, it is difficult to concentrate if they have been sick all day. If they do feel better, on-line lessons are an option so they do not miss their lesson.
Please look at your child’s school schedule
for concerts and activities that might interfere with their lesson time, so we can reschedule their lesson.  No refunds or credits will be given for missed lessons.  Lessons falling on a single holiday (Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, MLK Day) will occur as scheduled.  Please refer to the calendar for a specific list of performance and vacation dates. My studio follows the Sahuarita School calendar.  I teach through the summer and will send out information regarding summer lessons in April.  To make sure you have a place in the fall, I require students come to AT LEAST 4-30 minute or 3-45 minute lessons during the summer. If you choose NOT to participate in summer lessons, a hold fee is required to reserve your spot for the fall.  However, students are encouraged to continue through the summer and I will work with your schedule!
I am planning to resume our Holiday Sharing Recitals this year.  Our Spring Recital will take place in late April.  Tucson Music Teachers will have other opportunities for performances, including the Ensemble concert and on-line evaluation programs.

Many parents/students consider stopping piano lessons at one time or another.  Please make this decision thoughtfully so that lessons can cease with a positive sense of closure.  As a courtesy so I can have time to place another student in my studio, I require you to complete the current month and give at least 2 weeks notice prior to discontinuing.
There might be the expectation that students will learn whatever they need during their music lesson time and not need to put forth extra time at home; however, without consistent practice, students will not progress.  Please read that sentence again.   Students younger than 9 years old will need some supervision as they practice.  The rate at which a student progresses depends, to a very large degree, on the amount of effort they put forth at home. Treat piano lessons as you would any subject in school with work outside of class.  Some playing every day is better than nothing!  Please make this an important part of your day. I will do my best to guide students to know what and how to practice at home!

I consider the Parent-Student-Teacher Triangle an important part of the learning process.

Researchers have found that THE most important element in developing talent is PARENTAL ENCOURAGEMENT.  The more you are involved in supporting your child’s practice, coming to lessons, encouraging performance, listening to music at home,  the more the child will also see the importance and value in music. 
You do NOT have to know how to play the piano or have a musical background to provide necessary supervision and support.  It is up to YOU to schedule a consistent practice time, perhaps even remind your child to practice and provide an encouragement when your child struggles to master a new skill.  As part of your financial investment, it is also important for you to
  • purchase or rent a full-size keyboard or piano (minimum 72 full-size keys for beginners, but please know after a year, students will out-grow that size),
  • have your piano regularly tuned,  and
  • have a metronome available (either purchase or get a free app for smart phone/ipad). 
Your responsibilities include:
*Come to lessons with all your books;
*Make sure your hands are washed;
*Be ready to learn and try new things;
*Come in quietly, if there is a lesson before you.  No need to ring the doorbell.
*Practice throughout the week.  Just as you have school work to do, you have piano
              homework each week. New music cannot be learned if there is no practicing at
              home. Check your notebook for practice hints and reminders of what I expect to be       
I will provide an encouraging and fun environment to learn about music and playing the piano.  I will provide opportunities for performance within the studio and community.  I will motivate and nurture young musicians to foster a life-long love of music.  I will continue to improve my teaching by attending workshops, conferences and communicating with other teachers.  I will be available to discuss with parents and students about progress being made.