Simplifying your life by bringing DFW's Best Music Teachers to your doorstep!

Starlight Music Lessons Policies & Procedures

By enrolling in lessons and/or participating in lessons, you agree to the following policies and procedures.


LESSON PAYMENT PROCEDURES

Neither Starlight Music Lessons, nor its teachers, accept personal checks or cash. Payments are made using Automatic Recurring Billing.

Tuition will be deducted from the bank account or credit/debit card of your choice on the 1st of each month. We accept Visa, MasterCard, AMX and Discover as well as debits from your bank account. Payments are made directly to the company for the month in advance.

Your enrollment is not completed until you have paid for your first lesson, or trial lesson.

If student’s/parent’s card is declined or check bounced, a $30 fee will be posted to the account. Payment for tuition plus the $30 fee must be paid before the student receives another lesson.

Students are charged a flat-rate fee per month. Most months, the student will receive 4 lessons. Some months, because of the way the weeks fall, the student will receive 5 lessons: we do not charge extra for 5-lesson months. Due to Studio Scheduled Vacations such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, the student will occasionally receive 3 lessons in a month. The 3-lesson months and the 5-lesson months balance out to an average of 4 lesson per month over the course of the year. A flat rate tuition fee is charged each month. Students will receive a list of Studio Scheduled Vacations each semester. See “Studio Scheduled Vacations” on this page.

No refunds or credits are given if a student discontinues lessons before their 3- and 5- week months balance out.

The only time Starlight Music Lessons prorates tuition is during the first month of lessons and in extreme circumstances, which are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


STUDIO SCHEDULED VACATIONS

Specific dates for Studio Scheduled Vacations will be announced at the beginning of each semester. In general, we do not teach on normal school vacation days, including the following:

Spring Break

Memorial Day

July 4th Week

Labor Day

Halloween Night (lessons starting at 5:00 and later)

Thanksgiving Week

Christmas / New Years vacation

* Tuition is not adjusted for Studio Scheduled Vacations  (see Lesson Payment Procedures above for an explanation of how the flat-rate monthly tuition works).


MAKE-UPS, RESCHEDULES & ABSENCES

Lessons missed due to teacher absence will be made up.

Lessons missed due to student absences will be made up if the teacher receives 48-hours notice from the student/parent. The exception to the 48-hour cancellation policy is in the case of student illness or extreme emergency. The definition of an extreme emergency is at the teacher’s and office's discretion.

​Students are limited to one eligible makeup/reschedule per calendar month.

Regardless of the circumstances, no make-ups/reschedules/credits/refunds will be given if a student is not home or unavailable for a lesson at their scheduled lesson time and the student/parent fails to inform teacher ahead of time of their absence.


In the event of inclement weather (severe storms, hail, tornado watches/warnings, freezing rain, un-plowed snow on the road, etc), the individual teacher makes the decision whether he/she feels it is safe to travel to your lesson. If the teacher believes weather and/or road conditions make it unsafe to travel, the teacher will inform the student/parent as soon as possible and online lessons will be arranged via Skype, FaceTime, or video chat/call in lieu of in-person lessons.


Special note about student illness:

If your teacher comes to a scheduled lesson and the student is ill, the teacher has the right to leave the lesson with no makeup/reschedule or credit given, regardless of how long the teacher was at the house. “Ill” might include (but is not limited to): excessive coughing or sneezing, sore throat, or a fever or vomiting within 24 hours of the lesson. If the student is experiencing any symptoms but you know it is simply from allergies or due to something non-contagious (such as a sore throat from screaming at a football game), please communicate to your teacher that you know the student is not contagious before the lesson begins.

Do understand that our teachers want to be there to teach you. Our goal in enforcing this policy is to keep from spreading sickness among our teachers and students. Your teacher sees multiple students each day, so it is important that they take precautions to protect themselves and their other students.


LONG TERM ABSENCES

Long-term absences are detrimental to the student’s development and enjoyment of lessons. After returning from a long-term absence, the student will experience frustration as they will be reviewing things they knew only a couple of months ago!

Neither Starlight Music Lessons nor its teachers are able to hold spots for students who choose to take a long-term absence from lessons, such as summer breaks. Our company and its teachers operate with a waiting list most of the time, so open spots are filled up very quickly. We strongly encourage all students to continue lessons throughout the summer. Students who continue through the summer will be given first priority when scheduling lessons for the fall. If the student must take a long-term absence, the only way to hold a spot with the current teacher is to continue paying for lessons throughout their absence.


CANCELLATION POLICY/DISCONTINUING LESSONS

Your commitment is one calendar month at a time. To permanently cancel lessons or to temporarily pause lessons, you need to inform the office (not just the teacher) no later than the 29th of the month before the month you wish to cancel. Example: To cancel for October, you must notify the office no later than September 29th. Cancellation notification must be given to the office via email to info@starlightmusiclessons.com.

You are financially responsible for lessons until you notify the office directly of your cancellation. Notifying the teacher of your cancellation/pause is polite, however, it does not constitute notifying the office.

There are no refunds for un-used lessons due to student cancellations except in extreme situations at the discretion of the company, not the teacher.

Your automatic payments will continue until you notify the office staff of your discontinuation in writing (via email is sufficient) and no refunds will be given for any unused lessons due to failure to notify office of cancellation.


YOUR TEACHER

If you wish to work with a teacher other than your assigned teacher, you must contact Starlight Music Lessons to arrange this.

Starlight Music Lessons' teachers are bound by contract to work with you and/or your family only through Starlight Music Lessons. Out of respect for the work of the company and its staff, teachers may not teach former or potential Starlight Music Lessons students on their own.

Starlight Music Lessons offers a positive, honest, and professional experience for our students and teachers. We expect our students and teachers to treat us with the same respect and professionalism. Starlight Music Lessons and its teachers reserve the right to un-enroll any student or decline any student due to student behavior, parent behavior, lack of payment, student moving to new area, or any other reason the company or teachers deem necessary.


ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

Starlight Music Lessons staff and management work very hard to hire the best possible teachers for you, our students. Good teachers are NOT easy to come by!. Each hired teacher represents substantial time and financial investment. Our teachers have signed a legally-binding contract agreeing that they will not teach your family outside of the relationship with Starlight Music Lessons.

Likewise, we ask our students to treat Starlight with the same ethical considerations. Students and their families agree not to retain the services of any Starlight teachers -- regardless of subject matter, regardless of the nature of services, and regardless of the location of the services --during their contract with Starlight Music Lessons and for a period of 12 months following the end of their contract with Starlight Music Lessons. If a student or their family fails to honor this agreement, student agrees to pay a placement fee to Starlight Music Lessons equal to SML's current monthly tuition amount for the type of lessons the customer was receiving with SML, multiplied by 24. This placement fee is charged on a per-student basis.


SCHEDULING LESSONS

You will schedule your lesson time with your teacher. Lessons are held on the same day at the same time each week. We do not offer “every-other-week” lessons or “once a month” lessons. This refers to single students, as well as siblings in the same home (i.e. teaching Johnny one week, then Susie the following week). This is for the benefit of the student and teacher.

Lesson time starts within one minute after your teacher arrives at your house. Students should be ready to play at their scheduled time.

Please understand that as traveling teachers, we occasionally run into unexpected traffic holdups and periodically run a couple minutes late or early. Please allow a 5-10 minute time cushion when scheduling your other activities around music lessons.


DISPUTES

Should a student/parent have a dispute regarding whether a lesson was received, or whether full lesson time was given, Starlight Music Lessons management will investigate the lesson(s) in question with both student/parent and teacher and will remain the sole and final decision maker in in resolving such disputes, including what money and/or lessons are owed regarding such dispute. We review detailed attendance files weekly in order to avoid confusion and ensure that lessons are being received. However, if confusion over lessons does arise, we will do everything in our power to come to a resolution in the fairest way possible, making sure the student does receive any lessons owed. 

Should a customer/student dispute a charge through their financial institution, it will constitute a breach of contract possibly resulting in -- but not limited to-- penalties, additional fees, collection, legal action, and/or termination of any and/or all current and future services.


REFERRALS: EARN FREE LESSONS!

We know you will be happy with our teachers! Tell friends and neighbors about us and receive ONE MONTH OF LESSONS FREE! See EARN FREE LESSONS for suggestions on how you can take advantage of the referral program and potentially never pay for lessons again!

Note: Your free month of lessons comes in the form of a lesson credit equal to the regular monthly tuition you pay for one student. You will receive this free month of lessons after your referral completes their third month of lessons with us. The lesson credit is not redeemable for cash or refund. If you refer more than one student at a time, lesson credits will be used toward future months. Students who discontinue lessons for any period of time will lose any referral credits they have gained.


WAIVER
While the chances for injury or damage occurring during a music lesson is extremely low, the student and their parent(s) understand that any activity involves some level of risk, and anytime you bring someone into your home, accidents can happen (i.e. a chair is broken, water is spilled on floor, etc).  Students and their parents agree that they will not hold Starlight Music Lessons, or any of its owners or staff, liable should injury or damage be caused by a teacher while on the student's/parent's property. The student and their parent(s) agree to hold Starlight Music Lessons blameless.


PHOTO/VIDEO RELEASE:

We enjoy sharing pictures and accomplishments of our Starlight students! By agreeing to Starlight Music Lessons policies you give permission for Starlight Music Lessons to: (1) take photographs and video recordings of your children as they participate in Starlight activities; and (2) use, reuse, modify, publish, and republish those photographs, videos, and any derivative works (“Photos”) in any format or media, including the Internet, for purposes related to Starlight's mission. You waive any claims, demands, and liabilities against Starlight Music Lessons for taking and using these Photos. You understand that this release is binding upon you, your children, and any legal representatives, heirs, and assigns.


When sharing pictures or videos of your child, we use the first name and city/state in which they take lessons. We do not share last names, home addresses or any contact information.


To opt out of Starlight Music Lessons' Photo/Video Release Policy, please send a written notification to info@starlightmusiclessons.com


POLICIES SPECIFIC TO PIANO PALS IN-SCHOOL GROUP PIANO CLASSES

Student must be present at his or her assigned time in order to receive a lesson. There are no individual make-ups or refunds for lessons due to student absence. In April or May, we will hold a makeup class for anyone who missed a class throughout the school year.

Piano Pals students who take lessons at a school will pay a $50 Book/Registration fee upon signup. This fee covers the first level of curriculum books and materials, as well as registration costs. If the class progresses beyond the first level of curriculum and requires books for the second level, we will let you know the cost (typically $15-$25 for the second level) and charge your card on the 1st of the following month.



POLICIES SPECIFIC TO PRACTICE PALS

The above Lesson policies apply to the Practice Pals program, with the following exceptions/additions:

- There are no make ups or reschedules for missed Practice Pals sessions due to student cancellation.

However, if you need to change your day/time spot permanently, this can be done with your Practice Leader, giving reasonable time (at least one week) to determine a mutually convenient schedule for your practice sessions.

- If the Practice Pals leader must cancel for an unavoidable reason, the Leader will reschedule the practice session or double up on a future session.

- If your internet is down, or you are experiencing some type of technical difficulty making the use of Skype difficult, the session will be held via phone. You will need to call your Practice Leader at your start time (rather than wait for their call) to inform them of the problem. Webcam sessions are ideal, but the phone can be used on occasion and can still provide a very beneficial practice session.

- If the teacher is experiencing technical problems, he or she will initiate a phone call session. Webcam sessions are ideal, but the phone can be used on occasion and can still provide a very beneficial practice session.

- It is the student’s/parent’s responsibility to initiate the Skype call with the Practice Leader. If the Practice Leader does not hear from the student by two minutes past their scheduled start time, the Practice Leader will make one attempt to contact the student via Skype, then one attempt via phone. If no contact is made, the session is cancelled and no make-up, credit or refund will be given.

- If contact is made but student is not available or not ready, the session is cancelled and no make-up, credit or refund will be given.

- Your commitment is one calendar month at a time. To cancel, you need to inform the office (not just the Practice Pals leader) no later than the 28th of the month before the month you wish to cancel. Example: To cancel for October, you must notify us no later than September 28th. Cancellation notification must be given to the office via email or phone. You are financially responsible for sessions until you notify the office directly of your cancellation. Notifying the Practice Pals Leader of your cancellation is polite, however, it does not constitute notifying the office.

- In order to participate in Practice Pals, you must be currently enrolled in in-person lessons with a teacher (non-Starlight students may participate as well, but must provide proof each month that they are taking in-person lessons with a teacher. A receipt or email from the teacher is sufficient).

- In order to make your practice sessions as beneficial as possible, you must come to the session prepared with your assignments, your books and/or sheet music ready to use. Your teacher should have written out your assignments for you (if they don’t do this for you regularly, ask them to start so that you can make the best use of your practicing sessions). Have your written assignments ready to share with your Practice Leader.

- Your Practice Pals Leader will be different from your regular in-person teacher. This is done on purpose, as we feel it is healthy to have a separation between the student’s relationship with the teacher and the student’s relationship with the Practice Leader. We reserve the right to change your Practice Leader if needed due to scheduling conflicts or any other reason.



POLICIES SPECIFIC TO SUMMER LESSON PACKAGES


 Summer lesson packages are not available to newly-enrolled students. Only those with at least two months of consecutive, weekly lessons with Starlight are eligible for this special package deal.

Contact your teacher each time you want to schedule a summer lesson, or if you already know your summer schedule, you can schedule all of your lessons right away. It is the student’s/parent’s responsibility to contact the teacher when you want a lesson. Neither the office nor the teacher will harass you to schedule a lesson (we wouldn’t like that either!) or remind you about your lesson package, as we do not know your summer schedule and can't predict when you want lessons.

If you do not hear from the teacher within 24 hours after contacting him/her to schedule a lesson, contact the SML office at 214-477-8006 within 48 hours of this lack of response. We will be able to tell you if the teacher is out of town or other scenarios, and help you to make the best use of your lesson package in a timely manner. SML will not be responsible for refunding/crediting your lesson package due to an inability to schedule with the teacher if you wait more than 48 hours to report the situation to us. Let us know of any issues or lack of communication from your teacher immediately. Starlight is committed to excellent service, and we are only able to offer this level of excellence if you communicate any issues immediately.

Please be mindful of how many lessons you have, and how much time is left in the summer so you can make use of all of your lessons. A teacher cannot be expected to fit in all of every students’ lessons in a two-week mad rush before the new school year starts. Therefore:
You may use up to 3 lessons per month if you purchased an 8-Lesson Package.
You may use up to 2 lessons per month if you purchased a 5-Lesson Package.

Keep in mind that your “regular” or school-year time slot will likely not be available to you. The teachers can only hold time slots for those who are taking lessons on a weekly basis. Therefore, you’ll have to schedule your Summer Package lessons individually. If your regular teacher is not available-- or if you cannot find a mutually available time for your lesson-- a different teacher will be assigned to you for the summer lessons (though we do everything in our power to keep you with your original teacher!).

Summer Lesson Packages are valid June 1, 2016 through August 31, 2016 only. No refunds/makeups/reschedules/credits will be given for unused lessons. Additionally, there are no refunds or credits for Summer Lesson Packages for any reason, including a change of mind, deciding to take another trip that you weren’t planning originally, etc. SML is offering you the chance to take lessons whenever you want this summer (6/1-8/31) with no monthly commitment. In exchange, you are financially committing to the 5 or 8 lessons you are purchasing, regardless of whether you ultimately use them or not. In short, “Use it, or lose it.”

The only situation that would warrant a refund is if your current teacher is not available and SML has no replacement teachers to send to you. In that case, a prorated refund would be made to you. No refunds/credits given if we do have a replacement teacher to send to you.

These Summer Lesson Package policies do not cancel out any other SML policies – including, but not limited to, our lesson cancellation policies, late policies, etc.