Miriam Tikotin’s Studio Policies
Some basic guidelines and understandings that will enable me to teach and you to learn most efficiently:
- Items: Remember to bring the items on the list. Without them teaching is possible but very limited.
- Repertoire: We will choose the repertoire together depending on your vocal abilities, goals and taste. I encourage you to search for new repertoire on your own.
- Reminders: You will receive reminders by e-mail for your next lesson. Please read those reminders - they contain information as to what you should work on at home until your next lesson.
- Preparation: To make the most of each lesson, please prepare the piece well and try to learn the words by heart.
- Practice: Students are expected to practice in between lessons. A short practice every day is much more valuable than a long practice once a week. Beginners should practice less as they might damage the voice and are prone to resume their old singing habits.
- Time: Allow time for change. Plan at least four lessons (in four weeks) if you are preparing for a performance or an audition.
- Study: Written material complements the studio lessons’ experience; I strongly encourage my students to read through my website and other valuable resources.
- Goals and Feedback: Every month we will re-discuss your vocal and musical goals, check to see if you met last months’ and decide on the steps that we should take to accomplish them. On this occasion I would appreciate your oral or written feedback; what you would like to focus on in the future, what you do like in the lesson and what you do not like and think is unnecessary. It not a personal matter but a useful tool for you to get more out of the studio and for me to target the lessons to suit your needs better (I prefer to use this method until I master my ESP skills ☺).
- Physical Contact: Since singing is a very physical experience, occasionally it is easiest to explain using physical contact. You should understand that in order to demonstrate, I might occasionally touch you and/or ask you to touch me in the abdominal/dorsal or head/neck areas. Usually I will ask for permission before touching, but at any point that you feel uncomfortable, you must say so immediately and then I will stop.
- Reminders: You will receive schedule reminders by e-mail. Please send a reply confirming the schedule.
- Frequency and duration: Ideally, as William Vennard stated in his book, beginners and students switching between teachers should study 15 minutes daily, and not practice in between (to avoid returning to old habits). This schedule is hard to meet, therefore I recommend a minimum of a weekly 55 minute session (I call this a “lesson-hour”) or 25 minutes bi-weekly for younger students who find it hard to concentrate for longer periods. If music theory is needed - a longer lesson can be scheduled. Advanced students who worked with me for a period of time can take lessons less frequently; they already have good practice habits, are able to concentrate longer and can take longer lessons without the risk of harming the voice.
- Regular Schedule: The learning process is ideal when one has a regular schedule. If you are unable to attend your regular schedule for two weeks in a row I will not be able to save that scheduled time for you, unless we arrive to some financial agreement. New students who cannot attend weekly lessons could benefit from the studio depending on my availability. These students will be given lower priority when scheduling lessons.
- Cancellations: please let me know as soon as possible if you need to reschedule your lesson. Lessons canceled with less than 48 hour notice will be forfeited and the student will lose the right for a make up lesson. Exceptions: force majeure or my discretion.
- Make Up Lessons: Every effort will be made to fit a make up lesson on the same week of the regular scheduled lesson.
- Tardiness: I will do my best to keep schedule, but sometimes an important process is happening at the end of a lesson. In this case please be patient - you will receive your full lesson time.
If you are late for your lesson, please let me know (by phone, voicemail or e-mail). Upon arrival you will receive the remainder of your lesson time. If you are more than 15 minutes late without letting me know - I will assume that you will not show up.
Payments are made on a monthly basis (in advance), on the last lesson of the previous month. Regular payments help both teacher and student understand their obligations, save time and help avoid misunderstandings. Discounts are available when paying for 10 lesson-hours or more in advance (10 lessons of 55 minutes or 20 lessons of 25 minutes) or for multiple family members.
- Minimum registration: Students should register for a minimum of 10 lesson-hours; otherwise we will only touch the very basics and you will not notice enough change to get a healthy sense of achievement. I also do not enjoy to work rushed and unprofessionally. After the first 10 lesson-hours, one can continue to register on a monthly basis (4-5 lessons in advance), or pay in advance for another 10 lesson-hours (and enjoy the aforementioned discount).
- The first 10 lesson-hours are to be paid on the first lesson. They can be paid all in advance (you receive a discount) or in 2 payments. One immediate (5 lessons - cash or check) and the remaining 5 in a postdated check.
- Credits: In case I cancel a lesson and we cannot reschedule a make up lesson to a mutually convenient time on the same month, you will receive a credit for the following month.
- Refunds: If you would like to leave the studio I will return your prepaid lessons providing a 7 days written notice was given. Discounts are waved when refunding prepaid lessons.
- Payment Methods:
Cash: Please bring exact amount.
Checks: Please make all checks payable to Miriam Drukker.
E-Transfer: for example INTERAC.
Credit cards: Additional 4% for payments with credit card.
- Discounts: Discounts are available for multiple family members or when paying for 10 lesson-hours or more in advance.