Policies & Procedures

Lesson Calendar

The year is divided into two semesters consisting of 15 lessons each. The First Semester is September 11, 2017 through January 26, 2018 and the Second Semester is January 29, 2018 through June 15, 2018 which includes two make up weeks. We teach lessons on early dismissal days and on teacher conference days, usually at the regular times. When school is not in session, including holidays and snow days, we will not teach lessons.

Our Summer Session begins June 25, 2018. For the Summer Session, students may choose the number of lessons they schedule.


Payment in full is due before the first lesson of each semester. For installment plans, first installment must be received at this time. For scholarship students, payment is due upon notification of your award. A late fee of $25 per month will apply for any payments more than 2 weeks late.

Missed Lessons, Makeup Lessons, Rescheduling Lessons

If you need to miss a lesson, you must let your teacher know at least 36 hours in advance. With 36 hours notice, teachers will make every effort to schedule make-up lessons with you, but please be aware that they, and your children, are very busy and it may not always be possible. This is why we build several weeks into the schedule at the end of the semester for make up lessons. If it proves impossible to schedule a make-up lesson, we can issue a credit at the end of the semester for a maximum of two missed lessons. No credit will be offered without 36 hours notice to the teacher.

If the need is sudden and unexpected (such as an illness) the 36 hours notice is waived– but you must notify your teacher. If a student does not appear for a lesson and the teacher is not notified, that lesson will be charged as a regular lesson.

If a lesson is cancelled due to the teacher’s absence, a scheduled school holiday, or a snow day, the teacher is responsible for scheduling a makeup lesson. In all these instances, if a makeup lesson proves too difficult to set up, a credit, up to a maximum of 2 lessons, will be given at the end of the semester.

If a need arises to reschedule a lesson, this must be worked out in advance with your teacher. Teachers will make every effort to accommodate your request, but it will not always be possible to shift your regularly scheduled lesson time. Scheduling lessons for most teachers is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, and many hours are spent putting the puzzle together in a way that works for everybody. Once the puzzle is in place, if one piece is moved it can affect every other piece of the puzzle. Please remember this when requesting special rescheduling needs.

Make up lessons cannot be scheduled for group lessons.

Teacher Compatibility

All of our faculty are highly qualified musicians and teachers, and we take great care to try and match each student with the right instructor. The relationship between student and teacher, however, is highly individual. If for some reason you feel, at any time, that this is not a good match please contact me immediately (Kate Ashby, MusicProgram@RiverArts.org or 914.412.5120)

Changing Your Mind!

Sometimes, even under the best of circumstances, you decide that music lessons might be a mistake at the present time. Here are a few things to consider:

If the student seems to be studying the wrong instrument, we recommend that he/she continue with the chosen instrument for a full semester (15 lessons) before making a switch. There can be an initial shock that learning an instrument requires some real work and dedication from the student. Your teacher will help the student through this period. Once over that hump, it is easier to make a reasoned decision to stay with the first instrument of choice, or change to another.

If it feels like the right instrument but the wrong teacher, please contact me. The relationship between student and teacher is highly individual, and your present teacher might not be a good match with your child.

Cancellation Policy

Lessons may be cancelled through the first four weeks of a semester, and a refund will be given for remaining lessons not taken. No refunds will be given after four weeks of lessons. The Family Membership is non-refundable. If you decide to discontinue lessons you must inform both the teacher and the director of the Music Program. If you do not inform anyone and your child does not show up, you will not be refunded for the lessons, even if it is within the first four weeks.

Behavior Before and After Lessons

Please remind your children that we are guests in the school and church buildings. Our whole program is dependent upon maintaining this good relationship with our schools and with the Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church, so students should behave as guests when going to or returning from their lessons. Please do not linger in the school or the church after your lesson is complete. There are times (concerts, plays, back-to school nights, testing) when we need to adjust where we teach and change rooms, and we will inform you in advance of any changes.


Through the generous support of The RiverArts Kristeen Nelson Scholarship Fund, Arts Westchester, and individual donations at recitals and other events, RiverArts offers a small number of partial scholarships based on need. Scholarships are usually about $200, although occasionally the Scholarship Committee awards larger or smaller amounts. The application can be downloaded from our website, or call 914.412.5120 to request an application. Scholarship applications are reviewed just before the start of each semester. If you have submitted an application for a scholarship and are awaiting a decision, payment is not due until those decisions have been made.

Parents’ Responsibilities

Parents are responsible for getting children to lessons on time, for notifying teachers 36 hours in advance of cancelled lessons and for paying tuition.

You should also encourage your child to practice regularly between lessons.☺

We welcome you to the RiverArts Music Program and are glad you are with us. If you have any questions at any time please contact either Music Program Director, Kate Ashby at: MusicProgram@RiverArts.org or 914.412.5120, or Executive Director, Doug Coe, exec@riverarts.org or (914) 412-5103