Studio Policy

Where are we?

The Chapman Voice Studio is located within the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion, located at 7401 Delmar Blvd., in University City, Missouri.  Click here for directions.

Some basic guidelines and understandings that will enable me to teach and you to learn most efficiently:
 

Lessons

  • Prior knowledge:  I prefer to teach students who already have a musical background, and can read music.  Reading music truly is a foreign language, and it gets easier to do so with practice.  If you want to take voices lessons, but are unable to read music, I may recommend that you start with piano lessons before taking voice lessons.
  • 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: Occasionally, you will receive lessons notes by e-mail, which will help you prepare for your next lesson. Please read them, as they contain information of 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 can much more valuable than a single long practice once a week. Beginners should take care during practice, as improper or excessive practicing may damage the voice, and can leave the singer prone to resuming old singing habits.
  • Time: Allow time for change -- learning to sing or play the piano won't happen overnight, so don't be alarmed if you aren't ready for the stage after a few lessons. If you are preparing for a performance or an audition, plan on least four lessons (in four weeks) of prep time.
  • Study: Written material complements the studio lessons’ experience. Any theory workbooks or papers I assign are just as important as practicing. I strongly encourage my students to read through my website and other valuable resources.
  • 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 place my hands on your abdominal/dorsal or head/neck areas, or may ask you to do that to me.  This helps in understanding the technical aspect of singing.  I will ask for permission prior to placing my hands on any area, but if, at any point, you feel uncomfortable, please say so immediately.

Attendance

  • Reminders: You will receive schedule reminders by e-mail. Please send a reply confirming the schedule.
  • Frequency and duration:  I recommend at least a weekly 30-45 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 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 agreement. Please be aware that when scheduling lessons, priority will be given to those students who have regularly scheduled lessons each week.
  • Cancellations: please let me know as soon as possible if you need to reschedule your lesson. Lessons cancelled with less than 48-hours' notice will be forfeited, and the student will lose the right for a make up lesson. Exceptions: force majeure or my discretion.  Please consult the Cancellation Policy page for complete information.
  • Make Up Lessons: Every effort will be made to schedule a make up lesson on the same week of the regular scheduled lesson.
  • Tardiness: I do my best to keep schedule, but I may be dealing with an issue at home with my elderly parent, or, if I'm with another student, sometimes an important process is happening at the end of a lesson. If this is the 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 are missing your lesson, and the full lesson fee will be charged to your account.

Payments

Lessons are invoiced at the end of each month, and are sent by email to the address we have on your profile.  Each invoice is due for payment within 7 days of the invoice date. Regular payments help both teacher and student understand their obligations, save time, and help to avoid misunderstandings.

We understand that invoices can sometimes be overlooked, so if you miss one, we'll send another reminder.  Please note, however, that if you miss multiple payments, it is at the teacher's discretion to retain you as a student. 
 

Payment Method
  • ‚ÄčCash: Please bring exact amount.
  • Checks: Please make all checks payable to Mary Chapman or to Chapman Voice Studio
  • PayPal:  You can pay your invoice electronically by logging on to your studio account, not directly on the PayPal site..  Each invoice also contains a link which you can use.  Please note:  any electronic payment not processed through my website does not get paid to me, and will result in no credit to your account.