Our Agreement

Fall 2019 Private Student Studio Agreement

I teach a small set of 15 select private students. I look for those who meet all the following criteria:

  • Intermediate to advanced students
  • Have clear musical goals
  • Are self-motivated
  • Understand the importance of consistent practice
  • Come to each lesson ready to learn and grow in their study of the piano
  • Are committed to studying with me throughout the school year  

Student/Teacher/Parent Agreement


Student and teacher agree to the commitment of the term September 2019 – June 2020, tuition may be paid by the month or per semester.   A 30-minute lesson is $80 monthly or $400 per semester.  A 45-minute lesson is $120.00 monthly or $600.00 per semester. First semester runs September 2019 through January 2020 and second semester runs February 2020 through the third week of June 2020. Payment is always due at the first scheduled lesson of each month.  Note: Monthly payments are not based on the number of lessons in the month. Months may include 3, 4 or 5 lessons. Recitals, performances, preparation, venue fees, and festival involvement are all included in the tuition fees. Checks are always to be made payable to Michelle Van Allen.  

A final note regarding tuition: At times, parents have asked permission to stop lessons at the end of May instead of June.  There is concession in adjusting for this modified scheduled when discussed at the beginning of Fall lessons. And then June tuition is not charged. The reason that I teach in June is to make the summer break shorter. Experience has shown that students lose significantly more ground in piano after a 12-week summer break than with an 8-week summer break.

Music Books

I will help everyone select an appropriate repertoire of music throughout the year. With parent’s permission, I will happily order and gather music.  Parents can reimburse me as book orders come in.

Lesson Attendance 

Your lesson time is reserved for you. Please courteously be on time. If you have not practiced, come to your lesson. If you forget your music, come to your lesson. If you are having a bad day, come to your lesson. I can ALWAYS make your lesson time worth your while! Consistency in getting to your lesson is essential! If you have a conflict and you can give me enough notice, I am willing to make concession for random needs on a quarterly basis.  Note: If you re-schedule, coming during the school day is most helpful to me, if it is at all possible.  IF you have a pro-longed need to change your lesson time, we may be able to find another student who is willing to switch with you for a “season” of time. (Sports usually cause this conflict.) THANK YOU, EVERYONE, FOR WORKING WITH EACH OTHER! For illness, I will do my best to accommodate a make-up. Please be sure my number is in everybody’s phone! 406-250-3525 And my email is michellevanallen@yahoo.com.

Your Schedule

Lessons begin the week of August 26th, 2019 Thanksgiving week there is no lesson. Christmas break will be from Dec 23rd -Jan 1st.  Spring Break is March 23rd - March 27th, 2020. There will be two other times in the year that I will need to take off/reschedule. That is TBA at a later date.


Events for the Year

Note, not every student is involved in all the following activities. They are simply offered through my studio for students to gain valuable musical experience.

First of all, please remember, your playing is first for you…for the love of playing and making music! If this is your main focus, it is a noble and worthy goal.

FREE CONCERTS for piano students – Glacier Orchestra has an open invite to local piano students to come for free to certain concerts. I’ll be keeping you informed! They are highly inspirational and enjoyable! I make a “date night” out of it with the students! Please plan on attending at least one, if you can fit it in your calendar….

Fall/Winter Festival – Students may attend the KAMTA festival. Performing, being adjudicated and playing in an honors recital.  Please let me know your level of interest.

Winter Recital – Sunday Afternoon, December 15th at Buffalo Hill Terrace (tentative)

District Music Festival for High Schoolers – April 20-22, 2017

Spring Recital – Sunday Afternoon, April 26th at Buffalo Hill Terrace (tentative)

State Music Festival – May 1-2, 2020

Piano Camp at the U of M: All my students, 8th-12th grade are eligible to apply for piano camp and are also eligible to apply for a scholarship to help with the costs of the camp (because I am a local affiliate of the National Music Teachers Association). Piano camp will be July of 2020.

Additionally, there will be opportunities for students to play in worship bands, at public venues such as the hospital and assisted living facilities, etc.


What to Bring to Lessons:

  1. You, the musician!
  2. Bring music (a music bag is a great idea, to protect books)
  3. Bring a good quality, spiral bound notebook to your lesson (many already have one).  This is very important, as it keeps students and I focused on our goals and what we are accomplishing each week.  
  4. A recording device, such as a smart phone, is super helpful, when we are working on ear training…
  5. Arrive to your lesson promptly.
  6. At our first lesson, we will pick out music and books, make a practice plan and set goals for the school year.

Your Teacher’s Goal

I will strive to be a productive, focused instructor and mentor,  who sets each student up for success in achieving their musical goals.