Studio Policy

Effective January 2, 2017
All students and parents, please read my policy carefully. By choosing to study with me, you are agreeing to these terms. If you have any questions or concerns regarding my policies, please contact me.
Lessons will take place at Falcon Art Community (5415 N. Albina Ave, Portland, OR) Required lesson materials:

  • Playable guitar* (either acoustic or electric is fine)
  • Method book, as recommended by instructor
  • Folder for lesson materials
  • Pencil
  • Chromatic or guitar tuner
  • Metronome (intermediate and advanced students)

*It is very important that your guitar be easily playable. If you are in need of assistance in selecting an appropriate instrument, please notify me and I will either recommend instruments to you or meet you at a music store to help you select one.

Lesson options:

  1. Intermittent rate: $60 per hour lesson

Lessons are offered on an intermittent basis and scheduled on a per-session basis. Please contact me to schedule a lesson, as my availability is subject to change.

  1. Weekly one hour lesson reservation: $200 per month

Students that wish to study with me on a weekly basis can reserve a place in my schedule. Weekly students are guaranteed one lesson per week, with the exception of four break weeks per year (see below, under attendance policy). If I am absent in addition to these exceptions, your monthly payment will be prorated.

  1. Bi-weekly one hour lesson reservation: $110 per month

Same as option B, with the exception that a hour will be reserved at the same time every other week.


Payment for weekly lessons is due at the first lesson of each month. Payment can be made in check (preferable, made out to Marsh Studios, LLC), cash or debit/credit card. Intermittent lessons can be paid for at the time of the lesson.

Lessons will begin and end at their scheduled times, so please do not be late. If the lesson begins late by a fault of mine, the lesson may be extended in compensation, or rescheduled entirely. I suggest arriving early with your guitar tuned in order to maximize our lesson time.

If a student is late to a lesson by more than half of the length of the lesson, I reserve the right to cancel the remainder of the lesson at the student’s expense.

In case of emergency or illness, the lesson may be rescheduled without forfeiture of payment. Please call or email me if you or your student will not make it to a lesson due to illness. A missed lesson without any notice will be regarded as a no-show and payment will be forfeited.

Lessons may be rescheduled with more than 24 hours notice. Students will be responsible for payment for missed lessons without sufficient notice. I will honor a rescheduled lesson up to one month after the absence, but the lesson will be scheduled in addition to our regularly scheduled weekly lesson. If a student is enrolled for weekly lessons and is absent for more than one lesson in a month or is consistently missing/rescheduling lessons, they may be asked to switch to studying on a bi-weekly basis to ensure that time can be available for other students.One Friday of each month will be reserved solely for the purpose of make-up lessons. This day will be available for all students to book rescheduled lessons. Lessons may be rescheduled during my regular work week, or on one of these “make-up” days. This will help with the issue of not being able find a rescheduled lesson time that works for both parties.

If you have cancelled a lesson with sufficient notice and would like to reschedule a lesson, please contact me to schedule a time.

Holidays and “extra lesson” months:
There will be no lessons during five weeks in the year: the week of spring break (March 27-31 2017), the final week of July (July 24-28 2017), the week of Thanksgiving (November 20-24 2017), and the two weeks from December 22 through January 5.  Tuition for January, 2018, will be prorated to account for the missed lessons, but tuition during the months with the remaining 4 break weeks will not be prorated. These missed weeks will be made up by the four months in the year that have an extra lesson day. For example, if a student studied for an entire year with no absences, they would have received 48 lessons and would have paid for 48 lessons. At the beginning of December, if there is a discrepancy between the number of lessons the student has paid for and the number of lessons the student has received, your December tuition will be adjusted accordingly.If you are studying on a bi-weekly basis, please note that your meeting time will be offset by the weeks during which I am breaking. For example, if you have bi-weekly lessons on Tuesdays, and you had a lesson on March 21, your next lesson would be three weeks later on April 11 to account for Spring Break. If there is any confusion whether or not you have a lesson in any given week, please consult the Google Calendar event for your lessons.

I will be flexible in observance of other holidays, but please be sure to inform me in advance. In such cases, the missed lesson may be rescheduled or tuition may be prorated at my discretion.

Inclement weather:

There will be no lessons on days when Portland Public Schools are cancelled due to inclement weather. Students may either A) reschedule for a make-up within a month of the missed lesson, or B) receive a 50% credit for the lesson toward the following month’s tuition.

My performance schedule:
As a working musician, there will be times when I will have to miss lessons for touring or local performances. In such instances, you will be notified at least one month in advance and tuition will be prorated. These engagements are necessary for me to maintain my skills and value as an educator.

Respect of property:
Lessons will take place in a private space that is a part of a larger, shared space. Please be respectful of the furniture, artwork, and facilities at both the Falcon Art Community. I ask that younger children or siblings of students be supervised by an adult while waiting for the lesson to be completed.

Penny Doggins:

Penny Doggins is my pet chihuahua/dachshund mix that accompanies me when I teach and work in my studio. She weighs 11 lbs and is very friendly, although she may bark at you for a moment when you first arrive. Due to my rigorous work schedule and a lack of other dog-care during the work week, she will be attending almost all of our lessons. If you have an allergy to dogs you should study with me at your own discretion, as she is a staple in my life and in my work space. If you have not met her and have any anxiety around dogs, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. You can view photos of her under the Instagram hashtag: #pennydangerzonedoggins.

Music outside of lessons:
As with any skill-based activity, it is important for students to practice the concepts we cover in lessons at home on their own time. The things that I teach are only valuable if time is spent by the student working on it at home. I recommend that student practice daily for a period equal to or greater than the length of their weekly lesson. I have written a post on my website about practicing, which may be helpful to many students. It can be found at recommend that students actively listen to as much music as possible. Active listening is to listen without distraction or multitasking. This includes attending live performances as well as recorded music. For example, listen to a given song or piece several times consecutively, each time focusing your attention on a different instrument. How many different instruments do you hear? Do they all play at the same time, or at different times?

As a side note, please respect the work of artists by purchasing their music rather than listening on YouTube, Spotify, Pandora or other streaming sites. Most musicians make their music available on their websites, and these are often the most profitable ways for the musicians to deliver their music to you with minimal middle men.

It is also important to play music for fun. I recommend ending every practice session by playing whatever the student wishes, for as long as the student desires.