Miss Tess Music Studio

Studio Hours









3 pm to 8:30 pm

3 pm to 8:30 pm

3 pm to 8:30 pm

3 pm to 8:30 pm

studio closed

studio closed

4 pm to 7:30 pm

Studio Pricing during the school year
September 1 – June 30

Click here for summer information

2020-2021 Rates

Single 30-minute lesson: $58

Single 60-minute lesson: $80

Monthly Payments

30-minute weekly spot: $2,080/school year paid in one installment of $416 (first and last month) and eight monthly installments of $208

60-minute weekly spot: $3000/school year paid in one installment of $600 (first and last month) and eight monthly installments of $300

Full-semester payments with 2% discount:

30-minute weekly spot: $2,038/school year paid in two installments of $1,019

60-minute weekly spot: $2,940/school year paid in two installments of $1,470

Full-school year payments with 4% discount:

30-minute weekly spot: $1,996/school year

60-minute weekly spot: $2,880/school year

Annual enrollment fee

$140 per student

*Annual enrollment fee is due by September 3rd of each year or when the student begins lessons. The enrollment fee will be prorated by 10% per month for students who begin after September. Students who take single lessons are not required to pay the enrollment fee. Group lessons and use of the Lending Library are only available to students who have paid the enrollment fee.

Enrollment fees go towards:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Scheduling
  • Studio supplies used by students (pens, stickers, tape, etc.)
  • Photocopying worksheets and staff paper
  • Expanding the Lending Library
  • Bi-annual Steinway tuning
  • Rental fee for recital venue
  • Recital programs
  • Students’ rewards and prizes
  • Hiring a professional photographer/videographer for the spring recital

Tuition does not cover purchase of music books and supplies for
individual students.

Tuition increases yearly by approximately 3%.

New pricing goes into effect September 1st of each year.


Weekly Spot: Pros and Cons

  • Pros
  • Student has their own reserved slot in the studio schedule
  • Student meets with Miss Tess at the same time each week
  • Facilitates consistent feedback and progress
  • Greater ability to set long-term goals and meet them
  • Access to the Lending Library and group lessons
  • Creates a strong commitment between the student, parent, teacher, and music
  • Cons
  • No make-up lessons

Single Lessons: Pros and Cons

  • Pros
  • Lesson times are individually scheduled week by week
  • Helpful for students who are involved in many programs, e.g. sports
  • Good fit for many adult students
  • Lessons can be rescheduled with 24-hours’ notice


  • Higher rate than a weekly spot
  • Infrequent lessons can lead to bad habits and unresolved mistakes
  • Without a weekly reserved spot, the student has no guaranteed time in the schedule
  • No group lessons or use of the Lending Library
  • Generally slower progress

“By day, I’m the marketing director for a software company. Left to my own devices, I find it easy to let the daily pressures of my adult life get in the way of my creative pursuits. So I knew I needed to commit to weekly lessons to ensure I’d continue learning, practicing, and performing music. I’ve been on a weekly schedule for more than two years, and have found that Miss Tess’ studio often feels like an oasis, a welcoming respite after a long day — I always leave feeling calmer, more revitalized, and proud of the commitment I've made to my craft.”

— Jill, adult student

“As a musician, competitive athlete, and busy high schooler, my daughter’s schedule is hectic, to say the least. There are multiple commitments for kids this age. Tess’ single lessons allow us the flexibility to fit it all in! She is very accommodating and offers us plenty of choices, making scheduling much easier. I appreciate her willingness (and understanding) to work around my daughter’s chaotic life!”

— Lori, studio parent

Studio Policies during the school year
September 1 – June 30

Studio Contract

Please take the time to read the policies and contact me with any questions before signing and returning the studio contract to me. The studio contract can be found here.

Studio Timetable

The 52-week calendar year is divided as follows:

  • 20-week fall semester: September 1st through January 31st
  • 20-week spring semester: February 1st through June 30th
  • 9-week summertime: July 1st through August 31st
  • 2-week holiday break (studio closed): December 23rd through January 5th, same dates every year.
  • Easter: Sunday, April 4 (studio closed)
  • 1-week spring break (studio closed): Monday, April 12th through Friday, April 16th

The studio is closed on Labor Day and Thanksgiving. This results in Mondays and Thursdays being on a 39-week school year. Tuition rates remain the same for these days as a 40-week school year, so a time slot on Mondays or Thursdays is 2.5% more expensive. Any studio credits issued at the end of the school year for lessons cancelled by Miss Tess will reflect this alternate rate.

Studio Recital

There is one annual studio recital held in the spring.
All students are expected to participate.

Payments for a Weekly Time Slot

A weekly time slot can be purchased through monthly installment payments, full-semester payments, or a full-year payment. These payments reserve a regular weekly time slot for you in the studio (e.g., Tuesdays at 5 pm). These payments should not be viewed as purchasing four lessons per month, nor as an hourly fee for services rendered. Because tuition reserves a student's weekly time slot in the studio, a student who does not attend a lesson will simply miss the benefit of that lesson. Your reserved time belongs to you, and how you use that time is up to you.

A full-semester payment (20 weeks) and a full-year payment (40 weeks) can be paid by cash or check only. Monthly installment payments during the 40-week school year must be automatic and require first and last month at the start of the year. For automatic payments, the studio only accepts recurring payment by direct deposit through your bank.

By setting up automatic payments, we can focus exclusively on the student’s time in the studio. This eliminates the worry of remembering checks or paying late, and it supports a pure, uncluttered teacher-student relationship.

Payments are due by the 3rd of the month.
There will be a $20 late fee for payments received after the 3rd.
A penalty of $25 will be applied to any returned checks.

What happens if I need to miss a lesson during my weekly time slot?

  • There will be no make-up for missed or canceled lessons. (See below for ways to accommodate missed lessons.)

Click here to read Make-up Music Lessons from an Economist’s Point of View

  • Any lesson cancelled by Miss Tess will be rescheduled or a credit will be given.
    If Miss Tess reschedules a lesson with you and you later need to cancel it, there is no make-up of a make-up.
  • Sickness Policy: Students who are ill should not come to their lesson.
    Miss Tess reserves the right to send a student home if they arrive sick.
    If the student is only mildly ill, please contact Miss Tess to do a phone or Facetime lesson.

Studio Credits

On July 1st of each year, Miss Tess will send a detailed list of studio credits to each family. This email will include dates for any lessons cancelled by Miss Tess, any extra lessons scheduled by families, any additional costs or special purchases, and any other considerations from the full school year. At that time, families can apply studio credits to summer, fall, or cash them out. If there is a balance owed either from Miss Tess or the studio family, these payments are due by July 15th.

The studio has three ways to accommodate missed lessons:

1. Group Events

There are six group events scheduled each school year. These serve to cover any lessons cancelled by studio families, and students are welcome to attend as many as they like. Group events are a chance for students to perform for one another, make friends with fellow musicians, and learn from their peers. Here are videos from a Halloween Group Event and a Holiday Group Event.

2. FaceTime lessons

FaceTime lessons are available in place of in-person lessons as needed (bad weather, issues with commuting, slight illness).

3. Another family member

Your scheduled lesson time belongs to you. If you cannot make it to a lesson, another family member may use your time. I have had lessons with siblings, parents, and spouses of students during what otherwise would have been a missed lesson.

Payments for Single Lessons

Single lessons can be paid by cash or check only. Payment is due at the time of the lesson. There will be a $20 late fee for payments received after the day of the lesson.

What happens if I need to cancel a Single Lesson?

All single lessons can be rescheduled with 24-hours’ notice. The student is responsible to cover the cost of any single lesson missed or canceled the day of the lesson.

Piano Requirements

Please make sure your piano is tuned and in good condition. It is very difficult to enjoy playing on an out-of-tune instrument, and it can actually train a student to hear their music incorrectly. I can recommend tuners and technicians. If you are beginning on a keyboard, it must be touch sensitive, have weighted keys, a pedal, and have 61 keys or more. Students at or above the intermediate level will need to invest in either a full-size 88 key acoustic piano or a good full-size digital piano with weighted keys to get the full benefit of piano lessons.

Special Videos

Miss Tess loves working on unique projects with her students! She will edit students’ small videos for no additional fee because they preserve the work of the studio and are an enjoyment to share on Facebook and YouTube. Larger projects, such as “Rue’s Adventures in Fairyland,” will require some combination of rental/editing/etc. fees to be determined by each individual project and student. Video editing is $20/hour.

Discontinuing Lessons

When students enroll for a weekly time slot in the studio, the expectation is that they are committing to the studio for the full 40 weeks of the school year (Sept 1st through June 30th). Refunds from payments are not given, and it is logical to end lessons at the end of the paid time, whether monthly installment payment, full-semester, or full-year. I understand that life happens, and families needing to leave mid-year will be taken on an individual basis.

I believe communication can solve many situations, and I am always open to dialogue regarding any of the above.

Studio Policies during the summer  • July 1 – August 31

Times available for the months of
July and August:









1 pm to 8 pm

1 pm to 8 pm

1 pm to 8 pm

1 pm to 8 pm

studio closed

studio closed

4 pm to 7:30 pm








Single 30-minute lesson:

Single 60-minute lesson:

Six 30-minute lessons:

Six 60-minute lessons:


Summer Studio Prices

Summer lessons can be paid by cash or check. Summer payments are due in full for all scheduled lessons by July 15th.

There will be a $20 late fee for payments received after the first summer lesson.

Summer lessons are arranged differently than lessons during the school year. Each student decides on an amount of lessons (I recommend six lessons) to schedule between July 1st and August 31st.

Summer dates can be spaced evenly for consistent practice or all in a row for intensive work. The main idea is to schedule times which avoid camps and vacations and which help support the student's summer goals. Lesson times can also be as random as you like (e.g., 4pm Tuesday for one time, 6:30 on a Sunday for the next).

Six lessons is a substantial enough amount of time to make solid progress, though there are many options of how much time to reserve. Some students come only once or twice for review during these two months, while others simply keep their regular weekly slot without pause. I have had several students schedule 20+ sessions during the summer for big projects, audition prep, and concentrated study. It’s really up to each person to choose the amount of time that is best for them.

Summer students have worked with me in the studio, at the art table, on the computer via Skype, in the backyard on the pink toy piano, and even at Ballard Locks and Golden Gardens. We are free to plan our summer time however we imagine.

All summer sessions may be rescheduled with 24-hours’ notice. Refunds from summer lessons are not given, and all summer lessons need to be finished by August 31st.