Studio Policies 2020

Matthew Prather
Guitar Instructor
Tel: 505-946-7523

Effective 8/1/2019

Unless other arrangements are made all lessons are taught at 200 DP Rd room 218.


I teach guitar and ukulele. In this document any mention of guitar applies to ukulele.

My Goals and Responsibilities

My goal for all my students is to learn the language of music. Music is much more than reading notes off of a page or playing a few scales. Music is a collaborative, emotional, and imaginative art. I teach my students the basics, how the blocks fit together, and how to “swing the hammer” so they can become good players. All music is made of the same notes. What differs is how the notes are stacked and played.

Your Responsibilities

For someone to get good at something it needs to be done repetitively, consistently, and with focus. I expect each of my students to have a daily practice routine and to show up to lessons prepared and on time. Consistent daily practice is the fastest track to improvement.


The lessons schedule follows the Los Alamos Schools Academic calendar. If the schools are on holiday then there will not be lessons that day. Lessons will be taught in semesters with a recital at the end of each. Fall semester runs from August through December. Spring semester runs from January through May. Private lessons are one half hour long.

I encourage students to arrive at least five minutes early so they may tune their guitars and prepare for the lesson. Guitar tuning is mandatory before each lesson as it maximized teaching time.


Recitals are mandatory. Performing in a recital builds confidence, a sense of pride and accomplishment, inspires your student and other students, and builds performance experience. Recitals also create a long term goal for students to work toward and accountability to practice. Unless your student has an anxiety disorder diagnosed by a mental health physician all recitals are mandatory.

Recital Dates

To Be Announced.

Required Materials

  • Guitars: All students are required to have their own guitars. The guitar needs to be in playable condition. Guitars may be acoustic or electric. Students do not need to bring an amplifier to lessons as I have one they may use for the duration of the lesson.

  • Guitar Tuners: Students are required to have their own guitar tuners. I like the Snark brand tuners for my students. They are cheap, convenient, and easy to use.

  • Books: Students are required to purchase their own books. Please bring these to lessons. Most of the book I like to use are available from The Candyman music store downstairs from my studio.

    Guitar Maintenance

    Playing the guitar causes physical wear and tear on the instrument. Fretting notes and chords cause wear on the frets. The oils and sweat from hands causes the strings to corrode and notes sound dull and out of tune. Above all a poorly maintained guitar is not very enjoyable to play (think about playing an out of tune piano). There are cheap and easy things a person can do to protect their guitar and maximize enjoyment.

  • New Guitars: New guitars usually need some fine adjustments. Whether the guitar is new to you or new out of the box it is a good idea to take it to a qualified guitar technician. This is usually cheap (around $30 usually) and will mitigate playing issues and discouragement with new players. The Candyman is a good place to call to find a guitar tech to work on your instrument.

  • Strings: Guitar strings probably have the largest impact on the sound of your instrument. I recommend strings to be changed at least once every three months. Strings should be wiped down with a soft rag after any playing to increase string life. Strings should also be changed one to two days before a recital. New strings sound better and play more in tune.

  • Guitar Body: The Guitar body needs little maintenance. A soft rag and a little spit does wonders. There is no need to buy special cleaners or polish for your instrument. Do not use furniture polish to clean your guitar as it contains paraffins and other chemical that could damage the finish of your instrument.

  • Fretboards: If your guitar has a rosewood fretboard it needs to be oiled every six months to prevent cracking from over drying. Fretboard oil is available at The Candyman.

  • Humidifying: Because we live in a very dry climate most guitar need to be humidified when not in use. Not humidifying your instrument can cause parts of the guitar to pull away from each other and cracking of the wood. This can cause the guitar to rattle when played or cause cosmetic issues. Humidifying usually applies to acoustic guitars with a solid wood topThere are two ways to humidify your guitar. Humidify the room your instrument lives in or get a case humidifier. The Candyman is a good place to get a humidifier for you instrument.

  • Other Maintenance: Other maintenance your guitar may need are truss rod adjustments, fret leveling/replacements, and (depending on the guitar) electronic component replacement. Unless you are experienced and confident in making these repairs I suggest contacting The Candyman for these services.


    Tuition for fall term is due August 1, 2019. Tuition for spring term is due January 1, 2020. 


Payment Options

  • Installment Option: Ten payment installments may be made at the beginning of each month. Installment payments are due on the first of each month. Late fee of $10 will be

    assessed if payment is not made by the fifth of the month. 

  • Two Payment Option: First payment is due August 1st, 2019. Second payment is due January 2, 2020. Late fee of $10 will be assessed for payments made after the fifth of the month. A 10% discount will be given if payment is made before August 1st, 2019

  • One Payment Option: Payment may be made for the whole academic year. A 10% discount will be given if payment is made before August 1st, 2019

    Receipt Tax

    Matt Prather Guitar is a legitimate business. A receipt tax of 7.3125% will be collected on all payment transactions.

    Accepted Payment Methods

    Payments may be made by cash, check, PayPal, and credit/debit card. All payments made by credit/debit cards will have a convenience fee of 2.9% + 30¢ automatically added.


    Tuition refunds for the one payment and two payment option will not be given after September 2, 2019. If you are unsure of your students ability to continue lessons please select the 10 payment option.

    Cancelation Policy

    All Cancelations must be made 48 hours in advance. If a lesson must be cancelled a makeup one makeup lesson will be offered. Makeup lessons will not be rescheduled.

    If Teacher Cancels Lesson

    If I am not able to make our arranged lesson I will prorate tuition unless other arrangements are made.

    Missed Lessons

    Refunds are not available for missed lessons. If student misses more than two lessons in a row without notifying me a cancelation fee equal to one months worth of lessons will be charged and their time slot will be opened up for someone on the waiting list.

    Missing A Recital

    Two weeks notice must be given if your student cannot attend the recital.

    Discontinuing Lessons


A thirty day notice via email is require to discontinue lessons. If thirty day notice is not given a cancelation fee of one months lessons will be charged.

Temporarily Discontinuing Lessons

Temporarily discontinuing lessons does not reserve a students time slot. Upon discontinuation your students spot will be given to someone on the waiting list.

Instructor Discontinuing Lessons

Should the instructor need to terminate lessons he may do so at anytime. Refunds will be made where applicable.

Notifying Me

I understand that people change their minds and life happens. If you need to notify me for an absences please use these two methods.

  • Text Message: I prefer this method if your student is going to miss a lessons the day

    before or same day.

  • Email: If your student is going to have a leave of absence such as vacation or

    discontinuing lessons, I will need an email with the dates your student will be not attending lessons.

    Attendance and Punctuality

    Students should arrive five minutes before their scheduled lesson time receive maximum teaching time. If student arrives late, instructor is under no obligation to extend lesson to accommodate student tardiness. If student arrives more than twelve minutes late, lesson may be cancelled by teacher. Refunds are not available for canceled lessons due to student tardiness. An absence without sufficient notice or legitimate reason may not be rescheduled or made up.

    Student Practice

    Students are expected to practice and prepare for next weeks lesson. Practicing 6-7 days is ideal. Practicing 3-5 days is acceptable. Practicing 0-2 days is ineffective. Little to no practice on a consistent basis may result in discontinuation of lessons.

    Google Classroom

    As part of instruction Google classroom may be used. This resource allows the instructor to post assignment and distribute custom lesson material easily. Google Classroom also allows parents to see what their child should be practicing for the week. If student is not of legal age, parent/guardian of student are required to sign up for Google Classroom https://


I have read, understand to the best of my abilities, and agree to the above policies.

_______________________/___________________________/______________ Student/Guardian Name (Printed) Signature Date


Matt Prather Guitar Representative

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