PensonStringWerks Student Policies

(updated 12/18)

Policies Brief Overview

Lessons 50 minutes long, scheduled on the half hour. (Children, 25 minutes, age 13 cut)

Parking Please don t park in the driveway. I have a teen driver now who comes and goes.

Absences Cancels and reschedules same day forfeit the lesson. If you're sick, we'll try to reschedule, but no guarantees. If I miss with less than 24 hours notice, you get a free lesson. Just don t get sick more than me.

Reschedules If you give me 24 hours notice, and I have openings, we will try to reschedule. There are usually at least 13 of a given weekday in a quarter. All reschedules have to happen within the same quarter. Limit 3 reschedules per quarter.

Payment I take checks or cash, and am also setup to take all major credit cards. No refunds for quarter payments, so make sure you can commit the time before enrolling. Lesson payments not transferrable to jam classes.

Paper/tablature I ve softened somewhat on this, and will even provide some tab from time to time, but I still really, really encourage you to rely on your eyes and your ears.  You can work at home on tab, but I can t teach you someone else s tab.

Phones Please turn cell phones off during lessons. Nothing is so important it can t wait 50 minutes

Guns No guns, please. You might get mad at your instructor and shoot him:) If you're concealed carry please leave it in the car.

Parents There's a waiting room for you and Thomas will keep you company. Your presence in the music room can be distracting to the student.

details below...

Quarter Plan

Adult Rates

1 quarter, 3 months, 12-fifty minute weekly lessons, 420.00 (35.00/lesson) paid in full, in advance of the first lesson. All lessons must be taken within the stated quarter period. 12 lessons in 3 months presumes a weekly lesson, but scheduling can vary based on your availability. Please carefully consider your availablity. With enough lead time, I can reschedule a class or two, but if you wind up taking a vacation or a business trip, I can't guarantee a reschedule.

Per Lesson - Adults

The per lesson rate is 45.00/ hour for those not able to go with the quarter plan. These lessons are scheduled first come first serve. There is a 10.00 restocking fee for missed per-lesson lessons. Recurring lessons are only available to quarter students. You may schedule one up to one week ahead of your current scheduled lesson.

Child rates - (For children 12 and under)

1 quarter, 3 months, 12-twenty five (25) minute weekly lessons, 360.00 (30.00/lesson) paid in full, in advance of the first lesson. All lessons must be taken within the stated quarter period. 12 lessons in 3 months presumes a weekly lesson, but scheduling can vary based on your availability. Per lesson individual rate is 30.00 for 25 minute lesson. Cut off age is 13 (but flexible.)

Parents, if you are considering lessons for your child, please read this. For Parents.


Due in full before first lesson of quarter, but I also send out early bird discount offers.

Payment methods: I accept cash, checks and all major credit cards.

Note: Please seriously consider your commitment before signing up. Make sure you can count on a regular day/time being available to you each week for the entire 12 to 14 weeks. (Consider holidays, vacations, etc.) The amount is non refundable and the lessons must be taken in the 3 month period. The quarter plan is based on assigning the student a regular recurring day/time slot. I can't guarantee a reschedule if you miss your day/time slot.

  • Lessons are 50 minutes long.

  • I can prorate you into a given quarter if you happen to want to start lessons mid quarter.

  • The quarters are calendar based. First quarter, January 1 through march 31st, second April 1st through June 30th, third July 1st through September 30th, fourth October 1st through December 31st. If you start lessons after a quarter begins, we will prorate your amount through the end of that quarter.  

  • Absences: Everybody gets sick, and everybody has emergencies to deal with. There will be times when I won't be able to make a lesson, too. In those cases, all attempts will be made to reschedule. If I miss a lesson without 24 hours notice, you get one free, under the 40.00/lesson plan. In the semester model, if you miss, we will try to reschedule, but please be aware that you can't carry lessons over into a new quarter. Quarter students who cancel or reschedule same day forfeit that lesson.

    Recurrences/Time Slots: If you regularly have to reschedule or miss your lesson you will forfeit your recurring day/time slot. Recurring time slots are reserved for active quarter students.  Most of my students want to come at the same times - typically weekdays from 4 to 7 - so these slots are hard to come by. I have a short list of people waiting for time slots. 

  • Vacation/Holidays: Most holidays I am available now that my kids are grown, but we can always schedule around them. I'll contact you prior to the holiday if you are scheduled to reschedule.

  • Note: If you should have to miss a lesson or two within a quarter, it's rarely a problem to make them up as most quarters have 13 or 14 given weekdays in them.

General - Housekeeping

  • All lessons will begin at appointed times. If you show up early, you'll usually have to wait. Occasionally I'm available ahead of time, but count on starting at the appointed time. If I am currently in with a student, the front door is unlocked. Just let yourself in and take a seat in the front room.

  • Please turn off your cell phone (and I will turn mine off.)

  • Please park in front of the house, not in the driveway.    

  • Payment for the 45.00 "per each" rate (non-semester students) will be due at time of lesson.

  • Parents: If you are dropping your child off for lessons, you are welcome to stay. I have a reading/sitting room next to the music room if you don't mind Thomas the cat joining you. I'd prefer if you were not in the lesson room. Kids react very differntly to instruction when their parents are there.

    About Paper...

    Elsewhere on the site I talk about my views on tablature. I think its the worst way to learn, but I've come to soften my view over time. I was teaching completely paper free, but have come to recognize that all folks just aren't ready to trust their ears and eyes. I won't discourage you from jotting down notes, and I do even have a few tag sheets with a sort of quasi tab that I distribute. One thing I can't do, though is help you with tablature that you've gotten somewhere else. Sometimes students will come in with a sheet of tab and ask if I can teach them the song, or if I think it's good tab or not. I don't use tab myself, and am very slow at reading it. Moreover, I'd have to learn the song first, then teach it to you. So, please leave your tab home. I can only teach you what I know.

    What Do I bring?

    The best method for getting stuff home with you is to bring a thumb drive of at least 20 gig size. I video all the songs and tags, and will provide you with the full library of videos. Some folks will video me using their phone, and some will make digital sound recordings, but I think the best way is to bring a thumb drive. We can even video you playing so that when you get home you will be reminded.

    Jam Camps

    Camps will be scheduled separately, as well as paid for separately. This is also due to scheduling problems as well as accounting issues. Jam camps will now be at 30.00/person for a 1.5 hour class.

    Occasionally students will ask to miss a lesson and just come to jam class that week instead. This doesn't work because people pay different amounts for lessons than for jam camp, and it messes with my accounting and scheduling.