Music Parent Handbook 2023/24

Welcome to Leslieville School of Dance & Music! For us, music is more than just a passion—it’s a way to connect with others, express ourselves, learn greater focus, expand our minds, and create a sense of personal accomplishment. We are a growing music community, expanding our program to include more exciting performance opportunities and optimal family involvement while also keeping an open mind to the changing way in which we share experiences and information. All of our instructors are seasoned musicians with higher education who understand that learning to play an instrument requires structure and discipline mixed with the right balance of fun and enthusiasm. They understand that learning should be enjoyable but also present a challenge. It is our goal to create a nurturing, supportive, and encouraging environment for our students where they feel comfortable being themselves and inspired to push their abilities to the next level.

Registration and Payment Information

Registration Deposit When registering for music lessons, you must read and agree to the school policies and submit a method of monthly payment. In order to secure your chosen teacher and timeslot, we require a deposit of 1 month’s tuition in advance. This will be paid at the time of registration and will be used towards your last month of lessons. It is understood that when you register for music lessons, you are committed to attending until the end of the school year in June. Billing Your account will be billed on the 1st of every month at a prorated amount based on the day of the week your lesson falls on. This monthly tuition is charged to your credit card or debited from your bank account using autopay, our monthly pre-authorized payment system. Cancellation If you choose to cancel your lessons before the end of the 10-month regular school year, you will need to provide 30 days’ written notice (by email) and your pre-paid registration deposit will be used to cover the remainder of your lessons. For any questions related to payments, refunds, and cancellations, please contact our administrative staff. Statements Transaction history may be viewed online in your Parent Portal at your convenience. Potential Expenses In order to maximize the benefits of your music lessons, additional materials for purchase may be required. Your teacher may recommend certain books or sheet music for purchase throughout the school year that can cost anywhere from $8-$60. Information about recommended materials will be communicated to parents before the family account is charged. There will also be multiple opportunities for performance throughout the school year. Students are welcome to attend masterclasses and recitals. These events may require purchasing tickets or paying participation fees. Any payment required will be communicated in advance by email or by written notice.

General Information

Who to Contact Should you need any assistance, please consult the information below about who to contact. Daphne MacDonald, Studio Administrator:
  • Registration
  • Class cancellation
  • Payments and fees
  • Trial lessons
  • Permanent class cancellation
General Inquiries:
  • Holiday closures
  • Studio hours
  • General school information
  • Exam information
  • Information about music events
  • Lesson advice
  • Concerns about teachers or lessons


School Terms Lessons will begin in September and end in June to correspond with the TDSB school year. Each school year is divided into 2 terms of 19 weeks. The dates for this year’s terms are as follows: Term 1 September 9th – February 2nd Term 2 February 3rd – June 14th  Summer Music Classes For some students, taking an extended break from music lessons in the summer can cause a major setback in progress or take away a weekly outlet for stress and personal enjoyment. The regular school year will conclude in June, however, we offer a limited number of spaces available each summer for private lessons. In order to secure a time slot in the summer, a minimum 6-class commitment will need to be made. Summer lessons are not eligible for make-up lessons or refunds. Trial Lessons A one-time trial lesson can be scheduled for students who want to test out an instrument or teacher before making a bigger commitment. Trial lessons can be scheduled beginning in September for the upcoming school year. If you need to reschedule a trial lesson, please provide at least 24 hours’ notice by email.

Events and Performances

Masterclasses Masterclasses will run twice per school year. These classes are low-stress, student-only performance workshops where students can prepare and perform a piece of their choice for their peers. The purpose of the class is to give students experience performing in front of an audience and to increase confidence with their instrument. A small participation fee is required to attend the class. Details about dates and registration will be communicated throughout the school year. Parent Viewing Week Parent Viewing Week presents an excellent opportunity to connect with your child’s teacher and get updates on your child’s progress. During this week, parents are invited to sit in for the last 15 minutes of their child’s music lesson. Information about Parent Viewing Week will be communicated throughout the school year. Year-End Recital At the end of every school year, we will host a recital for our students. The Year-End Recital is both exciting and terrifying for some students. But, the benefits of pushing boundaries and gaining a sense of achievement and personal pride that comes with participating are invaluable for personal development. The recital provides a focal point throughout the year, offering an opportunity for students to show off their skills, increase their self-confidence, and get inspiration from their fellow students and teachers. The performance will take place at a separate location and is free for performers but will require the purchase of tickets for audience members. We encourage all students to participate in this recital regardless of skill and experience level. Our students are treated with compassion and care as we gently push them into personal greatness. Studio Etiquette While attending class or waiting at the school for students to begin or finish classes, we kindly ask that students and parents please adhere to the following studio etiquette: In the Music Studios For an optimal learning experience, it is important that we keep our music studios clean, safe, and distraction-free. Food and beverages, with the exception of water, will not be permitted inside the music studios. Please finish eating snacks or meals before attending class. Toys and cell phones will also not be allowed in music studios as they can cause the student to lose focus while learning. If you bring a cell phone into the studio, we ask that it remains on silent and tucked away inside a bag or jacket. Students are also asked to thoroughly wash their hands before entry into the music studio. In the Hallway While waiting for lessons, please do not make loud noises in the hallway and please refrain from gathering outside of studio doors. Sounds transfer quite easily and we want our students to be able to learn without distraction. If you have questions for your teacher, please initiate a conversation before the lesson begins to avoid interrupting the time of the next student’s lesson. If further communication is required, it is possible to arrange a discussion with the teacher via the Studio Administrator or Music Director. Attendance It’s important for students to attend their lessons weekly and arrive on time in order to achieve regular, steady progress. Students are expected to arrive on time for their lessons with lesson materials in hand. Failure to show up consistently for lessons will result in slow progress and make achieving goals very difficult. Long interruptions in attendance can lead to frustrating setbacks where students must spend extra time reviewing the material in order to catch up. Student Behaviour During lessons, students are expected to listen to their teacher’s instructions and behave in a polite and respectful manner. Proper lesson etiquette includes: Listening and completing exercises as asked; using respectful language; remaining seated unless instructed by their teacher; and treating their instrument with respect. Students who fail to follow these rules will be asked to leave their lesson and parents will be notified.

Missed Classes

Class Cancellation Classes can be cancelled easily by submitting an absence in your Parent Portal. In order to receive a credit for a missed lesson, you must cancel your lesson with 24 hours’ notice. If the student can no longer attend their regularly scheduled lesson time, please inform the School Administrator as soon as possible to find a new suitable time. Snow days will be communicated via email no later than 12pm on the day of lessons. Make-Up Credit Policy Each student is entitled to one make-up credit per school term. There are 2 terms per school year, one ending in January and the second ending in June. Specific term dates will be delivered to families at the beginning of the school year or at the start of each term. In order to qualify for a make-up credit, you will need to cancel the original lesson with at least 24 hours’ notice by submitting an absence on your Parent Portal. Students who do not provide at least 24 hours’ notice will not be eligible for a make-up credit. If you are eligible for a make-up credit, please call or email the School Administrator. Your credit will not be automatically applied—you will need to contact our Studio Administrator and request a credit. Student Illness If a student shows up ill for a lesson, jeopardizing the health of other students and the teacher, the teacher may send the student home and the missed lesson will be treated as a late cancellation with no make-up credit available. There must be clearly visible signs that a student is ill in order to be sent home. Clear signs include vomiting, fever and/or chills, pink eye, severe nausea, disorientation, persistent coughing, inability to talk or sit up for lessons, and digestive issues. Teacher Absence You will be notified in advance if your teacher plans to be absent from your lesson. A studio-vetted and -approved substitute teacher will be provided, and your lesson will continue as usual at your regular lesson day and time. Teachers will communicate student information to the substitute teacher to keep students progressing as planned. If your teacher is sick, an attempt will be made to find a studio-approved substitute teacher until your teacher is well enough to return to teaching. If a substitute cannot be provided, a refund or credit will be issued to the student’s account. Snow Days In the event of dangerous winter conditions, the studio will call a snow day and close for the day. Notification of snow day closures will be delivered by email no later than 12:00pm noon on the day of the event. Lessons will be cancelled, and a credit will be issued to the student’s account.

Lessons Offered

Guitar & Bass Classes in acoustic or electric guitar and bass are offered at the studio. Beginner students first learn to interact with the instrument (strings, frets, finger placement), learn basic technical concepts, and from there move into either a tab-based song stream or a sheet music-based structure. Your teacher will select a program based on the student’s interests and tailor the lesson structure based on the student’s learning style and pace. Drums Drum lessons focus on technique and musicianship. During lessons, students will focus on building strength, learning to read and understand rhythms, and learning to play along and keep time with their teacher. Method books are often used for beginners in addition to music or short rhythms your teacher will select based on the student’s personal music preference or goals. Opportunities for student collaboration will be offered throughout the school year. Ukulele The ukulele is a fun instrument for beginners or anyone who would like to take up a new and enjoyable hobby. The ukulele is small and easy to handle, which makes it a great option for any student whose fingers aren’t quite ready for a guitar or who would prefer an easy-to-carry instrument. Students will begin by learning basic chords and strumming patterns for their favourite songs then continue on to learn to pick melodies and play along with fellow students. The ukulele is also an excellent instrument to learn the basics of music and music theory. Voice Many students come to vocal lessons with an idea about a particular song they want to learn or an artist that they admire and want to emulate. Teachers will listen to their ideas but guide them in a direction that will teach them to sing in a safe and gradual way, slowly improving their ability to build a real foundation without damaging vocal cords. Vocal lessons teach students to sing with confidence and use the correct technique. Exercises and warm-ups are key and students will be taught how to execute these on their own to practice at home. Piano Learning to play the piano is a skill that is appreciated at all ages. The piano is an excellent instrument to begin your musical journey because of the ease of creating a pleasing sound quickly, the depth of options in musical styles available, and the transferability of musical knowledge from the piano to other instruments. There is something for everyone in learning the piano, from taking RCM piano exams to learning to play the melody of your favourite pop song; or taking a classical course to improve coordination, relaxation, and a state of mental focus, and to get a sense of personal achievement. Our instructors take the time to learn your goals and musical style before they decide on the appropriate curriculum for your lessons. Instruments Available for Use Although we encourage you to rent or purchase an instrument for practice at home, we are happy to provide drum kits, pianos, electric and acoustic guitars (child sizes), electric bass, and acoustic ukuleles for in-studio use.

Important Dates 2023/2024

  • Music Lessons Begin – Saturday, September 9th
  • Thanksgiving – Studio Closed – Monday, October 9th
  • Halloween – Studio Closed – Tuesday, October 31st
  • Music Masterclass #1 | Saturday, December 2nd
  • Open House/Parent Viewing Week | Monday, December 11th to Sunday, December 17th
  • Winter Break | Studio Closed | Saturday, December 23rd – Friday, January 5th
  • Term #2 Begins | Saturday, February 3rd
  • Family Day | Studio Closed | Monday, February 19th
  • March Break | Studio Closed | Monday, March 11th – Sunday, March 17th
  • Easter | Studio Closed | Friday, March 29th – Monday, April 1st
  • Easter | Studio Closed | Friday, March 29th – Monday, April 1st
  • Music Masterclass #2 | Saturday, May 11th
  • Victoria Day | Studio Closed | Monday, May 20th
  • Last Day of Music Classes | Friday, June 14th
  • Year-End Music Recitals | Saturday, June 15th