FAQs and Policies

(Did you know you can reserve your same lesson time every week? It’s cheaper per lesson, with no contracts, a convenient monthly auto-draft, and you can reschedule your own lessons online.)

Using the Acuity Online System

Need help booking lessons online?
How do I see what lesson times are available?

On our Book Now page, scroll down to the instrument you’re interested in, and click the instrument description to show a list of available teachers. If you only see lesson times, but no teachers listed, that means there’s only one teacher available for that instrument.

Our system shows in real time which spots are available, so you can book with confidence! (Note: The online system will not allow bookings less than 24 hours away.)

Can I reserve the same time every week?
Yes! Our online system allows you to book one lesson at a time, but we also offer a monthly billing plan with auto-draft that keeps your same teacher and lesson time reserved every week permanently.

We recommend going through this system for the first lesson to check out our teachers with no commitment, then once you’re ready to reserve your spot, email the office and we’ll set up monthly billing on our end. That way there’s no chance of anyone else taking your lesson time, and you won’t have to worry about booking your own lessons! (If you need to reschedule a lesson, though, you’ll still be able to log in and do that here.)

Check out more on our billing plans here.

How do I create an account?

You won’t be able to create an account until after you’ve booked a lesson with us. Right after you book your first lesson, the system will prompt you to create an account. If you skip this step, your lessons will still be booked with us, but you won’t be able to use makeup codes or reschedule your lessons online later if needed!

If you do somehow miss this step, no worries. Just look for the automatic confirmation email from scheduling@acuityscheduling.com, which will contain a link for you to create an account. If you create the account but still don’t see your lessons listed when you log in, email our office and we’ll sync that up for you.

That’s it! Be sure you’re logged in with that same email address whenever you come back to the site, and you’ll be able to check your lessons at any time, use makup codes, and reschedule as needed (with 24 hours’ notice, of course).

How do I use a makeup, coupon, or gift code?

Go through the booking process normally, then when you reach the “Pay Now” step, click the button that says “Redeem Coupon or Lesson Code,” enter your code, and click “Apply.”

For students using Makeup Codes:
If you have a valid makeup code on your account, go through the booking process normally, then when you reach the “Pay Now” button, the box next to it should be filled in automatically (as long as you’re logged in), and you’ll see the lesson prices reduced to zero. If you don’t see a code, that likely means one of these things:

  • You don’t have any unused makeups on your account, or…
  • Your makeup codes have expired, or…
  • You’re not logged in, or you’re logged in under a different email than the one we have on file.

First make sure you’re logged in correctly – then if you’re certain you should have codes available, email us!

How do I reschedule a lesson?

This is covered in our Online Booking FAQ too, but just log into your account here at least 24 hours before lesson time, find the class you want to move, and click “reschedule.” Pick any open time with your same teacher, and you’re done! It’s that easy – and you’ll even get an email reminder 48 hours before your new class time in case you forget.

REMEMBER: Classes less than 24 hours away cannot be rescheduled or refunded, sorry!

If you want to reschedule with a different teacher, our system won’t let you do that yourself online, but you can email us to request the change. Note: The 24-hour policy is for the teacher, not the office, so in these cases, try to give us at least a couple days so we can be sure the teacher still gets that 24-hour notice of the change in schedule.

Can I reschedule with a different teacher?

Our scheduling software won’t allow that, but it’s fine with us! Send us an email with the teacher, time, and instrument you’d like to move the lesson to, and we can do that on our end. If you don’t know yet who you’d like to move the lesson to, you can request to cancel the lesson, and we can issue you a makeup code to book a new lesson free with any teacher. (This requires at least 24 hours’ notice!)

Billing Questions

Do I need to sign a contract?

Not at all!

Once you start the monthly membership, you’ll only be billed one month at a time, and you can stop anytime as long as we get notice at least 7 days before the start of the next month.

If a monthly commitment isn’t for you, you can even book one lesson at a time online through our Book Now page.

Do you offer a free trial?

Not a free trial exactly, but close!

We recommend new students book one single lesson through our website to try it out and meet your teacher. Then when you do decide to reserve your weekly time and begin your monthly enrollment, we’ll credit the cost of that first lesson towards your first monthly invoice!

How do I officially cancel my lessons?

If you’re enrolled in our monthly plan and need to stop lessons, send us an email at least 7 days before the end of the month, and we’ll stop all future charges. Tuition is non-refundable once billed! If you cancel in the middle of a month after paying for that month, you can still use your remaining lessons, or you can request makeup codes to save them for later.

SUPER IMPORTANT: If you’re on a monthly billing plan and want to stop taking lessons, please DO NOT cancel your own lessons through our online booking system!

Our invoicing and scheduling are done through two different systems. To cancel your enrollment, you MUST notify us in email.

What methods of payment do you accept?

For lessons booked online, we accept all major credit cards and Paypal at time of booking.

For monthly enrollment, we accept all major credit cards, and a credit card needs to be placed on file for monthly auto-draft before we can reserve your weekly times. Most often, the easiest way to do this is by phone with Amy. Email us or text us at 512-915-9800 to set up your enrollment!

Sorry, no cash or checks please.

How do I update my credit card info?

Look in your inbox for an invoice from maildelivery@freshbooks.com (paid or unpaid, any of our invoices will work). Click on the link in that email to go to your own personal billing portal, where you can update your credit card info.

You can also use the “Unpaid Invoices” tab on that page to see any outstanding invoices, and the “Account Statement” tab to see your current total due balance.

Is there a registration fee?

There is an annual registration and supplies fee ($35 per student, or $45 per family).

There’s no registration fee for students who book lessons through our Book Now page online, but there’s also no guarantee you’ll keep the same time slot, and you’ll need to keep booking each lesson individually. For students who want more than a couple lessons, the monthly membership is the way to go!

Can my teacher accept tips?

Absolutely! You can add a tip when booking through our online booking system, or you can contact the office to have us add a tip amount to your recurring monthly invoice. All tips will go directly to your teacher. 10-20% is most common, but any amount at all is highly appreciated!

Tips are not refundable once paid, but you can request to remove the tip from your monthly invoices at any time.

 

Do you offer family discounts?

Yes! We offer a 5% monthly discount for parent-child or sibling combos, or for students taking multiple lessons (i.e. drums and guitar, or guitar and voice, etc). For two students taking half-hour lessons each week, that would be $12/month off!

Note: There’s no sibling discount for lessons booked online, so families with multiple students will save money by enrolling in the monthly membership.

When can I start?

No time like the present! When a student enrolls with us, the charge for the FIRST MONTH ONLY will be based on the number of lessons left in the month when you start, so if your first lesson falls on the second week of a five-lesson month, you’ll still pay for four lessons, or a full month’s rate. All months after that will be the flat monthly rate if you’re on a monthly billing plan. If you’re paying per-lesson and booking online, then it’s pretty self-explanatory – i.e., you pay per lesson.

General Lesson Info

Are all your lessons online?

Well, they weren’t until March of 2020! But yes, currently we’re completely online while we’re practicing social distancing.

To be honest, it was a scary transition at first, since it had to happen so quickly. But online lessons are actually amazing, with easy file transfers, screen sharing, group chat capabilities, and more! So while we don’t plan to be an online-only school forever, we’ll definitely be keeping this as part of our teaching model. Not only does it provide options for students and teachers on bad weather days, summer break, etc — it also allows students all over the world to come to Austin, the Live Music Capitol of the World, for their music lessons.

And who wouldn’t want that?

Do you offer private or group lessons?

Until Spring of 2020, we offered both private and group lessons, but our group Rock Band Academy program is on temporary hold while we’re social distancing. In the meantime, all of our students are continuing to gain prowess and learn new skills with our private lessons.

How often and where are lessons held?

As of March 2020, we’re holding all lessons in 1-on-1 private sessions online until it’s safe to bring our students and teachers back together. We’re hoping that’s soon, and we’ll let everyone know once we know when that is! Lessons are generally held once per week, in half-hour or hour time slots, at our school.

Should I take hour or half-hour lessons?

Most kids under 12 do best with half-hour lessons, while adults and teens can make faster progress with hour lessons. If you’re not sure, we can always start with one and change later.

Note for online lessons: We generally find half hour sessions to be the best choice for online – although with no commute, it’s easy to fit in two sessions per week! So if you’re wanting more lesson time for faster progress, consider doing half hour sessions twice per week. This also helps the student stay motivated to practice more frequently, since check-ins with your teacher will be twice as often.

What ages do you teach?
For private lessons, ages 5 to around 110. (Theoretically, of course. We haven’t hit our upper age limit yet.)

Our minimum age to start private music lessons is five years old, but success with children that young depends a lot on how involved the parents are at practice time.

And as for adults – at the time of this writing, our student holding the record is 82 years young. 😊

Do I need my own instrument?

If we’re teaching at the school, you can borrow one of ours for the first lesson or two, but you’ll need your own to practice at home. Also consider renting before buying! Rock and Roll Rentals in North Austin on Burnet is a great option. Rent a drum set, guitar, or bass for a month, try it out, and see what feels best!

Note: While social distancing is in effect, you’ll definitely need your own instrument, since lessons will be online.

Do you host recitals?

Absolutely! There’s no better way to grow as a musician than to perform live, and we encourage it as often as possible.

For years, we’ve hosted recitals and rock band concerts for our students at least four times a year, in various Cedar Park and Austin venues — but while we’re still in social distancing mode, our recitals have turned into awesome virtual Open Mic nights, held through Zoom, each with a maximum of 12 performers. Students can email us any time to be added to the list for the next one, and if there’s open space, students and teachers can just show up and request to play on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no recital fees for the Zoom events!

Once it’s safe to hold our recitals in venues again, the recital fee will go back to $30 per family, or if students have valid makeup codes on their account, they can use those to pay for recitals too.

What teaching curriculum do you use?

Every teacher is different, and assigns songs, books, and exercises based on their preferred teaching methods and the student’s skill level and musical tastes.

We often ask students to suggest their own songs, in addition to music chosen by the teachers, and we’ll work to help students create, practice, and perform the best arrangements for their instrument and abilities. Our goal is to keep students learning and motivated by having fun with music they already love, as opposed to being confined to a one-size-fits-all program.

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

This question is on our online sign up forms because — well, because we think we’re hilarious.

The answer we’re looking for, of course, is “African or European?” — although we’re pretty impressed that so many of you actually took the time to google it and respond that the actual airspeed velocity is approximately 24 miles per hour or 11 meters per second.

For those who still think we’re a little crazy, the joke stems from the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”.

Here’s the scene from the movie where the joke is first set up:

And the scene from the movie where the actual question is asked and the answer given:

We get a kick out of seeing the answers to that one, so thanks to everyone for playing along. 🙂

Makeups & Holidays

Can I get a makeup if I'm sick or have to cancel?

There are no refunds or makeups for cancelled lessons – but it’s easy to reschedule, as long as we get at least 24 hours’ notice! You can even reschedule the same lesson multiple times.

Unfortunately, lessons cancelled with less than 24 hours notice cannot be made up, since there’s not enough time for us to re-book that spot.

How do I know if I have makeups on my account?

Log in here. Once you’re logged in, you’ll see a list of all your upcoming booked lessons, and under that, you’ll see any valid codes on your account for makeups or lesson packages. It’ll also show you what the codes can be used for, and when they expire! If you don’t see any codes listed, that likely means one of these things:

  • You don’t have any unused makeups on your account… or…
  • Your makeup codes have expired (they expire 6 months after date of issue)… or…
  • You’re not actually logged in, or you’re logged in under a different email than the one that was first used to book the lessons.

First make sure you’re logged in correctly – then if you’re pretty certain you should have codes available, feel free to email us.

If I'm sick or can't make it in, can I do my lesson online?

Certainly! Thanks to COVID-19, our teachers are quite comfortable with online lessons, and it’s a great option for students who are traveling or not quite feeling well enough to come into the school.

Please give your teacher as much notice as possible when requesting this option so they have time to prepare. If it’s last-minute, keep in mind the teacher may not have access to your music or other materials, so you may need to work on something different for that lesson.

What happens if my teacher has to cancel?

We really try not to, but sometimes life happens and we have no choice! If a teacher needs to cancel a lesson, we’ll notify students by email, phone, or text. We’ll try to work out a new time for the lesson, but if we can’t, we’ll add a makeup code to your account, which you can use to re-book the lesson another time for free with any teacher or instrument. Makeup codes can also be used to pay recital fees!

Are you open on holidays?

The school doesn’t officially close for holidays, but the monthly tuition only covers 48 lessons per year. This means there are four weeks not included in the monthly tuition:

SPRING BREAK WEEK (Leander ISD calendar)
4TH OF JULY WEEK
THANKSGIVING WEEK
CHRISTMAS WEEK

Some of our teachers do choose to teach those weeks, though, so it’s possible to use those weeks for makeup lessons, or to purchase additional single lessons. For all other holidays, including Memorial Day, Labor Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, etc, we are open as normal! If your teacher plans to be out those days, you’ll receive notice from us in advance, and we’ll add a makeup code to your account, which you can use to re-book that lesson on another day.

Can I get my same time slot back after a break?

If you’re paying monthly invoices and want to keep your weekly spot reserved until you return, you’ll need to continue making monthly payments, even during summer vacations or holiday breaks. Just remember to log in and reschedule those missed lessons for later, or use some of them to pay for recital fees!

What's your bad weather policy?

We’ll follow forecasts on weather.com to determine whether roads are safe enough to conduct lessons at the school. If roads are unsafe, all lessons that day will be done online using Zoom. Decisions on any given day will be made as early as possible, but no later than 11am. Check our Sense & Color Facebook Page to see the official word on closures. If there’s nothing posted there, the school is open for in-person lessons!

Note: Local schools being closed on a given day does not mean that we will automatically be closed! Most of our private lessons don’t start until afternoon, so if forecasts show significant improvement by that time, we’ll be open.

Since weather is out of our control, we cannot offer makeups or credits to students who choose not to take the online option that day. Even if a student doesn’t have a good setup at home for online, a session where the student and teacher just talk about music theory, or discuss future musical projects or ideas, is better than no lesson at all!