Lesson Policies and Fees


The fiscal year for students in the Butler Piano Studio begins on Sept 1 of each year and concludes on June 30 of the following year. The year is divided into three semester periods with the first extending through December 31, the second through April 30 and the third, very short period, ending on June 30. New repertoire is discussed and assigned during the third period. Repertoire assignments and studio matters (fiscal changes, fees, etc.) are outlined and finalized by the end of June of each year. The studio usually closes for the month of August. All missed lessons, regardless of reason, are made up at mutually convenient times.


It might surprise some to learn that many music teachers charge in advance of the lesson, term or year and do not make up lessons missed for any reasons. The professionalism of this studio and the performance goals of most of its members mandate that all missed lessons are made up. Moreover, because of the diversity of our society, all religious, political, school holidays and family holidays/vacations throughout the year vary enormously. Accordingly, all missed lessons necessitated by the student or Dr. Butler, for whatever reason, will be made up at mutually convenient times, hopefully within the month the lessons are missed. However, with the many performance obligations of students in the studio, make-ups are often more beneficial when scheduled to best serve the performance needs of the individuals. Make-up fees are the same as those of regular lessons.


Even the most disciplined require, at peak performance times, extra help. As this is a performance-oriented studio, its members require very specialized, individual assistance. From time to time, the weekly, hourly lesson is just not sufficient to cover all the needs of the student and, thus, extra lessons are necessitated. This need is often minimized, even eliminated, through cleverly scheduled make-ups, but, for the budgeting conscious, the expectancy should be in the neighbourhood of five to eight extra lessons per fiscal year. These are most often required from February through the end of April in each fiscal year. Extra lesson fees are the same as those of regular lessons.


Master classes presently occur on Saturdays from 10:00am – 12:30pm, They begin each year in September on the second Saturday after Labour Day and conclude at the end of April. Master Classes are free of charge and attendance is mandatory!


Students need to be studying theory and history from the Grade 6 level on. Presently, students contact Mrs. Lynne Stenlund at the Gold Medal Music Academy, 519-890-5397.


When we perform the emphasis needs to be on the music, not the performer. Whatever the dress, it should never draw attention to the performer nor should it detract. In casual settings like ORMTA Recitals, Festival and Competitions, the performer should dress conservatively in basic concert black – shirts, slacks or trousers, black socks and shoes. White blouses or shirts are acceptable. In more formal settings – evening concerts, major solo performances, concerto appearances with orchestra, more elaborate attire is expected. Black suits would be the minimum for boys/men and more colourful three-quarter or full length gowns for the girls/ladies. In more serious venues, tuxedos and /or tails for the men and even more extravagant gowns for the women would be the expectation. However, for ninety-percent of this studio’s needs, the casual-setting-dress of basic black fulfills the need.

For all members of this studio, proper concert attire should be on hand, cleaned, polished and ready to wear, from the beginning of the fiscal year.

FEES – Lessons and Concerti

Students in the Butler Piano Studio are accepted through an interview/audition process. Interested students/parents need to request an appointment by phone or email. Dr. Butler meets with all new students and parents to determine acceptance in the studio and to assess the level and musical potential of each student.


While cash is the preferred method of payment, lessons can be paid for individually or in advance for whatever term best suits the parents. All lessons are hourly and weekly. Lessons begin shortly after Labour Day and extend through the end of June. Students in this studio perform, when ready, in Master Class. There is no extra charge for master classes, but all students are expected to attend.

Most students in the Butler Piano Studio perform a concerto or movement of a concerto each year. Each concerto is assessed a fee based on the length and difficulty of the concerto and the estimated rehearsal time to be involved. There will always be a minimum fee of $750. The entire concerto fee commits the student to learning the concerto and assures Dr. Butler's preparation. He will assist students in all lessons and master classes and, if available, any Windsor-based performances without additional charges. The non-refundable concerto fee is due by mid-May of each year. Should extenuating circumstances prevail before October of each year, partial concerto fees will be refunded. After October of each year, no refunds will be available.