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Departmental Policies and Procedures


Open communication between parent and teacher is critical to success in any educational endeavor.  Parents are encouraged to attend group and/or private lessons at any time.  We also urge you to call or e-mail to communicate directly with your child’s group and/or private teacher.  

Each week students take a written assignment home from their lessons.  Please check this assignment frequently for up-to-the-minute notices on calendar, activities, deadlines, etc.  Any changes or additions to our published calendar will be prominently displayed here. 

Exit Procedure

Under certain conditions, a student may be asked to discontinue music study in the Piano Preparatory Department at SMU.  These conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • non-payment or recurrent lateness in payment of tuition
  • excessive absenteeism or tardiness
  • non-participation in departmental activities including private lessons, group lessons, recitals, and related activities
  • excessive and recurrent non-preparation of assignments
  • a consistent lack of practice
  • perception that our program may not be suited for the needs of a particular student
  • failure to participate in summer lessons in the Piano Preparatory Department at SMU 

Although the teacher and/or directors may provide a written or verbal notice of dismissal, we reserve the right to dismiss students at any time with or without notification. 


Tuition is due prior to lesson delivery.  If tuition is not paid, we reserve the right to discontinue lessons and activities until tuition is paid. 

Inclement Weather 

In the event of inclement weather, our department will adhere to the university’s decision on closing.  Group lessons will not be made up, but parents may contact instructors by the next week to request an individual make-up lesson. Under no circumstances will there be refunds for missed lessons. 

Missed Lessons 

Since we see each student only once or twice a week, attendance at every lesson is vital to the success of all students.  Group lessons missed by students cannot be made up under any circumstances.  Private lessons missed by the instructor will be made up at a mutually convenient time.  If a student is absent from a private lesson the instructor is not obligated to offer a make-up lesson under any circumstance. 


Piano study is a year-round endeavor.  Registration is for the entire year, August to July.  If a student must withdraw before the end of the school year a pro rata refund of tuition may be made in the case of most extenuating circumstances at the joint discretion of the Director, the faculty, and the business office.  A service fee will be assessed to account to cover administrative costs.  

Picking Students Up and Dropping Them Off 

It is the responsibility of the parent to see that the child/children are delivered safely to the private studio and group class, then picked up immediately following the lesson.  The Piano Preparatory staff cannot be expected to supervise children prior to or following the group class or private lesson.

Where to Drop Students Off 

The SMU Department of Public Safety advises parents of the Piano Preparatory Department students to use the visitor parking in the Meadows Museum located on Bishop Boulevard across the street from Highland Park United Methodist Church and escort your child to the lesson location. 

Additional visitor parking is located on the west side of the Owen Arts Center.  Enter from Hillcrest at Granada (opposite the New Hotel Lumen). There is limited short-term parking in this area. Students can enter the building through the rightmost entrance alongside the Hamon Arts Library.  This opens into the Taubman Atrium and connects to the hallways that serve our classrooms. 

A second, but less-recommended, option is to use Bishop Drive in the central campus. Drop students off on the right curb directly in front of the Owen Arts Center.  They should enter the entrance on the left and proceed down the hall to the left.  The first and only right-turn leads to our classroom area. It is never allowable to leave your vehicle on either side of Bishop even for a few minutes.   You are virtually guaranteed to receive a citation if you leave your vehicle there. 


Free long-term parking is available at the Mockingbird end of Bishop either in the Highland Park Methodist Church lot or across Bishop in the lots that adjoin the athletic facilities.  It is also permissible to park in the gated lot for the Meadows Museum on the South side of the campus.  

Summer Lessons 

All students are required to enroll in a minimum of seven summer lessons (mid-May through August).  These summer lessons are required to enroll for the following year. Lessons are scheduled on a flexible individual basis with the faculty member.

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