Guitar San Francisco

FAQ

General

1. "Do you provide instruments or do I have to bring my own?"
We have plenty of extra guitars and ukuleles in the office that students can use for lessons at no charge. Unfortunately we do not offer "loaner" or "rental" instruments that students can take home.

2. "Why can't I bring my own instrument or take ukulele or classical guitar lessons during the daytime?"
We are located in an office building and face some volume limitations during regular office hours. During regular office hours we use "low volume" instruments to ensure a good relationship with our neighbors. Unfortunately, some acoustic instruments are just too loud for daytime lessons so we ask that if you would like to bring your own instrument you schedule lessons for after 5:30pm on weekdays.

3. "Is there parking? How do I get there?"
San Francisco's Financial District is one of the busiest areas of San Francisco on the weekdays and parking can be very difficult (if not impossible) to find. We are conveniently located next to Montgomery Station and recommend taking mass transit (either Bart or Muni) to get to your lesson on time.

4. "Will you come to my home or office for lessons? Why not?"
We only offer lessons in our Financial District location. Traveling to offices and homes would immediately bring up the cost of lessons to the point where it would be prohibitively expensive.

5. "What about Skype?"
Yes, we do offer lessons via Skype! Lessons via Skype can be a bit tricky due to latency issues but are great for students with busy travel schedules who can't make it to our studio each week.

6. "How much am I expected to practice?"
"30-minutes a day, everyday" is the standard line most music teachers will give and while it's a great suggestion, it's not always practical for working professionals. The most important thing is to for consistency in practice, not quantity. Practicing 10 minutes a day everyday will be much more effective than 3 hours on a Sunday night. While students are encouraged to practice regularly, our instructors are very understanding of the demanding schedules of our students and find the idea of "scolding" students who don't have time to practice to be counterproductive.

7. "I've never played an instrument before, do you take complete beginners?"
Absolutely! We are prepared to take you from the very basics of music up to professional level playing.

8. "How long will it take me to learn xxxx?"
Unfortunately there is no good answer to this question. Everybody learns at different rates and has different amounts of time that they can practice each week. Learning to play an instrument is a skill that takes time and energy, patience is and persistence are the two greatest skills a musician can have.

9. "Can my friend come along? Can we take lessons together?"
We certainly allow friends and guests to "sit in" on the occasional lesson but we do not offer "group lessons". The reason for this is very simple; everyone learns at their own rate and everyone has their own individual struggles with music so it's very important to have "one-on-one" lessons for the student to get the attention that they need.

Scheduling and Rescheduling

1. "I signed for regular lessons but will be out for a week on business, can I cancel or reschedule my lesson?"
Yes, we do offer occasional reschedules for our regular students. Reschedules are subject to availability and we require a 48 hour advance notice.
All reschedules must be done via email and teachers should be contacted as soon as a student knows they need to reschedule a lesson.
Rescheduled lessons must be scheduled within 30 days of original lesson date and can be done in the our studio or via Skype.
Students who find that they need to constantly reschedule lessons are encouraged to try to find a lesson time that they can make more consistently or switch to the "drop-in" lesson option until they can commit to regular lessons.

2. "Your rescheduling policies seem a little strict, why can't you be more flexible?"
Please remember that when you purchase a lesson you are not just purchasing "a lesson that can be redeemed at any time", you are purchasing a specific slot of time that cannot be resold on short notice. Please take care and personal responsibility when picking a regular lesson time that you can make consistently and please understand that our teachers are trained professionals and are to be respected as such.
For more on this topic please read this wonderful article by Vicky Barham, PhD in economics: Vicky Barham Article.

3. "I bought lessons, then changed my mind; can I get a refund?"
We do not offer refunds for lessons purchases. If you have purchased lessons and for whatever reason cannot use them we can convert those lessons into a gift certificate that you can give to someone else.

4. "I didn't practice this week, should I skip my lesson?"
You should definitely come in! We all have busy weeks in our life and instructors at Guitar Cities understand this. Regular, weekly checkups are vital to the development of a musician even if a student doesn't have time to practice. Many students will find progress even their only practice is the 30 minutes they have with an instructor.

5. "My teacher had to cancel lessons today due to illness; what happens?"
Unfortunately from time to time a teacher will have to cancel lessons for various reasons. Ideally, a make-up lesson will be scheduled between the teacher and student that same week or we would "double" the lesson the following week. If no "make-up" time is available than the cost of the lesson will be deducted from the next monthly payment.

6. "I'm not happy: I've read the policies and FAQ and am still not happy."
As much as we try to accommodate everyone's individual needs the simple fact is that sometimes arrangements just don't work out. Fortunately, the San Francisco Bay Area is home to plenty of music schools that might meet the specific needs of a particular student.

Studio Policies

Welcome to Guitar Cities San Francisco, where we offer private music lessons in San Francisco's Financial District for students of all ages and backgrounds!

We strongly believe the best way to learn a musical instrument is through regular, weekly lessons under the supervision of our skilled instructors. Under our "subscription" plan, students pay by the month to reserve their own weekly time. Once a student has reserved that spot it belongs to them; we will not give it away to anyone else. Sometimes a student can't make lessons every week and we understand that; with our "subscription plan" we do offer some flexibility with rescheduling lessons but do ask that the student try their best to find a day and time that they can commit to. We find that the subscription model works best for 90% of our students and feel that it's the best place for most students to start their musical journey.

Our standard "subscription" policies:

1. All students must enroll in our monthly Autopay system to reserve their weekly lesson time.
2. All lessons are held at Guitar Cities San Francisco or through Skype, we do not travel to your home or office.
3. Monthly rate is $160 which covers 4 lessons.
4. If there are only 3 lessons in a month due to scheduled holidays or teacher absence 4th lesson can be rescheduled or "made-up" for in a month that has 5 lessons.
5. Students who start regular lessons in the middle of the month will be prorated at $40/lesson.
6. All lessons are individual, "one-on-one" lessons; we do not offer "group classes" and we do not allow two students to alternate weeks.
7. Regular lessons are scheduled every week at a consistent day and time; we do not offer lessons "every other week".
8. There are no refunds for missed lessons; lessons can be rescheduled so long as there is a 48 hours notice in advance.
9. All scheduling and rescheduling must be done in writing via email.
10. Rescheduled lessons must be scheduled within 30 days of original lesson date.
11. There are no refunds for missed lessons; this includes illnesses and emergencies.
12. Students may only bring their own instruments after 5:30pm.
13. Ukulele and classical guitar lessons are only offered after 5:30pm.
14. All sales are final.

For students who cannot commit to weekly lessons for whatever reason, we also offer "drop-in" lessons.

Drop in lessons are scheduled one-at-a-time and are subject to availability. Students should contact the teacher a week before via e-mail to set up lessons.

Drop in policies (Standard policies apply where applicable)

1. Drop in lessons are scheduled one-at-a-time and should be scheduled and paid for a week in advance online; if a lesson isn't paid for 48 hours before lesson time it will be cancelled.
2. Drop in lessons are $45/half hour, $80/hour
3. Drop-in lessons expire within 90 days of purchase.

If you have any questions feel free to check out our FAQ page or contact us at info@guitarcities.com.

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