office

Thank you for your interest in the Fox River Academy!

We hope that you explore and enjoy the many opportunities available to further develop your creativity at the Academy. After you peruse through Academy programs on our website, you may have some general questions regarding enrollment at Fox River. Below is a guide that outlines the various programs available to our students, describes policies and procedures, and provides other information regarding practice suggestions, etc. We hope you will find this information useful. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding our programs or policies. Again, we look forward to helping you discover and grow your artistic gifts!

Our mission is to offer an exceptional educational experience for each student, provided by highly qualified instructors in a comfortable setting. Our classes are designed to create a positive and supportive learning environment that encourages students to reach or exceed their personal expectations and goals.

Office Hours and Contact Information

Although classes, private lessons and performances may be scheduled from mornings until late evenings seven days a week, our front desk may be closed during these hours.

The Academy office is open six days a week (Monday through Saturday), with hours on Monday through Friday from 12:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M., and Saturday from 10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M. Inquiries, questions, and payments by phone may be done to our main telephone number (630-551-4321); our fax line is 630-551-3210.

Email inquiries and correspondence may be sent to info@foxriveracademy.com. Correspondence and payments may be mailed to: Fox River Academy of Music and Art, 26 W. Van Buren Street, Oswego, Illinois 60543.

We enjoy having the opportunity to develop relationships with all of our customers and work very hard to accommodate our students and their families in the best way that we can. Although our small business office may become a bit overwhelmed at specific times of the year, our students are very important to us, and we will strive to contact each student as soon as we can, and devote the time and attention each customer’s inquiry or question requires.

Things to Consider When Starting out in Music or Art

Music

Instrumental or vocal study can be a very rewarding, exciting, and fulfilling experience. If this is your first time studying an instrument, it is important to remember that music study requires not only a strong interest and appreciation for the art, but also a time commitment to regular practice that extends beyond the weekly session you have with your teacher.

Consistent practice will help you achieve regular progress with your study, and also instill confidence (in areas such as performance). It is also important that practice be done on an instrument in favorable condition. Instruments in disrepair or out of tune can affect student development in areas of ear training, technique, and overall execution. If you need a recommendation for purchasing, renting, or repairing an instrument, please consult your instructor.

Art

Most of our art workshops and classes include any supplies you might need for the specific field of art you are studying. Part of the journey is to gain exposure and learn to use new forms of media; however, it also can be valuable to apply techniques learned outside of the classroom in daily practice.

Reinforcing any skills you have learned from your classes through regular application at home will be very beneficial to your development as an artist.

What to Expect the First Few Months after Your Enrollment

Artistic and Musical Skill Development

Art skill development and music lessons are gradual processes that involve many months (and years!) of regular practice and study. Artistic development is both personal and group-involved, and is very fulfilling and rewarding.

Study of the arts is also something one can do at any age, and can continue through the rest of one’s life. Every individual possesses gifts in many areas, and the arts are no exception. Students all have strengths in different areas; for instance, in music, perhaps you are an “ear” player, or have an aptitude for technique or sight-reading…whatever the case may be, your teacher is customizing your music study to help enhance your natural talents, and also to assist you in focusing on areas that may need more attention.

Because of factors such as natural ability, experience, and age, your study may involve using different materials than another student beginning at the same time, and may advance at a different pace. Certain instruments require students to focus on certain techniques prior to working on large-scale pieces or ensemble repertoire. So be patient – you may not be working on a Mozart Sonata in the first few months of study, but you’re definitely on your way towards developing your own unique talent.

Please feel free to communicate with your instructor if you have questions on specific aspects of your curriculum.

Music Ensemble, Performance and Recital Opportunities

Ensembles

After your initial period of music study, you may be thinking about exploring other programs involving your music instrument. In addition to private music study, the Fox River Academy has several opportunities for students to help enhance other areas of music performance.

Several of our instructors have Performance Groups or Ensembles built directly into their curriculum (to take place of a private lesson for that week) as a way to expose students to group repertoire or performance.

Some instructors have ensembles that are audition-only for students interested in studying and performing in ensembles (such as our Youth and Teen/Adult Guitar Ensembles, Piano Ensemble, and Classical Youth Chorus). The Academy arranges for these groups to participate in various public performances, as well as regular recitals.

Performances and Recitals

Students have several opportunities for recital performance at the Academy. Once a year, we have a full academy Winter Recital (usually near the end of January) for all students.

Over several weekends, students may sign out a recital time that is convenient for their schedule. Sometimes teachers designate a specific date and time for their students to participate. The Academy arranges for an outside location (to accommodate the large amount of students, their friends and family) for these performances.

Several of our instructors also arrange for other instrument-specific recitals periodically over the course of the year, and may include opportunities for other types of performances (such as accompanists or chamber players).

Music Performance Evaluations and Theory Classes

Performance Evaluations

Twice each year for one week, our studio has Evaluated Performances for our students. Evaluated Performances provide the opportunity for students, teachers, and parents to receive valuable input regarding student progress on their instrument. Instead of having their regular lesson, students sign out a specified evaluation date and time on our evaluation schedule sheets (usually found in our waiting room in April and October).

For their evaluation, students perform one exercise/warm up, one sight-reading excerpt (optional for some instruments), and one selection of music for a panel of teachers. Teachers then evaluate the student’s performance on a number of factors, such as technical agility and execution, memorization, pitch and rhythmic accuracy, and musicality (dynamics, appropriate tempo) and fill out a student evaluation form with this information.

Students receive a performance certificate immediately after their performance acknowledging their participation and hard work. Completed forms will be given to the student’s teacher the following week, for teachers to review with the student.

Theory Classes

At no additional charge, beginner students may participate in a theory class. In their theory classes, students reinforce concepts learned in their private lessons, such as rhythmic work, sight-reading, listening, etc. in a group setting. Theory class levels are by teacher recommendation, and are based on student age and level of musical experience.

Theory classes are also based on availability – occasionally we are unable to offer a class for a specific student level due to lack of response or enrollment for a particular age and skill level. Theory sign-up forms may be found in the Academy waiting room area, and need to be completed and turned in to your private teacher before a specific class date/time is arranged.

Please consult your teacher or the Academy office for more information, or to find out available dates and times.

Cancelled Music Lessons, Missed Music Lessons and Academy Closings

Student-Cancelled Music Lessons

When a student cancels a private music lesson with a teacher, they may make up any missed or cancelled classes by signing up for the Fox River Academy’s Performance Class, which takes place once a month on Saturdays at 2:00 P.M. (NOTE: Time is subject to change in the future.)

For the Performance Class, students perform a work (or a section of a piece) they are currently studying in their private lessons, and receive coaching on various performance techniques. It is not necessary to sign up for a specific month; the Performance Class takes place once a month, and students are more than welcome to choose any designated Saturday that is most convenient for their schedule.

Many students find this class to be greatly constructive, especially before a recital or performance. Performance sign-up sheets are on bulletin board in the Academy waiting area—feel free to call our office for dates and availability (we usually have the Performance Dates for the current quarter posted).

If low attendance is predicted for a specific month, the Academy will call all students on the Friday before a scheduled Performance Class to cancel and sign up student for a future class. NOTE: student-cancelled or missed lessons not arranged to be made up (either by attending the Performance Class or by other special arrangements through the teacher) CANNOT be credited or deducted from student tuition.

Student and Teacher-Cancelled Music Group Lessons

Because we limit the number of students designated to participate in each of our group classes (in order to ensure optimal instruction), students needing to cancel a date for a group class (such as Jazz Combo, Art, Mini Musicians, etc.) will not be able to schedule a make-up for the missed session.

Teacher-cancelled group lessons will either be rescheduled with a make-up date, or credited to student’s tuition.

Teacher-Cancelled Music Lessons

When a teacher cancels a lesson, the teacher will attempt to schedule an alternate date and time for the missed session. Any teacher cancellations that cannot be made up WILL be credited to student tuition for the following quarter.

If you receive your tuition invoice for the next quarter, and teacher cancellations meant to be credited are not reflected in your statement, please notify the Academy office, and we will make any adjustments necessary.

Academy Closings

The Fox River Academy will announce any cancellation of lessons and classes due to adverse weather conditions (excessive snow, flooding, etc.) after 10:00 A.M. the day of closing.

This information may be found by calling the Academy directly; any closings will be recorded on the voicemail of our answering system message.

Tuition Invoices and Statements

Invoices

Tuition invoices are generated at the beginning of each quarter (four times a year), or at the start of student’s enrollment at our Academy. Your invoice for each quarter indicates the type of class or lessons enrolled, the number of lessons scheduled for that quarter, and (when applicable) any tuition discounts or adjustments.

Your Account Statement includes the charges from invoices, along with any payments made to the Academy towards your balance. Tuition adjustments that occur during student enrollment may be delayed due to communication between our administrative staff and teachers.

If at any time you notice a discrepancy on your account statement, please contact our office staff, so that we can make sure any required changes are entered in your records.

Payments

Payment towards tuition is due before the first week of each quarter. Payments may be made in full for the quarter, or be separated into two payments (each representing half of quarter balance), with the first of these payments due before the first week of the quarter.

Students beginning lessons during a particular quarter will be pro-rated for the remainder of the quarter, with the first payment due the week of student’s first lesson. Secondary payments are due six weeks into the current quarter. Student accounts are expected to be paid in full by the conclusion of the current quarter they are enrolled in, and must be paid in order to be re-enrolled for the next quarter.

If special circumstances exist that interfere with completion of tuition payment, students must contact our office at (630) 551-4321 before the completion of the current quarter in order to make payment arrangements.

Accounts that are due past the conclusion of the quarter with no payment arrangement will be charged a $10.00 fee, and may be assessed a $5.00/week charge for each week in arrears.

Enrollment and Discontinuation of Lessons

Enrollment

Students enrolling for the first time in lessons need to complete our Student Registration Paperwork and sign our Policy and Guidelines sheet (found in the office). It is also required that a deposit (equaling the amount of student’s first lesson) be made with our office up to 24 hours before the student’s first lesson is scheduled to take place.

Student date and time slots are not guaranteed until lesson deposit is received by Fox River Academy office staff. (NOTE: Date/time slots MUST be directly confirmed with our office staff by phone before any time slot is reserved, including but not limited to changes between Summer and Fall Quarter enrollment.)

Trial Lessons

Students may schedule lessons to continue through the end of the quarter, or may schedule a trial lesson with a particular teacher. Trial lesson charges are billed according to the duration of the scheduled lesson (30, 45, or 60 minutes).

After the student’s trial lesson has taken place, students are responsible for contacting the Academy office to express their intention of continuing lessons. At this time, payment towards the remaining quarter balance is due in order to hold the student’s time slot.

Students who fail to contact our office regarding continuation of lessons (up to 24 hours before their next scheduled lesson) will be removed from the teacher’s schedule, and may be returned to a teacher’s waiting list.

Re-Enrollment for Private Music Classes

Once enrollment is confirmed, students are enrolled and billed for quarterly or designated class duration.

Unless student has notified the Academy office (see “Discontinuation of Lessons” below), students are automatically re-enrolled in the next quarter with the same teacher, date, and time at the conclusion of the quarter (excepting special arrangements from teacher, or transitions requiring specific schedule changes such as between Spring/Summer and Summer/Fall Quarter).

Discontinuation of Private/Group Lessons and Non-Appearance

If a student wishes to discontinue lessons with a teacher, it is required that they notify the Academy office (along with their teacher) at least two weeks’ prior to the date and time of their last lesson.

Students not notifying the Academy office of intention to discontinuing lessons will be charged for two weeks’ tuition from the date of notification. If a student does not show up for a scheduled lesson, and fails to contact our office staff regarding their student status, the student’s lesson slot will be held for two weeks of “no-shows” (no appearance, no call) and then removed from the teacher’s schedule.

Per Academy policy, student accounts will be charged for the two weeks of non-attendance. Students wishing to discontinue lessons at the end of a particular quarter must notify our Academy office at least two weeks’ prior to the conclusion of that particular quarter.

Failure to notify our office of discontinuing lessons will result in student accounts being charged from the date of student notification to our office staff, or for the two weeks into the next quarter.

The Fox River Academy does not issue tuition refunds unless there are discrepancies due to teacher or administration error (teacher cancellations, etc.).

Other Student Policy Information

Student Protection Policy

The Fox River Academy is a safe and comfortable learning environment where every student should feel confident enough to explore their potential and perform their best.

We encourage students to respect and show courtesy to other students and teachers, and have a no-tolerance policy of bullying, discrimination, or other destructive behavior between students, their families, and teachers.

If a problem arises, the Academy will address the situation accordingly; further investigation may result in immediate termination of student enrollment.

Student Probation

Problems with excessive lack of attendance, lack of practice or lesson preparation, or inappropriate or disrespectful behavior towards other students and teachers may result in student being placed on Probation.

The student is issued a probationary form outlining the specific areas where improvement is expected over the following quarter, with contact numbers for scheduling a teacher conference.

At the conclusion of the quarter, the student’s performance and effort will be reviewed by their teacher, and a decision made regarding student status (removal from probation, termination of enrollment).

Changes to Policy

Any changes to the Fox River Academy policies, programs, and guidelines will be issued in writing to our students at least 30 days prior to implementation of changes.

By signing our policy sheet, student consents to current Academy policies and agrees to any future amendments/changes (following the 30 day period).