Studio Policies

Below are general policies, please refer to the individual location policies in the Dropbox under schedules and policies for clarification.

All students should have:

  • a working flute 

  • a music stand for practicing 

  • a quiet, area to practice, free from distractions 

  • a metronome and tuner

  • somewhere to store music (a special bag or filing crate work well) 

  • a Notebook for weekly assignments 

  • a desire to do their best


Commitment and Preparation

At the beginning of each year/semester, we choose a regular weekly lesson time together. We are all making a commitment to keep that time free from other appointments or activities. Students also make a commitment to be prepared for their lesson each week. Private lessons offer the opportunity to learn to set goals and meet them, even when the school year is busy. Part of what we learn in lessons are time management skills.


Daily practice is essential. The skills you are building cannot be “crammed” in one long session. The key is consistent, daily work. I will always write out practice assignment/goals for the following week. By the next lesson, I expect to hear progress on those assignments and goals. It is ok to have questions, or to ask for help!


Students are generally expected to practice a minimum of 5 days/week for a minimum of the length of their lesson (30, 45, or 60 min. Please feel free to surpass those guidelines. I am here to guide you and provide the tools you need, but it is up to you to do the work of learning. Like anything in life, you will get out of your lessons what you put into them. It is also ok to choose to perfect only a portion of the assignment when life is extremely busy or you were out of town. However, there is always time to improve on something. Your ultimate guide is this question: Did I accomplish the goals for the week?

Missed Lessons/Conflicts: 

Because specific times are set aside for specific students, a student who does not attend a lesson will simply miss the benefit of that lesson.  I will then use that time or other times to plan for the student’s progress, locate materials, etc. Please be assured that your tuition pays for far more than the time spent with a student during a lesson. There are no refunds or discounts given unless I am unable to teach the promised number of lessons (or in the case of an emergency). I am a reasonable person. If an emergency or major schedule change need arises, please come talk to me or call me as soon as possible. I am always happy to help work something out for my students. 

    • For lessons scheduled during the VHHS school day: Unless a student is absent from school, s/he is expected to attend the scheduled lesson.  If a school-sponsored field trip, assembly, or pre-planned absence from school is scheduled to conflict with the lesson, first try to swap times with another student or if that is completely impossible, notify me ASAP, and at least 1 week in advance. If I am properly notified, I will happily offer an alternative time/day for that lesson. If I am not notified properly for such a conflict, you will miss the benefit of that lesson and no alternative time/day will be offered. Remembering to inform me about a school sponsored event or exam is your responsibility.
    • If a student is present at school and chooses to miss the scheduled lesson time to attend to other school-related responsibilities (for ex: labs, make-up work, meetings with teachers) or fails to attend the scheduled lesson for any other reason, no alternative time/day will be offered. This is a scheduled class in your day/week and needs to be treated as such. 


There are several options for students who must miss a scheduled time below: 


Alternative Time/Days: These are available with proper notification and can take the form of Skype/Facetime/GoogleHangouts or at the studio in Evanston according to my availability and are the responsibility of the student/family to request these options.


Schedule: Schedule is kept on a google calendar on my website ( under Instruction tab. Students are responsible for notating their lesson times and looking at the entire month. Any errors, please tell me ASAP.


Swap Lessons: Students (Families of private students) may trade their lesson time with another student to help avoid absences. Swap List is on the lesson schedule webpage. Use these rules to make sure swaps go smoothly:

• I must be informed prior to and after arranging a swap. There are sometimes reasons why something is not ok to swap. I will put it on the google calendar when it is official. If it’s super last minute during the school day, come tell in person quickly. 

• No make-up lessons will be given if any confusion from this arises.

• Should 2 people arrive at once, I will teach the one whose lesson is normally at that time.

• Please inform me if you do not wish to have your name included on the swap list.

• Phone or “Skype” lessons during the student’s regular lesson time are also an option for those that are mildly sick or for inclement weather, or a lack of transportation.


Skype/FaceTime/GoogleHangouts: If there is a serious conflict that cannot be resolved any other way, you may ask if you can switch to an alternate day/time and do an online lesson.  

Snow/School closing emergencies: Lessons are given online in the event of an emergency school closing at their original time unless otherwise requested. Video and high-speed connection needed. If necessary, can be without video. 


Notification: To notify me of a cancellation, please call and leave a phone message (847-903-4086).  Please do not email a cancellation unless it is sent at least 72 hours in advance of the scheduled lesson. If you do not receive a response from me via email, within 24 hours, it is your responsibility to call me and make sure I received the notification. Please do not assume that I received your email. 


Communication: Responses within 24-48 hours are expected for any communication sent by instructor

Termination of Lessons 

In the event that a student needs to withdraw from lessons for any reason, four weeks of advance notice (and the tuition for those four weeks) is expected. No refunds are given for tuition.


Tuition Payment:

Tuition for lessons is $75/60 minutes.

Tuition for regular/weekly lessons is discounted to: $60/60 minutes ($30/30-minutes, $45/45-minutes) 

Tuition is due on the the first day of the month and no later than the first lesson of every calendar month for the entire calendar month of lessons.  

Late Fee: $30 late fee will be assessed for late tuition payments unless prior arrangements are made. 


Scholarships: I believe all students who wish to learn should have access to high-quality instruction. I do offer limited Scholarships based on demonstrated finanacial need and individual circumstances. Request scholarship assistance  here


Please Contact me for more information. 




Downloadable Bio and Resume available here


Pay Lesson tuition here

© Shanna Gutierrez. All Rights Reserved.

Images from this site may not be reproduced without prior written permission. 
Featured trademarks, brands and images are the intellectual property of their respective owners. 

Background Photo credit: © 2013 Jennifer Chang, Bigeum-do, South Korea