Expectations of Students

  • Study all assigned work before each lesson.  GFMS utilizes a grading system and events to ensure progress for students.  Good practice habits will result in a respectable practice grade and a superior result at events.
  • Bring assignment notebook and all other books and materials to every lesson.  If any materials are forgotten, each missing item will result in a 1 point deduction on the lesson grade.
  • Focus during lessons.  The lesson grade depends on it.  Please let me know if there are any physical or psychological issues before starting lessons.
  • Communicate likes and dislikes.  Communication is important in many aspects of life including piano lessons. 

Expectations of Guardians

  • There must be a piano (acoustic is preferred) at the home.  It is essential that it is in tune and in working order.  Contact John Schaldach (schaldach.piano.service@gmail.com) for tuning and repairs.
  • Pencils, books, assignment notebook, and metronome (if necessary) need to be near the piano.
  • Provide a nice work environment to help student succeed.
  • Noise level should be held to a minimum during practice.  This helps the student focus better during practice and also emulates the environment of a performance.

Requirements for Students

  • Attend the GFMS Annual Recital in May.
  • Participate in at least one online performance class before each event.

Payment Information

  • New students owe tuition for the current month and all fees at the first lesson.
  • Continuing students owe tuition for next month’s lessons at the last lesson of each month.
  • Credit cards are accepted through PayPal.
  • Checks and cash are accepted at the lesson.  Checks may be mailed to the studio.
  • Payment after the 7th of the month is considered late and are charged a $30 late fee.
  • All payments are nonrefundable.

Lesson Scheduling

  • The School Session is from September 1st to May 31st.  There is a minimum of four lessons per month.
    • There are three units during the school year.  Fall unit: September, October, and November.  Winter unit: December, January, and February.  Spring unit: March, April, and May.  
    • Each unit will be scheduled approximately one month in advance through the online scheduler.
    • Preferred time slots will be filled first.  If a preferred lesson time occurs on a date or time that the studio is closed, a different lesson date and/or time will be sent.
    • Reschedule lessons using the online scheduler at least an hour in advance.  Missed lessons are forfeited and no refunds or credits given.  
    • School Session lessons expire on May 31st.  No school session lessons will be given after this date.
  • A lesson in April will be dedicated to discussing the contract for the following school year.  This lesson will appear as a “Contract Meeting” in the online scheduler.  A guardian who can make decisions is required to attend.  Please reschedule the meeting if a guardian is not available. 
  • In the event of a teacher cancellation, rescheduling will be done at least an hour before the lesson time via the online scheduler.  Email notification will be sent via the online scheduler.

 Online Scheduler

  • Access the online scheduler:
    • The email sent with suggested lesson times will have a link stating “view appointment details”.  Click it and a new page will pop up with a button on the right labeled “Register for an Account”.
    • After registering, rescheduling can be accessed through the studio website under “Scheduling”.  On the right, there is a link labeled “Log in”.  After logging in, lesson times and dates will populate the screen.
    • Another option is to go to gfms.acuityscheduling.com.  On the right will be a link labeled “Log in”.  After logging in, lesson times and dates will populate the screen.
  • Reschedule lessons by clicking on the lesson needing rescheduling.  A calendar will appear with bold dates containing available times.  Click on the preferred date and the available times will appear.  Click on the preferred time and then click on reschedule.
  • Email reminders will be sent the day before the lesson or performance class.


  • Book Fee – includes the cost of curriculum materials.
    • The Book Fee is determined by the teacher based on the current materials the student possesses and the potential need for new materials for the following school year.
    • The Beginner Fee covers an assignment notebook, method books, and other materials.
    • The Intermediate Fee covers an assignment notebook, classical compositions, jazz or contemporary compositions, a technique book, scale book, theory book, and other materials.
    • The Advanced Fee covers an assignment notebook, multiple compilations of specific composers, a technique book, scale book, theory book, and other materials.
    • The Booster Book Fee prices are for those who will be continuing in books from the previous year, but may need a few other materials.  
  • Event Fee - includes the cost of events, performance classes, GFMS Annual Recital, and specific materials necessary for chosen events for the school session. 
    • Online performance classes are required and will be assigned using the scheduler.
    • New students must decide the number of events before the first school session lesson.
    • Events may be added at a later date at the teacher's discretion.
    • Jazz Festival participants are required to take a minimum of eight lessons over the summer.
    • Please see Event Information document for more information.  
  • Decisions are required by June 1st and payment for both fees is expected on or before that date to reserve a slot for the next school session. 
  • All fees are nonrefundable.

21099 Chandler Ct., Sterling, VA 20164

703-409-9525 | sarahjstrom@gmail.com

School Session Hours:  Tuesday 530 pm - 830 pm  Summer Session Hours:  Tuesday 6 pm - 830 pm

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