Jazz & Creative Institute

Studio Policies

Studio Policies

Jazz and Creative Institute + Tiny Voice Box



As a music school community directed by a husband/wife team and our trusted professional musical colleagues within the Southwest Michigan region. We are committed to excellence and the positive transformation of our community. We will always treat our students and families with the utmost care and respect and give you our best when it comes to instruction. We will own up to our mistakes (they DO happen sometimes!) and make them right. In order to build a great community, we need you to communicate your feedback, questions, and/or concerns and we promise to respond with a problem-solving attitude. Our organizational values include artistry/creativity, authenticity, transparency, professionalism, excellence, diversity and generosity. 


The opportunity to study music and to play or perform that music with others can change lives. As in most things, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. We all know countless people who wish they hadn’t quit piano lessons long ago! Here’s how to get the most out of studying with us:

  • Commit to practicing a little bit each day, or at least 5 days/week.

  • Be prepared for and on time (or a little early) to all scheduled lessons, classes, rehearsals, and performances.

  • Challenge yourself to show up and meet new people and play with those new people. We all struggle with insecurities and self-doubt from time to time.

  • Represent yourself with the utmost character at all times.

  • Communicate as soon as possible if you have any problems, concerns, or scheduling conflicts.

Please note: To provide a positive and safe environment to all, we reserve the right to suspend lessons without refund at any time of students (or their parents) who act in an unsafe or disrespectful manner to anyone in our facility. 


We utilize an online portal, My Music Staff, for all communications, invoices, payments, scheduling, and more. Upon registration, students and/or parents will receive login information. You can bookmark the login page at https://jazzandcreative.com/student-login. If at any point you need help or have questions about My Music Staff, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We will always return your call or email in a timely and professional manner. While we’ll strive to use Facebook and Instagram to keep people in the loop, know that email will be the final word in terms of our school communications. Please reach out anytime via email (benje@jazzandcreative.com) or during normal business hours via text to Benje at 269-350-4311.


Tuition is paid monthly by the first day for all programs that month. There is no ongoing contract, but prepaid tuition cannot be refunded. Rates are as follows:

Private Lesson Programs

     Three Options: All include a monthly jam session (10/year) and 3 student concerts

          - Weekly 30-minute lessons = $125/month

          - Weekly 45-minute lessons = $178/month

          - Weekly 60-minute lessons = $225/month

          *Individually scheduled private lessons available at the following prices, but days and times are not guaranteed:

  • $35/25-min lesson

  • $50/45-min lesson

  • $65/60-min lesson

The number of private lessons per month varies based on 45 total lessons/year and will be between three and five depending on the number of holidays/breaks in a given month (see our 7 weeks of closings below). Tuition is billed monthly on the 25th of the month before the one being billed. By the 1st of the month, invoices must be paid in full via My Music Staff to secure student’s spot in their studio for that month. If a student joins mid-month, that student will be invoiced for the prorated amount for the number of lessons in that month. The invoice must be paid in full prior to the first lesson given.

Band & Ensemble Programs

Fall Small Ensemble Session: 11 sessions, Aug - Oct (off 8/27 - 9/2)

Large Ensemble Session: 7 months, Nov - May (see program info for all dates)

Winter Small Ensemble Session: 9 sessions, Nov - Jan (off 11/25 - 12/1, 12/23 - 1/5)

Spring Small Ensemble Season: 14 session, Feb - May (off 3/30 - 4/5)

Immersion Program Tuition


All statements are always available via our “My Music Staff” student portal web-based service. All families have the ability to create usernames and passwords to view invoices, enroll in special events, and make payments. To do this, please visit our website and click Login/Register in the menu from www.jazzandcreative.com. Receipts are emailed following payment.

Our preferred method of payment is by Credit Card via the Student Portal. We do not autobill, so please be aware that while you may securely store a card on file you must login and pay by the 1st of the month. Other payment options must be arranged by the 1st of the month in order to avoid a late fee or losing your spot.

Payments received after the 1st of the new month will be considered late and are subject to a $30.00 late fee. We will send you a reminder if your payment did not go through or if your card expires. After the 3rd of the month, issues with late payment will affect your enrollment. Unfortunately, we cannot accept credit cards in person.


We offer an auto-pay option for your convenience. Cards will get automatically charged when invoices get emailed out on the 25th of the month. You will still receive the invoice for your review every month. Follow the instructions below to switch to auto pay. 

How to add (save) a credit card to your account and/or enable Auto Pay:

1. Click "*Settings*" in the top right corner and select “*My Preferences*” from the drop down menu. 

2. Below your personal information, you will find “*Stored Payment Options.*” Click “*Add Card.*”

3. While entering your billing details, you have the option to enable "*Auto Pay*" if you want your card automatically charged on the 25th of the month when invoices are sent. 

4. Enter all relevant details before clicking “*Save.*”


Our staff will find a mutually agreeable time between both teacher and students for the whole month. Changes of days and/or times, or rescheduling, can not happen week to week (please see Cancellations). If a student or teacher needs to change a regular lesson time, we will do that on a long-term basis (month or more). Please consider a month out before committing to a day and time. We will start and end lessons, rehearsals and events on time. When scheduling, please note that you or your student may not have access to the building before or after any given lesson due to the nature of our current schedule. We cannot assume responsibility for children’s safety outside of their time with the teacher in lessons or during a staff-managed event.


Cancellations by Management or Faculty Instructors: We pride ourselves on having some of the best professional musicians in our region on faculty and we encourage them to perform regularly. Those experiences benefit our students directly! For this reason, our primary faculty might have to miss some lessons. We will not cancel lessons based upon their absence, but instead select a substitute teacher who is also a highly-skilled professional performer/educator. This is a benefit of the program; students become introduced to the wider professional musician community - a career based on relationships and networking - and learn various approaches from different teaching styles.

Cancellations by Student/Parents: If a student must miss a lesson for any reason, they must contact JCI as soon as possible (benje@jazzandcreative.com; 616-706-3946). We do not reschedule individual missed lessons, but the student may attend the makeup group class on the last weekend of the month. Register on My Music Staff to ensure a spot. If a student is unable to attend that class, there will be no other makeup opportunity offered and no refund for the missed lesson will be given.

The Jazz and Creative Institute runs year-round except for the following breaks:
Back-to-School/Labor Day Break: Aug 27 - Sep 2, Thanksgiving Break: Nov 25 - Dec 1, Winter Holiday Break (2 wks): Dec 23 - Jan 5, Spring Break: Mar 30 - Apr 5, Memorial Day Break: May 22 - 28, July 4th Break 2020: July 1-7

Inclement Weather: Cancellation of classes/lessons due to unsafe weather will be up to the discretion of the Co-Directors/Faculty. We will consider local school district decisions on school closure and cancellation of after school activities, but may choose differently. We cannot provide refunds based on canceled lessons, but you may attend the monthly group makeup lesson. Cancellation notifications will be made via email.


Once you reserve a teacher for a day and time slot in a given month, our teachers arrange their schedules to meet with you and plan on receiving that income from teaching. To be fair, we pay our teachers in full for every lesson that's cancelled with less than 24 hours notice. We can't reschedule missed lessons because of time and space constraints We also can't reschedule missed lessons because we've likely already paid your teacher. We also pay them half their rate for lessons cancelled within 3 days notice.  

Group Make-Up Option: If you miss one of your lessons during the month, you are invited (but not required of course) to attend our group make-up workshop lesson during the last weekend of the month. It's always specific to your instrument, one full hour long, and will run even if you're the only one there. There are so many benefits to the small group setting including meeting other teachers/students, playing in front of others and hearing others play, receiving group feedback, learning to give constructive criticism, and much more. If you miss your lesson, register for the event on the online calendar and come to the group make-up workshop!


We’re sorry to see you go! Give a word to the Co-Directors and/or your instructor. We welcome and deeply appreciate your feedback about your experiences with us. Prepaid tuition is non-refundable.


There is very little physical risk involved with playing music and we work hard to plan all of our events so that everyone is as safe as possible. In the event that something unexpected happens, we will be there to provide support to the best of our ability. Please keep in mind that our space is shared both with the Kalamazoo Piano Company and with the general public since it is a retail environment. FOR THEIR SAFETY, DO NOT LEAVE CHILDREN UNATTENDED. The Jazz and Creative Institute has liability insurance covering our faculty and equipment. However, if you or a member of your family accidentally damages our property or equipment, out of respect for what we are trying to do, please offer to make it right. We are friends here!

In order to create a safe learning environment for all people, we are committed to the following measures:

During a private lesson, the instructor is required to teach in a room with a window or a door ajar. Parents are always welcome to stay in a waiting area within earshot of a private lesson. A parent is welcome to check the window or open door at any time without disturbing the lesson. In situations where a group (two or more students) is working on music there will always be at least one adult in charge. Jazz and Creative Institute also agrees to and upholds the We Have Voice Code of Conduct: http://www.wehavevoice.org/.

The Jazz and Creative Institute does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community.


Agreeing to this policy indicates your acceptance of our posting photos and videos of you or your child online (without names, unless you tag it yourself). If you do not want any photos online, please email ashley@jazzandcreative.com the names of the students with “NO SOCIAL MEDIA” in the subject line. Thank you!

Download a PDF of these policies