Dear Students & Parents,
I hope you and your families & loved ones are all safe & healthy in the midst of all that is going on in the world. It has been a sad & scary time for us all, but I have hope that we will come through it more sensitized and more just. I am thankful to all who help that happen.
Despite the incredibly long disruption of in-person lessons, things at Maplewood Music Studio have been going well. Our shortened, successful year of music making has been continuing for many students with virtual lessons. Although no one would say they are perfect, they have been very much appreciated by students & teachers alike. We have heard from many students & parents how pleased they are that we are helping them stay musical. If you haven’t yet jumped on board, we invite you to try some when you are ready.
The Yellow Phase
My reading of the guidelines is that we are still not allowed to open the studio for in-person lessons. From the governor: ”First and foremost, businesses that have been operating remotely through individual telework of their employees must continue to telework to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 until the stay at home and business closure orders are fully lifted.” (https://www.governor.pa.gov/
wp-content/uploads/2020/05/ 20200504-COVID-19-Business- Guidance.pdf). Also: “Schools Remain Closed for In-Person Instruction” & “Indoor … Personal Care Services … Remain Closed” (https://www.governor.pa.gov/ process-to-reopen-pennsylvania )
Video lessons are available throughout July & August and we look forward to those of you currently taking lessons continuing for summer. You will obviously be ahead of the game come fall. For those of you paying for lessons by electronic funds transfer (EFT), they will continue, as planned, for July & August unless we have heard from you.
Fall (the green phase?)
I do anticipate our in-person return. This is likely to happen in September, but, of course, is dependent on the course of the virus. As we do every year, we invite all students to pre-register in June for a spot on the fall schedule, reserving the teacher, day, time and location of your choice (dependent, of course, on teacher availability). More about that below.
Some of you may want to continue with virtual lessons even after we open. We expect to be able to accommodate that request.
Maplewood Music Studio Faculty Concert & the Debbie Syzdek Scholarship Fund
We are very happy and proud to have all our fabulous faculty members! Obviously, and unfortunately, we were not able to have our annual faculty concert/fundraiser this year. However, we are offering an alternative. We are collecting short videos from our faculty. Soon, we will post them on our Facebook page (which is public – so anyone can go to it). It’s not quite the same as a concert, but it will allow you to experience and enjoy the talent of our incredible faculty – at your leisure. We will keep you informed. And, if you do want to see a whole concert, you can buy a DVD from last year or earlier. $15 covers the cost of the DVD and mailing. The proceeds go to our Debbie Syzdek Scholarship Fund. We will be happy to take orders by e-mail or phone (or ask your teacher to let us know).
Since its inception in March 2009, we have raised a total of $63,553 for the Scholarship Fund. This includes all donations, payments for concert DVDs and my matching funds. A total of 62 students – age 4 through 17, have benefited from scholarships so far. Scholarships cover half the fee for lessons or classes at Maplewood Music Studio. We hope to be able to continue scholarships for some current recipients who will need the help, while being able to offer help to new students throughout the upcoming academic year. If you’d like to donate to the scholarship fund, as so many of you have in the past, we would be very appreciative. Checks may be made out to “Debbie Syzdek Scholarship Fund” and mailed to 47 Maplewood Mall, Phila., PA 19144. Though donations are not tax deductible because we do not have charitable status, 100% is used as financial aid for students 18 & under who couldn’t otherwise afford lessons. Scholarship applicants may contact us now for summer or fall lessons.
Even though the concert didn’t work out this year, I still want to thank David Braverman & Le Bus for planning to cater the reception. Be sure to visit Le Bus in East Falls (at Midvale & Ridge) for take out or delivery – it’s great!
Visit our Website!
Visit us at www.MaplewoodMusicStudio.
com to read faculty bios and get an overview of what we offer. And, of course, please mention it to anyone who may be interested in lessons.
“Like” Maplewood Music Studio on Facebook
Help us reach more musicians, parents, and future students by ‘liking’ us on Facebook and check in regularly for the latest updates!
Click Here to go to our Facebook page. (It is public – meaning that you do NOT have to join Facebook to view it.)
Pre-Registration (for lessons beginning September 2020)
In June, we offer current students (including those who have already stopped for summer) an opportunity to pre-register for fall. This will guarantee the studio location (Germantown or Ch. Hill), teacher and schedule you want. Students who are pre-registered for weekly, private lessons by July 1 will get a credit for a free lesson (1 per family). After July 1, anyone may pre-register – so pre-registration is still highly recommended to avoid losing your preferred schedule to someone else!
To pre-register for private lessons for fall, we ask that you update your contact information (or let us know that it is unchanged), pay the registration fee and authorize EFT payments to be scheduled for September lessons. (Students who are not on auto-pay must pay by July 1 for at least 4 lessons that start in September.) If you are interested in pre-registering for a piano or drum class for fall, in addition to registration, an EFT for a $50 deposit must be either authorized for September 1 or paid by July 1.
The registration fee is $30. Since some students and families are relatively new to Maplewood, and have recently paid a registration fee, we are prorating the pre-registration fee for next year according to this schedule:
Prorated Pre-Registration Fees for September 2020 – August 2021
If you paid a registration fee in May or June, 2020, your fee is just $15.
If you paid in April, 2020, your fee is $20.
If you paid in March, 2020, your fee is $25.
If you paid before March 1, 2020, your fee is $30.
Please be advised: students who are not pre-registered by July 1 will be charged the standard registration fee of $30.
Lesson Fees & Calendar
Please see the enclosed PDF files with our staff and fees for next year. Choose the correct insert (Germantown or Ch. Hill) and the fee page that applies to you (Private Lessons, Semi-Private Lessons & Classes, Private Lesson Info. for non-EFT students or Students of Rich Rudin). There is also a registration form. If you need any help, please ask us. There is also a calendar (PDF file) with important information including tentative recital dates for next year.
Please note: There is no charge for EFTs from a checking account, which we encourage. However, the current $3 charge for any payment made by credit card will increase to $4 in September. As most of you know, the fees for lessons in Ch. Hill are a bit higher than those in Germantown. This is to help make it possible for us to be in Ch. Hill.
Student Recitals & Student Videos
Our student recitals are always a big thrill for students, teachers & audiences. Teenagers & adults perform in December & June. Children perform in March. These fun & free events are highly recommended for all our hardworking students. And let us know if you’d like to order a DVD ($12) from any past recital. You’ll be happy you did.
Unfortunately, we will miss our June recital this year. However, as with our faculty concert we are offering an alternative. We invite you to submit your own short performance videos. We will post them on our Facebook page (which is public – so anyone can go to it). It’s not quite the same as a concert, but it will allow you to share your talent with all our Facebook viewers. With your permission, we may also use clips from past student recitals.
Maplewood Music T-shirts are available (for $14) in a variety of colors & sizes. Colors available now: pistachio (light green), orchid (lavender), sky (light blue), vegas gold, tan, tangerine orange (rust), blue dusk (navy), charcoal. Sizes available: small through extra large. If you want a color or size that we don’t have at the moment, we will order it for you.
When we do re-open, the studios in both Germantown and Chestnut Hill are open by appointment only. As you know, Rachel Eakin Mayer and Ian Mayer handle much of the office work. We encourage you to use e-mail when a conversation is not necessary. Voice mail messages & e-mails will be responded to ASAP, certainly by the next business day.
We appreciate your being part of the Maplewood Music Studio and hope that as we continue to grow, we will continue to serve your needs better and better. As always, talk to us. We welcome your questions and your suggestions.
– Rich Rudin