School Policies & Student Agreement

Private Lessons

Student Portal

After filling out the referral form, students receive an email with instructions and a link for logging in to their Student Portal. The Student Portal is where the primary account holder can pay for private lessons; view their lesson schedule; cancel lessons ahead of time; turn on/off email and SMS text reminders; turn on/off autopay; view payment history and current invoices; make payments; view practice notes; and download learning material provided by their teacher. All students must have an account in My Music Staff and access to the Student Portal.


Students schedule lessons with their teacher, not Dusty Strings. Teachers put their students’ lessons on the school calendar and mark attendance after each lesson. Students should communicate schedule changes with their teacher as far in advance as possible. Students can login to their Student Portal to view their lesson schedule and cancel lessons at any time (see Student Portal and 24 Hour Cancelation Policy). Students can also receive SMS text and/or email reminders for upcoming lessons (see Student Portal).

24-Hour Cancellation Policy

Students must give their teacher at least 24 hours’ notice to cancel a lesson or the lesson is billable and will appear on the student’s next invoice. Missed lessons or lessons canceled with less than 24 hours’ notice will be charged the full amount of the lesson. Students can cancel lessons in the Student Portal or by emailing their teacher. Lessons canceled by the student more than 24 hours in advance are not billable and will not appear on the student’s invoice.


Students pay Dusty Strings for lessons, and Dusty Strings processes payment to teachers. Invoices are sent only when there is a balance due. Students who choose monthly billing are invoiced on the third (3rd) of each month for the previous month’s lessons. Students who choose bi-weekly billing are invoiced every two weeks starting from their signup date. Invoices are emailed as PDFs and include a link to a secure payment page for one-time payments.

Payment is due within five (5) days of the invoice date (see Late Payment Policy). For students who choose automatic payments (autopay), the credit card on file will be charged on the invoice date. Dusty Strings strongly encourages automatic payments to ensure commitment and on-time payments. (Dusty Strings’ credit card processor automatically encrypts the credit card information and operates under strict federal privacy protection laws.) Cash or check payments are possible, but students must have a credit card or bank account on file in the Student Portal as a backup in case of any missed lessons. Students may also use a Dusty Strings gift card to pay for lessons (see Gift Cards). Students should contact Dusty Strings for payment questions. Teachers do not have access to students’ credit card or payment information and cannot issue refunds or change a student’s balance due.

Late Payment Policy

Effective April 1, 2024, if the student or primary account holder does not pay their balance within two (2) weeks of the due date, Dusty Strings will notify their teacher and suspend lessons until Dusty Strings receives payment. If the student or primary account holder does not pay their balance for a second time within two weeks of the due date, Dusty Strings will assess a late fee of $25, notify their teacher, and suspend their lessons until Dusty Strings receives payment. If a student anticipates a problem with their payment, they should contact Dusty Strings as soon as possible.


There are no refunds for past private lessons regardless of whether the student was present or canceled with or without notice. If a student wishes to stop taking lessons, they should notify Dusty Strings as soon as possible so Dusty Strings can reconcile their balance, update the lesson calendar, and notify their teacher.

Multiple Family Members

Students who are members of the same family should list all family members in the Student Portal under one primary account holder. For example, if two child siblings are taking separate lessons, they should be under one parent/guardian’s name who receives the invoices and pays. The primary account holder can add additional contacts in the Student Portal who can login and make payments using their own credit card and contact information. This is helpful for families who require multiple people to pay for private lessons.

Gift Cards

Dusty Strings gift cards are available for purchase in the store, by phone, and on Dusty Strings’ website. If a student wishes to purchase a gift card to pay for private lessons, or if they wish to use a previously purchased gift card, a staff member can credit the gift card’s available balance toward the student’s private lesson account.

Group Classes & Workshops


Group classes meet for an hour each week for up to twelve weeks. Workshops meet once for two hours. Students pay Dusty Strings, who processes payment to the teacher. Students register for group classes and workshops exclusively through Dusty Strings from the website, in-store, or by phone. (My Music Staff and the Student Portal are only used for private lessons.)

Registration & Refund Deadline

There are no refunds or credits issued after the registration deadline has passed for a group class or workshop, unless Dusty Strings cancels the group class or workshop, in which case Dusty Strings will notify students as soon as possible and issue either a full or partial refund. Students may not register for a group class or workshop already in progress and Dusty Strings will not pro-rate group class meetings a student will miss or has missed. Dusty Strings may cancel a group class or workshop at any time for any reason, and teachers, dates, times, locations, and other details are subject to change (see Registration & Refund Deadline).

Group Class Make-ups

Students should not register for a group class if they know they are going to miss more than one group class session. If a student misses a group class session or knows they are going to be absent for one of the group class sessions, they should contact the teacher as soon as possible so they can receive the material for that session and ask any questions. Teachers are not required to schedule or offer makeups for missed group class sessions. There are no make-ups for workshops.

Drop-in Group Classes

Occasionally, Dusty Strings will offer a “drop-in” group class that students can register for up until the last minute. There are no refunds for drop-in group classes unless Dusty Strings cancels the group class, in which case Dusty Strings will notify students as soon as possible and issue either a full or partial refund.

Instruments & Accessories

Teachers and students must bring their own instruments and accessories and may not use instruments that are for sale in the store. Students who need an instrument should contact Dusty Strings’ retail staff for information about purchasing and rentals. There are pianos in each teaching space and school harps and hammered dulcimers subject to availability.

Free Jams & Meetups

Free Jams & Meetups are coordinated by Dusty Strings in concert with the leader. Dusty Strings encourages a donation of $5 to the leader for preparation and/or materials costs. Dusty Strings does not provide instruments or loaners. Leaders and participants must bring their own instruments and may not use instruments that are for sale in the store.

Concerts & Events

Please see our store’s Return Policies page.

Fees & Taxes

There are no sign-up fees for Dusty Strings Music School and there is no sales tax for private lessons, group classes, or workshops. Teachers may ask students to purchase specific materials such as instruction books, manuscript paper, or other accessories required for their instrument or studies.

Health & Safety

Do not come to the store or school if you are sick, experiencing cold/flu-like symptoms, or have received a positive test result for coronavirus. Dusty Strings may cancel an in-person event for any reason related to illness.

Masks are not required in the store. Masks are not required in the school but the teacher or facilitator may require students to wear a mask for private lessons, group classes, workshops, jams, and meetups. Customers and students are encouraged to wear masks and maintain social distancing, and masks are available in baskets throughout the school.

Dusty Strings’ high-quality HVAC system prioritizes circulating fresh air while helping to regulate temperature and humidity throughout the store and school. Additional safety measures include air filter units in each studio and classroom, touchless soap dispensers, and daily sanitization of the restrooms.

We encourage folks to wash their hands before handling any instruments. If using hand sanitizer, please wait a few minutes to be sure your hands are dry before handling any instruments as the alcohol can damage the finish of wood instruments.

Thank you for your cooperation and should you have any questions or concerns, please ask any of our friendly staff members. You can also email or call (206) 634-1662 with questions or concerns prior to your visit.

On-Site or Online Only

All private lessons and group classes must take place online or on-site at Dusty Strings Music Store & School, 3406 Fremont Ave N. For safety reasons, Dusty Strings cannot allow teachers to travel to students’ homes or teach in-person lessons off-site. Occasionally, Dusty Strings will offer a group class or special event off-site, in which case the teacher(s), Education Director, Store Manager, and any other parties involved will organize and coordinate the event together, including appropriate licensing and/or insurance.

Conduct & Behavior

Students, teachers, and staff must always conduct themselves in a safe and considerate manner. Dusty Strings will not allow behavior that negatively affects the health and safety of one’s self or others, including smoking, vaping, drinking alcohol, or using illegal drugs, theft, physical or verbal assault, possession of a weapon, willful damage to products or equipment, or any other violations of the law. Dusty Strings asks all students to use soft speaking voices in the school and refrain from interrupting lessons and classes in progress. Family members should wait in the school lobby, not outside the studio or classroom doors, as it affects students’ ability to concentrate.


Dusty Strings will not allow discrimination toward any individual, regardless of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, marital status, physical or mental disability, or age. Please bring any confidential questions, concerns, or complaints to the attention of the Education Director or Store Manager. Dusty Strings will work to resolve any such issues and will handle them in strict confidence.

Background Checks

To ensure a safe environment for all, Dusty Strings conducts a background check on all staff and private lesson teachers before they join the school. In addition, each studio and classroom has large windows and there is always a Dusty Strings staff member nearby.

Photo, Audio, and Video Permission

From time to time, Dusty Strings takes photos and records videos in the school for promotional and archival purposes, including special events, recitals, group classes, and workshops. For photos and/or videos that prominently feature individuals, Dusty Strings will ask permission and may require a waiver. For questions or concerns, please contact us by emailing or calling (206) 634-1662 and ask for the Education Director or Store Manager.

Questions & Concerns

Please email or call the store at (206) 634-1662. We are always happy to help!