Trial Lesson, Enrollment, Policies


No Commitment – TRIAL LESSONS are 60 Minutes in Length and PAYABLE in CASH ONLY, at the time of the lesson, at the rate of $70 your home.

During ALL TRIAL LESSONS Topics will vary depending on student’s previous guitar knowledge and skill level.


It is ALWAYS BEST for the parent or guardian to be present at the trial lesson so I may discuss contract details including: weekly scheduling, enrollment dates, payment, cancellation and contact procedures, student practice time and goals, appropriate books and lesson materials and answer any questions at that time.


• Holding the guitar while sitting (overall body positioning, posture)
• Chair Height and Footstool usage
• How Guitars Produce Sound (science, acoustic principals, vibrations, hertz, cycles per second)
• Guitar Parts, Basic Construction (acoustic or electric, steel or nylon string)
• Basic Guitar Care and Maintenance
• Playability: Guitar Action, Set-Up, Truss Rod Adjustment and Intonation
• Guitar books used; the basic why and how
• Lesson Materials (books, music stand, metronome, pick, pencil, footstool)
• Benefits of using a thick 2.0 millimeter guitar pick
• Properly Holding a Guitar Flat Pick
• Proper Picking Angle Attack (step by step picking mechanics)
• Six Open Guitar Strings Memorization Drills (string names and numbers)
• String Skipping Flat Picking Technique Drill
• Natural Flat Pick Muting Technique
• Play, Rest Flat Pick Muting Technique


Trial lessons provide students with a no-commitment opportunity for us to meet and get to know one another within the context of me finding out what music a student enjoys, discussing their musical; goals, ambitions and passions, finding out about any previous music training, sport, or specific body/mind training in academia or otherwise. Trial lessons allow me to check the condition and playability of the student’s guitar and other guitar related equipment like; amplifiers, cables etc., making sure they’re in good working order or to advise regarding appropriate purchase or repair options when applicable.

The main technical guitar playing goals of the trial lesson is to provide students with fundamental knowledge and understanding about how their guitar works, is best maintained, and provide core-picking techniques and basic logistical performance awareness’s of how to play all those notes, rhythms, and retain song forms with a logical method while employing the most expandable and functional core guitar playing techniques.

During each trial lesson, time and time again, students comment on how empowered they feel when performing my highly-effective “Six Open Strings Names and Numbers Drills” that merges ear training with verbalization and visualization techniques while developing proper pick angle attack, that immediately develops an advanced nuero-muscular awareness in string spacing and picking accuracy, providing students with a synergy of core performance based in the moment guitar playing mechanics and study habits simultaneously, foundations for ALL guitar playing styles and applied rhythmic awareness.

During the trial lesson my proprietary drills and other performance based playing allows me to get a feel for the student’s learning style, and review their level of attention, physical dexterity and overall ability to comprehend, perform and communicate initial basic topics.

For non-beginners, I will review students previous study materials and books, answer questions about previous material, and provide students with an understanding of my performance based foundational guitar method going forward.

During the trial lesson and in future lessons, for all level students; I will write in the student’s blank staff paper notebook, provide my handout materials, utilize recorded music, via CD or itunes or you tube, and transcribe it, use my own or student supplied sheet music and offer to record the lessons and send MP3 files via email at an additional ($5 per lesson charge.)


Guitar (playable and tunable acoustic or electric guitar, six string electric guitars and four or five string electric bass guitars must also have a working amplifier and 1/4″ guitar cable)
(heavy guitar pick 1.0 to 2.0 millimeters for 6-string guitars, optional for bass guitars)
Music Stand (standard adjustable)
Blank Music Staff Paper Notebook (10 or 12 stave, spiral bound- very important)
Pencil (sharpened with a working eraser)

FOR PURCHASE AND LESSON MATERIAL DETAILS SEE LINKS MENU: Selecting, Lesson Materials, Books and The Magic Flute – Music Store in San Rafael

Students may begin private music instruction at any time during the year and have three enrollment options:

1 Month Trial Semester
2 Month Half Semester
4 Month Regular Semester


• 4 Month Regular Semester – receive 2 make up lessons
• 2 Month Half Semester – receive 1 make up lesson
• 1 Month Trial semester – NO make up lessons during a 4-5 week trial semester


24-hour notice is required in order to avoid forfeiture of the lesson fee.

Cancellation calls (914.420.2977) received before 10pm prior to the scheduled lesson day will be honored as 24-hour notice even when a lesson is scheduled the following day between 12 noon – 10pm.

* Proper cancellations will not result in refunds, but make up lessons will be offered within that semester only.

(If you think you or your child may be ill, or an extreme circumstance arises, please call in advance, to avoid lesson tuition forfeiture on a same day cancellation.)


Cancellations for rescheduled lessons will result in tuition forfeiture and no make-up lessons will be offered. 


When a lesson is canceled on a date when payment is due, cash, check or PayPal payment must be received within five business days of that missed lesson or a $50 fee will be applied to that lesson payment period. If Payment is not received on the next scheduled lesson, John Chapman reserves the right to terminate the lesson contract, and the client is responsible to pay a three lesson surcharge.

Student withdrawals after the 8th lesson when enrolled in a 4- month semester of music instruction, will not receive a refund. Student may only withdraw prior to the eighth lesson of a 4 month semester. If a student withdraws from lessons prior to the 8th lesson in a 4 month semester the student would receive a refund for all pre-payed lessons minus a three-lesson surcharge.


Payment for music instruction is remitted on the first lesson of each month for the entire month in advance and is payable in cash, check, or PayPal (including a $2 per lesson fee) only. Payments by mail send to:

John Chapman
799 Bolinas Road
Fairfax, CA 94930

$40 returned check fee


Rescheduled lessons can be made up by adding extra time onto two or more lessons, by doubling up an existing lesson, or by rescheduling the missed lesson to another day.


Please NOTE: Email is NOT Accepted to Cancel a Scheduled Lesson or Lessons!

Lesson Cancellations are ONLY ACCEPTED BY PHONE 914.420.2977 between 9:00am and 9:00pm, 7- days a week 365 days a year.

Students and clients feel free to email me with: re-scheduling, although phone (914.420.2977) is  preferred and often more functional, or email any music and guitar related questions regarding: student progress, music books, necessary lesson materials, instrument purchases, gigs, school music workshops and recitals etc..

When leaving your PHONE MESSAGE please speak clearly and slowly enough for me to understand and receive your message, with your name, phone #, date and time you called and the best time to reach you, with some convenient dates and times that would be good for rescheduling and/or any other pertinent information.

This awareness of timely, organized, and respectful communication allows me to work out rescheduling details with each student and adequately accommodates all students’ scheduling requests in a timely fashion with equal measure. Thank you! 🙂