Practice

Expectations

  • Students are expected to make practicing a part of their daily routine (just like homework). They should practice consistently 5 to 6 days per week.
  • As students progress, the recommended amount of daily practice time will increase.
  • Quality of practice far outweighs quantity.
  • Students should avoid distraction during a practice session (TV, pets, phone, etc.)
  • Students should be focused and work to improve things covered in the lesson rather than merely playing through entire pieces.
  • Often multiple shorter sessions will be more productive than a single long session.
  • Consistent practice is essential for progress.

Parental Involvement

  • The support of parents is critical to a student’s success.
  • Parents are welcome (and even encouraged) to quietly sit in on lessons as long as it is not distracting to the student.
    • There is a required observation week each term.
  • Students may need reminders and encouragement to practice consistently.
  • Parents can help children practice even if they don’t know anything about music.
    • Ask them about their lessons.
    • Go through the assignments with them and make sure they have done everything.
    • Encourage their progress.
    • Remind them to try again, maybe a little slower. (Sometimes children do not like repeating things.)
    • Guide your student, but do not give away answers. (The goal is to develop independent practicing.)
    • Allow your child to have fun doing his or her own thing at the piano, but maintain a clear distinction between this and true practicing.
    • Have high expectations for your child and communicate them clearly.
    • Avoid comparing your child to siblings or other friends. Each child learns differently and at a different pace.
    • Don’t expect your child to maintain a consistently high level of interest and enthusiasm. It’s normal for this to fluctuate, but perseverance will pay off. Learning a musical instrument is fun but requires hard work and diligence, so do not be alarmed if it does not always feel like fun and games.
    • Encourage your child to play for friends and family, and praise their good work.
  • Open communication with parents is vital. We want to be working together as a team to help your student learn. I can use parental feedback in order to learn how to better motivate and encourage your child.
    • Please express concerns with an approach or assignment in private (not in front of the student).

Lesson Etiquette

Preparation

  • Students are expected to bring all their materials to each lesson (a notebook or binder filled with lined paper, all music books, possibly flashcards, etc.).
  • Students are expected to have completed their entire assignment before their lesson.

Waiting

  • Students who arrive early are expected to wait quietly for their turn.
  • Siblings are allowed to sit in on lessons provided they bring an activity and are able to wait quietly without distracting the student.

Hygiene

  • Students are expected to come to their lessons with clean hands. If they have a cold, they may be asked to wash their hands before touching the piano. The piano keyboard is a great way to spread germs!
  • Students are expected to keep their nails reasonably short. If nails are too long, they can make it difficult to play appropriately with tips of fingers.

Behavior

  • Students should act respectfully and listen well to directions.
  • Students may not play the piano while I am talking to them.
  • Students should ask questions if they are confused or don’t understand something.

Performance

Recitals

  • I typically provide at least two performance opportunities each year: a Christmas recital in December and a summer recital near the end of the school year.
  • I strongly encourage all my students to participate in the recitals.
    • Performances provide excellent motivation for a student’s study and are an important part of developing as a musician. (It’s normal to get nervous!)
    • The recitals also provide a great opportunity for parents, family, and friends to see the students’ progress.
    • Sometimes I will hold a recital at a retirement community, where the residents really enjoy performances. So it’s a great way to bless others with their playing.
  • Students are expected to perform solo music from memory.
  • I reserve the right to determine whether a student is prepared to perform. A poor performance experience can be more detrimental to a child’s love of music study than we sometimes realize.
  • Students are expected to dress nicely for recitals and wear shoes appropriate for pedaling. (No jeans and flip flops!)

Festivals and Competitions

  • Older students are encouraged to participate in local piano festivals and competitions.
  • Fees are generally covered in tuition (see tuition information).

Instrument/Materials

Instrument

  • An acoustic piano at home is ideal, but a digital piano is fine as well if it has 88 weighted keys and a sustain pedal.
  • A keyboard without weighted keys is strongly discouraged!
  • An acoustic piano should be tuned at least twice per year.

Materials

  • The cost of materials is generally covered in tuition (see tuition information).
  • Having a metronome at home for practice purposes is strongly recommended.

Borrowed Books

  • Sometimes, I like to give students the option of borrowing books.
  • Borrowed books must be returned!
  • Students may not write in borrowed books without permission.
  • Borrowed books should be brought to every lesson.
  • Borrowed books should be returned in the condition they were received.
    • If students fail to do so, they will be expected to purchase a new copy.

Scheduling

A studio calendar is provided at the beginning of each academic year.

  • Group/performance class dates
  • Recital dates
  • Required parent observation weeks
  • Make-up week
  • Breaks
  • Payment deadlines

Lesson time sign-ups for fall and spring terms take place a week before lessons begin.

Cancellation Policy

  • Consistency of lessons is important especially when preparing for a performance.
  • Cancellations should be infrequent and communicated as far in advance as possible.
  • Refunds will not be provided for missed lessons or classes.

Make-up Policy

  • I am happy to work with you to reschedule any missed lessons when possible, but I do not guarantee it.
  • Please try to swap lesson times with someone else in the studio before contacting me about rescheduling (a swap list is provided once the schedule is confirmed at the beginning of the academic year). Be sure to communicate with me about a swap 1 week in advance (for the sake of lesson planning).
  • I also provide a make-up lesson week.

Tuition

A tuition breakdown is provided at the beginning of each academic year.

  • Tuition is calculated based on per-lesson/class rates, studio administration costs, and an additional $75 fee to cover the cost of materials, festivals, and competitions (see tuition information).
  • Discounts available (see tuition information).
  • Summer camp is not included in tuition.
    • $250 for five-day morning (9am–12pm) summer camp

Location & Parking

I teach lessons in my home.

  • Contact me for an address
  • Please come in the front door. The piano is just down the stairs to the right.
  • Feel free to park in the driveway without blocking the garage.
  • You can also park on the street just in front of the house.