Lessons will be 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 1 hour in length, based on a student's age, experience, and/or preference.
Lessons will be taught on a weekly basis for 34 weeks, from September to June. There will be no lessons the weeks of Fall Break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, or Spring Break: see studio calendar for details. July lessons are encouraged, but not required. I reserve the right to adjust the teaching schedule, and will communicate with students and parents accordingly. There is one flex week scheduled into the year, so that if I need to cancel lessons for any reason, the student will still receive all 34 lessons. If I do not use my flex week by the end of the studio year, I will take it during the last week of June lessons, effectively ending lessons one week early. My goal is always to do my best to provide a stable learning environment for each student.
Students must have an acoustic piano to practice on at home, and all keys and pedals should be in good working order. Acoustic pianos should be tuned twice each year. In limited cases, a student may temporarily practice on a keyboard. Any keyboard must have 88 keys, be fully weighted and touch sensitive, and have a functioning damper pedal. I am always happy to assist any student or family in their search for a reasonably-priced acoustic piano in good condition.
Practice and Parental Involvement
Daily practice is necessary for progress, and will be expected. Students should aim to practice five to six days per week, and especially to practice the day after each weekly lesson, so they are able to retain new material well. Assignment sheets will be provided at each lesson and should be filled out on a weekly basis. A good balance of positive parental involvement and student self-motivation and independence in practicing is encouraged.
Tuition payment reminders will be sent via email at the end of each month, to be paid in full by the first lesson of each month. Choose one of these ways to pay lesson tuition: pay cash or check in-person, mail a check, use your bank’s bill pay service, or request an email invoice to pay online via PayPal. Tuition paid via PayPal will cost an additional $5 per month, per student. There will be no refunds, deductions, credits, or make-ups. A late fee of $5 per week will be charged for any payment made after the first lesson of the month.
The student will be required to purchase books, ordered and provided by the teacher at the original cost of purchase. This cost will be added to the student’s next monthly bill.
Attendance, COVID-19 Pandemic, & Online Lessons
The student is expected to attend all scheduled lessons. In the case of sickness or other emergency, please notify me by phone or email at least 24 hours in advance of the lesson. There will be no refunds or make-ups for missed lessons. If I miss more than one scheduled lesson due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, I will make every effort to make it up to the student. Family emergencies will be handled on a case-by-case basis. On school snow days, regular lessons will proceed as scheduled, either in-person or online via Zoom.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s lessons will be taught in-person with precautions, or online via Zoom if/when necessary. All precautions may be subject to change.
Precautions for in-person lessons may include: Self-screening for symptoms of illness prior to lesson attendance, hand washing or sanitizing, wearing of face masks, and adherence to updated CDC guidance on quarantine and isolation in cases of COVID-19 positive test or exposure. Physical distancing between teacher and student/family members with the use of two pianos may also be used as a precaution if needed.
To protect the health of everyone in the studio, any student who is experiencing minor symptoms of illness should either: request a Zoom lesson for that week, or take a covid test the day of the lesson and attend in-person provided the test result is negative. Please wear a well-fitted surgical or KN-95 mask if attending a lesson in-person under these circumstances.
Online lessons via Zoom will be scheduled for each student at least once per year, to ensure that the necessary technology is in place should online lessons be needed for any reason. Online lessons may continue on a regular basis for any students who prefer that option.
Studio Swap List
Each student may opt-in to join the Studio Swap List, so that in the case of missed lessons due to a one-time conflict, family vacation, or other absence, they may have opportunity to exchange lesson times with another student. When requesting a swap, please follow these guidelines:
Ask me about a swap before making it.
Email me after arranging the swap, and cc the person/family you will swap lessons with.
If two people arrive at once, I will teach the student whose lesson is normally at that time.
I will not give make-up lessons if any confusion from a swap arises.
Recitals and Performance Opportunities
Students can look forward to a variety of group interactions and performance opportunities throughout the year. Some of these may be limited to older or more advanced students, while others are for every student. A few may have minimal participation costs, and will be added to a student’s monthly bill upon their decision to participate. Every student will be encouraged to participate in group classes, and to perform in at least two events or recitals per studio year.
This studio policy also applies to adult students of all ages and abilities. For adults, assignment sheets will be provided at each lesson if deemed helpful, and may be used as desired to keep track of lesson assignments and practice time. Especially for adults balancing work and other life or family commitments, it is important to remember that consistency of practice, even for shorter durations each day, will yield better progress than longer periods of practice on fewer days of the week. Adult students will also be encouraged to perform, taking into consideration their interest and comfort level. This is flexible, and may vary based on the goals and preferences of the individual student.
Please inform me of any learning disabilities or emotional, physical, or other needs of any student or family currently enrolled in piano lessons. This information will enable me to best serve the needs of each student, and create a safe and positive learning environment for all.
Termination of Lessons
In the case of a student wanting to terminate lessons, the courtesy of one month advance notice is kindly requested. Any communication concerning reasons for termination, or any feedback that may serve to alter or improve the student’s lesson experience, is both welcome and encouraged.