Information for parents and students
I believe everyone, child or adult, can learn to play the piano. I believe that lessons should be an enjoyable experience. I attempt to inspire my students with a desire to practice, but support of home is absolutely essential. Students will come to understand technique and theory as they learn to play the piano. Students will learn a variety of musical styles including classical and popular piano. They will play solos and duets. I believe students should have the opportunity to perform several times per year, which is accomplished through group lessons and recitals.
I teach each student four lessons per month. I prefer teaching 45 minutes lessons, but 30 minute lessons are available. On months when there are five weeks in the month, I do not teach the 5th week. Occasionally, I might teach five lessons in one month and then teach only three lessons the next month. This gives us some flexibility in scheduling. If I need to miss a lesson, I have the flexibility to reschedule to the 5th week of the month, if I so choose. Group lessons and recitals also count as lessons.
Payment: I charge a monthly rate no matter how many lessons you take during the month. Lessons cost:
$70 per month for 30 minute lessons
$105 per month for 45 minute lessons
$140 per month for 60 minute lessons
If you miss a lesson, for whatever reason, you will still need to pay for it. PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO WAIVE YOUR LESSON FEE WHEN YOU MISS A LESSON. It is unfair to me, because I cannot reschedule another student in your scheduled time. If you forget to come to a lesson, you will be charged for that lesson and will have to wait for your next scheduled lesson. REMEMBER YOU ARE PAYING FOR THE SCHEDULED TIME, NOT FOR LESSONS GIVEN. I consider piano lessons to be similar to a community education class. You pay a fee for the class. It is then your responsibility to attend the class. If you do not attend, you still pay for the class. I teach piano lessons because I love teaching piano lessons. But I also teach because I need to support my family. If you do not come to a lesson, I cannot use that lesson time for anything else except to sit and wait for my next student. Therefore, I charge for all missed lessons. If I cancel a lesson, and we cannot make it up, you may subtract 25% of the monthly fee from the next month’s amount ($17.50, $26.25 or $35).
I expect payment during the 1st week of the month. If that is not possible, please let me know.
Practice time: I expect my students to practice six days each week. It is wise to set a consistent time when the student will practice every day. For example, right before or after school every day works well. Students should practice each piece of music from three to five times daily. All music should be practiced slowly and carefully most of the time. The rule I use is: Practice two to four times slowly and then one time faster. Some music has certain sections that are more difficult to learn than the rest of the piece. Students should practice these sections many times daily until they are learned. Most students need a parent to encourage and monitor daily practice time. Practice time can be very lonely, especially for younger students. So it is helpful if a parent can sit in the same room while the student practices. Remember the more a student practices, the more enjoyable playing the piano becomes. The more enjoyable it becomes, the more a student will want to practice and the more progress will be made. The opposite is also true. If a student does not practice, very little progress is made. The music is therefore always hard and never becomes enjoyable and fun. The student will then dislike practicing and not make much progress.
Location of your piano: Your piano should be located in an area of your residence where disruptions are not likely to occur. It is very difficult for a student to practice when competing with a TV or a stereo. The piano needs to be in a quiet place away from distractions.
Rescheduling Lessons: If you cannot come to a lesson, please call me before your scheduled lesson time and I will try to schedule a different time for you for that week.
Sickness: Students should not come to lessons when they are ill. It is not fair to the student to send them sick. When they are not feeling well it is difficult for them to focus on the music. They often seem to be in a fog. It is certainly not fair or kind to me to be exposed to the germs. I am getting a little older now and when students come to lessons sick I tend to catch it, then spend the next two weeks suffering. So, please, when the student is ill they should stay home. I will be happy to try to reschedule on a 5th week or some other time that week if the illness passes quickly.
Recitals: I hold 3 piano recitals per year where students have the opportunity to perform in front of other students and their families. These recitals are usually held during March or April, July or August and November or December. The recital counts as a lesson. Recitals are held in recital halls, assisted living centers, etc.
Group Lessons: Prior to each recital, I hold group lessons as a practice session for the recital. This group lesson often takes the place of the regular lesson for that week.
Summer Lessons: I teach during the summer. Students who miss frequently during the summer retrogress.
Determining length of lesson: The length of a student’s lessons depends on their ability, desire, amount of practice time and level on which they play the piano. It also depends on their desire to learn more about writing their own music, chording, theory, etc.
30 minute lessons: This is a minimum lesson length generally for beginning to intermediate students. These students should practice 30 to 45 minutes per day. These students pay $70.00 per month.
45 minute lessons: This is what I recommend for all beginning to moderately advanced students. These students should practice 45 to 90 minutes per day. These students pay $105.00 per month. Students with an interest in composing music should definitely be placed on this level.
60 minute lessons: This level is for very advanced students. These students should practice two hours every day. These students pay $140.00 each month. Students with an interest in composing music might be placed on this level also.
I recommend longer lessons for all students for the following reasons. Advanced students require a full 30-minute lesson just to work on one piece of music. It can take several weeks of 30-minute lessons to get through all the music of an advanced student. Although I do not require students to have longer lessons, I strongly recommend it. I believe that students make more progress and I am better able to teach all that I would like to teach during a longer lesson. As an advanced piano student, I received hour-long lessons for several years and I believe it made a great difference in my progress as a pianist.
Questions or concerns: If you ever have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please give me a call or write me a note or e-mail. I always appreciate your input and am anxious to help in any way I can.