Regular attendance is required for successful teaching and learning, as well as efficient scheduling. If students need to miss occasional lessons, please let me know at least 24 hours in advance. Every effort will be made to provide ample notification of teacher absences. The studio calendar is available via the online student/parent portal.
The primary driver of progress and success is regular practice. At a minimum elementary level students will want to settle into 30 minutes of regular daily practice. Intermediate level students will need 45 to 60 minutes each day in order to maintain an average level of progress. Depending on their goals, students should expect to regularly exceed these minimums.
Everyone struggles occasionally to keep a regular practice schedule, and when practice is lacking, lesson time will not be wasted. Lessons are not a practice session, though. Effective lesson planning assumes good faith efforts to achieve substantial progress each week. Long-term inability or refusal to practice may inspire a conversation about whether lessons should continue.
The current lesson fee is $60 per hour ($30 per half hour lesson, $45 for 45 minutes, etc…). Recital fees are equal to an hour lesson for each family. I can accept payments via cash, check, or card...in person or online. The easiest way for you to keep your account current is to login to the student/parent portal. There you can view current charges, as calculated by schedule and attendance, and pay via card or PayPal. I use a Pay-As-You-Go policy and do not expect payment in advance. I reserve the right to discontinue lessons for any accounts more than 30 days unpaid. In those circumstances, any accrued charges will be due.
I do not keep an inventory of lesson books. I provide recommendations and product links, but parents or students must acquire their own materials.
Parents are encouraged to stay on the premises for lessons, but it is not required. All lessons are subject to recording by security camera. Parents can view the footage in real time via a private weblink and may request DVDs of past footage.
Discontinuation of Lessons
Lessons may be discontinued by parents or adult students at any time. A few weeks advance notice is helpful so that I can alert anyone on the wait list to open teaching slots. If I feel that there are problems that may only be resolved by dismissal, I will open a discussion before removing a student from the schedule.
Help children develop and maintain a solid piano practice routine. It is generally not natural for anyone to sit and focus for 15, 30, or 60 minutes on musical studies. Stay aware, present, and involved...and ask children to play for the family frequently. Parents are responsible for attending to communications that I send and addressing any issues raised regarding their students.
I always strive to understand the student's learning goals, strengths, and capabilities, and will provide feedback regarding progress and potential issues. I am committed to professional development and regular practice to improve and maintain my own fitness as a musician and educator. I am available via email for questions, concerns, or suggestions. Texting during the day is acceptable as well, though responses may be delayed if I am teaching or otherwise occupied.
Students must have an instrument in order to begin lessons. Lessons can begin with a small keyboard, but be aware that a full-size, 88-key instrument, with soft/loud touch response and a damper or sustain pedal will soon be required. There are many digital instruments available at prices far below that of acoustic instruments, though they may never have the inspiring power of a quality acoustic upright or grand piano. I am prepared to help with questions about both digital and acoustic pianos brands.
Whatever instrument you have, give it a place of pride and prominence in your home, equal to the importance of the investment being made in music lessons. Students are poorly served by pianos tucked away out of sight and hearing. If you are fortunate to have an acoustic piano, it should be tuned at least twice a year, or as needed to make practicing enjoyable for everyone. I can provide contact information for qualified piano technicians.