Piano Studio Policies
Students must own an acoustic piano or an 88-key, weighted-key keyboard.
Students should practice daily for the amount of time of their lesson.
Monthly tuition is due on the first lesson of every month for the upcoming month.
Tuition is a flat monthly fee that reserves your lesson time every week.
It will not change if there are fewer or more lessons each month, regardless of reason (i.e. If there are an unusual 5 Mondays one month, and your lesson is on Monday, you will pay the same flat rate. If you will be gone one week in any given month, you will still pay the same flat monthly rate.)
This policy also does not apply to emergency situations.
Note: I always do my best to accommodate shifting schedules, whether last minute or pre-planned, so please always ask if you have a situation that may need special consideration.
If I must cancel a lesson, I will offer a make-up lesson, or if I have a planned cancellation such as a vacation, medical appointment, etc...tuition will be prorated if a make-up lesson is not possible; if the student misses a lesson, that lesson is forfeited.
For both in-person and virtual lessons, the student must have all materials ready to go at the start of the lesson. This includes piano books, assignment book, flashcards, and a pencil or pen (for virtual).
Q: How long should the student practice?
A: Practice every day!
The best guideline is to practice every day for the length of the lesson (i.e. if the student’s lesson is 30 minutes, then the student should practice daily for 30 minutes). Young beginners will likely not yet have the stamina or attention span for this, or may not even have enough material to fill that time on their own! I prefer that daily practice be an inarguable routine; if that means lessening the practice time in order to adhere to a daily schedule, that is better than only practicing once a week.
A special note for parents: a student’s success depends almost entirely on getting set up with a routine of consistent practicing. This requires your encouragement and assistance at times, just like with school work. This is our collective goal together between the student, the parents, and me as the teacher; getting off track shouldn’t feel like failure - it just means we have an opportunity to readjust and create a better routine!
Q: How long will it take before my child learns how to read music?
A: For students learning traditionally, I expect within the first 3 months of lessons.
Every student is different, and I offer some mildly non-traditional methods for students who are a bit younger, or whose reading skills are not solid yet, that will postpone reading music. If studying a more traditional method with me, I expect students to begin reading music, on the lines and spaces, within the first 3 months.
Q: Is it necessary that we own a piano in order to start lessons?
Yes; a non-weighted, smaller keyboard is sufficient for the first month or so of lessons, but after that, the student requires a weighted action. Acoustic pianos have weighted actions, but for keyboards, you will need to invest in a full, 88-key, weighted-key keyboard. There are a variety of options from which to choose, but one of the best keyboards that mimics the acoustic piano is the Roland.
A special note for parents: Think of the quality of the piano as the extremely important and necessary tool for success. As your child is learning to write, if you give them a pencil where the lead is old and splintered and keeps breaking off as they attempt to write their A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s, they will learn to write much more slowly and likely with a lot of frustration at the many obstacles they face than if they had a sharpened, sturdy pencil that they are able to hold properly and press down firmly.
Q: What’s better - a keyboard or an acoustic piano?
A: It depends.
In order to answer this, you need to have an understanding of the acoustic piano. The acoustic piano as we know it today is designed and built to last roughly 50-60 years with residential use and without needing significant repairs. As stunning as those antique high-back uprights from the early 1900s are, unless someone decided to completely restore it recently, they are not usually sufficient as instruments. To become even fair at the piano, students must build the muscles in their hands, and to do this, they need a responsive, smooth-playing instrument. Very old, not-maintained acoustic pianos are usually neither of those things. In this case, a good-quality digital piano/keyboard is a much better option. Overall, however, a responsive, maintained acoustic piano is the better choice; there is a natural reverberation that occurs with an organic instrument made of wood, metal, and felt. Whereas high-quality digital pianos do a good job mimicking this, they can never fully capture the nuances of an acoustic piano, and it is those nuances and that feedback that both develop a student’s muscles as well as give the student enjoyment! Piano is a discipline, but it should also be enjoyable!
Some things to keep in mind: there is no maintenance of a digital piano since it is a computer. An acoustic piano will need one tuning per year; I offer a $25 discount to my students. Repairs also come up with acoustic pianos; however if the piano is new, or has been maintained with regular tunings, these repairs will be much less frequent.
If you need help finding a good keyboard or piano, I am more than happy to assist.
I do my best to accommodate changing schedules, including last-minute changes, and will make up lessons the student misses as is possible; however, as a policy, only lessons I cancel will immediately qualify for a make-up lesson.