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 Parents' Page  

 

What Music Does for Students

 

It is my belief that humans are capable of music learning, regardless of their diverse abilities and learning styles.  In my piano studio, a sequential blend of piano technique, theory, repertoire-building, improvisation, and performance is offered to all private piano students in a safe and respectful learning environment.  Students are specifically taught the art and mechanics of practice technique to ensure their continued progress.  As a coach also, I encourage my students to make goals for themselves, to anticipate their successes, and to make conscious choices.  Through formal music study, students form a unique musical identity, one that broadens their communication skills to include a world of musicians. They are exposed to historical nuances of music and composers to establish not only the how but the why of choices for performance. Through electronic media, they are directed to fine examples of performances of music on which they are working. Piano students also strengthen their abilities to focus for extended periods of time, improve fine motor, visual motor and auditory discrimination skills, all skills that strengthen and reinforce learning experiences in school and across their lifetime of learning.

 

 

Supplies and General Information

 

Students bring to all lessons a spiral binder for lesson assignments and any books and other materials they are studying.  I purchase music books and papers necessary for study and include the charges on a subsequent lesson statement.  All piano students are expected to have unrestricted access to a piano for practicing purposes.  Each student’s in-home studio needs to be as quiet and free of distractions as possible.  My personal preference is that students work on a well-tuned and regulated acoustic instrument or a good quality full-size electronic piano with weighted keys and a working damper pedal.  Small keyboards with a reduced keyboard, no weighting to the keys, and no pedal do not give students the technical experience of piano-playing, and progress is stunted.

 

When students come to their lessons, they should come in the front door at their lesson time and wait quietly in the foyer.  I request that students remove their street shoes after entering the hallway.  Students are welcome to bring slippers or to take their lessons in stocking feet.  Once the pedal is being used, hard-soled slippers will give better support and comfort to the foot.  Two gentle Cavalier Spaniels will likely be very happy to greet you also, but they are secured away from the entrance, and are not generally allowed in the piano studio area.

 

Parents may wait in their cars, on the front porch or, with prior arrangement, sit in on their student's lesson, and should remain quiet throughout the lesson unless purposefully engaged by the instructor.  Small children should not accompany parents, as they tend to be a distraction that affects the quality of the lesson. Depending on fluctuations in Covid transmission, teacher and students might be asked to wear well-fitted masks, and all additional people are to wait outside or on the front porch. Street parking is allowed. Drop-off in my driveway is permitted. Additionally, hands and instruments are sanitized between lessons to stem the spread of disease.

 

I generally teach lessons on a high-quality Roland electronic piano, but for more mature students, lessons are taken on my grand piano as well. The studio offers a pedal box for those students too small for their feet to reach the floor.

For those who are uncomfortable with in-person lessons, have difficulty with travel distance, have inconsistent transportation, are concerned with weather issues, or are making up a missed lesson due to illness, lessons can be taken electronically in my piano studio room on the ZOOM format. Information will be sent to students who are current and have an interest in this easy-to-set-up service.

Recitals

 

All students perform memorized selections in our annual public recital. Additional repertoire classes are open to students only and are held in my studio. The repertoire class offers an additional opportunity to perform for peers and enjoy socializing with other students. Beginners (less than 6 months) may opt out of public performance until their skill acquisition is adequate for performance, but beginners are often eager to show what they've learned in their early months, and so I encourage early learners to perform.

 

 

Lesson Payment

 

A monthly statement will be e-mailed prior to the first lesson of each month. Payment should be made by Zelle, and be paid by the first of the month. Late payment will result in a $15.00 late fee. Because monthly payments are based on a fixed tuition, the amount will remain the same unless a sheet music or book fee has been added. Please note that tuition includes more than just the physical lesson time I spend with each student. It includes lesson preparation, planning recitals and repertoire classes, continuing education, equipment maintenance, website fees, memberships in professional organizations, and purchases of appropriate games and learning materials. A nominal recital fee is charged once a year and splits the cost of the hosting venue. Non-payment or consistent late payment will result in terminating the student's lessons. Please call, text or email for information about the current tuition rates and retired-senior discounts. 

 

 

Missed Lessons

 

As all scheduled lessons for the month must be paid for in advance on the first of the month, any lessons forgotten or cancelled late (less than 24 hour notice) will be forfeited.  Students who are too ill to attend a lesson (having stayed home from school) will have one week in which to make up the missed lesson based on our mutual availability, after which, it will be forfeited. In the case of mild illness, a lesson can be taken by ZOOM rather than canceled. Should I need to cancel a lesson, it will be made up, either through Zoom or in-studio within a reasonable time, depending on the circumstances.

I follow the Minooka and Troy School Districts' calendars that takes into account Spring and Winter breaks and national holidays that fall on lesson days. There are no lessons on these days. Parents receive a calendar that is specific and up-to-date as a guide to days off. Vacations during the school year resulting in missed lessons are not made up unless arranged two weeks in advance of the anticipated absence.

I highly recommend continuing lessons through the summer to keep skills advancing. Summer lessons, June through August, are more flexibly scheduled as many people leave the area for extended periods of time. Each family will submit to me as soon as possible, any anticipated absences, and payment is based on the number of lessons agreed upon. Students must receive at least 6 lessons during the summer to automatically be considered eligible for fall enrollment. Students who maintain consistent summer study have first access to favorable time slots in the fall.

 

 

Termination of Piano Study

 

A decision to discontinue lessons may be made at any time by myself or the student, in which case one month’s notice will be given.  If this period is not honored, any fees paid for the month will be forfeited by the student.

 

 

“Music gives a soul to the Universe, wings to the mind,

flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”  Plato

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