Here you will find the answer to most of your questions: Studio rules, recital procedures, links to materials you might need in lessons, etc. If your questions are not answered here, please check out the FAQs or contact me! (My business hours are 9am - 9pm Monday through Saturday.)
First of all, you don’t need to be responsible for everything. Kids have jobs too when it comes to taking piano lessons:
RULES FOR KIDS
1. Practice the piano every day!
2. Wash your hands before you play the piano.
3. No gum, hair, fingers, etc. in your mouth during piano lesson
4. Keep small things like pennies out from between the piano keys
5. Play when it is your turn - not while your teacher or parent is speaking
6. Bring all your materials to every lesson
7. Make sure your parents turn off their cell phones!
For mid-week visual practice help on specific pieces, go to FaithSlaker Music Method Blog.
1. ADMISSION AND INTERVIEWING - Studio enrollment is for twelve months out of the year with a winter and summer vacation (as well as all major holidays). Potential students and parents are interviewed before any commitment to lessons is made. Students must observe the lesson of another child in my studio before beginning formal lessons. This allows us to get to know each other and be comfortable with everyone’s expectations before we begin.
2. PRACTICE - Being a musician is a habit and needs to become a part of one’s daily routine. As Shinichi Suzuki once said, "Practice on the days you eat!" Regular routine practice is far preferable to lengthy, but inconsistent practice. Practice sessions should occur in a quiet environment ideal for focus (no TV) and at a tuned piano. Pianos should be tuned every six months to every year depending on the stability of the climate in your home. Regular, focused and supervised (depending on the age of the student) practice will result in more rewarding lessons and a greater musical experience. The most efficient time to practice is immediately FOLLOWING the piano lesson. Please allow time for PLAY at the instrument!
3. LESSON ATTENDANCE - Weekly attendance is mandatory for successful music study. Parents are required to attend the lessons of students under the age of twelve and will occasionally be requested to attend the lessons of their older student. Parents not attending lessons are required to be within 5 minutes of the lesson location. If there is something you wish to discuss with me, please bring it up at the beginning of your child’s lesson, not the end. Parent attendance in lessons is important to keeping communication consistent and making sure that everyone is happy with the direction of studies.
4. MAKE-UP LESSONS - It is important to be there every week for your child’s lesson. The longer you go without a lesson, the harder it is to get back into it! Of course, I understand that things may come up, or that your child may become ill. Please let me know if you are not going to make it to your lesson before your lesson time. I provide “swap lists” (see current students page) of all my students and their lesson times so you may arrange a trade if you are unable to attend a lesson and don’t want to miss it. Twenty-four hours notice is required for any absence that will be excused. Excused absences are given for illness, death and emergency (not for birthday parties or soccer games). Sherwood policy: Only one excused absence for every sixteen week semester is granted. FaithSlaker Music Policy: Only one excused absence for every quarter is granted. No makeup lessons during the summer term. If something comes up where I am ill and need to cancel a lesson, there is a make-up week every semester and I will teach that week to make-up for my absence.
5. PERFORMANCE - Every student is expected to participate in all performances for which the teacher feels the student is prepared. These may include semester recitals, festivals, masterclasses, competitions, and group classes. Other performance opportunities may arise through the studio and at school and students are always encouraged to participate. Students may be asked to attend the performances of their peers. The all-studio recital twice a year is the only mandatory event for participation in my studio.
6. TUITION - Tuition includes more than the contact time with the student. In addition to private lessons, the cost covers all teacher preparation, assigned material, workshops, studio gatherings, observations, membership in Music Teachers National Association (which allows students to participate in competitions), and maintenance of studio piano and other equipment.
7. PAYMENT SCHEDULE - Tuition in my private studio is due on the first of the quarter or at the beginning of the lesson, the first lesson of every quarter. Late payments will be charged an extra fee ($30 for the first day, and an additional $30 per lesson afterwards). Payment may be made in person by cash or check. Payment may be made via US mail by check. Payment may be made at any time via Paypal (with a transaction fee) or via Zelle (with my phone number). Please see Sherwood’s contract for their specific payment procedures.
8. SUMMER LESSONS - Summer lessons are made by special arrangement. A student must enroll for eight lessons during the summer (or twelve at Sherwood) to hold his or her position in the studio for the fall.
9. LESSON TERMINATION - A student may lose his slot in the studio if he or she is no longer practicing (thus demonstrating a lack of interest), if the student does not regularly attend lessons, if the parent of a student under the age of 18 is not in consistent communication, if the student doesn’t attend a recital he/she is on the program for without notice, if the student does not consistently register for the full term, if the student is not following studio rules, or if a student has not taken the required lessons during the summer. Two weeks notice is required by either me or the parent in terminating lessons.
10. STUDENT SUPPLIES - For each piano lesson, it is expected that the student bring, in a suitable bag, all music books currently being used, the student’s assignment notebook, a pencil and eraser, and a manuscript book and post-it-notes for the older student. At home, the student should be able to access a good piano with a comfortable bench (adjustable or with additional padding), a footstool if needed, a metronome, a CD player or other audio device and a pair of nail clippers.
11. COMMUNICATION - It is essential to maintain regular communication. Conferences between the teacher and parent may be scheduled to discuss a student’s progress. Twice a year, the lesson may be given over to the parent so that he/she feels comfortable at home monitoring and aiding the student’s progress. During the week, I may be reached by telephone (including text) during business hours (Monday through Saturday, 9am-9pm) or by e-mail at any time. E-mail is probably most effective since I do not answer my phone while teaching or rehearsing and it may be quite late before I might be able to get back to you.
12. MATERIALS - If it has been recommended to you that you purchase any of the following books or CDs, you may do so online by clicking on the following links: Suzuki Book 1 and CD, Suzuki Book 2 and CD, Suzuki Book 3 and CD, Suzuki Book 4 and CD, Music Tree Time to Begin, Music Tree Time to Begin Activities Book, Music Tree Book 1A, Music Tree Book 1A Activities Book. Celebration Series Level 1 Performance Book. Some students may need to purchase a book of manuscript paper.