It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to piano lessons.  I hope that you will find these lessons to be an enriching experience.

Missed Private Lessons

Your lesson time has been especially reserved for you.  It is the responsibility of both the teacher and the student to be prepared at that time or continued progress cannot be made.

If a student cannot attend the lesson for reasons other than sickness or extreme weather conditions, the lesson and fee is forfeited.  If the teacher cannot attend a lesson and cannot arrange a swap, the teacher will forfeit the income.

Missed Group Lessons

New material will be available from each class on this site for students who miss class due to illness. I will send you the link, as well as your assignment sheet. It is your responsibility to view the video and practice the new material. If you have questions about the concepts, you may call me.

Performances

There will be opportunities throughout the year for the student to share music with others.  This experience should be treated no differently than your child’s excitement over going to a birthday party.

Practice Guidelines

  • 1 year of lessons 15 minutes six days a week
  • 2 years of lessons 30 minutes six days a week
  • 3 years of lessons 40 minutes six days a week
  • 4 years of lessons 45 minutes six days a week


Purpose:  Practicing is one phase in a child’s development of self-discipline.  It provides periods of exploration and self-discovery.  It also provides a period when a child sorts out his ideas and applies his thinking to solving problems.  Practice IS correctly repeating a concept until it is easy.... repetition, repetition, repetition.

Conditions:   A well-tuned piano, bench or chair of appropriate height, good lighting, and a quiet room are essential to good practice.  Ideally the piano should not be in the same room as the TV. 

Electronic Keyboards:  While an acoustic piano is the preferred choice for learning piano, electronic keyboards can be used for study during the first three years of lessons as long as it meets the following criteria: 76 – 88 full-size, touch sensitive keys, music rack, sustain pedal, stand for the piano and an adjustable bench.

Do not be taken in by the hundreds of sounds that can be made on keyboards. The items listed above are more important.  Cost of acceptable electronic keyboards range from $600 and up. Please call before purchasing any keyboard or piano. I will be glad to go with you or give you my recommendations.

Note to those who have smaller keyboards: Yes, I can teach you how to play your keyboard. It will not be the same as piano lessons. It will be a keyboard lesson to learn some of the basics of piano and how to use the functions of your keyboard. These lessons will prepare you for piano lessons when you get an acoustic piano or a full-sized keyboard.

Check List for Parents

Check child’s assignment to see if the entire lesson was practiced.  Have a mini recital often at home.  The audience could be one person hearing just one piece but it lets your child know someone else is interested in their progress.

Make sure practice is done soon after the lesson—same day is best.  Quality and regularity are as important as duration.  A shorter practice period when well rested and fully concentrating will accomplish more than a longer period when tired or distracted.  Several short daily practice periods can be more effective than one longer practice session.

Avoid needless arguments about practice.  Post a schedule and have your child record his practice time.  A space is also provided on the lesson assignment sheet.  Establish a rule that missed practice time will be made up within the week.  Talk to your child to be sure that lesson assignments are clear and that parent and teacher expectations are understood.  Parents can help by expressing interest in the pieces which are being studied and by possibly offering rewards for each new chapter or goal achieved.

Encourage your child to work on the difficult sections—not always starting at the beginning.  Time is better spent in concentration on a difficult measure or phrase repeated many times than just going over the whole piece.  Any difficult measure repeated three times, consecutively perfect is probably mastered and is no longer a problem.  This can be a game.

Check out my blog for other ways to help your child learn piano.

Miscellaneous

No chewing of gum will be allowed at lessons.

Length of fingernails is critical to finger position and the development of technique.  Nails should be short enough to allow playing on the fingertips, without any “clicking” sounds.  Students who arrive for lessons with long fingernails will use lesson time to cut their nails.

Parents are encouraged to attend the lessons.  I frequently need your help to make sure a technique is practiced correctly.  It is easier to remember if both the parent and student see the demonstration.

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