2011 Teaching Policy
My goal is for each piano student to become a skilled musician. It is important that students receive a balanced music education that will prepare them for whatever their future in music may be. Every aspect of music works together and contributes to the overall ability of any musician. For this reason I include performance, ear training, technique, theory, composition, improvisation, and sight-reading in the music education of each student. Even if piano is not the ultimate goal you have for yourself or your children, the basic skills and techniques learned from piano lessons will prove useful in many areas of life.
I began taking private piano/theory lessons at the age of 7. I continued lessons through my childhood and teenage years, through 4 years of college, and had 2 years of college level theory. I began teaching in 2002.
I am committed to continuing my own music education so that I can offer my students quality instruction. I currently study music theory (including rudiments, harmony, analysis, and history) with Peggy Craig, a professor at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. I am working towards my Grade 10 certificate with the future goal of achieving the Teacher’s ARCT with the Canadian Royal Conservatory of Music.
While most students are initially excited to begin piano lessons, please be aware that your child will face challenges and sometimes frustrations. As they become aware of the discipline and commitment required to attain excellence, your encouragement and praise will be essential to your child’s success.
*Set aside a scheduled practice time for your child (daily, if possible)
*Be familiar with your child’s weekly practice assignments
*Supervise home practice sessions, making sure that all assignments are completed
*Provide feedback and suggestions for me about your child that will increase the effectiveness of each lesson
*Play quality music in your home and car
*Sit in on lessons periodically
*Ensure that your child arrives at their lesson at the appropriate time (not too early, not late)
*If you do arrive early, please do not come in until your lesson time
*Because of closely scheduled lessons, if you arrive late, a full half hour lesson is not guaranteed. Please be considerate of the previous/next student’s time slot.
*Complete daily practice
*Be prepared for your lesson (with books, assignment notebook, practice notebook, theory book, and other projects)
*Keep fingernails trimmed short (should not extend past the end of the finger) to ensure proper hand position and good technique.
*Wash hands before each lesson
Students who establish good practice habits will progress more rapidly and will find piano practice and lessons more enjoyable. The amount of time required for good quality practice will vary depending on the student’s age and playing level. More importantly, though, is that practice is done on a consistent daily basis. In the event that daily practice is not being completed, I will work with the student (and parent, if necessary) to determine the cause and possible solutions.
NEW! Music Teacher’s Helper:
This year I have implemented the use of a tool called Music Teacher’s Helper. It is a web-based, interactive program that keeps records of payments, lesson dates/times, contact info, special events, teacher notes and assignments, sends receipts and much more. MTH includes a studio website where students and parents can browse studio information, see schedule changes, announcements, and vacation dates, etc. Each student will have a separate account with a login and password, giving them access to all information connected with their account on MTH. Lesson payments can also be made via Paypal.
Please email for information.
Missed Lessons and Make-Up Lessons:
If you cancel a lesson, you will not receive a refund. If I cancel the lesson, you can either receive a refund or credit the amount to the next lesson or to a make-up lesson. I have a specific block of time reserved for you/your child and I am not able to replace it with another lesson.
Lessons are based on months that have 4 weeks. Given the months that have 5 weeks, the 5th week will be used for make-up lessons, to be held at your regularly scheduled lesson day and time. If there is no make-up lesson needed, you will not have a lesson on the 5th week.
Music Lending Library:
I have a large music library that will be available to you through lending. Please feel free to browse through the piano technique books, sheet music, and classical music CDs at your lessons. Please check out only one item at a time. Books can be checked out for 1 month, and may be renewed if they are needed for a longer time.
If any of the following situations persists after I have notified you and provided time to correct it, I regret that I will have to dismiss the student:
*The student demonstrates a lack of enthusiasm and willingness to participate during the lesson time
*The student consistently fails to show diligence and determination in home practice
*Lack of dependability and commitment exhibited in persistent absences or chronic lateness.
If you choose, for whatever, reason, to discontinue lessons, please give at least one month’s prior notice. I will do the same.
Thank you for considering me as a piano teacher for yourself/your child. My goal is to serve you and to strive to recognize and to meet the individual needs of each student. Please feel free to communicate openly with me if you ever have questions, concerns, or comments. My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org