If you are registered for lessons with me, please take a few minutes to read through these Studio Policies. When expectations are clear it means that I can spend more time teaching and less time clarifying. That translates into a better teaching/learning experience for both of us.
You can contact me by e-mail or phone and I will be happy to arrange a no-obligation meeting for us in my home. In meeting one another before lessons begin, you will not only see my studio, but we can get to know one another a little and have a sense of whether this will be a good teaching/learning relationship.
If you choose to register for lessons with me, you may reserve a place in my teaching schedule. When you register for lessons you are making a commitment for the year and agreeing to my studio policies.
All students are required to have a piano at home located so it can be easily played every day.
My instrument of choice is a recently tuned acoustic piano. If you don't have one already, there are many reasonably priced acoustic pianos on usedvictoria.com - some are even free.
If an acoustic piano is out of the question for you, a high-quality electronic keyboard or digital piano is a valid alternative. Look for an instrument with 88 weighted and “touch sensitive” keys and a sustain pedal. You will need a bench that allows the student to be at a suitable height in relation to the keyboard. Avoid chairs that are too low and tip your body away from the keyboard. When a student is seated at their instrument with fingers on the keys, their forearms should be parallel to the floor, not angled up.
A metronome is a useful tool for practicing songs, rhythm and keeping technique steady. I don't count it a must for beginners, but it is a helpful tool as music study continues. There are good free apps for iPad and Android devices that can easily be downloaded. I would be happy to help with that if needed.
Lesson fees are due on the first of each month. Weekly lessons can be 30, 45 or 60 minutes in length. The fee structure for the 2018/2019 teaching year is as follows:
|30 minute lesson||$80/month (4 classes)|
|45 minute lesson||$120/month (4 classes)|
|60 minute lesson||$160 month (4 classes)|
Lessons begin Tuesday September 11 and continue on a weekly basis until the middle of June. I close my studio for 2 weeks over Christmas vacation. I charge this flat monthly amount September to December then individually invoice families in January to account for weeks I have been away. Again, the flat monthly fee will be charged February to May, then June will be individually invoiced to end our year with a balanced account.
Please come prepared for the first lesson in September with 8 post-dated cheques for September to December and February to May. January and June will be invoiced individually.
I expect children to be prepared for each lesson and to have made weekly progress on all parts of their assignments. This requires a commitment to practicing the piano at home each day. Practice times may be less in September as the year gets started, but the times below should be the goal by Thanksgiving. As a guide, parents should ensure that children practice at least 5 days each week. Consistent daily practice is the key to long-term success. If a student loses focus partway through the practice time, divide the daily minutes into 2 or 3 separate practice sessions each day. The goal is always progress - not just passing time.
Age 5 - 7 20 minutes daily
Age 8 - 9 30 minutes daily
Age 10 - 14 45 minutes daily
Age 15 and up 60 minutes daily
If you cancel a lesson due to illness, we can try to make up the time. Given my flexible schedule this year, we should be able to find a mutually agreeable time.
If I cancel a lesson for any reason, the lesson fee will be refunded, or we can make up the time if you prefer.
If you choose to terminate lessons mid-year, I require one month of paid notice after the last lesson to cover the scheduled time I have reserved for you September to June. Any remaining post-dated cheques will be returned.
I expect each student to arrive prepared for their lesson day. This includes:
- be on time or a few minutes early,
- bring all music currently used,
- bring a writing book to record lesson assignments and to explain new musical concepts
- if possible, bring a device (apple or android) for recording demonstrations
Please just "walk in" the back door, leave your shoes and coat in the entrance, and immediately come upstairs to the studio. Even if I'm finishing up with another student, listening to part of another's lesson may become a learning opportunity for both students.
Parents are welcome to sit in on a lesson at any time and are encouraged to do so at least a few times during the year.
During the year there are opportunities for students to take part in recitals. A performance setting allows musicians to share their talents and hard work for others to enjoy, while learning to manage any jitters or nerves that may be present. The focus required to play well in a performance situation is beyond what can be created in a less formal setting and needs to be "practiced" as much as anything else.
However, due to the small number of students I have, I will not be hosting any studio recitals this year.
Because I am a Registered Music Teacher though, my students are welcome to play in any of the 6 recitals held throughout the year for all the RMT's in the Victoria Branch.
Examinations with the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) happen in Winter, Spring & Summer of every year here in Victoria. Deadlines for applying are set for Nov 6, 2018, January 8, 2019 (piano exams only), March 5, 2019, and June 4, 2019. Please speak to me if you’re interested in exams and I’ll let you know all that is involved.
STAYING IN TOUCH