2019-2020 Studio Policies and General Information for New and Current Students
Thank you for investing in musical education! My philosophy on music lessons is very simple. I believe every child of God has a gift to do something very well. Music lessons prepare and allow students to develop a love for the arts, to communicate through creative means, and to use their gifts to serve the Lord, primarily through church and other performing opportunities. Students use basic method books, classical music, and hymns to learn the skills they need to be confident musicians. After learning to read music very confidently, we are able to branch out into hymn-playing and even more church music.
For non-note-reading or note-reading adult pianists who want to gain more ear-training and ear-playing skills, we are able to work on chord strategies, while building a solid theoretical foundation.
Students are encouraged to play for offertories, for family members, at nursing homes, chapel services, and other events, which give them practical experience using their gift.
For church pianists, we work on improvisation and hymn-playing strategies. We’ll work on arranging music for offertories, making congregational playing more exciting and full, playing for specials and invitationals, and more!
Fees: DUE BEFORE THE FIRST LESSON OF THE MONTH
All lessons are taught via live video- either over FaceTime or Google Duo (for Android or other users). Lessons may be purchased here.
- For a weekly thirty (30) minute video lesson, the monthly fee is $165 (paid before the first lesson of each month). This is on a 3-5 lesson per month basis. The fee will not change if the student receives at least three lessons that month. Based on the calendar, most months will have four lessons, upon which the fee is determined.
- For a weekly sixty (60) minute lesson, the monthly fee is $320 (paid before the first lesson of the month). This is on a 3-5 lesson basis. The fee will not change if the student receives at least three lessons that month.
- For a one-time 30-minute live video (FaceTime/Google Hangouts or Duo/Skype) lesson, the fee is $55, payable before the lesson begins via PayPal.
- For a 60-minute live video lesson, the fee is $100, payable before the lesson begins via PayPal.
- Payment must be received before the lesson is taught. Lessons must be paid using the Product page link on this site.
The initial cost of beginner books is around $15. As needed, I will recommend new books necessary for the student to continue his/her progress. In addition, I may recommend books to supplement the student’s repertoire to build certain skills and techniques. I will do my best to keep these costs to a minimum. I will tell you the books that are needed, and you may purchase them at a local music store or online (Amazon is generally the most convenient). For most church pianists, we’ll use a hymnal of your choice.
- If you must miss a lesson, please understand that I am not able to schedule a make-up lesson.
- If a local student forgets his/her books on the lesson day, or is unable to have a lesson for any reason, I will not be able to schedule a make-up lesson.
- If a video student cancels a lesson or must miss a lesson for travel/work/other reasons, I am not able to reschedule that lesson.
- On the other hand, if I must miss a lesson on short notice, causing the student to receive fewer than three lessons that month, I will either schedule a make-up lesson or provide a $45 reimbursement for the lesson. The tuition will not change for that month if the student still receives at least three lessons.
- Due to a busy extracurricular schedule, church events, and our family’s music ministry, there may be times when I have to cancel lessons unexpectedly. I will do my best to find another time during the day or evening to teach the lesson (both live lessons and video lessons), but please remember this may not always be possible. Thank you for your flexibility. If an individual video lesson has already been paid for, and I have to cancel unexpectedly, I will reschedule it for another time that week. Please note that this does not apply to regular weekly video or local students, who are guaranteed at least three lessons a month.
Specifics about Video Lessons (via FaceTime, Google, or Skype):
Payment must be received before lesson will be taught. Individually purchased lessons can be on a slightly flexible schedule from week to week. Lessons may not be able to be taught at the same time each week, but for weekly students, every effort will be made to keep the same time each week.
Generally, the lesson format of a video lesson will be more customized to the student, particularly for those who are already serving as church pianists or a similar capacity. Beginners will be encouraged to use a method series and develop a strong theoretical foundation of note-reading before moving on to improvising and hymn-playing. We will work systematically through the method books, learning theory, performance pieces, and the lesson book pages.
Those who are already pianists may desire to learn more techniques for playing by ear or adding more interest to their congregational style. In that case, we will work on specific songs each lesson, using a hymnal or lyrics with chords.
Since all lessons are over live video and students are from so many different areas, we do not have a studio recital. However, students are encouraged to play for church services, assisted livings, and other occasions.
We will follow a typical school schedule concerning vacation weeks. This will include Thanksgiving break, Christmas holidays, and Spring break. These breaks are built into the monthly lesson rate and will not be compensated for by extra time or additional lessons. The student will still receive the minimum three lessons.
Parental Involvement for Students under Age 14:
A young student’s progress and success in learning a musical instrument is directly related to the involvement and commitment on the parent’s part. Young beginners (under age 9) usually cannot practice alone. Even if you have no musical background, you can use our lesson notes and read the directions on the lesson pages aloud to your child. From my explanations in the lesson time, they will learn more quickly and more effectively if you take an active part during their practice time. Please know that you’re always welcomed to observe the lesson. But I ask that you allow me to teach, and do not interject comments throughout the lesson.
Please make practice time as regular as homework. Beginners should practice 15-20 minutes a day. Intermediate students should practice 30-45 minutes a day. Advanced students should practice at least an hour a day. Aim for 5-6 days a week of consistent practice time.
For monthly students, I require a 30-day notice to discontinue lessons to allow for the rescheduling of that time. That month must be paid by the first lesson in the month, as usual, whether or not the lessons are taken during that last month.