The goal of this studio is to provide a well-balanced musical education including theory, technique, history and classical repertoire to all students.
The advanced student will study music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic and Contemporary time periods, including Jazz and Popular Music if desired. Student composing is also encouraged, though not required. In order to accomplish these goals, I have set down specific policies. There are certain basic things for which we have minimum acceptable expectations, realizing however, that each student's progress will vary due to many internal and external factors.
Please read over the following points carefully and contact me regarding questions on this policy.
3/6/21 PLEASE NOTE: The bulk of this website/policy page has not been updated to reflect Pandemic Piano Lessons, but currently ALL LESSONS are being held on Zoom by video conference. In person lessons are not currently available.
|Half Hour Weekly Lesson (one child / adult)*|
$80 ($20 per lesson)
|Quarterly Payment Discount
$200 ($16.66 per lesson)
|One Hour Weekly Lesson (Adult or split between two children same home)*|
$140 ($35 per week/$17.50 per child)
|Quarterly Payment Discount
$360.00 ($30 per week/$15.00 per child)
|Adult Lesson Tuition - By Appointment Only
(If regularly scheduled lessons, same as above)
|Half Hour: $30.00 per lesson due the day of the lesson|
|Full Hour: $45.00 per lesson due the day of the lesson|
- * Payments are due the last lesson of the previous month for the following month
- * Payments received after the 1st lesson of the month are subject to a $5 late fee
- * Please contact us regarding discounts for semi-annual/annual payment
- * For your convenience, we accept regularly scheduled electronic payments
- * Tuition is the same regardless of how many weeks are in the month
- * Tuition includes, on average, four lessons per month (48 Lessons per year)
- * We will be closed, with advanced notice, four weeks throughout the year
- * If a lesson should fall on a holiday, rescheduling may be requested in advance
- * Absolutely No Refunds or Rescheduling For Missed or Forgotten Lessons
Monthly payment is due on or before the last lesson of each month for the following month. A discount is available for paying quarterly and can be started anytime during the year for the following three months. Further discounts can be discussed for semi-annual/annual payments. Discounts can only be applied to future lessons, not overdue payments. Please understand that your monthly tuition fee covers more than just the 30-60 minute private lesson time. Tuition also covers recitals and other special events, computer paper and ink, lesson preparation time, and other supplies and expenses of running a business. Much preparation goes into lessons, especially when it comes to Master Classes, Competitions and Guild Auditions. I dare say for every hour I sit on my piano bench, I spend another hour in preparation for it. There will be no refund or rescheduling for missed or forgotten lessons. There are no exceptions to this policy. Should a regularly scheduled lesson day be the same day as a holiday, we will make other arrangements for that week if requested.
I will make available all required books/study aids as necessary in the student's progress. The student is responsible for paying for all books as requested by the teacher. A beginning student generally requires several books and CD(s) which total initial cost is covered by your registration fee. Depending on the student's rate of advancement, further books will be needed every six months to a year or so at approximately $60 per set. Additional books/sheet music may be purchased and used by the student, as he or she desires, and may be brought to lessons. Note: A tote bag for coming to and from lessons is recommended.
A piano or digital keyboard with full-sized keys (preferably touch-sensitive (weighted keys are even better), pedal adaptive, and MIDI compatible) is required to make progress. 88 keys are preferable, but 76 keys would be sufficient. I encourage each family to purchase a piano if possible, as nothing can take the place of its touch and sound. The piano should be in the best possible condition as it is difficult to enjoy playing on an extremely out of tune instrument, or worse yet - one with broken keys. A chair or bench at an appropriate height and adequate lighting is also needed. A metronome is a must and may be purchased through the studio if necessary. It is an important practice aid and is an investment they will use forever, no matter what instrument they play. Items such as flash cards, and other study aids may also be suggested depending on the individual student's needs.
I try to work with each of my student’s schedules in order to give them the most convenient lesson time. I appreciate families who are willing to cooperate to help others who require a temporary or permanent move due to other schedules and activities. I have traditionally taught only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Participation in summer lessons is required to reserve a space for fall lessons.
Timely Arrival & Pickup
The front door will be unlocked and it is not necessary to knock or ring the doorbell at your scheduled lesson time. Simply come in. If you arrive a few minutes early, please have a seat and wait quietly. I do ask, however, that you plan to arrive at lessons as close to the start time as reasonably possible. A prompt pickup of the student is also greatly appreciated. If a student arrives 10-15 minutes early and is picked up 10-15 minutes late, it creates several problems, including unnecessary distraction to the student currently being given a lesson.
The student is to arrive at each lesson well prepared, and with ALL the necessary materials. Assignments cannot be heard or new lessons prepared without proper materials. Each student has an assignment notebook and they should refer to it through the week for practicing instructions as well as other assignments, such as history or theory. There is also a place for students to mark their practicing time each day. Please utilize this feature. It is vital that this notebook be brought to lessons each week along with the current lesson materials. Students who regularly “forget” what they were supposed to do should receive a parental reminder regarding the assignment notebook. This is also the book that can be used for written communication between parents and myself, and I usually write down money owed for music or tuition in this notebook. You may feel free to contact me during the week if questions arise regarding assignments or further explanation on a certain piece is needed.
Remember that the lesson is a very small part of the week. It is the responsibility of the student and the parent to see that the remainder of the week is productive. Please try to work with your child to set up a daily, uninterrupted practice time to establish a routine. Students are encouraged to keep a practice record, and to work toward musical goals, rather than simply counting minutes. The study of music is rewarding and enjoyable, but it also involves work. Regular practice is essential for any student's progress, no matter how naturally gifted he or she may be. Your child will probably only be committed as much as you are, so I encourage you to motivate and support your child to make music study a productive experience. It will be easier for you to spot mistakes if you know how to read music, but it is not essential. You can tell by listening whether everything sounds good or not. If your child doesn’t hear the mistake, but you do, ask them to read the letters of the notes carefully or count more carefully. Once a routine is established, this will help your child get into the habit of practicing without having to be reminded. It is consistent, efficient, daily practice that leads to the satisfaction and joy of steady progress toward solid musicianship. Please encourage your child and compliment him or her on the work accomplished. There is nothing better than praise to spur a child onto higher achievements. Ask them to play you a piece they have learned. Perhaps you can even have a "home recital" with family and friends occasionally.
Note: to prevent dirt and germs from lingering on your piano or mine, I recommend that children get in the habit of washing their hands prior to practicing at home, and prior to coming to lessons. It may also help to embed respect for their instrument in the minds of the student.
Length of Daily Practice
Although I generally have no exact minute requirement for each student, I would like to provide you with a guide. A practice session must last as long as it takes to reach the goals and assignments for the week. For the very early beginner, 10-15 minutes per day would probably suffice. Once the student has reached midway through their first book, this should be increased to 15-20 minutes per day. Once the student reaches their second book, this should be increased again to 20-30 minutes per day. When a student has progressed as far as their third lesson book, I suggest NO LESS than 30 minutes per day. Ideally, advanced students should be practicing 30-45 minutes per day broken into two or more sittings. I expect students to practice no less than five days per week. Please rest on the day of your choice, but preferably NOT on a lesson day. It is actually best to practice immediately following a lesson as 50% of the knowledge acquired during a lesson is lost if this is not done. Certainly don't wait two or more days after a lesson to start practicing! Those students who choose to participate in Competitions, or long programs at Piano Guild Auditions should expect to practice AT LEAST 60 minutes per day prior to the Competition or Audition. To avoid the anxiety of rushing at the end, we try to begin preparation very early in the year, which would also eliminate long hours later.
Numerous opportunities are available for each and every interested student to share their performance skills. Below is a brief run-down of annual events our Piano Studio participates in. Please note that all fees go directly to the event sponsor, NONE goes to me. Although I put in many hours working on these events, I do not make extra profit from them. Proper attire is expected for all performances. Preferably (but within reason): coat and tie for gentlemen, dresses for ladies and dress shoes for all.
January 19, 2019: Our Annual Piano Recital
We put on approximately a two hour program once a year. We advertise locally and usually bring an attendance of 100+. Every student is expected to perform in our annual recital. Duet or ensemble performance is also expected. Families are asked to bring a refreshment for intermission, and spread the word about the event. Attendance is free of charge and the public is invited.
March 19, 2011: Monster Concert
From time to time, this type of event is held. This hour long concert was sponsored by The New York State Music Teachers Association (NYSMTA) District VII & Robert M Sides Family Music Center and held at the Arnot Mall, Horseheads, NY. It is an ensemble concert for which we have been invited to participate. There will be nine digital pianos and ensemble pieces performed with 8 to 18 people in each ensemble. It's a fun thing to prepare for and requires several rehearsals at our studio, as well as rehearsals with the entire ensemble the day of the concert. The $15 registration fee includes a T-shirt and depending on the ensemble chosen, music may need to be purchased.
April 16, 2016 : Piano Showcase
This event has not taken place in the last few years. Competition for school-age students with a Level 2 or higher ability, held at the Arnot Mall, sponsored by Robert M Sides Family Music Center. The student prepares and performs two songs at their level: one required piece and one chosen piece. These must be played from memorization. Participation is not required. Those that choose to register MUST be determined to prepare well. Please note that songs used here can be reused at Guild Auditions, just a few weeks later. Registration and fees must be in by February 1. A specific book must be purchased and the registration fee is $10.00.
June 2, 2018: Piano Guild Auditions
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND preparation and attendance at this event. Annual auditions are held in Corning, and is a noncompetitive judging of student's progress by a private audition with a well-qualified musician serving as a judge. The primary function of the National Guild of Piano Teachers is to establish definite goals and awards for piano students of all levels - for the earliest beginner as well as the artistic adult, for the slow pupil as well as the gifted prodigy. These goals attempt to prevent aimless drifting and give music study some definite direction and provide a measure of progress. Students play (from memorization) between 4 and 20 pieces of their choosing, mixed with scales, chords, arpeggios, transposition and sight-reading if desired. Students receive judge's comments, a certificate and pin, and a one year membership to the National Fraternity of Student Musicians. Registration and dues must be in by February 1. Dues depend on number of pieces played and range from $15.00 to $40.00.
August 2019: Piano Master Classes
The Endless Mountain Music Festival is a regional endeavor to bring world-renowned musicians to our community of northern Pennsylvania and southern New York to enrich the cultural, economic and educational life of the Twin Tiers region. The festival includes a series of orchestral and individual concerts. One aspect of their educational outreach program is Master Classes. In the Master Class, people at all levels of skill are invited to come and share their talents and to meet fellow musicians. Each class is free to the public and will be headed by one of the guest artists. I recommend that each student plan to attend and some well-prepared students may even participate in the program.
Mansfield University puts on similar Master Classes and Free Concerts around January-March.
It is our policy to close the studio four weeks during the year, with notice, and these closings are not paid for by the student and will not be rescheduled or made up. Make-up Classes may be scheduled occasionally due to inclement weather and/or upcoming events. Any student may attend. These group lessons will be one hour in length and will be spent working together on theory, rhythm skills, ensemble playing, as well as performance training. Other topics will be covered, depending on the needs of the group as a whole.
Due to current banking service charges, I must charge a $20.00 fee on all returned checks.
PLEASE contact me if you have any questions regarding this contract. I would be happy to discuss it with you, or better explain any item that you may have questions about.
To Contact Me
If you ever have any comments, questions, or concerns, I will be happy to discuss them with you. Please feel free to call me anytime at (814) 258-5548 (you may have to leave a message) or email me and I would be happy to hear what your thoughts are (good or bad). You know your children better than anyone else, so you may be able to give me needed insight on a situation of which I may be oblivious. Please don't ever hesitate to contact me. back to the top