Welcome back to a new season of music-making!
Some dates to pencil into your calendar:
♫ Tues., Aug. 15, 1:00-1:30 pm—Bonus Piano Party for students who have pieces
♫ Sept. 1-5: Regular vacation—no lessons. I will take my annual vacation this week
♫ Friday, October 24, 3:30-5:00: Piano Party. For you newcomers, a piano party is
an informal, confidence-building event for students only. Each student plays a
memorized piece and I serve refreshments afterward. It is held at my home.
♫ Dec. 22-Jan. 2: Christmas Break. No lessons.
♫ Friday, February 20--3:30-5:00: Piano Party (see above)
♫ Sat., March 7-- 8:00 am: Solo/Ensemble Event @ BHS—by invitation only for
able & ambitious students wishing to be evaluated by a college piano professor
♫ March 23-27: Spring Break. No lessons.
♫ Sunday, April 26--2:00-4:00: Piano Recital. This is a dress-up event. Family and
friends who enjoy music are invited to attend. Location to be announced
♫ October is a good time to get your piano tuned after the furnace is turned on for
the season. (List local tuners and their phone numbers).
♫ Lesson rates will remain the same again this year: $___ per month. When you
hire me to teach your child, you are renting my time for that half-hour each week.
I must reserve that time whether your child comes or not. Think of it this
way—you pay your rent or house payment whether you are at home or on
vacation. You are renting my services for 48 weeks per year (I take two weeks at
Christmas, one at spring break, and one week of vacation which are “made up” in
the five-lesson months). If a student must miss a lesson, I will attempt to
reschedule it, but only on my normal teaching days (Tues., Wed., or Thurs.). One
reason I keep my rates so low is that I realize there will be times when we cannot
schedule makeup lessons. I hope this clarifies my policy. Obviously if I personally
have to cancel a lesson (due to illness, an extra vacation, or whatever), there is
no charge for that lesson.
♫ Please make every effort to sign the student’s practice record each week. This is
not a lack of trust of the student on my part, but it guarantees that the parent
reads any notes or reminders I may have written on the page. It also helps the
student to be more accountable for the money you’re spending for lessons.
♫ Observe your student as he or she plays at home. Is the bench at a comfortable
height? The arms should be level with the keyboard. Remember: he has probably
grown since last year. Is there enough light? Do the child’s legs reach the floor?
Is there a good place to store music?
♫ It is a great encouragement for a student to have an appreciative audience. Ask
him to play you his favorite piece from that week’s lesson. Realize that some
pieces require more than one week’s practice to polish. Also, we will not polish
every piece to the same degree; each piece has its own purpose, perhaps
introducing a new fingering or technique.
♫ If your child isn’t practicing at least four hours each week, he’s not moving along
as quickly as he could. Set a regular time for practicing and help him stick to it.
Talent is not all that it’s cracked up to be. You may have noticed that some new
students are moving along faster than some veterans. Learning a new skill is less
about ability and more about hard work. If your child is not progressing as rapidly
as you would like, take a look at his/her practice habits. Is he or she consistently
at the piano four hours each week, concentrating on the music not just fiddling
around? The most successful students are those who, week-in, week-out,
carefully practice their assigned pieces. Just as you wouldn’t expect a child to
learn math in one thirty-minute session per week, playing the piano requires work
beyond the lesson, as well. The student learns to play at home, not in the studio.
Do everything you can to help foster the habit of faithful, scheduled practice.
Thanks for your on-going support. You and your children bring me great joy.
(C) 2008 by Marcia K. Washburn. Permission is granted to teachers to personalize and reproduce this document. For more music teaching advice, see Talent to Treasure: Building a Profitable Music Teaching Business here.
Looking for music teaching & business advice? See Talent to Treasure: Building Profitable Music Teaching Business here.