- Lessons take place in my studio on either a Yamaha or Steinway grand piano, or a Yamaha 605 Clavinola with a built in sequencer. Ample parking is available on both sides of the street.
- Lessons are weekly: half hour for beginners, 45 minutes for advanced beginners and early intermediates, moving up to an hour when students are ready. Parents of beginners will get the best results if they stay and listen to the lesson in order to support practice at home. After the first year, students can be dropped off and picked up. Quiet is expected during lessons and transition times.
- Students are provided with a canvas music bag and practice assignment book. Students (not parents!) are responsible for bringing music, and other assigned materials to every lesson. Sitters or parents may want to check bags for kindergarten and first grade students until they remember what to bring.
- Lesson etiquette includes coming with the assignment well prepared, having books and materials organized and ready at lesson time, being focused and actively participating. Early arrivals should let themselves in and wait in the kitchen area or practice in the practice room.
- At home, students should practice with the music and assignment book on the rack and check practice days in their assignment books. Students should have a metronome and clock on the piano from the first lessons. Later they may wish to have an iPad (or CD player or computer) for practice support and listening.
- Technical exercises will be covered first at every lesson, followed by assigned pieces, new material, writing exercises, memorizing, and listening. Older students (beginning around 4th grade) will also cover sight reading and theory.
- Practice: In the first year, students should get to the piano 2-3 times a day for a few minutes and go through their assignment list. Practice time needs to increase as students progress so that they can master longer and more complex material. A clock on or near the piano helps with time management. Students should try to work up to 30 minutes of daily practice by the 2nd year of lessons in order to make appropriate progress and benefit from private study. Shorter, regular practice is usually better than infrequent longer sessions (e.g., two 15 minute sessions – one in the morning and one in the afternoon), and daily practice is required.
- Video recording is used regularly as an incentive for completing pieces and to compile a portfolio of accomplishments. Videos are maintained for each student and available to parents at any time (please bring a USB drive). Students can use video at home to evaluate their practice.
- Group lessons are held prior to performances and exams and occasionally at other times throughout the year.
- Students begin lessons at different ages and progress at different rates. Each student is expected to do their best and learn from setbacks. There is no race to the finish line; it’s better to learn one piece well than ten pieces poorly. However, as part of skill development, students need to learn to practice efficiently so that they can complete several assigned pieces efficiently and accurately.
- Over the course of their lessons, some students will need exposure to different teachers and ideas in order to fully develop as pianists and musicians. Mini-master classes with other teachers will be scheduled on occasion, and participation in community and area events will also introduce families to new experiences. At certain points in their development, it may be appropriate for students to move on to other teachers for the best learning experience. Families are encouraged to explore these opportunities.