2019-2020 Policies

Student Expectations and Responsibilities

The ability to play the piano well is the result of time spent practicing the right way.  Practice is essential!  Attending lessons once a week simply is not enough. 
 
  • Schedule 15-60 minutes of practice each day for at least five days per week. Two of those days should include the day of and following the private lesson. Remember: playing is not practicing! 
  • Complete all assignments the teacher has written down on the assignment sheet. Practice steps are included verbally at the lesson and on the lesson assignment sheet
  •  Arrive promptly at your lesson time. You reserve the time slot, not the number of minutes.
  • If questions arise, be sure to ask your teacher questions during lessons; We want you to understand the assignment and expectations.

Parental Involvement

While most students are initially excited to begin piano lessons, please be aware that they will face challenges and sometimes frustrations. As initial enthusiasm is replaced by awareness of the discipline and commitment required to attain excellence, your support and praise will be essential to your child's success. 
Without a doubt, students that have parental involvement will make much faster progress; for younger students, this is essential.  Please check the student notebook weekly for any necessary information.  Feel free to send messages to me this way as well.  Discussions concerning student progress, schedule changes, billing questions, etc. should be initiated at the beginning of the lesson.
 Some parents feel very strongly about attending all lessons; normally that is a good system.   That will still be allowed during the pandemic.  Parents staying for lessons must wear a mask and wash hands upon entering.

 

Siblings

Due to the pandemic, siblings that are not students will not be permitted to attend.

In-Person/Remote Lessons

  • To those who prefer, in-person lessons will be offered.   (with masks)

  •  Remote lessons will always be an option to everyone. 

  • Students may switch between remote/in-person as necessary.... Just let me know.

  • If you or anyone in your family is sick for any reason, please use remote lessons for two weeks.

  • If you just came back from traveling, use remote lessons for two weeks.
     

Attendance & Make-up lessons
  • Regular attendance is essential for musical growth; a commitment to lessons is expected when a student enrolls.

  •  There can be no tuition deduction or reimbursement for missed lessons.

  • Students should arrive no more than 5 minutes early and leave promptly at the conclusion of the lesson. 

  • If there is an occasion that you know you will be late picking up, please check with me in advance to make sure I will be there. 

  • We have all become very adept at virtual lessons.  Going forward, virtual lessons can be used as a means for not missing lessons that would otherwise have had to be cancelled.

Because schedules are complicated and sports and other events are sometimes unpredictable, I will issue a copy of my schedule as a “Swap list”. For conflicts with parties, sports activities, drama productions/rehearsals, transportation, church activities, etc., students are expected to exchange lesson times with another student or forfeit their lesson for the week. Any lesson that is not cancelled ahead of time will not be made up. 

In the event that I must cancel a scheduled lesson, I will provide a makeup lesson.

If you must cancel a lesson, please let me know ASAP.  Do not send an e-mail for same day cancellations—
TEXT me at 412-498-1829.

 
Commitment
When students enroll, they are reserving their time slot for the entire semester.  Anyone who decides to discontinue lessons should do so at the end of the semester with two weeks’ notice.  If a student/parent should decide to terminate lessons at any other time, two weeks’ notice is required.  Regardless of when appropriate notice is given, student/parent shall be responsible for payment of the following two weeks whether the student chooses to attend or not.

 

Materials Needed/Lesson Readiness
  • Students must bring a mask for in-person lessons.

  • Due to the pandemic, students/parents will be expected to purchase necessary books.  They can be ordered from Volkweins (412-788-5900 ext. 4) or from Amazon. 

  • Please make sure to bring all pertinent books to each lesson. 

  • A notebook, folder and plastic post-it flags along with the books should be kept in a book bag.

  • If you are doing virtual lessons, be sure to have a pencil and colored pencil ready along with your notebook. Be ready at your piano and ready to begin at the given time.

  • Please be sure that hands and nails are clean; nails should be trimmed before the lesson begins.  (Long nails are pretty but interfere with piano playing.)  Hair should be away from the eyes.  Restroom needs should be addressed  before arriving or starting lessons.
     

Tuition
Tuition installments are divided into equal monthly payments regardless of the number of lessons in the month.  All tuition payments are due by the 1st lesson of the month. Formal bills are not sent out.  Payments should be in an envelope with your name and date marked on the outside.  A reminder e-mail will be sent out on the 15th of each month to which a $5 late fee will be added.  The following rates will be effective beginning September 1, 2018.
30 minute lesson   $80/month
45 minute lesson  $120/month          40 minutes  $107/month
60 minute lesson  $160/month
Semester or yearly tuition payments will be accepted if this is more convenient.
Checks are accepted for any book payment.
 
Performance
Opportunities for performing will be offered to prepared students throughout the year including GPS (Great Performance Series) recitals sponsored by the PPTA (Pgh. Piano Teachers Assoc.), along with our annual spring recital. There is a $16 recital fee for this recital only. (Tentative recital date is June 3, 2018.)  Performance in studio recitals is part of the curriculum and is regarded as a lesson for that week.

 

Adjudication
The Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association offers a student evaluation program in mid-May.  This is an excellent way to promote continued musical growth and I highly recommend it for most students, though it is not required.  Those that pass the evaluations will receive an award at the spring recital.  There is a nominal fee for this event.
 
Competitions/Auditions
Students may be invited to participate in solo, duet or composition competitions as well as Student of the Month, and Honors recitals.
Violin students will have opportunities to audition for local orchestras when they reach a certain ability level.

Misc.

* PLEASE park on the driveway three across, whenever possible.

* Drinks—brought to lessons should be clear.

* The waiting area should be considered a “quiet zone”.  No phone calls.
 

This studio policy is within the guidelines of the recommended studio policy of the PPTA. 
By beginning lessons in the fall, you are agreeing to all of the above policies.

                                      "We Inspire the Desire to Aspire"

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