What you can expect from weekly piano lessons
Every piano student is unique in their skills, abilities, and learning journey. I teach each weekly piano lesson with the student’s specific needs and goals in mind. My objective is to create individualized programs that will not only build upon the strengths of my students, but will also identify weaknesses and find strategies for overcoming them.
Each lesson is designed to develop musicianship and to nurture personal expression. My students have assignments and goals for the following week, for which I hold them accountable.
Understanding the basics of music theory—the principles of harmony, melody, and rhythm—is vital to good musicianship. Each student has a theory book—in addition to their lesson book. The student has assigned pages coordinated with the weekly lesson.
I also make available to my students participation in the Arizona Study Program, which is linked with the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association). This includes adjudication of four memorized pieces and a music theory exam in April or May, for which students prepare all year long.
I expect to teach every week. Lack of practice is no excuse for a student to miss a lesson! If I am notified in advance that a student must miss a lesson because of illness or other unavoidable conflict, I will do my best to find an alternative lesson time later that week. It is not always possible to find a time for a make-up lesson. If I as the teacher miss a lesson, I will reimburse you.
Your home piano
It is important that all students have daily access to an acoustic, full-sized piano, whether an upright or grand piano. Because it is important that piano students become accustomed to the feel and responsiveness of an acoustic piano, I strongly discourage the use of electronic keyboards as daily practice instruments. If you do have an electronic piano, it must have weighted keys and at least one pedal.
I expect my students to practice at home at least five days each week.
In general, a student needs to practice his or her entire assignment from the most recent lesson in every practice session.
- Beginning students need to practice at least 10 to 15 minutes daily.
- Very young students will need guidance from a parent.
- For third- and fourth-year students, 30 to 40 minutes of daily practice is needed.
- Students in middle school and high school—whose music is typically more complex and more challenging—need to devote at least 45 minutes to daily practice.
Summer lessons are not required. If you desire summer piano lessons, they will be scheduled in May for select dates in June or July. It all depends on my travel schedule—and the desires of the student.