The reasons people choose to learn to play the piano are as varied as the personalities involved. The rewards are often greater than were anticipated as are the challenges. The discipline of piano playing impacts so many other areas of life and education and the benefits are truly extensive!!
Because piano playing is as much athletic as it is intellectual, the physical training part can be demanding and requires daily practice. So before starting lessons, plan on setting aside a daily practice time. On average, plan on six to eight hours a week for every hour in class.
Also, you will need daily access to a well-maintained (in-tune & properly regulated) piano. Electronic keyboards are not acceptable substitutes for pianos because of the lack of touch-sensitivity and key-weight. This makes it difficult for you to develop the strength, articulation and control of the keyboard that you will need to be able to play a piano. Digital pianos, to some extent, mimic a piano and as much as they do are useful for beginners. To get the best out of your lessons and your effort, you will need an acoustic or hybrid piano after two to three years of piano lessons. You will also find your playing more rewarding.
The Curriculum: We utilize the Faber & Faber Piano Adventures method for Elementary (Pre-reading through Level 3A) through Intermediate (Level 3B through Level 5) or Dr. Helen Marlais’ Succeeding at the Piano method. (We try to enroll siblings in different methods to minimize rivalry and “playing-by-ear.”) Once a student completes Level 5, we continue to work on advanced repertoire and technique building exercises.
Monthly Tuition: We charge monthly tuition for access to our teaching calendar prepaid at the beginning of each month. The tuition recurs at the beginning of each month. We require timely payment to continue reserving your spot. We do not charge per lesson taught, nor do we credit for lesson(s) missed. Your tuition payment reserves a recurrent time in our weekly schedule for lessons. It is your responsibility to take advantage of that schedule and attend your lessons. The tuition has already been prorated for annual holidays.
Book Costs: Method books cost approximately $35.00 per level. The average student completes a level in one school year. Additional repertoire books may be separately charged.
Instrument Requirement: In order to enroll in this studio, the student must have daily access to at least a “digital piano” for the first three years and by the fourth year an acoustic or hybrid piano kept in-tune and in good working order. Synthesizer keyboards will not be considered adequate alternatives. Additionally a metronome is required. Wittner Metronomes are recommended, affordable mechanical and electronic metronomes are available at local music stores and on Amazon. Alternatively there are a variety of metronome apps available for smart phones.
Scheduling & Sick Days: We will work with you to find the best available weekly time-slot. If you need to make seasonal changes, we will accommodate you as best we can. If you are sick, please do not come to class. Email or call to cancel. A remote lesson via Facetime/Skype is a possible alternative. While we try to accommodate makeup lesson scheduling, a time slot may not be available at a mutually acceptable date. The following holidays have been prorated out of the schedule:
Christmas & New Years (2 weeks off)
Spring Break (to coincide with the school district)
Easter Break (Friday, Monday)
Memorial Day Weekend
Assignment Booklet: Please bring a notebook for assignments and check the assignment page each week. It contains notice of upcoming events (concert, recital & audition scheduling etc.) and communications to parents as well as the weekly practice assignments. This is our chosen method of communicating with the parents for major upcoming events. Parents may also follow the studio on Facebook for event information. If a student remains in the same assignment (excepting in the advanced levels) for over two weeks, he/she is not completing the assignment in a timely manner and may be lacking practice time or concentration during the practice period.
Practice Requirements: For every hour in class calculate 6 to 8 hours weekly minimum practice time. Parents will need to create a daily schedule for their children that will accommodate a daily practice regimen. An easy way to figure this is that your practice time should at minimum match the length of your lesson time. Younger students that have difficulty focusing for long periods of time may benefit from splitting their practice time into two or even three intervals per day. The most successful practice session is one that has been scheduled as part of the student’s daily routine on a regular basis. Consistency is the key to success. Students wishing to achieve above average progress will invest more then the minimum time. Advanced students routinely practice several hours per day.
Recitals: We hold at least one recital per year. A small recital fee is charged per student family to help with the rental and preparation costs.
Attendance: Please be on-time for your lesson. Because we have students scheduled back-to-back, we cannot go over your allotted schedule as it will interfere with someone else’s lesson. We do our best to keep the schedule running with an occasional few minutes off, so please help us by being on-time. Parents are welcome to sit in on classes.
Scheduling a Makeup Class: Although we do our best to re-schedule your lesson when notified in advance, re-scheduling is based on schedule availability by month. Make-up lessons are available only when the lesson has been cancelled by phone-message or via email 12 hours in advance. If you have a schedule conflict, please let us know in advance when you plan to miss, and arrange for a make-up class.
Communication: For schedule and general questions, texting us at our numbers is best, E-mail ( anrebe at gmail dot com) will also work.
(956)220-3630 or Rebeca or (830) 307-8788 for Andrew. Because of our teaching schedule, we work on responding to texts and emails between lessons and voice messages at the end of the day.
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