Lessons

My teaching studio is open to students of all ages. I teach lessons via FaceTime or Zoom and will also resume in person lessons when it is safe to do so.

I am pleased to offer private lessons in my home studio in Ridgefield, WA. I have over ten years teaching experience, and enjoy working with students of all ages and abilities. Lessons focus on repertoire, technique, expression, and music theory, and can also include contemporary styles, depending on the interest of the student.

Studio Policies

TEACHING PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS:

  • Create an environment where students are encouraged to discover the joy in music making and constantly challenged to strive for excellence
  • Create a program designed to meet the specific needs of each student
  • Act as a mentor in the character growth that comes from disciplined study of an instrument

LESSONS

  • Students should arrive on time (please do not arrive more than five minutes before the scheduled lesson) with all of their books and practice log/assignment sheet. Late arrivals will not have their missed time added to the end of their lesson.
  • Parents are encouraged to periodically sit in on their student’s lessons. Younger students in particular will need parental support for encouragement and to help them maintain frequent, on task practice sessions.
  • Siblings are welcome to sit in on the lesson time when accompanied by a parent, as long they are not disruptive.
  • Students should be picked up promptly after the end of their lesson.
  • Consistent attendance is crucial to a student’s success. Please ensure that they are at every lesson. If the student must miss a lesson, the lesson will only be made up if the instructor is given at least 24 hours notice. (Note: Tuition will not be refunded for missed lessons.)

PRACTICE EXPECTATIONS

  • Learning to play the piano takes dedication and discipline. The lesson time is only a small part of the learning process. The student must do most of the work in his or her own practice time. The lesson is not for practicing. If the student does not adequately prepare, it is impossible to move forward.
  • The minimum practice schedule is 30 minutes per day, 5 days of the week. This may be broken into several sessions throughout the day.
  • A practice log will be kept throughout the week and shown to the teacher at each lesson. “Messing around” on the piano is encouraged, but this should not be recorded in the practice time.
  • Practice time should only include focused work on the assigned material.
  • Daily practice is very important. It is much more effective to practice throughout the week than trying to “cram” right before a lesson.
  • Practice techniques will be learned in lessons and should be applied at home. Playing through a piece once or twice is not practicing. Proper practice includes stopping to work notes and rhythms that are consistently missed.
  • I highly recommend that the parent sit with the student during the practice session to help them complete their assignment. Some helpful guidelines:
    • Ages 7 and under need the parent there for 100% of the practice time as much as possible.
    • Ages 8-9 need the parent there about two-thirds of the time.
    • Ages 10-12 need the parent there about one-third of the time.

DISMISSAL OF LESSONS

Problems that occur will be brought to the attention of the student and parents. If the problem persists, students may be dismissed for any of the following reasons:

  • Repeated failure to attend lessons
  • Repeated lack of preparation for lessons
  • Behavior or attitude problems
  • Nonpayment of tuition or other expenses