Beginning Of Term Piano Lessons Newsletter September 2013

Hello Lovely Parents and Students,
Welcome to another year of music study! Here is the latest news from the wonderful world of piano lessons that I’d like to share with you.

Cancellation and Make-Ups Policy:
Each student receives two free cancellations per school year. Please advise me when you would like to use your cancellations and I will credit your invoice. Credits will not be issued for the third cancellation and beyond. If you would like a make-up lesson, I am available on Saturday afternoons 1:30-2:15pm. Make-ups will also be offered at your regular lesson time during the first week of Spring Break and the last week of June.

Lessons cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will not be credited or made up.

If the student is not at home during their lesson time, the lesson will not be credited or made up.

Practice Schedules and Assignment Sheets
Every week I write an assignment instruction sheet for each student. If the student does not follow the practice instructions, we must re-do the material from last week’s lesson and keep the same assignment. This is frustrating for student and teacher. Practicing without looking at the assignment sheets leads to bad technique, incorrect fingering, wrong notes, wrong counting, learning the wrong songs, in short many mistakes that must first be de-programmed, and then the correct information carefully re-programmed…and in the meantime, no progress is made. I appreciate that parents are working hard to provide their children with the tremendous gift of piano lessons. Having your child open their piano binder and follow their assignment instructions is a very efficient way to maximize your time and money investment in lessons. For my adult students, I recommend that you follow your assignment sheets as well. But I won’t tell your parents if you decide not to.

Consistency is so important when studying a musical instrument. I recommend establishing a practice routine for all my students. When piano practice is built into the student’s weekly schedule, there is always “enough time” to do it. A consistent practice routine is another element that will maximize your time and money investment in piano lessons. Consistent practicing leads to steady progress, which leads to pride in oneself and more ease at the piano. Which leads to fun, comfortable lessons, which leads to increased interest in practicing, which leads to even more proficiency, etc etc. It really is a virtuous circle that sustains and builds on itself, once it gets going.

Piano Maintenance
Pianos and keyboards need a little look-see about once a year. If you have an acoustic piano, please make arrangements to have it tuned and checked once a year. If you have a keyboard that is sounding funny, it may be time for a cleaning or maintenance check. Ask the staff at the keyboard department of a music store for advice regarding your particular model.
This is a great website I use all the time to find sheet music for all my students. You can search by artist, difficulty level, title, or genre. I encourage my students to choose their own repertoire as soon as they are able and this site is a great place to go looking. You download the music and print it out instantly. Please explore this site with your kids or for yourself if at all possible.

Thank you for supporting your children in their music lessons, or for giving yourself the gift of music. Being a piano teacher is enjoyable for me and I thank you all very deeply for the opportunity to practice my craft. I’ve come to believe that music is not a luxury but a necessity, something we all need to help us learn about beauty, expression, and what we are really capable of through hard work and dedication.
I look forward to another great year of working together with my students and their parents to bring out the best, highest potentials in all of us.