Lessons that Inspire, Create, and Motivate!
One-on-one piano lessons allow students to learn in a style that is interesting to them, at a pace that is comfortable. Each student receives a thorough and well-managed education on all aspects of musical performance, sight-reading, improvisation, composition, proper technique, and music theory.
Music that Motivates:
Students are exposed to a variety of musical styles from Bach and Beethoven to Jazzy Duets to Movie Soundtracks to Contemporary music. Recital pieces are fun and challenging. This helps to broaden and develop musical tastes and technique!
Our studio offers regular opportunities for performance. From Coffee Concerts to Winter/Spring Formal Recitals to festivals and exams within the greater Twin Cities, students have plenty of chances to get involved in performance!
In a typical piano lesson, a student will not only read notation and polish performance pieces, they improvise "thunderstorm songs," compose and record their own pieces, solve "ear song" puzzles, collect Music Money for at-home practice, and try very hard to beat their teacher in Flashcard Battle. This provides a well-rounded, fun experience that hits different learning styles and keeps each minute full of learning!
We strongly focus on providing resources for parents and families that will give you the best opportunity to make your investment in piano lessons a success. From newsletters to recent articles on music-brain research to a library of books you can check out on how to practice to an annual "Parents Night Out", this is the place to get information! Even within each lesson, your teacher is discussing at-home practice strategies and putting together a weekly assignment sheet that will help make practicing easier and more effective. At-home practice is a key component in successful piano study and we are here to for guidance and encouragement. Parents are always welcome to email/call with questions or for advice during the week!
Studio Policies and Procedures
I will teach you or your child the language of music. I agree to provide each student at every level with the cognitive and physical ability to play with beauty and expression. Each student will receive instruction that is well prepared and highly tailored to their individual learning style, musical motivators, and lifestyle pace. My studio is full of joy, critical thinking, and focused study. I will have an assortment of great music, interesting props, fun games, and studio incentives to keep lessons fun and interesting. My responsibilities to you as the parent also include prompt and honest communication in and out of the studio, adherence to a yearly event calendar, and respect of your time and needs during weekly lessons. I also am responsible to hold myself to a high standard of teaching through my own ever developing education as a pianist and instructor.
Student and Family Responsibilities
Students agree to come to each lesson punctually, well practiced, with their assignment books and music in hand. Students understand that the real development happens through consistent practice at home in between weekly piano lessons. Students and parents are encouraged and guided each week to develop a habit of daily efficient piano practice and guided toward incorporating music into life Beyond the study of piano, I would encourage parents and students to try and make your life as musical as possible. Attend live concerts, listen to classical music at home, and play for others!
Parents, please keep an open communication with me! If something is happening in your child’s life - either a joy or concern - I want to know! Did Sarah get a part in the school play? Is Jake struggling with a loss and needs encouragement? Are you feeling frustrated with a resistant practicer? Even a quick text on the way to the lesson can help make that lesson a positive experience.
Students are encouraged to have an acoustic, tuned piano at home. Keyboards will not provide the means to forming a proper hand shape or musical tone.
Lesson Format: Fall-Winter-Spring
Students come for lessons once a week at a fixed time slot (for example 4:30-5:00pm on Tuesdays). The time slot can be 30, 45, or 60 minutes in length depending on experience level. There are 28 private lessons and 4 weeks of group lessons per year. Registration begins in early August and time spots will be assigned by mid-August for the entire school year. Returning students are guaranteed lessons the following year. If all spots fill, a wait-list will be established on a first-come first-serve basis to accept new students as spots open up. The calendar year is calculated based on the Minnetonka public school calendar, so breaks will coordinate.
A swap list will be emailed at the beginning of the school year, and parents are encouraged to use this to swap with other families in times of scheduling conflict. I realize that seasonal sports or other activities might interfere with a chunk of lessons, and if you have a temporary scheduling conflict for 2+ weeks, I will try to find another family that might switch lesson times with you!
Lesson Format: Summer
Summer lessons operate in a very flexible "a la carte" system. To accommodate busy and varied weekly schedules during summer time, students choose which weeks and times they are able to come for lessons. Unlike the school year where lessons are set at the same time every week, during the summer students are encouraged to take anywhere from 2-8 lessons depending on their schedule. Arrangements are made directly with Emily. Students are not required to take summer lessons to be guaranteed a spot in the fall.
Attendance and Discontinuing Lessons
When a student registers for lessons, they have reserved their lesson spot (for example 4:30-5:00pm on Tuesdays) for the entire school year. Prompt attendance and quiet dismissal help guarantee that every student gets their fair share of lesson time! A swap list will be available and it is the parent responsibility to switch lesson times with another family for a week or two if needed. If you encounter a longer term (more than 2 weeks) scheduling conflict, please speak with me to try and find an alternative lesson time. Please be understanding and courteous of my set teaching hours as it affects my own time as a parent! If you find that you are missing or rescheduling more than one lesson a month, this could lead to an early dismissal.
If you are considering an early termination of this contract, you are financially responsible for 4 weeks of lessons after a written notice or email.
To enter/exit the studio, please walk around the garage to the back sliding glass door. Please respect the objects, pets, and other people in my house by using gentle hands and respectful language. If parents would like to leave their child unattended during the lesson, please discuss this with me beforehand.
I schedule two formal studio recitals each year in January and May which I expect all students to participate in. I also schedule two fun concerts each year as well. It is encouraged for students to memorize at least a portion of their recital repertoire. Please ask about other performance opportunities to participate in piano exams, contests, festivals, and other local recitals. There is a wealth of performing opportunities in this area if you are interested!
Photo and Video Release Form
I maintain a private Facebook page, Youtube channel, and blog for my piano studio. I do post pictures and short video clips of students performances, always in the best possible light. I find that it’s motivating and fun to share our piano accomplishments with friends and family. Please let me know if you would not like me to use your child’s photo or video in a public space online.