Teaching Philosophy & Enrollment
My goal is to provide students with a well-rounded piano education, emphasizing music reading and independent practice skills. I believe piano lessons are a gift you give your child and a valuable investment in his or her personal development.
The relationship between a piano teacher and his or her students and their parents often lasts for several years. I urge you to be careful about your choice of a teacher. There are piano teachers in this area to meet the needs of all types of students, and you will rarely find a teacher who is genuinely interested in or capable of being all things to all students.
If you are looking for intense instruction for your child to become a concert pianist, or, at the other extreme, you're simply looking for an entertaining, recreational activity for your child, I am probably not the teacher for you. Teaching is a profession, and I approach it as such. I teach because I love teaching children and I love music. There is great fulfillment in helping students develop their skills on the piano and watching their enjoyment of the process.
For more than 20 years, I have personally witnessed how piano lessons have changed students' lives for the better. Piano study includes moments of great fun, but also requires patience, sustained effort, and constant motivation. It is very different from most other activities in which your child is involved. Playing the piano, even at an average level, involves complex thinking skills and highly developed coordination. It takes time and repetition to develop those abilities. This is why regular practice is so important. Enrolled students are expected to arrive at lessons with assignments completed.
Successful students come from homes where there is an expectation of daily practice and a commitment to the long-term process of learning to play the piano. Parental encouragement, reminders, and rewards are essential. By enrolling your child in piano lessons, you, the parent, are making this commitment to guide your child through this process. Children don't yet have the ability to fully understand what that commitment means. Over the course of time, children experience varying degrees of excitement about most activities that require a long-term effort. They need the benefit of their parent's maturity to help them persevere through the inevitable plateaus, in addition to helping them celebrate their successes.
Our studio offers performance opportunities each year.
1) A formal Spring recital at the end of the school year, and a Christmas recital is held each December at a local church.
2) An optional themed recital/party may be held either in the fall or the winter, if the calendar allows. This will be a ‘students only’ event.
Our studio does not participate in piano competitions at this time.
Tuition and Fees
- Effective 2018-19, Floyd Piano Studio has moved to a Flat Rate Tuition Policy. There will be nominal recital fees; you will be asked to purchase lesson books/music/on-line materials based upon teacher recommendation.
- Tuition is paid, in advance, in 9 equal monthly payments per year through secure bank transfer (ACH), Paypal, or on-line credit/debit card payments. Online payment will be set up for auto pay. Checks or Cash payment will be accepted should you not be able to arrange on-line payment. Tuition is due on the first Monday of each month.
- There is no enrollment fee.
- Enrollment in the studio includes 33 (Monday and Tuesday) and 30 (Wednesday and Thursday) scheduled 30-minute lessons in the 2018-19 school year. The actual number and duration of lessons is dependent upon attendance and promptness.
- Lessons that are scheduled biweekly, or begin mid-year will be charged per 30 minute lesson.
My studio is designed to accommodate families' busy schedules. Parents in our studio are provided with the ability to schedule and reschedule events using the studio's easy-to-use online calendar - mymusicstaff.com. The calendar notates the change, and parents are sent convenient reminders about upcoming lessons.
You will be sent a link to login in to floydpiano.mymusicstaff.com.
Your time is valuable, and it is important for your piano teacher to be dependable. Lessons in our studio are rarely cancelled by the teacher.
If a lesson is cancelled 24 hours prior to the lesson time, you will be allowed to make-up that lesson. Please schedule the earliest 'make-up' lesson slot available through the student portal. Cancellations made after the 24 hour deadline will result in no make-up lesson.
Students will be allowed to sign-up for make up lessons up to 1 hour prior to the lesson.
If you find you need to discontinue piano lessons, a 30 day notice is customary. Monthly billing will extend through month end of the last lesson.
Summer Lessons and Extended Breaks
Summers in Michigan are short; they are to be savored. For this reason, I enroll summer students who really want to continue their study. I teach a limited schedule. I honor your vacation plans, and appreciate your willingness to honor mine as well. Payment for summer lessons will be handled separate and apart from your flat rate tuition.
- Alfred's Prep Course, Alfred's Basic Piano, or
- My First Piano Adventures, by Faber, with accompanying Writing Books, or
- Piano Adventures, by Faber, and
- Theory, chords and chord patterns, technique, ear training, and sight reading curriculum which is introduced at appropriate junctures of your student’s music education.
This carefully selected curriculum, with supporting technology, is designed to provide students with the optimum opportunity to develop strong music reading skills while enjoying a high quality of piano repertoire. Students are also encouraged to select fun, extra-curricular piano pieces, which will help them apply skills learned in lessons.
Basic Piano Lesson Terminology
Studio - Location of lessons
Lesson - A session of instruction by the teacher at the studio
Metronome -a device used by musicians that marks time at a selected rate by giving a regular tick
Practice - Time the student spends at home completing playing, workbook, and computer assignments
Recital - An opportunity to perform in front of an audience
Piece - A song on the piano
Repertoire - A list of performance-ready pieces the student maintains
Tempo-the speed at which a passage of music is or should be played
Students will need to bring their piano bag with their books to every lesson. In addition, students will need the following at home:
- A piano in good working order is an essential investment your child's piano education, and I may delay enrolling a new student until he or she has an appropriate piano for practice at home. An untuned or poorly working piano will cause enormous frustration for your child and can significantly slow his or her rate of progress. It can even cause the student to lose interest in piano completely. Keep in mind that a sentimental or beautiful piece of furniture is not necessarily a musical instrument appropriate for practice. A full-sized (88-key) digital keyboard with a pedal and a stable stand is preferable to a low-quality acoustic piano. Smaller electronic keyboards should be considered toys and are useful only in the earliest stage of lessons until a better instrument is available. Keyboards with keys smaller than standard size or without touch response are unacceptable for piano students. Students should not be allowed on a regular basis to practice unmonitored with headphones on an electronic piano.
- A quiet environment in which to practice.
- An electronic device which will allow the student to listen to downloaded recordings of their lesson book pieces.
- A metronome which will allow the student to keep a steady beat and the appropriate tempo of their lesson book pieces.
Thank you for allowing me to have the pleasure of teaching your child!