Welcome 2019-2020 Students! I’m excited to begin our work together. Understanding policies and expectations will help ensure a fun, successful, and musical experience.
Lessons Overview: Piano students receive 30 minute weekly lessons from September through May, and two formal studio recitals. Please see the Studio Calendar for this year’s complete list of scheduled lessons and recitals. Student events and workshops may also be scheduled throughout the year.
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 that a parent gives their child, and a it is 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. I am honored to help your progress at the piano and to become a well-rounded individual.
Teaching is a profession, and I approach it as such. I teach because I love teaching and I love music. There is great fulfillment in helping students develop their skills on the piano and watching their enjoyment of the process.
need the benefit of their parent's maturity to help them persevere through the inevitable plateaus, in addition to helping them celebrate their successes.
In the lesson: Parents may attend the lesson or not. If you’re not sure, my recommendation is not to attend, as students tend to focus and be more creative with fewer adult observers. With that said, parents and the occasional visitor (such as a visiting grandparent) are welcome.
For 22 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.
Communication: I welcome feedback and communication. For a last-minute communication on the lesson day, text is best. Email is good for a longer conversation, or we can schedule a phone call. It’s great to touch base between lessons, but I have to keep it brief.
- Daily Practice: see notes on practice above, and make it a good habit!
- Attendance: Regular, on-time attendance with a polished assignment.
- Hands Ready to Play: Nails should be kept short to ensure proper technique. Playing with long nails is like trying to run in high-heeled shoes!
- Students always wash hands before the lesson.
Our studio offers three types of performance opportunities each year.
1) A formal Spring recital in late May/early June and a Christmas recital is held each December at a local church.
2) An optional themed recital/party will be held either in the fall or in the winter. This will be a ‘students only’ event.
My studio (as a whole) does not participate in piano competitions at this time. If your student desires to enter a school music competition or performance, I am happy to help them select music. I am experienced in helping prepare students for such competitions and events, and am interested in helping them achieve success!
Tuition and Fees
- Effective 2019-20, Floyd Piano Studio has moved to an All-Inclusive Tuition Policy. Recital fees, Workshops, and Instructional books, music, and on-line materials are included in the fees. Of course, you are invited to purchase additional books/music that the instructor does not provide.
- Tuition is paid, in advance, in equal monthly payments per semester through your bank's bill pay service, on-line credit card payments, Paypal, cash or check,. Invoices are emailed 7 days prior to the new month. Tuition is due on the first calendar day of each month.
- There is no enrollment fee at this time.
- Enrollment in the studio includes 30-minute private or partner lessons. The studio calendar is scheduled and posted on the easy-to-use online calendar - mymusicstaff.com. The student's actual number of and duration of lessons is dependent upon attendance and promptness.
- All payments are non-refundable.
- If termination is necessary, a 30-day notice is courteous and customary.
Tuition and Fees
30-minute weekly private lessons: $110/month (materials and fees included)
30-minute weekly partner lessons: $75/month (materials and fees included)
30-minute biweekly lessons: $30 per lesson (materials & recitals extra)
A Word About Tuition: What you pay is tuition. It is not calculated as an hourly fee for services rendered because teaching is more than the time I spend with your student. Tuition covers time spent with students, preparation time, teacher training and experience, recital costs and preparations, professional organization memberships, professional journals, studio expenses, property taxes, self-employment taxes, insurance, business licenses, retirement, continuing education, and certification costs.
My studio is designed to accommodate families' busy schedules. Parents in my 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.
Your time is valuable, and it is important for your piano teacher to be dependable. It is rare that I must cancel lessons.
Absence and Make-up Policy
Please take special note of this policy in order to avoid any misunderstanding.
Missed lessons are not refunded. No-show or cancellation with less than 24 hours’ notice: You have forfeited the lesson and it will not be made up.
Advance reschedule or cancellation: I provide Student Make-Up Days each semester (see Studio Calendar). Make-up days must be used before the end of the studio semester (December and Spring recitals mark each semester’s end). I can sometimes facilitate a conversation between students to switch times with each other, but this is at my discretion and not guaranteed.
Teacher cancellation: In the event that I must cancel, I will offer 3 options for an additional make-up day. Students who do not sign up for a make-up lesson will not be offered additional options.
Sickness: Please do not come to your lesson sick. Many hands share the piano each day. If a student displays obvious signs of a contagious illness, I will contact an adult for an early pick-up.
Please know that when you sign up for a lesson, it is reserved for you and is not shown as an available time for other interested students (unless you have cancelled 24 hours in advance). For that reason, I do not reschedule and/or refund missed lessons)
Summer Lessons and Extended Breaks
Summers in Michigan are short; I believe they are to be savored. For this reason, I enroll summer students who really want to continue their studies. I teach a limited schedule. I honor your vacation plans, and appreciate your willingness to honor mine as well.
Parking, Drop Off and Pick-Up
Street parking is easy. Please avoid using or blocking our driveway. We have many drivers and lesson times are prime time for comings and goings in my household! Curb drop-off is fine at your lesson time, as I am expecting you. Students are welcome to arrive a few minutes early. I cannot go over time due to a late start. NOTE: I may ask that your student arrive early/stay late to “buddy” with another student for piano theory game or duet. This will be done on a case-by-case basis.
MATERIALS - Each student uses 2-3 music books/or pieces of music. I will purchase the materials include the cost in the monthly invoice. The yellow assignment pages are our main point of contact. It details the practice assignment in manageable steps, provides recommendations for easier practice, and has a space for the student/parent to log practice.
- Students should always look at their yellow assignment page.
About the curriculum: A 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.
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.
The best choice, if possible, is a tuned good-quality acoustic piano. When playing an acoustic piano, the vibration from the hammer striking the string travels through the fingers, creating a much more nuanced technique in the musician. An untuned or poorly working piano will cause enormous frustration for your child and can significantly slow his or her rate of progress. Keep in mind that a sentimental or beautiful piece of furniture is not necessarily a musical instrument appropriate for practice.
A digital piano is slightly inferior in this way. It is a useful tool for imitating the sound of a piano, but the physical responsiveness is somewhat lost. Space, cost, and sound level are considerations you must consider.
- Requirements for a digital piano:
- Full range (88 keys) Fully weighted keys (keys have a bit of tension to mimic the heavier keys of a piano)
- Equipped with music stand and pedal Set on a sturdy stand or table at proper height (about 28” from floor)
- Bench at a height that keeps forearms level while playing - use folded towels or a firm cushion to increase bench height
A digital piano that doesn’t meet these requirements doesn’t work for piano lessons.
- A quiet environment in which to practice. Students should not be allowed on a regular basis to practice unmonitored with headphones on an electronic piano.
- Access to an electronic device which will allow the student to listen to downloaded recordings of their lesson book pieces (this may be a smart phone, tablet, or personal computer).
- A metronome which will allow the student to keep a steady beat and the appropriate tempo of their lesson book pieces.
Home Studio Understanding
I have chosen to keep my studio in my home. I am always glad when students feel that it is a welcoming, calm, and enjoyable space. In order to keep it that way, here are some boundaries to keep in mind:
Students & Families are most welcome to:
- Use the restroom (of course)!
- Ask for a drink of water.
- Wait quietly outside the studio (on the stairway steps, dining room or foyer) or on the front porch. Remove shoes or keep them on (in rainy/snowy weather, please do remove shoes).
- Pet the dog(s) before or after the lesson (Remember to let sleeping dogs lie and to respect their space).
- Please be mindful: Respect my home, family, and belongings by staying focused on your lesson. Respect the next student’s lesson time by not staying much past your lesson time.
- Keep actions safe – I know you’re a superhero, but save climbing and leaping for the playground.
- Keep phone conversations outside or in the dining room.
- Siblings should be supervised at all times and not disrupt the lesson.
- Do not disturb neighbors.
Thank you for allowing me to have the pleasure of teaching your child!