Studio Policy 2017-2018

My mission is to equip, encourage and inspire others with a variety of musical skills so that they will be lifelong lovers of music and be able to serve others with their gifts.

Attendance

Students should arrive 5 minutes before their lesson time and bring all their music, theory, and assignment notebooks with them.  Time will not be taken from the following lesson to accommodate your late arrival.  Please let yourself in the front door, wash your hands, and come downstairs to sit quietly in the studio until your lesson time begins.  Lessons missed by students for any reason will not be rescheduled.  If you will be unable to attend your lesson at your scheduled time please use the Swap List to change times with another student.

Lessons missed by the teacher will always be rescheduled.  The studio is open regardless of adverse weather conditions or school days off.  It is only closed as outlined in the 2017-2018 Schedule.  I ask that you determine if the weather is too bad or the roads are too icy to safely get here.  I would be glad to “Skype” or “Facetime” a lesson on a bad weather day for those who have the technology set up to do so and arrangements are made ahead of time.

Swap List

All students will receive a copy of everyone’s name, lesson time, email, and phone number.  Please only use this list to rearrange lessons for important and unavoidable conflicts.  Once you have made a swap, please confirm your exchange by calling or emailing me to let me know about the swap so I can plan accordingly.  Please note that I am not available to teach at times not listed on the Swap List.

Group Classes

Group classes will be offered 3 times a year on Friday afternoons.  These will be offered in addition to your regular lesson that week. Group classes are a time for groups of students to get together to perform for each other and study more in-depth a particular topic of musical interest such as theory, improvising, ensembles, composing, and music history.  This is a fun session time including games and group interaction! Students will be assigned to groups according to age group and level.  I place a high value on the importance of these groups and I think the students really enjoy them as well, so please make every effort to accommodate your child’s schedule on these weeks to attend his/her assigned group lesson time.  Please check the Important Dates Schedule for Group Class Dates and Times

Technology Lab “Off the Bench Time”

The technology lab provides additional practice and instruction in theory, ear training, composition and listening skills. A variety of software, apps, games and lessons are available to enhance the musical learning experience. Please plan to stay 10-15 minutes after your private lesson ends to complete this lab assignment.  (It may be possible to complete the lab 15 minutes before the lesson time begins if that is absolutely necessary for you, but only if arrangements are made ahead of time.  I will not be able to assist your child in getting into the computer or i-pad assignment if you come before your lesson time as I’m working with another student, so for young students who need assistance, they will need to plan to do the lab afterwards or have a parent prepared to assist them!)

 What Can Parents Do to Help?

  • support the student by bringing them on time to their lesson each week
  • encourage, remind, and help your child to schedule practice each day
  • provide an instrument that is in tune and well maintained
  • help your student find a time and space in which to practice that is not full of distractions (ie t.v. set, siblings playing, computer games etc.)
  • communicate with me to let me know how things are going with practice at home.
  • take 5 minutes after your child’s lesson each week (the car ride home?!) to let them review with you what their practice tasks and goals are for the upcoming week.
  • Listen during the week to hear if your child is practicing the things that they should be

I always welcome and encourage parents to attend lessons with their child so they can hear what is going on and cheer them on at home.  This is especially important for younger children!  I have noticed that students with parents who attend the lesson with their children seem to progress more quickly than parents who just “drop them off”. Remember that you are a key part of your child’s success!

Practicing for Elementary Age Students:

I would like to see students in this age group practicing around 10-15 minutes (young new beginners) to 20-30 minutes (year 2 and up) every day.  My goal for them is to get into a habit of daily practice!  To encourage this, I will send home a coloring sheet at the first lesson of each month in their notebook, and I would like them to color an object on the sheet each day after they are finished practicing. Please try to help them remember to color each day!  Help them by putting it somewhere they will see it and remember to color it each day.  I would prefer that they practice each day, not “cram” at the end of the month with several practices a day to try to meet the goal.  (Although, if they’re close, two-a-days would be alright!)  I will set a goal each month for how many days they should have colored in.  At the end of the month, parents should sign the sheet to verify the practicing actually happened, and the child should bring the sheet back to claim a reward from the prize table.  Some parents like to put their initials on each colored object each day, which is great!

Practicing for Students Jr. High and High School Age:

By the time students are this age I believe that they are taking lessons because it is something they desire to do, and therefore I hope they are intrinsically motivated to do well.  I have been noticing the last few years that progress scores, prizes, and other practice incentives do little to motivate my older students because they are, for the most part, a self-motivated group.  Therefore, my goal will be to write an encouraging note or challenge for them each week on their assignment sheet.  Please encourage them to share these with you so you can be aware of how they are doing and the progress they are making.  From time to time we will have contests and special incentives to provide added excitement and encouragement.  To meet the goals the student and I set in their lesson time, you should expect them to be practicing around 30-45 minutes every day.  Please help these students to schedule in regular practice time and remind them.

Click here for a Practice Scheduler Sheet to help you!  Practice Scheduler