Studio Policies and Expectations

Karen Lander Piano Studio Policies and Expecttions

Instrument requirements

I teach piano on acoustic instruments. My studio features a 1927 Mason & Hamlin grand piano, and Kawai Aures hybrid (acoustic/digital) piano. My focus from the start is on developing a healthy technique and beautiful sound. 

Students must have a piano, or at a very minimum, commit to an 88 key weighted digital instrument with a pedal. Keyboards are not acceptable simply because there is no technique required to produce a sound on the instrument. For those who are interested in playing keyboards, there are lessons focused on that.

Registration 

If you are a new student, please contact me at klander@nexicom.net or 705-868-1070 to set up an interview. Once a student is accepted into the studio, a non-refundable registration deposit is required to secure the lesson time.

Scheduling

Lessons are offered as a hybrid of remote and in-person, scheduled to accommodate the needs of each individual student. In-person lessons are conducted from my home studio near Warsaw, located within a half hour of Peterborough and Lakefield.

Lessons for RCM Levels 2-5 are 45 minutes. Lessons for RCM Levels 6 and up are one hour. All other lessons are 30 minutes unless arranged otherwise.

Tuition

My teaching year spans 52 weeks, commencing September 1. The tuition structure provides for 33 weeks of regularly scheduled lessons, or for those scheduled on Statutory Holiday weekends, 29 weeks of regularly scheduled lessons. There are 10 weeks with no scheduled lessons, and 9 Flex Weeks.

Regularly scheduled lessons will occur September through June and there will be a revised schedule throughout the summer.

Flex weeks are used at the discretion of student families during the regularly scheduled lesson time to  accommodate family holidays or special events, for example. I teach throughout the summer and so flex week scheduling extends into July and August. Of the nine flex weeks, one is reserved by the teacher in the event of illness, otherwise will be at the discretion of the student family.

Tuition Payment

Teaching is my full-time profession. The annual tuition covers contact time with the student and time outside of lessons planning, preparing and sending lesson notes, corresponding with parents and students, researching and purchasing teaching materials, attending professional development events, marking theory and participating in the music education community. Payment for the annual tuition can be made in 12 or 4 equal instalments and must be made by post-dated cheque. Some families prefer to remit using e-transfer, which is acceptable provided that payments are regularly made on the 1st of the month. 

Missed regularly scheduled lessons

It is not my responsibility to accommodate missed scheduled lessons. Flex weeks allow families to anticipate and plan for missed lesson time, however, in the event of an unscheduled cancellation or no-show, that week will be accounted for with student Flex time.

Participating in music lessons is just like involvement on a team. We are all dependent upon one another to make the scheduling work.

Cancellation

If a student chooses to withdraw from lessons during the year, I require four weeks’ notice or payment in lieu.

Studio Recitals 

I schedule at least four private studio recitals  a year and encourage everyone to participate. It is a very rewarding goal and valuable performing experience, one that families look forward to. In 20-21 recitals will be hosted on-line until in-person events are deemed to be safe. 

Expectations

At the beginning of the year, we will establish the goals each student wants to work towards and then develop a plan accordingly.

I encourage students to pursue RCM examinations. They provide an excellent framework for development of musical skill and exposure to a wide range of interesting repertoire. Exams provide a goal that rewards all aspects of musicianship with a knowledgeable and constructive assessment. As a member of the Ontario Registered Music Teacher’s Association (ORMTA), my students are eligible to receive scholarships and awards.

Other goals can focus on preparing for particular performances such as studio recitals, the Kiwanis Music Festival, school talent shows, writing and performing a composition, or completing a studio challenge.

The success of piano lessons depends on all of us working towards the same goals and communicating with one another. It is very important that students practice regularly, follow the practice strategies and goals we set each week and be engaged in the work and activities during the lesson time.

You can expect me to:

  • Create a creative, positive and rewarding learning environment
  • Help set goals and provide a variety of resources
  • Develop a plan for the year to accomplish the student’s goals
  • Offer constructive feedback during lessons and provide practice strategies
  • Make performance opportunities available
  • Communicate regularly with students and parents

I expect students to:

  • Help set goals and share their music interests
  • Practice regularly, minimum (4-5 days per week), as assigned
  • Follow the practice plan and strategies I provide each week
  • Participate in studio recitals
  • Feel free to ask questions or for more explanation and be engaged in the lessons

Parents can help support their child by:

  • Providing the best instrument they can afford and keep it regularly maintained and tuned
  • Provide a quiet uninterrupted time and space for regular practice. Value practice time.
  • Review and support practice plan
  • Attend or sit in on lessons from time to time. Parents are always welcome in lessons.
  • Refrain from scheduling other activities during lesson or practice times 

Revised: August 2020