My philosophy for teaching is that everyone has the ability to make music. Some people, whether through innate talent, family/friend exposure, or other means, quickly understand the language of music. But for those of us that do not have such advantages, we can still excel to any level of skill that we desire. The mantra is simple: if you put the time into practicing, you will improve, no matter what.
I believe that students should learn not only the music of past masters, but also music that is relevant to them in this day and age. Once a student has enough skill to have some basic proficiency & technique (this varies greatly from instrument to instrument), I find it important to work on not only etudes, scales, and classical pieces, but music that the student is passionate about, whether it be pop, rock, etc. Musicology is also an essential part of any musician’s training. With this method, my goal is to foster a life-long enjoyment of music, and to teach the student how to discern what “good” music is from a cultivated perspective.
What Happens In a Lesson?:
The music lesson is an invaluable tool for musicians of any age and skill level. It is a time to reinforce fundamentals, learn new approaches to prepared material, learn new concepts, and receive the advice of a fellow musician. It is not a time to warm-up or practice materials assigned from a previous session.
Reimbursement for lessons is based on the calendar month, and must be settled before or on the first lesson of each month. Although typically 4, 3 or 5 lessons may be scheduled to account for varied months and holidays. Lessons may be suspended at any point if more than one lesson is outstanding.
Planned Absences (Excused):
Absences due to family vacations, school trips, extracurricular activities, or any other conflict known ahead of time should be confirmed a minimum of one week in advance. The earlier the notice, the earlier make-up time can be allotted and completed. Excused lessons can be made up on a separate day, or as time added to preceding or succeeding lessons.
Missed Lessons (Excused and Unexcused):
A 24 hour notice is needed in the event that something Non-Emergency comes up on short notice that will cause a lesson to be missed and to be considered an Excused lesson. This lesson is available for makeup.
If cancellation occurs within the 24 hours of a lesson and no notice is given, it will be counted as an unexcused lesson. This lesson is charged as if it happened and cannot be made up.
This is, however, handled on a case by case basis – please call me ASAP if you are unable to make your lesson. If 15 minutes of the scheduled lesson elapses and student has not arrived it will be treated as an unexcused lesson.
In the event that I must miss a lesson for reasons other than an extreme emergency, I will notify you at least one week ahead of time. In either case, a make up lesson will be scheduled according to the excused lesson policy.
Materials & Supplies:
Throughout the students’ lesson time I will make recommendations on literature, repertoire, equipment, and supplies. As a general rule, I will ask the student to procure literature, repertoire, etc. Should I purchase materials for the student, the parents/guardian/student agrees to reimburse the costs of said materials in a timely matter (receipts/invoices will be provided for all items).
Expectations of the Student:
Students will practice AT LEAST 15 minutes a day, 6 days a week. Consistent practice makes us better, which makes the experience more fun, which makes us want to practice more, which makes the experience even more fun, etc. The key is to practice every day, so that ideas from the lesson are not forgotten and your brain keeps those connections required for music fresh.
Students will be on time for lessons. Showing up late means that the lesson will be shortened and we will cover less ground.
Students are required to keep a practice journal. This allows for us to keep track of what we should be doing week to week.
Students will have all materials ready and close at hand for the lesson, including a pencil, their practice journal, instrument, and music.
Students will maintain their instruments, and ensure that they are in working order each week. An instrument in good condition makes good music! I will be happy to show you how.
Students will complete any and all assignments given in the previous lesson, before the next lesson.
Students will always feel free to ask questions concerning anything we are working on!
Expectations of the Parent(s):
Parents will positively encourage the students in the completion of their daily practice time. This will ensure satisfactory progression of the student, and an important involvement in the student’s musical study.
Parents will encourage the student to practice while the parents are home. This will ensure that time is spent on the material that has been assigned.
Parents will reimburse the teacher for materials purchased for and left with the student within one week of receiving such materials. This will allow for continued and timely procurement of new materials for the student as they progress throughout time.
Parents will feel free to question any aspect of the teachers’ method, approach, expectations, and requirements or if any concerns or questions should arise.
Expectation of the Teacher:
I will strive to provide musical instruction of the highest quality to the student by engineering a method specifically suited to their needs and aspirations. I will consistently search for new ways to challenge, enrich, and improve my students – providing them with the tools for a worthwhile musical experience.