What materials are required?

Parents are responsible for the cost of books. I normally will purchase the books in advance for parent convenience. 

 

Parents are also required to provide the following: 

  • an acoustic piano which is regularly tuned or an 88-key weighted keyboard with sustain pedal

  • an adjustable-height bench.

 

  • a metronome which is easy to use.

Do we need a piano for piano lessons? 

  • Yes, your child will need a piano or an 88-key weighted keyboard for practicing on at home. 

  • You should try to get the best piano or keyboard that you can afford. Many good instruments can be found second-hand. If in doubt, it is a good idea to have a used instrument checked by a technician prior to purchase. 

When are lessons scheduled?

Summer lessons (2021) are scheduled on Tuesdays and/or Wednesdays from June 8 to August 18th. Lessons are not scheduled during the following breaks:

  • June 27 to July 2

  • August 1 to August 7

School year lessons (2021-2022) are scheduled weekly from August 31 to June 12th. 

 

  • Lessons are not scheduled over Christmas break.

  • Lessons are not scheduled from Good Friday to the following Thursday. Lessons resume on 2nd Friday in Easter break.

  • Lessons ARE scheduled on all other statutory holidays.

  • Lessons ARE scheduled during February breaks. 

How much should my child practice?

Students should be practicing every day. Even a little practice every day is huge in terms of benefiting their learning and technique! However, practicing will look very different for a 5 year old, than it will look for a 12 year old. The younger children are, the more exploratory their practice will be. Younger children need and desire more help and attention from a parent when they practice. Younger children will benefit from shorter and more frequent practicing. I have heard from many successful student's parents that their child only practices for 5 minutes at a time, but that they will sit down at the piano many times during the day. That is ok! Little kids brains work differently than us big people! 

Children younger than eight years old will need help from parents to practice. Parents can find their child's practice assignment on their Google doc notebook page or in their piano binder (Covid dependant). 

A very approximate guide to how much practice should be happening at home: 

  • preschoolers: 5-10 minutes daily

  • first year students: 15 minutes daily

  • second year students: 20 - 30 minutes daily

  • students in RCM Prep A to Level 2: 30 minutes daily

  • students in RCM 3 - 5: 35 to 40 minutes daily

  • Students in RCM 6 and 7: 45 minutes daily

  • Students in RCM 8 and up: an hour or more daily. 

Does my child have to take RCM exams?

RCM examinations are not required for my students, however, I strongly encourage my students to participate in exams and festivals! 

Some benefits of participating in exams:

  • Motivation! Students who are anticipating an exam at the end of the school year are more motivated to practice. 

  • Measurable goals! Students who set goals that are measurable are more likely to achieve them. 

  • Internationally recognized curriculum! The RCM curriculum is an internationally recognized standard. Even non-musicians recognize the value of RCM certificates.

Some benefits of participating in festivals: 

  • Students grow their performance muscles! Being able to perform for an audience is a very important aspect of being a musician. 

  • Students are part of their music culture! Being part of local music activities is beneficial to a student's identity as a musician within their own community. 

  • Students set and work towards measurable goals! 

What are Flex lessons?

  • Flex lessons are custom planned specific to the student's and parents' needs and preferences.

  • Some examples of Flex lessons are:

    • students who wish to just focus on learning pop music,

    • students who wish to learn to play vocal accompaniments

    • students who wish to learn just church or worship music.  

What are Buddy lessons?

  • Buddy lessons are arranged when two students at the same playing level  (as determined by the teacher) share the same lesson time.

  • A buddy lesson is taught to both students at the same time. There is no waiting around! Students are actively engaged for the entire lesson.

  • Planning for buddy lessons includes shared music activities, shared music games, and duets! 

  • Buddy lessons also include all the same thorough planning as individual instruction. 

  • Siblings cannot usually share a buddy lesson because of differences in playing levels or learning speed due to a difference in age. 

  • Do I need to find my own buddy for my child to take buddy lessons? No, if you are interested in buddy lessons for your child, please let me know and I will try to find a suitable partner. 
  • Buddy lessons are most suitable for beginner and intermediate students. Buddy lessons are one hour in length. 

How is tuition calculated?

Tuition is calculated by multiplying the hourly rate by the number of lessons in the academic session and amortized over the session. Tuition is paid in advance by post-dated monthly cheques. 

Materials are acquired by myself and paid for by parents.

Festival and exam fees are paid by the parents.