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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?

School year lessons are scheduled weekly from the Tuesday following Labour Day, to the first Sunday in June. 

 

  • Lessons are not scheduled over Christmas break.

  • Lessons are not scheduled over Easter break.

  • Lessons for students taking exams continue until the exam. 

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 in the student's assignment notebook. 

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

  • first year students: 10-15 minutes daily

  • second year students: 15-30 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.

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.

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