Welcome to my studio & my home!
We aim to have fun and work hard as a team in a safe and respectful environment!
Parking & Arrival: Directly in front of the house there is a NO parking zone (the sign is past the neighbours). Please park across the road on McKitrick or farther up Rickey Place. To keep the walkway clear, please leave your boots/shoes on the tray or the shoe rack and hang your coats on a hook. Try to arrive 5 minutes early and come right down to the studio. There will often be a game ready for you to play as we wait for everyone to arrive! If you have a private lesson before class you will also want to arrive a few minutes earlier than the scheduled lesson. If you need to use the washroom at any time it is in the hall outside the entrance to the studio.
Missing class: If you know ahead of time that you will be unable to attend a lesson, please let me know right away. I can usually make a video of key moments in the lesson if I am given a week’s notice. Given at least two weeks notice I can arrange any materials to give to you the week before your absence. Any extended absence (travel abroad, etc) should be discussed with me as soon as you are aware it so that we can arrange the best way to keep you engaged and up to date with the class. If the weather is inclement, you will have an email by 3pm IF class is going to be cancelled. If I cancel a class for any reason, we will either add the lesson at the end of the year or I will video the lesson for you to watch on YouTube.
Payment: Tuition payments are due on the twentieth of each month from August through April. It is usually most convenient to write post-dated cheques at the beginning of the year. You are permitted to lump several payments into one cheque.
You may choose to pay by e-Transfer if you prefer that to cheques.
Discontinuing classes: When you join an MYC class you are making a commitment for the full length of the course. Since new students cannot join the class mid-year, I cannot recoup the cost of any student who withdraws. If for any reason you do wish to withdraw from lessons, no deposited lesson fees will be refunded but I will void any cheques that have not been yet deposited.
Who comes to class: Each lesson is attended by the child and one adult. Most families choose to have the same adult attend class each week but it is perfectly acceptable to alternate between parents or have a grandparent or teenage sibling attend with the child if needed. Because of insurance coverage, no extra children are to attend the class except in the case of infants in Sunrise classes.
Be sure that any adult attending class understands that he/she is expected to:
-be fully engaged participating in class (sing along!),
-support the child emotionally with a positive attitude,
-allow the child freedom to fail without anyone getting upset,
-be impressed at how amazing this kid is!
Music at home, Guidelines: Being a musician is much more than sitting at a piano. Your homework page includes assignments from many aspects of music education, including listening, singing, rhythm and music theory. You must not neglect these important skills. At least half of your “practice time” should be spent away from the piano working with your singers voice, your clapping hands, your listening ears, your rhythm bag, your tin sheet, and other tools and games. What I ask from you is to practice at least 5 days. It is for you to decide each day whether you have given enough effort to say that you’ve done a good practice.
You will need to spend some time at the piano of course. The amount of time will vary from person to person, from week to week and from year to year. If you are finding that you are unable to play all selections at a steady speed (without pauses) by the end of the week, please let me know when you arrive at class. I can help you determine if you need to spend more time at the piano or if you just need to be more effective in your piano time.
Piano Practice: The most important thing I can say about practicing is “repeat tiny sections”. The second is “listen to what you’re doing…is that what you meant to do?”. That’s really all you need to know about practicing. 😉 But if you want a good manual on the subject, check out http://www.pianofundamentals.com/book/en/chapter_1
It’s easy to read and just a few chapters can make your piano practicing a lot more effective.
Music at home, Expectations: I understand that everyone tends to be very busy and music education varies in priority from family to family and from time to time. Hence, I am not going to get anyone “in trouble” for failing to complete assignments. It is the parents’ responsibility to teach the child appropriate self-discipline as well as “work-life balance”. However, I also know that your experience in MYC may be the only or the primary musical education and experience built into your family life. So, I try to provide as much help as I can to encourage music experiences outside of class time. Listening to music and involving yourself in a fun way (dancing, clapping, singing along, etc) is required to create a good musician and probably the best way to develop rhythm and listening skills. My website includes lists of music for listening at home, through the public library website and others. I also keep information there about concerts and events going on in the city (if you know of a great music or arts event for kids, let me know so I can add it!) Please make use of these as much as possible, I know we’re all busy but … what are we so busy with if there is no time to enjoy music?