Piano Lesson Fees and Policies

Tuition Fees:

Monthly Tuition, September through June: 37 lessons per year

30-minute lessons - $128
45-minute lessons - $192
60-minute lessons - $256



What is included in Tuition:
Private lesson planning
Use of music library
Studio Supplies
Three 60-minute tutoring/collaborate/jam session on a quarterly basis per calendar
Performance opportunities within community
Collaborative music opportunities
Practice rooms
No Registration Fee




Quarterly Friday Evening Music Session:

We offer a quarterly (3 times a year) 60- minute collaborative music session for missed lessons or for the opportunity for students participating in collaborate music to rehearse/and or jam or tutoring.
These sessions are included in the tuition.  Where a make-up time cannot be found, this session will be used as such.


Recitals/Performance

Goals set and achieved are important in building self-confidence. Listening and encouraging peers is an integral part of music appreciation, as well as recognition of hard work and a job well-done. To achieve this, Foothills Academy holds a Christmas/Holiday recital and an end-of-year celebration along with several performance opportunities throughout the year.


For Parents: Swimming Lesson Analogy 

I am always told, "my child loves lessons, but doesn't practice".  Be patient if your student is in a slump! Keep in mind the big picture.  I think of swimming lessons: "How is it we learn to swim with only weekly 1/2hr lessons and no pool to practice in?" Your student continues to learn and be exposed to a new skill. Often not until they reach their teens does it become a passion, but they have learned the art of note-reading and hand/eye coordination. (think of all those "garage bands" we started in high school)

Now, if we are looking at "Olympic Gold", then we better swim every day several times a day.

The following stages are what I have observed over my 40 years of teaching:

The 6 stages of piano study

Stage 1 (ages 4-6): “Listen to me play, everybody!”
In this pre-piano stage, children love to make sounds on the piano just for the sake of being able to make sounds themselves.  The concept of music is fascinating and they enjoy being able to be in control and produce sounds out of an instrument with their own hands.  Children typically learn through peer group interaction and like being in groups, hence their motto: “listen to me play, everybody!”
Stage 2 (ages 7-8): “Not now, later.”
Once piano students enter the beginner and late beginner stages, they find that playing the piano actually takes practice.  This is different than before, when playing the piano was fun and like playing a game.  All of a sudden, motivation levels have dropped because now piano actually takes work.  Note reading is difficult and each lesson is getting progressively harder.  The student gets discouraged.  The lesson time is often spent with the teacher practicing with the student what they were supposed to practice at home.
Stage 3 (ages 9-10): “Look mom – with my eyes closed!”
Students have gotten past the difficult stage of note reading and music concepts begin to make sense.  For some reason, something has “clicked” in the students’ minds and they figured out note reading through ‘every good boy does fine’ or other means.  Usually at this stage the student’s goal is to play as fast as possible or play pieces memorized with their eyes closed, in attempts to show off to family and friends.  At this age, students enjoy flashcards as a means of learning, showy pieces, and tunes they recognize.  Regular practice time can still remain a challenge due to distractions at home (i.e., video games, television, internet, friends, etc.).
Stage 4 (age 11): “Why can’t I have good music – like rock or pop?”
At this age, the adolescent child begins many changes, and it can be quite difficult to continue with piano lessons.  Their world is moving out of the family structure and into a world of peer association and approval.  Students are in the early intermediate stage and teachers often begin introducing students to easy pieces from the classical era (i.e., Minuets, Sonatinas, etc.).  This type of music is so far out of line of what the student enjoys to listen to on a daily basis.  The student wonders why they can’t play “cooler” music like the Harry Potter theme song or the rock song they heard on the radio.  The student gets discouraged, do not care much for their progress at the piano, and playing the piano is no longer cool.
Stage 5 (ages 12-14): “I want to quit.”
After Stage 4, students often have resentment towards learning the piano.  It takes away from the student’s free time, it is hard work to learn the music concepts, and requires a lot of practice that the child does not have diligence for.  The teacher has expressed some frustration toward the child and the parent is placing pressure on the student to keep practicing, furthering the child’s resentment towards music lessons.  The student is not playing music he or she likes anyway, and figures the easiest thing to is to quit lessons.  Unless the parent continues to force the child to go to lessons, many students quit at this age.  Parent involvement and support is very important at this stage to ensure that the student continues learning.  Even if the parent just has the student merely “show up” to the weekly lessons until the student passes the growing pain hurdles, that is better than the student quitting on his or her own terms.  This is the stage that adults who once learned piano often look back on later and regret that they quit.
Stage 6 (ages 15-16): (If you get past the growing pain hurdles) “No more kid stuff.”
After a rough patch of frustration by the student, parents, and teacher, the student will begin to gain an appreciation for classical music in the advanced repertoire.  Students will begin to feel satisfied from their ability to play difficult pieces, and the teacher will begin guiding the student on artistry and interpretation aspects of music pieces.  The students are approaching adulthood and begin to take on responsibility without reminders.  Usually they are taking piano lessons because they want to.  The student and teacher begin to develop a strong bond of mutual respect and students can become very close to their piano teachers.


Teaching Philosophy

Welcome,

My teaching philosophy is a simple one...to create a nurturing friendship between the student and their piano that will endure a lifetime!

I know that each student asks something different of me, just as we all have independent goals.
Some want to play Chopin Nocturne's flawlessly, others to play the latest "pop" song in a band, and still others  desire to accompany their children's singing or their brothers' trumpet.
There is even the student who is only there because "mom said so", and that is alright, for they will one day thank mom for "saying so" when they choose to pick up another instrument one day and find they already know how to read music!

There is so much more to piano playing than memorizing notes...I strive to teach:
    Composition Music Forms  Theory
    Rhythm Recognition Ear Training Music History
    Interpretation Performance
    Composer Background Accompaniment and...
JOY!

I do not teach in private homes, for another simple reason...it is similar to practicing soccer in the backyard and having play-off/championship games in the same backyard.  For me, some of the most warm and exhilarating times as a student was playing on my teachers' various pianos.  How "talented" I felt as my simple beginning piano piece would vibrate from beautiful, well-crafted instruments...of course, the black grand pianos were my favorite...therefore I  have my personal Kawai grand piano in the academy so that all my students can feel that same exhilaration!

All my best,

Catherine