About lessons

Gaining skill as a pianist is a long-term project. Each student progresses at his/her own rate and with the help, guidance, support, and encouragement of parents and others.

Learning about lessons

  • Plan to spend 40 to 50 minutes at the lesson each week. For the very young student, it is the majority part of the time that he/she can attend profitably to the lesson in progress.
  • The parent should arrive before the lesson appointment and take time for the student to remove shoes, wash hands, and get a drink of water. Be prepared with music books, notebook, and filled-out practice sheet. The parent of the young child may help set the bench and footstool. Allow time for observation of other lessons and computer lab (age appropriate).
  • The parent is responsible for playing the CD on a daily basis softly in the background during waking hours and at night during rest. The parent agrees to be the practice supervisor for the young beginner at home daily with the following in mind:
    • Consistent, dedicated practicing is essential to success. Your child’s teacher will recommend the amount of time your child should practice each day. Work with your child to identify a time every day that doesn’t compete with other activities and establish this as their daily practice routine.
    • Help your child fill out their practice chart to track their success.
    • Check proper seating and foot position before and during playing.
    • Practice Rest and Ready positions to help the student understand and practice the ideas of self-control, focus and concentration.
    • See that fingering is correct.
    • Play one hand while the student plays the other to increase musicianship and independent playing of the student.
    • Learn to read rhythm with the Blue-Jello rhythm cards and/or Winning Rhythms book. This encourages and supports the student and is helpful to the parent as the lessons progress.
  • The lesson time is not only for the student, but also for the parent in attendance to observe closely, take notes, and learn along with the student for efficient and effective coaching and support of the student during the daily home practice sessions.
    • While the student is at the piano, the parent is encouraged to ask questions and talk with the teacher about the lesson materials, special studies, in home practicing, and any other items that need clarification or attention from the teacher. Please have your questions ready and ask them at the beginning or end of the lesson.
    • Parents are also encouraged to communicate by phone, text, or write a note and hand it to the teacher if what is to be said is not for the ears of the student.
  • The goal of the parent is to make your help a thing of the past as student skills and independence increases over time. We require a parent/guardian to be present for and actively observe all lessons, workshops and recitals for students through school Grade 10. Observing a lesson will help you understand their experiences and appreciate their individual joys and challenges. The key to a child’s musical success is parental involvement, and the priority that the family places on music at home.

Lesson Length

Lesson lengths are determined as follows (Royal Conservatory Levels):

  • Pre-school, Pre-Preparatory – 20 minute/week
  • Levels Preparatory A/B, 1 – 30 minute/week
  • Levels 2, 3, 4, 5 – 45 minute/week
  • Levels 6, 7, 8 – 1 hour/week
  • Levels 9, Advanced, Advanced Panel – 1 – 1 1/2 hours/week

The School Rules of Conduct

  • Use voice and behavior that will not disturb other students.
  • Leave all food and drinks (including gum and candy) outside.
  • Please turn off cell phones or in the case of emergency situations:
    • Switch the phone to “vibrate” mode.
    • Leave the room and answer outside
    • Alert the teacher before the lesson begins that you are expecting a call.
  • For safety please DO NOT run or jump inside or outside on the stairs.