Studio policies

I take pleasure in offering each prospective student a free interview session before registering for lessons. I enjoy meeting new families on an informal basis first, and feel it is important for both student and teacher to have confidence my studio is a 'good fit'. I teach beginners to Level 7, and make every effort to develop strong foundational skills so that when students reach the higher levels they are well equipped to advance. When it is time for them to begin Level 8, I will help them transition to a different teacher who will be well suited to their musical ability.  


CONTACTING ME 


Maintaining ongoing communication with students and parents is something I enjoy doing! I invite emails any time there are concerns at all. Especially if a student is not clear about their homework, please email me for clarification. 


LOCATION/STUDIO 


I have a large piano studio located in the aboveground basement of our home. I am located in East Abbotsford, one block from the Abbotsford Christian Secondary School.  There is a stairwell (equipped with a security camera and outdoor lighting) at the back of our home leading to an entryway.  You will also find a lovely, comfortable sitting room where siblings or parents may wait quietly. 



In my studio I enjoy teaching lessons on my Yamaha Baby Grand Piano. There is also a full sized Upright Yamaha Piano in the Studio. This is a Disklavier Piano with options to record and play back pieces in a variety of ways, and is a wonderful help when preparing for exams or festivals. In our living room I have a Yamaha Concert Grand Piano.  We use this for the Valentine's Recital, the June Rehearsal, and any other times I feel will be beneficial. I also have my Piano Accordion on hand, rhythm instruments, a large collection of CD's and a good sound system. 


PROGRAM OF STUDY 


For most students, lessons are based on the RCM examination curriculum. However, the program we follow will be tailored to each child's interests and musical goals. I have a large library of music which I enjoy sharing with my students. I find it exciting and refreshing to have children learn beautiful music, whether arrangements of folk songs, hymns or worship songs, familiar classics, or popular songs, to supplement the less familiar pieces in the Method Books and RCM Repertoire Books.  


REGISTRATION 


Parents must complete a registration form and accompany it with a non-refundable cheque for $30.00 per student to guarantee a lesson spot for September. The parent's signature on the form indicates  understanding and willingness to follow expectations outlined in the Studio Policy.  


WEEKLY PIANO LESSON LENGTH 


Although a 45 minute lesson is highly recommended even for beginners, this year I have decided to offer  30 minute time slots as well.  Starting at Level 5, serious students, especially those preparing for the Abbotsford Music Festival or an RCM Exam, will require a one hour lesson.  


MONTHLY TUITION and STATUTORY HOLIDAYS 


Lessons are based on $23.00 per half hour. Payment is by ten post-dated cheques, each marked the first day of the month, from September to June. Cheques should be made out to Leona Porth  


There is also a $60 Library and Activities Fee per family, which helps to cover costs of recitals, new repertoire, loaner books, photocopying, back tracks, games and other studio resources.   


Please note: the eleven cheques are due at the first lesson in September: 


  • 30 minute lessons are $120 per month 
  • 45 minute lessons are $138 per month 
  • 60 minute lessons are $184 per month 


NOTE: Monday students will not have lessons on Statutory Holidays. Over the course of September to June, this equates to one month of lessons that Monday students will miss, so they can omit bringing a June cheque. 


The above fees do not cover the cost of a student's lesson books (Method Books and the RCM materials:  Repertoire, Studies, Sight Reading, Technique, Theory). It also does not cover fees for RCM exams or the Abbotsford Music Festival.  


BONUS LESSONS 


Throughout the year, I enjoy providing extra lesson time, either as time added on to regular lessons, or, as 'extra scheduled lessons' to prepare for the Abbotsford Music Festival or RCM Exams. For such 'extra time' there is no charge. (One Exception: Rehearsal for the June Recital takes the place of the last lesson in June.) I also am hoping to offer some free group lessons this year on Saturday mornings. 


PRACTICE REQUIREMENTS 


a. Students should definitely practise a minimum of 5, if not 6 days a week. The most important time to practise is right after their lesson, on the same day, before students forget what was discussed. I ask that parents sign the practise chart found near the homework notes before the student returns.   

b. Beginner students should be prepared to practise up to 20 minutes per day. That can soon increase to 30 minutes a day. Students in Grades 2 to 4 should practise 30 to 45 minutes per day, and from Grades 5 to 7, 45 to 60 minutes or more per day. Practise times are more effective if done in two or three blocks of time. Of course ideally, practise time should be measured in terms of quality rather than quantity. The main goal is to complete assignments in order to make progress!  

 c. If your child has been ill or there have been other circumstances during the week that have affected their practise time, please either email or send a note to the lesson to let me know. 


CALENDAR  


Fall Lessons run from September 3 to December 20, 2019 with a two week break over Christmas.  

Spring lessons run from January 6 to June 23, 2020 with a two week break from March 7 until March 21.  


MISSED LESSONS 


This year there will be no make-up lessons.


A.  NEW  If your child misses a lesson, you may send me a video of your student playing their lesson pieces.  As well, please send a photo of their homework notes, and I will respond with a critique.


Kindly let me know in advance that the lesson will not be attended. 


(There will be no credit or refund for missed lessons.)


B.  Lessons missed by the teacher will be taught by a qualified substitute, or, a make-up lesson will be offered. 


C. For those who have conflicts with their lesson times, I will provide a list of parents who agree to have their names on a "Swap List", so that lesson times may be exchanged. Parents are welcome to arrange such changes by phoning or emailing one another. 


D.  If your child is ill, please keep them at home. (You are very welcome to email me a video of him or her playing the lesson pieces once they are well again, and I will respond with a written critique.) 


E. There will be no make-up lessons for snow days. If school is closed, very likely the studio will also be closed. I will notify students as soon as possible of such closures.  


WITHDRAWAL FROM LESSONS 


Students are expected to remain for the full year of study.  IF students do wish to withdraw from lessons during the year, one month's notice or one month's fee in lieu of notice, is required.  


TERMINATION OF LESSONS 


 I fully expect students to stay from September to June. IF you should decide to withdraw your child from lessons, it must be done in writing. In this case, one month's fees are forfeited.  


You may be asked to withdraw your child at any time for one of the following reasons: 


  1. lack of sufficient practise 
  2. refusing to co-operate in learning the skill of counting out loud 
  3. disrespectful or inappropriate behaviour or attitude 
  4. failure to honour studio policies 


REQUIRED MATERIALS  


  1. An acoustic piano that is well maintained and tuned yearly must be in place before piano lessons begin.  Keyboards are not acceptable. The piano should be located where there are a minimum of distractions, but at the same time, be within earshot of parents to ensure that quality practise is taking place. 
  2. A simple timer  (ie. kitchen timer) must be purchased and kept at the piano for the student to use. I find this to be an invaluable tool for any student! I relied on one for my own practising, as well as for my children's practise sessions.  
  3. metronome at the piano is necessary. Please do not rely on using an iPhone. The Seiko Quartz battery operated metronome is what I recommend, as it is straight forward to operate.  
  4. Books required will be purchased by the teacher and billed to the student. Payment must be received before the books are given to the student.  


MEDIA RELEASE 


Photos of students and videos, as well as audio recordings of students performances may be posted online and used for promotional purposes. Only first names will be given. If you wish your student to be excluded from any such postings, please do so by providing a written exclusion request, and bring it to the first lesson in September.  


HYGIENE 


Students must come to lessons with their fingernails trimmed very short. I also need them to wash their hands in the studio bathroom with soap before coming to the piano.  

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