Operating Procedures


Benefits of MY PIANO STUDY, INC. Program
The primary goal of the studio is to develop music lovers, as well as proficient pianists.
Competitions, festivals, annual exams and recitals are optional opportunities for students of all ages.


There are two private Studio performance events per academic year for which most students choose to prepare: a Winter Recital in December and a Spring Recital in May. Certificates of recognition and other awards are presented at these recitals.

As a member of the National Teacher Music Association, and other active music organizations, you are assured that MY PIANO STUDY, INC. is continually growing as a community piano school with degreed teachers who are committed to their careers, both in the teaching field, presenting workshops for Chicago area teachers and chairing festivals such as the annual “C.A.M.T.A Jazz Festival in Chicago”, as well as the performance arena, presenting recitals with and without students at several venues and being active adjudicators at several piano competitions.

The studio is equipped with several grand pianos (for private and partner lessons) and a digital piano lab.

Students in group classes utilize the Studio’s Yamaha state-of-the-art piano lab, consisting of seven digital console pianos which are connected to an integrated console for individualized instruction.


Tuition Rates and Home Practice Expectations

Fee is based on 8 weeks per session. Rates are equal for all ages and levels.

Private Track: Rates for children include six private lessons and two 60-minute monthly group lessons.  
                        Rates for adults include eight private lessons.

Group Track: Rates include eight 45-minute weekly group classes.

Recommended lengths for lessons and home practice sessions, which are required for students following the Achievement in Music Program at Northwestern University, are:

Beginning Students (level 1-2): 30-minute weekly lessons. A daily 30-minute practice session could be broken into two 15-20 minute practices a day.

Level 3 to 7: 45-minute weekly lessons. Daily 45-60 minute practice session (once a day, six days a week).

Level 8 to advance: 45-60 minute weekly lessons or two 45-minute lessons per week. A minimum of one hour daily practice session (every day, six days a week).

Note: Time varies from person to person. Rather than counting minutes, monitor your concentration. If your mind starts wandering, it is time to take a brake. Discipline takes practice, though. Set a time apart for home practice (i.g: before school, before dinner, after dinner), and stick to the routine. Time spent at the piano amounts: Home practice can be even broken up to 4 10-minute sessions a day. The most important element in home practice is a high concentration level, when you are alert, and with no noises or distractions around you. Having a positive attitude is a plus to get over the challenges piano practice presents.

 

Arrival, Departure & Waiting Time

Students are expected to arrive on time for their scheduled lesson. Getting to the studio too early interferes with the lesson prior to theirs. And coming in too late doesn’t guarantee their full lesson time. When getting in the studio, be considerate of the student previous to you by entering quietly and staying at a distance, so as not to interrupt his/her concentration.

There is always plenty of parking in front of the studio. Parents are welcome to wait in the car, but keep in mind this is primarily a residential street and neighbors appreciate discretion and stillness. Parents are not required to stay at the lesson, but are welcome to do so. Taking notes and observing in silence in order to be more helpful during home practice is beneficial. However, young students are usually easily distracted by a member of the family’s presence. If a parent wants to be supportive and give the student privacy at the same time, I advise to casually stop by a lesson once in a while and trust the student to be on her/his own other times.

The studio is a non-smoking area. Please keep drinks and snacks to a minimum. I understand some students may come straight from school, and may have to wait for a sibling’s lesson, which they take as “snack time”. But sticky fingers are NOT allowed on the piano, and noisy wrappers could be very distracting. Most favorable activities while waiting: reading a good book, reviewing their theory homework or mentally practicing their pieces.


Studio Calendar

A yearly calendar is posted on the website (under “2017-2018 Info”). This calendar states all group-week dates, recital & festival dates, and even holiday make-up dates. We send reminders throughout the year, but it is your responsibility to keep track of all activities. All lessons and events are continually updated on the online calendar at www.mypianostudy.com. After logging in, you’ll be able to view your child’s scheduled lessons, classes and all events.


Lesson Format

There are five sessions during the school year.
Children (4-18 years old): Are required to take three private lessons, and one group lesson a month. Group lessons are always 60 minutes long, regardless of the length of the private lesson. See “Piano Studio Policy” for private lesson make-ups. Because of their nature, group lessons can not be made-up. Group lessons are extremely important and several concepts and activities impossible to cover in a private lesson (because of time constraint and / or performance orientation) are done at the group. Just a few of the activities left for these special encounters are:

  1. Music Appreciation: Students have the opportunity to listen to different music styles (e.g. baroque, classical, romantic, impressionistic, jazz, etc…) and discuss elements such as musical texture, harmony, patterns, history, to name a few.
  2. Music Composition and improv: given a few music elements, students compose or improvise pieces as a group or individually, and perform them for the group.
  3. Theory Review: this is the most fun at a group. While playing games such as “Musopoly”, “Musical Bingo”, “Music Adventures”, “Musical Spin and Tell”, etc, youngsters review all kinds of rhythm patterns, intervallic reading, and other theoretical concepts that are key for sight-reading and understanding music at the piano.
  4. Performance Etiquette: Playing for a group is infrequent for piano students. The studying of this instrument is one of the most isolated activities. This group atmosphere gives them the opportunity to not only play and rehearse stage manners and enjoy having an audience, but also to be “good listeners” at a concert. We talk about and practice “good behavior” for on-stage as well as spectators.

To keep the nature of group lessons as an opportunity to connect with peers in a social musical experience, parents are not permitted in the studio.