Evening class students are often tired during classes in the first month or two. However, I have found that the situation improves greatly through the fall- and I do not even notice it in the Spring!


1)Keyboard/Piano: Students must have a keyboard (with at least 61 keys) or a piano for regular practice at home. The minimal price for a keyboard is ~$150. Please feel free to ask me for advice about acquiring an instrument.


2)Making up missed classes: If your child has to miss a class, they will usually need some form of make-up. There are some weeks that do not require this, but most weeks do. The best way to make-up a missed class is by swapping with a family from another day, which I can often arrange if you give me enough notice. If you cannot swap, the night of the missed lesson, I will send you a link to a video, explaining the new material from the lesson. If the video does not work (either technical difficulties or your child does not understand the material in the video), please let me know immediately! I may need to arrange a make-up with a helper, which will cost an additional $7 per child. These usually take place in the 30 minutes before one of the regular piano sections (Monday 5:30, Tuesday 5:30, Wednesday 5:30, Saturday 12:15). If possible, I try to schedule make-ups on a day before your next regular piano class since most students find it hard to do two classes back to back, but sometimes the only option is to come to your class early in order to get the make-up in before the class meets. I will always need to confirm this with you, since it involves scheduling helpers to come 30 minutes early as well.


3)Watching class: Whenever possible, it is a good idea to watch class.  Even if you already know music, this is probably a very different approach than the way you learned.  If you don't know music, it will give you double value because you will learn some from being in the classroom. Also, if your child is interested in practicing, you will get ideas about how to be there in a supportive (not nagging!) way.


4)Practice: As many of you know, I offer this final year of group lessons to bridge students up to an age when regular practice on an instrument is more developmentally appropriate. Thus, only minimal, weekly practice  is required. I will tell the children that they need to practice every possible day, when they are learning new music. There are some lessons that fall between pieces, and many children will choose to take a break from practice during these weeks. Practice sessions may be very short- 5 minutes or less.  Do not worry if this is all your child will do. They will still be able to keep up with the class.


On the night of class, I will send an email, with details about the practice assignment, and a link to a video demonstrating the practice material. If the video does not work (either technical difficulties or your child does not understand the material in the video), please let me know immediately! Being busy or forgetting are not excuses! Please call or email if clarification is needed! The minimum practice takes only a minute or two a dayand that is fine if that is all they are motivated to do- but please help them find time to play every day. There are a few weeks in which I will actually tell them it is fine to not practice. This sometimes happens the first week on a new piece, when I realize that they need another week before they will be able to remember and practice effectively.


Some students at this level are ready for longer practices. My advice is to follow your child's lead. If they are consistently interested, but need the support of a reminder or suggestion, go for it. I will probably have given them a more complicated way of working with the material. However, if they show little interest in going beyond the minimum, let it go. It does not mean that they don't love music or don't want to study. They just are not ready for a deeper commitment. The best way to encourage a child to practice is for you to practice. Please, by all means practice the things you see us do in class, and be open to sharing that practice with your child. It is very rare for children of this age to regularly initiate practice without the support and help of an adult on a daily basis. Notice that I said support. I did not say enforce, nag, or force. If that's necessary, your child is telling you that they are not ready to meet your expectations!


5)Listening: As you know, an important part of a musical education is listening to music. I have compiled the following list for home listening.



Brandenburg Concertos, J. S. Bach

The Four Seasons, Vivaldi



Jupiter Symphony (No. 41), Mozart



Symphonies 9 and 6, Beethoven

Scenes from Childhood (Kinderscenen), Schumann



Early Modern:

Pictures at an Exhibition, Mussorgsky


20th Century:

Appalachian Springtime, Copland