Tuned In: the piano studio of Emma West

What is your schedule?

  • I use the MyMusicStaff platform to schedule lessons. 
  • I teach Monday through Thursday. 
  • I keep my schedule updated on the calendar section of the student portal, which is where you can find the most current schedule. 
  • I teach year-round. Lessons are divided into three semesters: Fall, Winter/Spring, and Summer. Each semester will include a certain number of 30-minute private lessons, and occasional 60-minute group lessons.
  • The number of lessons per semester roughly averages out to the equivalent of one lesson a week. 
  • We follow the school breaks, such as Christmas and Spring Break. There are no lessons the first or last week of school. I also try to avoid other school holidays, but sometimes we will have lessons even when the kids don't have school. If you have set plans for those days, I can be flexible with times, or try to find a different day you can come.
  • I also offer Zoom lessons if your child is unable to come to my house for some reason (can't get a ride, sickness, etc.) Just let me know by about 3:00 the day of the lesson so I can get it scheduled and set up the Zoom code. I expect you to make every effort to come to in-person lessons, but Zoom can be a good second choice if needed.

What are your recitals like? 

  • We have two recitals per year--October or early November, and some time in March, before Spring Break. Recitals are usually held at one of the local county libraries. We often have a come-when-you-can rehearsal a day or two before the recital.
  • I like to make recitals fun and creative. Sometimes we have themes for recitals where everyone will play something based on that theme. One recital last year had everyone playing a song representing a different country, and they all came dressed as tourists! Sometimes I have students create or find a piece of visual art to display at the recital that represents the story they are trying to communicate through their piece. You just never know... 

Do you have group lessons? What are they like?

  • We have group lessons about once a quarter. Group lessons are often divided into two separate lessons, one for older students and one for younger students. 
  • Group lessons are held at my home unless otherwise specified. 
  • Group lessons can include music-based games and activities, guest performers, or music history activities. Students play for each other at all group lessons.

What is the charge for tuition? How is it paid?

  • Tuition is $92 per month, due on the first day of the month. There will occasionally be increases of 1% to 2%, usually every other year. 
  • There is a $40 per year music fee, which is used to buy studio supplies as well as the music your child will need.
  • Tuition is paid through the MyMusicStaff automatic payment credit card system, using their encrypted website. I don't see your card number.
  • Tuition is the same amount every month, regardless of the number of weeks in the month, since tuition is based on the number of lessons spread out over the course of the semester.

Do you give make-ups?

  • There are no make-ups if you miss a lesson. You may, however, check the online schedule and sign up for a different lesson time for that week if there is an open slot, or trade lesson times with another student. In some cases, like school holidays, I can be flexible with the time of day we have lessons to accommodate family plans. Zoom lessons can be arranged if your student is unable to get a ride to lessons, is sick, or quarantined. I have a Zoom access tab I can activate if you need that for a lesson. 
  • If I have to miss a scheduled lesson, you will receive a make-up lesson or a discount on the next month's tuition.

What music do I need? 

  • As a courtesy to busy piano families, I purchase the music your child needs using the yearly music fee. 
  • I also frequently lend books and sheet music to students, as long as they take good care of them. 

Do you participate in AIM or Federation? 

  • I don't. They are quality programs, but I have chosen not to make them part of my teaching plan. 
  • I do include the concepts AIM and Federation focus on, such as music theory, ear training, sight reading, and so forth.

What are your practice requirements?

  • I expect effective home practice at least 5 days a week. There is no set time requirement, but I expect pieces to be learned by lesson day, or in the time frame we have set. 
  • I help students and parents learn techniques that make home practice more effective.
  • Time at lesson is such a very small part of the week. Parent-involved home practice is the only way to progress. 
  • For young children, I like parents to attend the lesson a couple of times a month if possible so that they are informed about what is needed in home practice that week. 
  • For older students, I expect them to be self-motivated and responsible for their own practice. Parents might still have to help, though. :)
  • There will never be an un-busy week. I hear the phrase "It's been a crazy week..." all the time at the beginning of lessons. Please help your student make regular, focused practice part of their permanent schedule.

Please feel free to contact me with additional questions.