Frequently Asked Questions
ARE YOU ACCEPTING NEW STUDENTS?
Currently, North Austin Piano Studio is full, with the exception of daytime hours (approximately 11 am to 3:30 pm). Student inquiries are always welcome, though. Please use the sign up form on this website to be added to the waitlist. You may be contacted to set up a free meet and greet when a lesson slot becomes available.
Weekly lessons generally last 30 minutes for beginners, and should increase to 45 or 60 minutes as the student progresses (over several years) to intermediate and advanced skill levels.
Lessons include reviewing progress on last week’s assignments, working to improve those tasks, and building new abilities. Lessons may also include practice “games”, improvisation/free play, ear training, technique-building (scales, etc.), listening to recordings or watching videos of master performers, and using music education apps.
At the end of a lesson, my practice instructions are sent home with the student so the student knows what was covered and what to practice for next time. For young students, parents are encouraged to attend the lessons to observe and take notes for home practice.
WHEN WILL THE LESSONS BE?
I teach Tuesdays through Fridays throughout the day, including daytime and after school hours. Your lesson will be scheduled at a time that works for both of us. Once the lesson time is confirmed, it is scheduled at the same time weekly unless your schedule changes and we need to find another weekly time slot.
WHERE ARE THE LESSONS HELD?
At my home at 3500 Kissman Dr. There is plenty of street parking, and a school with a playground down the street. My home offers a sitting area, a table for doing homework, a restroom for clients to use, and, of course, the upright acoustic piano that students play.
HOW OLD SHOULD A BEGINNER BE?
No one is ever too old to begin learning the piano. On the other end of the scale, Suzuki piano students may start as young as four. I personally feel at my best with six- or seven-year-old beginners but am happy to meet families of younger children to decide if it is the right fit to start lessons with me.
DO I NEED TO PRACTICE?
Yes. Learning a musical instrument is both a mental and physical exercise, and both of these require regular review to “sink in.” Students who never practice, or cram the day before a lesson will experience little progress and lots of frustration. The good news is that I expect only a minimum of five minutes a day for beginners. Students report on their practice at their lessons and earn stickers and prizes.
WHAT MATERIALS DO I NEED?
I generally teach Suzuki Piano Book 1 to young beginners, Celebration Series for older child beginners, and the Hal Leonard Adult Method for adult beginners. I may recommend additional books during the course of study. These can be purchased online or at local sheet music retail stores.
DO I NEED A PIANO TO START LESSONS?
A good acoustic piano is necessary for serious students. They are available at many reasonable price points with financing options. Though not ideal, beginners can get by for a time without an acoustic piano, but please do not consider starting piano lessons without at least an 88-key, touch-sensitive electric keyboard. There are several cost-saving options for those not yet ready to invest in a quality instrument, including adopting a well-loved older piano or keyboard, or renting. I would be happy to advise you.
HOW MUCH ARE THE LESSONS
North Austin Piano Studio is a tuition-based learning experience. Tuition begins at $150 per month which includes weekly lessons, books and materials, annual theory and piano examinations, recitals, and optional group classes and masterclasses. The flat-rate tuition accounts for the periodic breaks observed by public schools; namely, Thanksgiving, Winter and Spring breaks.
HOW DO I PAY FOR THE LESSONS?
Payment for the month is due on the first of the month. You will receive a monthly invoice by email seven days before the first of the next month. I accept online payments, or card, cash or check in-person. If you pay in person, please arrange to make the payment before the invoice is overdue. Late payments are subject to an additional $5 convenience fee.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
If you wish to cancel or reschedule a lesson
Understand that you are paying for a weekly slot in my teaching schedule. For this reason, if you must miss a lesson for any reason, you are still responsible for the cost of that slot. If you provide 24 hours' notice of the cancellation, you may receive a make-up credit that you can use to re-schedule the lesson to one of my limited make-up slots. Make-up credits expire after 14 days.
If you wish to find a different lesson time
If you find the slot no longer works for your schedule, we’ll find another one that does.
If I must cancel a lesson
I’ll work with you to re-schedule or issue you a credit.
If you wish to terminate lessons
If you wish to stop lessons entirely, let me know in writing and you will not be billed further. You may choose to attend or forfeit the lessons you've already paid for.
DO YOU TEACH ON HOLIDAYS OR NON-INSTRUCTIONAL DAYS?
The studio is closed on Labor Day, MLK Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, and Independence Day. In addition, the studio is closed during school breaks (Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break and Spring Break). The studio will also be closed if Round Rock ISD has been closed all day due to bad weather.
DO YOU TEACH IN THE SUMMER?
WHAT ARE LESSONS LIKE?
Yes, the regular weekly lessons continue throughout the summer unless a student wishes to temporarily re-schedule to a more convenient time, or requests to stop. Students who stop lessons for longer than two weeks are welcome to re-enroll but may not be able to return to their previous lesson slot since it may have been allotted to someone else.