Now offering online piano lessons via the ZOOM videoconferencing platform
I have taught hundreds of “in-person” lessons over the years, but Covid-19 is now making online music teaching necessary for safety reasons. Many features of the traditional lesson can still be used, but other aspects must be adapted to the online format. Below are a few of these adaptations which I’m finding to be effective:
- I give a free “set-up session” to any interested student, prior to starting actual lessons. We test the effectiveness of their equipment and internet connection to make sure that they will be adequate for lessons — and discuss ways to improve these if necessary.
- I send each student an official Zoom Invitation about 3 days prior to each lesson. It contains the Zoom Meeting ID, Password, and a link to click in order to join the lesson at the appointed time.
- For lesson efficiency: I keep an updated folder of my own for each student — with copies of his/her current repertoire and most recent assignment sheet. For easy reference during the lesson, we number the measures on both copies of each piece. The student is expected to have a pencil at the lesson — to mark any fingering, dynamics, etc. that I may suggest. However, I myself write the new assignments for each piece during the lesson, then type and send these Lesson Notes to the student by e-mail.
- The student is expected to join each lesson on time, having already made these logistical preparations:
- Your device fully charged
- Your device set up in such a way that I can see your hands on the keyboard and you can see mine
- You have done what you reasonably can to assure the best possible internet connection with the highest available bandwidth, including rebooting your modem, router, and computer just prior to your lesson, and assuring that any other internet-connected devices in your house have been turned off if at all possible. (See my Technology page for more information and tips.)
- [For digital keyboards]: Music rack and pedal attached
- All current music and a pencil (with eraser) ready at the piano
- If your device provides for this capability on your version of Zoom, please activate the Enable Original Sound option. This specifically improves the quality of music in Zoom.
- STEP 1: (a one-time preparatory step) Click on Zoom, then Settings, then Enable Original Sound. This will set up your Zoom account to show “Enable Original Sound” as an option in the future.
- STEP 2: (before each lesson) After you “Join” each Zoom lesson, click on the More… icon on your screen. The drop-down menu will now include the option: Enable Original Sound.
I am currently (during pandemic) giving only online lessons. I am now accepting children age 9 and up, teenagers, and adults of any age. I teach all levels, from beginner through advanced.
I also enjoy taking on “self-taught pianists” and those who only play by ear, if they are truly interested in also learning to read music and are willing to at least explore some classical repertoire. These students usually have some gaps that must be filled in — most commonly fingering, rhythm, and/or note-reading. However, I find that they often have spent so many hours at the piano that they’ve developed a high degree of “keyboard facility” — which sometimes exceeds that of some students with 10 years of formal piano lessons. These self-taught pianists also tend to have a fairly relaxed hand technique, which also serves them well.
Weekly students will take at least 14 lessons per semester. Students on the Bi-weekly (hour-lesson) plan will take at least 7 lessons per semester.
- Fall semester: mid-August — mid-December
- Spring semester: mid-January — mid-May
Weekly students planning to continue into the next Fall are asked to take a minimum of 4 Summer lessons (sometime between mid-May and mid-August), in order to maintain a degree of continuity in progress over the summer months. (Bi-Weekly students: at least 2 summer lessons)
- However, any student who started beginning lessons during a Spring semester will be asked to take at least 6 lessons during the following Summer, to avoid losing motivation and what progress they made during that short time.
Lesson Rates & Options
I try to strike a balance in my approach to my lesson rates that reflects both my value as a highly qualified professional and yet is sensitive to the need of people for reasonably affordable piano lessons. Rather than posting my lesson rates on the internet, I would prefer to discuss them with you. Pleasecontact me.
In order to accommodate the needs of different students, I offer three different lesson options (with different rates for each):
- Weekly lessons: 45 minutes. These are my standard lessons and are recommended for most students.
- Regular bi-weekly lessons: 60 minutes. These are only for intermediate or advanced students who are highly motivated, and who can independently learn the notes, fingering, and rhythm of their repertoire. These prerequisites will allow the lesson time to be spent primarily on technique, musicality, and interpretation. The instructor must approve this option, and reserves the right to retract it if it proves to slow down progress.
- Occasional (or one-time) lessons: 75-90 minutes. These are for professional coaching of teachers and advanced students only.
Payment of Lessons
Each student will receive a monthly statement after his/her last lesson of each month. Payment must then be received no later than the 12th of the following month.
- All new students will be asked to pay for their first month at the beginning of that month, before starting lessons.
- Also, any student who repeatedly fails to send payments on time without a valid reason will be asked to pay at the beginning of each month from then on. Any unexpected adjustments to their bill will be fairly applied to the next month’s statement.
Payments may be sent to me by check (either by mail or through your bank’s online payments) or by PayPal (coming soon).