Lesson FAQs

How often do lessons occur?
Lessons are scheduled weekly and are available for 30, 45, or 60 minutes.

How many lessons will I receive?
Students will receive 33 lessons from September through May. Summer lessons are available from June through August, and the student may choose the number of lessons to fit busy summer schedules.

Am I expected to take lessons through the summer?                                                                        Imagine if you went to the gym for 9 months and made great progress, then took 3 months off. Much of that hard work goes right out the window! Piano lessons are a very similar situation. Parents can feel that their child has earned a summerlong break, but the child then is frustrated in the fall when he or she has backtracked considerably. Current Hixson Piano students are expected to take a minimum of 6 summer lessons. Summer lessons are required to hold a place in the studio for the upcoming year.

How is lesson tuition paid?                                                                                                                             Tuition is a set monthly rate and is due at the first lesson of each month. A one-time $50 books and materials fee is due at the beginning of each year (September).  Festival and competition fees are to be paid separately and are due a month before the scheduled event.                                                                                                     

What materials will I need?                                                                                                                           All students pay a registration fee at the start of each school year (September). The fee is used to cover materials and music books throughout the year.

Do I have to have a real piano?
Piano lessons don’t just teach the student to read music and keep a steady beat, but also to make beautiful music! It is so important that students have access to a well-maintained acoustic piano with working pedals. A real piano is an amazing addition to any home and to a child’s life. It is well worth the investment.

What is your Absence Policy?                                                                                                                            Your tuition is buying the teacher’s time, training, and experience.  Please try to keep this standing appointment. If a lesson must be missed please give at least a 24-hour notice. Makeup lessons are not offered, though students may swap times with other students to avoid missing a lesson altogether. Lessons missed by the teacher will be credited or made up.

What if I want to stop taking lessons?
Each student who registers for lessons in the fall makes a commitment for the entire school year (September through May).  Thus, ending lessons is only appropriate at the end of the year.  If an exception to this policy is necessary, a month’s notice is required. If notice is not given, tuition for one month will still be owed.

I’m an adult-is it too late to start lessons?                                                                                               Absolutely not! Have you ever heard of an adult student who regretted starting piano lessons? As with any new venture, you must be willing to put in the time.  It doesn’t need to be hours every day, but an adult’s week could fly by without a single note played. Schedule in the time each day to get to the piano, attend your weekly lessons, and you will be absolutely amazed with yourself!

What are the student’s responsibilities?
Students must meet all of their weekly assignments. At each lesson we will review practice techniques specific for that week and set a personal practice goal. Regular practice is absolutely essential for successful music lessons. All students are expected to have clipped fingernails to ensure proper piano technique.

What are the parent’s responsibilities?
Parental support is a must for the child’s musical growth.  In addition to a good instrument, students need uninterrupted practice time and encouragement.  Younger students will need parental help during the week to to make sure they are following their weekly assignments.

Parents should also see that their child arrives to his or her lesson on time. If a student arrives late, his or her lesson will not be extended past the scheduled time. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure the safe arrival and departure of their child.

What if I just want to play Billy Joel and not Mozart?                                                                       Many parents stress that they want their child to just ‘have fun’ with piano lessons.  They aren’t pushing for their child to major in music or give solo recitals, and that is absolutely fine!! Adults beginning piano for the first time often want to play more familiar pop-oriented music. While not everyone will be a professional pianist, it is a wonderful and invaluable skill to have throughout one’s life. We learn many different styles of piano music and work to make a solid piano foundation. Creating a strong foundation enables the student to be able to learn new music independently, whatever the genre.

Though the goal may be to ‘have fun’, it is not fun for either the student or the teacher when the student arrives unprepared.  Whether the student is learning standard repertoire or arranged pop songs, a consistent practice schedule is a must!

Will I get a chance to perform?                                                                                                                      Younger students are encouraged to participate in performance opportunities in the Saint Louis area throughout the year. Performances motivate students to practice and master their pieces. In addition to festivals and competitions we will hold at least two studio recitals per year. *More about events here.

Adult students may participate in very low-key events twice a year. These events are a wonderful chance for adult students to work towards a goal of preparing a piece and to meet other like-minded students. Performing is not mandatory but attendance is encouraged.

Fees for events range from $10-$30 and are due a month before the scheduled date of the event. Once a fee is paid to participate in the event, it cannot be refunded.