I expect students in my studio to have a strong desire to learn how to play the flute well. Regardless of ability or “talent,” each student should expect to practice daily for at least the same amount of time as they are in their lesson. Weekly lessons are the student’s opportunity to 1) show the teacher what progress has been achieved during the week’s practice, 2) ask the teacher any questions that have come up during the week’s practice, and 3) listen to the teacher’s instructions to guide the next week’s work.
I expect students to be curious, as progress in learning depends on curiosity. I expect students to learn how to enjoy the process of learning, to take joy in their achievements on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. As the student matures, I expect increasing evidence of internalized self-discipline and an increasing eagerness to practice. To assure maximum benefit to each student, I will conduct annual interviews in order to review progress, set goals, and evaluate future plans.
Students are expected to have an instrument of fine working quality and, when a problem is discovered, the repair should be completed by the next lesson. Fighting against a poor quality instrument can be detrimental to development. Students must also have all applicable music/books assigned and recordings, a music stand, and metronome for home practice. Other suggested materials include a tuner, music dictionary, flute stand, and staff paper. The student must bring a pencil, a notebook (used exclusively for flute lessons), a three-ring binder, and all current books and music to each lesson. Students will also receive a practice notebook each fall in which I will make notes to help them plan their home practice sessions. This includes valuable information pertaining to the flute program, includes a variety tools, and is required at every lesson. If a student is assigned to purchase music, it should be brought to the next lesson. I also strongly recommend the use of SmartMusic music accompanying software for home practice.
Lesson payment fees are based on the cost of the lessons, recital rehearsals, and my preparation time for all events. Lesson fees do not include the cost of music or other special purchases, such as subscriptions, memberships, competition entry fees, extra studio events, individual accompanist fees, etc. Please refer to the 2014-2015 Fee Schedule for more detailed information. Monthly payment is required on the 25th of the month for the following month’s lessons. Payment for the entire month is required and invoices are sent each month by email unless otherwise requested. You can also log in to your student/parent account on my website at any time to check balance and payment information. A late fee of $10.00 will be assessed to each lesson that is past the due date, until paid. Personal checks and cash are accepted, and you are always welcome to send payment through your bank’s bill pay.
Participation in the Suzuki Group Class (Suzuki Books 1-4 or equivalent) requires advanced payment at the beginning of each semester. Participation in the Intermediate and Advanced Flute Ensembles is by invitation only, paid by semester or monthly (refer to Fee Schedule).
Please remember that although this may be a hobby for your son or daughter or for you, this is my livelihood, and my studio must be run as a business.
I will publish a list of dates on my website in which I will be teaching regular lessons, and students are expected to attend each week. If for some reason I must miss or cancel a lesson that is scheduled, it will be made up on my own time or that portion of the month’s payment will be refunded by notation on the following invoice. However, if students miss a lesson for any reason, payment is not refunded. Lessons can be made up on a scheduled make-up lesson day if the teacher is given at least 24 hours notice of cancellation, or is notified of an unavoidable emergency. If other students cancel, you may make up lessons by registering for their lesson time on my website, which I will keep up-to-date. For your convenience and planning assistance, a Swap List will be available each semester so that students can try to rearrange a lesson for unavoidable conflicts. You will be responsible for informing me 24 hours in advance of the lesson swap. Inclusion in the Swap List is optional. Make-up lessons will not be scheduled outside of my regular teaching schedule or scheduled make-up lesson days.
Fall lessons begin September 1, 2014, and run until December 19, 2014, unless otherwise posted. The spring semester begins January 5, 2015, and runs through May 29, 2015. A specific calendar, which includes teaching days, holidays, make-up days, and other required and optional studio events, will be posted on the website: www.buhlertanouye.musicteachershelper.com. I will also make every effort to keep you up-to-date with other flute happenings throughout Las Vegas.
Students are expected to continue lessons through the summer months when they are in town. Summer lessons begin June 8, 2015 and conclude August 28, 2015. You must take a minimum of six lessons during the summer months in order to secure your spot on my teaching schedule the following fall. There is simply too much lost if a full three months is missed. Scheduling and payment arrangements are much more flexible, and minimal student events will be held, none of which are required.
Participation in Studio Events and Competitions
Each semester there will be group lessons and events scheduled outside of the regular lessons. Each student is required to attend some of these events barring school conflicts and family emergencies. Participation in the solo recitals, either as a performer or observer, is non-negotiable. A complete list for each semester will be supplied early so that students can mark their calendars. These events will help the students apply what they are learning each week into a real-life setting, and are an essential part of the learning process. Thus, students must make these events a priority. When the studio events require additional fees, the students and parents will be notified well in advance, and it will be included on the invoice. In addition to the required studio events, there will be various events offered to students that are not required. These include pre-recital performances, performance workshops, retirement tours, competitions, festivals, exams, flute fairs, Suzuki Institutes, etc. These events are strongly recommended to all students, but my wish is not to over-commit any student, so participation should be well thought-out, with a strong commitment to follow.
An accompanist will be provided for all solo performances in recitals. Students will be required to rehearse with the pianist before performing. Although the selected accompanist is recommended, students may also provide their own with the teacher’s approval, and the accompanist must attend at least one lesson. Please note that professional accompanists have their own fees. I will have a phone list of professional accompanists available to the students.
Students are encouraged (but not required) to participate in events such as MTNA festivals and musicianship exams, CCSD Solo and Ensemble Festival, the Desert Suzuki Institute and the CCSD Honor Band auditions. There are various auditions and competitions held each year in which students are entered at the discretion of the teacher. Information on all of these events and others will be provided as it becomes available.
All events will be updated on a regular basis on my studio website. Please bookmark this link so that you may reference it often.
All students and parents will be sent regular emails which will give details on upcoming events and other necessary information for involvement in the studio. Information can always be found on the studio website as well.
Parents are strongly encouraged to come to a minimum of the last five minutes of the first lesson of each month to receive current studio information. Parents are always welcome and encouraged to participate in the lessons. If the student is part of the Suzuki Flute program, parents are required to attend each lesson and participate in the home practice.
Involvement in private lessons indicates an involved interest in flute development. There are a number of ways to get even more involved. These include subscriptions to Flute Talk magazine, and memberships in the Las Vegas Flute Club and the National Flute Association, and participation in competitions, masterclasses, and festivals. More information is available upon request. If students need to contact me between lessons, they are always welcome! My voicemail is always on, but I am quicker by email or text. I am able to answer questions regarding music, lesson policies, studio and non-studio events, etc. I have an open-door policy with parents as well, and encourage an open line of communication!
A written contract indicating that you have read and understood these policies must be on file by September 10, 2014, or within a week of the first lesson. Please contact me if you have any further questions!