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piano practice

Lessons and policies

The goal of the studio is to offer comprehensive study in piano, covering topics including music literacy, playing technique, repertoire, aural skills, practice skills, sight-reading, and music theory. The curriculum generally follows the Piano Syllabus of the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program.

Instruction is offered through private lessons, studio classes, and a spring recital.

Weekly private lessons are in 45-min sessions for first-year students, and 60-min sessions for all other students.

Unless otherwise requested, lessons will be recorded by the teacher on video for students to review during the week to help them practice. The videos will be posted on Youtube privately, viewable only by the student and the teacher within a day after the lesson. Please encourage your students to review the lesson videos regularly to guide their practicing.

Students receive a new assignment sheet from their lessons every week. This sheet should list specific warm-ups, new pieces, review pieces, and various activities that the student is responsible for in his or her practicing for the week. Please help your student stay on task with their practicing by checking their piano binder often. You may find special announcements occasionally listed there as well.

Important studio announcements to parents will be sent via email. It is the parent’s responsibility to keep your preferred email address updated in your account on MusicTeachersHelper.com.

Good communication between parent and teacher will greatly help the student’s success. Please feel free to communicate any concerns or questions as they arise directly with the teacher.

Becoming self-disciplined enough to practice the piano regularly is one of the most valuable life skills your child can learn through their music lessons. No matter how much a child loves playing the piano, it is very rare to find one who would want to practice the piano willingly all the time. Most children will experience peaks and valleys in their attitude toward practicing throughout the course of their music study.

Practicing should take place at least five days a week.

Frequency and quality of practice time is more important than the quantity of practice minutes. Missing one day occasionally is permissible, but it cannot be so regular that missing practice become a habit. Missing two or more days of practice is like taking one step forward and two steps backward!

Students are expected to make steady progress in their study at a pace appropriate to their own age and abilities. Parental supervision of weekly lessons and daily practicing may be necessary for the youngest students. For students from the mid-elementary grades and beyond, supervision is not necessary, but parental help and daily reminders may be needed until the student is mature enough to establish a self-directed daily practicing routine.

The studio provides various programs to motivate students to practice. These include the PRACTICIA app, 40-Piece Challenge, 100-Days of Practicing Challenge, and public performance events. Please encourage your child to participate, and celebrate their achievements enthusiastically.

Tuition is based a total of 40 lessons for the studio year from September 1 through August 31. The total tuition for the year is divided into four payments. Payments are due at the first lesson of the school year; Nov 1; Feb 1; and May 1. Each payment does not cover the tuition for the payment period, but 1/4 of the total tuition for the year.

The following rates are effective through August 31, 2018:


Lesson type Four payments per year
45-min private lessons$640
60-min private lessons$820

Rates will be prorated accordingly for students who enroll midyear.

A monthly payment plan is available for a one-time $25 fee with the first payment. Payments are due in the first week of the school year, and on the first of every month through June for a total of ten payments.

Payment received after the due dates will be assessed a $25 late fee. Balance must be paid in full for student participation in the Spring Recital.

A $150 non-refundable fee is due once per year per student. This fee covers the cost of books and supplies for the year, including books purchased for your student to keep, studio supplies, and replacement cost of on-loan music. This fee is assessed at registration and counts as your deposit for fall enrollment.

Tuition covers 40 lessons per calendar year, which includes the summer months. If scheduling permits, students may have up to four complementary lessons beyond the allotted 40 in the calendar year. This offer is subject to the teacher’s discretion.

Adult students may enroll in à la carte lessons at the rate of $64 per 45-minute or $82 per 60-minute lesson. Payment for 4 lessons at a time is due in advance.

Except for illness, a 24-hour notice is required for any absences. Late attendance, late cancellations, and missed lessons will be at student’s expense and no refunds will be issued.

In case of inclement weather which makes travel hazardous, we may attempt to conduct lessons virtually at the student’s regular lesson time if possible. This may be done via online video chat like Skype or FaceTime, so that students may continue their daily practice routine with few disruptions. If this option is not possible for any reason, then the lesson will be rescheduled.

Occasionally, students may attend studio classes with other students in the studio. These classes provide the chance for students to socialize with other aspiring musicians, engage in musical activities to review concepts learned in lessons, and practice performing for an audience in a comfortable environment. Ensemble playing, group games, or presentations on topics in music theory and history may also be included.

A formal recital will take place in the spring. Its date and time will be announced well in advance. A nominal fee may be charged to cover the cost of venue rental.

At the teacher’s discretion and recommendation, students may choose to participate in local and national music achievement exams, festivals, and competitions as students of Emily Lau’s studio. Participation is not required, but is highly recommended for students who are at the appropriate levels of playing. Registration fees for such events will be assessed additionally.

Each family may access their student’s account information online by logging in at MusicTeachersHelper.com.

Lesson schedule and studio events may be found online there as well. Contact the teacher to have your password reset if you have forgotten your information.