I teach piano lessons at the Shepherd Music School in Rogers, as well as in-home lessons. This page serves several purposes:
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What I Offer As A Teacher
- Expectations of Students
- Basic Policy Information
Feel free to contact me for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the Right Age to Begin?
I have taught students as young as five years old, and sometimes that works. In other cases, it works better to wait until six or seven. You best know if your child is ready for solitary practice that all students must embrace in order to prepare between lessons. Don’t have a fear of missing out: Progress comes quickly when a student is ready to learn. For more information about developmental readiness, please read this article from the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).
What Is My Ideal Student?
Each student has her own goals, personality, and willingness to practice. A good teacher guides a student through peaks and valleys, and a good student keeps practicing through ups and downs. Progress is not always linear: There sometimes will be a long plateau followed by a sudden breakthrough. I really enjoy teaching a student who is motivated to learn, which means motivated to practice! That helps to ease my stress when participating in music festivals and group recitals.
What I Offer As A Teacher
My Piano Background
I have two degrees in music and have worked part-time in music, mostly in churches as a pianist/organist and sometimes also choir/music director since age 15. I started teaching piano when I was an undergraduate student, and have taught students occasionally since then. For much of my career, my teaching time was limited since I had all that I could handle with a full-time business job and a part-time church position.
A couple of years ago, I left the corporate world and have had more time to practice, perform, and teach more students. During the 2017-18 program year, my students performed in the two festivals described below, and I’m excited to have even more students who will have these experiences in 2018-19. It’s offered as an option for those who want a well-rounded experience.
Tradition vs Innovation
I offer traditional lessons, which includes learning how to read music, building repertoire and improving technique. I also offer supplemental training as part of lessons in all facets of musicianship including sight reading, ear training, and theory. I have recently invested time and money in learning about online and video lessons, playing by ear, and using phone/tablet technology to enhance learning. I work these into lessons on an individual basis. You can read more about these explorations on my blog under the category Piano Teacher.
I am a member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the Arkansas State Music Teachers Association (ASMTA), and the local Northwest Arkansas Music Teachers Association (NAMTA). Membership in all of these groups is really expensive, but it provides me with some great continuing education opportunities. It also enables my students to participate in spring and fall festivals listed below.
I encourage my students to participate in two annual festivals that are made possible by my professional affiliations listed above:
- NAMTA Sonatina Festival, November 2018, NWACC in Bentonville
- ASMTA Region One Festival, April 2019, University of Arkansas in Fayetteville
For my Shepherd Music School students, there are group recitals at the conclusion of each semester. For all my students, there are additional opportunities to perform, including warm-up recitals that are held before the festivals listed above. I also encourage my students to perform in a recital arranged at a local retirement home.
Expectations of Students
A good rule of thumb is five days of practice per week in the amount of the lesson time. For beginners taking 30-minute lessons, this would be 20 to 30 minutes per day. For 45-minute lessons, students would need to practice 30 to 45 minutes per day. For very young students, you can break up practice time into two short daily practice sessions.
It’s important to understand that most of a student’s growth happens at home, practicing the piano. Sure, a good teacher can help a lot in that process, but even the best teacher can’t do the work for the student. Three days a week practice, at the intervals recommended above, is an absolute minimum. Otherwise, lessons will be frustrating and unproductive for student and teacher alike.
Basic Policy Information
Each term is 18 weeks in length, from August to December, and January to May. Lessons during the summer are also available in a flexible term. The semester ends when all lessons are given, including make-up lessons. Make-up lessons must be finished by the end of the semester.
Lesson Cancellation and Make-Up Lessons
- A maximum of two make-up lessons per semester are offered for excused absences.
- Planned absences require at least 24 hours advance notice.
- Emergencies require at least one hour prior notice.
Photo Consent for School Year
I ask your permission in advance to use any photos taken during the school year to be used on this Website and separately on my professional social media, Facebook and Instagram. I use student photos as sparingly as possible to demonstrate credibility as a piano teacher.
There are more specifics regarding lesson prices, payment plans, semester calendar, and the like that you can receive upon request, both for Shepherd Music School and for in-home lessons.