715-790-3322 jannahaack@gmail.com
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JOYFUL NOISE MUSIC STUDIO

PREMIER PIANO LESSONS

POLICY HANDBOOK 2016-17

Thank you for choosing me as your piano teacher! In order to ensure that you and/or your child get the most effective and creative teaching possible, and so that we have a mutual understanding of expectations, I have established the following policies. I’ve also included some important information to help you better understand my teaching style and philosophy.
CALENDAR 2016-2017
The following lesson calendar will consist of three quarters:

September 12-December 2
**No lessons November 21-25 (Thanksgiving Break)

December 5-February 24
**No lessons December 23-January 1 (Christmas Break)

February 27-May 26
**No lessons March 13-17 (Teacher Vacation)
and April 10-14 (Easter Break)

TUITION: $250.00 (Quarterly)
Tuition is based on a quarterly rate and is due the first week of the quarter. Tuition includes customized and innovative weekly 30-minute or bi-weekly 60-minute lessons (high school and adult) covering keyboard and written theory, technique, ear-training, rhythm, harmonization, improvisation, composition, musical coaching and interpretation, transposition, ensemble playing, sight-reading, memorization, and motivational practice strategies. Tuition payments are due in full and may be paid with a check or credit card (PayPal account needed) . Checks may be made payable to: “Joyful Noise Music Studio”. A late-payment fee of $10.00 will be added to the tuition amount if not paid by the due date stated above, and a $25.00 charge will be added for insufficient checks. Lessons may be terminated if tuition is not paid by 2nd lesson of the quarter and no refunds will be given on Registration and Book fees if lessons are terminated. Tuition rates will be adjusted annually.
BOOKS, PRINTED TEACHING MATERIALS, and LENDING FEE: $75.00
A one-time, non-refundable annual fee that includes all the teaching materials each student will need for the year–and I will do all the shopping! Assignment and method books, select solo pieces, plus some studio-printed resources will be yours to keep. I also use this fee to not only cover supplemental books and materials that I loan out from my lending library, but also for in-studio visual and hands-on learning tools, instruments and games. This fee may be adjusted for students starting lessons in Quarters 2 & 3. It may also be adjusted for non-beginning adults.
REGISTRATION FEE: $25.00
This is a one-time, non-refundable annual fee that ensures you of a spot in my schedule.

MISSED LESSONS:

Occasional lessons missed due to illness, an accident, vacation, or family emergency are excused and can be made up. An absence without notice for any other reason is considered unexcused and will not be made up and no refunds or credits will be given for unexcused absences. Teacher absences will always be made up. Canceled lessons due to the student not practicing will be considered unexcused and will not be made up. Productive and effective teaching/learning can happen even if a student has had a busy week and didn’t practice as much as expected! However, more than one unexcused lesson or three excused lessons per quarter may result in termination of lessons. If unforeseen circumstances occur that prevent a student from continuing lessons for a period of time (i.e. broken hand or surgery), tuition already paid will be prorated and applied to the next quarter.
WHAT TO BRING TO EACH LESSON:
  • Designated book bag or backpack for piano lessons
  • Assignment notebook and all piano books and music (ALWAYS double-check before your lesson to make sure you have ALL your books with you!)
  • Double-pocket folder for handouts
BEFORE AND WHEN YOU COME TO LESSONS:
  • Make sure you have your book bag and all your books
  • Check your fingernails—they should be trimmed and clean
  • Arrive on time and please park in the spaces closest to my studio and not Travel Leaders, LLC.
  • Take off wet boots/shoes and leave on mat by the door
  • Clean your hands with hand sanitizer or wash in the sink before your lesson

PRACTICE EXPECTATIONS:

Students are responsible for practicing their full assignment and preparing the lesson that has been assigned.  Practice times will vary per student so I am not recommending a specific number of minutes per day or week for every student; however, I do expect students to practice consistently throughout the week (4-5 days a week). During lessons, your child and I will be discussing practice methods and setting outcome based goals for the upcoming week so your child will know exactly how to practice and what he/she needs to accomplish in preparation for the next lesson.  Your child will then be responsible for practicing enough at the beginning and throughout the week to meet the expectations that we set together at the lesson.  I believe there will be more motivation to practice if students are striving to meet specific goals and fun “practice challenges” versus setting a timer each day, playing for 30 minutes, then recording the minutes in the assignment book.  By placing emphasis on practice methods and outcomes rather than on meeting practice times, I believe students will not only enjoy practicing more, but will likely progress at a faster rate!  Parents, you can play a HUGE role in the accountability and success of this by frequently “checking in” to hear the progress!  Make it part of your evening routine and ask your child to perform their latest  “Little Dog That Chased It’s Tail” or “Ode To Joy” piece!  DO NOT skip lessons if you didn’t have much time to practice or didn’t accomplish your goals!  Effective teaching/learning can still happen so please attend lessons!  My expectation is consistent daily/weekly practice on the part of each student.  I understand there are times when circumstances get in the way of that happening, but no-practice weeks should be the exception to the norm.

 

PRACTICE POINTS:

  • Decide as a family when and where practicing should occur—this is especially important if the piano is in the living/family room near the TV!
  • Set up two or more optional times of day so that if something comes up, the practice time of that particular day is not lost.
  • If you have a digital piano, investing in a quality pair of headphones would allow for more flexibility in practice times as well.

 

COMMUNICATION:

Feel free to call, text (715 790 3322), or email me (jannahaack@gmail.com) with any questions or concerns you may have. I will be striving to start and end lessons on time so it may be better to contact me at a time other than at your child’s lesson time.  I definitely want to hear what you have to say, but it will be easier for me to give you my full attention if we talk after I’m done teaching.  I truly believe the success of your child and music lessons lies in the healthy partnership we develop and maintain, so please let me know if there is something important on your mind.

DISMISSAL AND TERMINATION:

Please notify me one month in advance if you need to stop lessons due to relocation or another similar circumstance.  At that time, I will prorate and refund your remaining tuition; however, registration and book fees will not be refunded.  There may also be difficult situations that arise that require us to have a conversation about continuing lessons.  I reserve the right to dismiss a student if any of these circumstances occur:

  • Consistent failure to pay on time or insufficient checks
  • Persistent absences
  • Uncooperative or apathetic attitude
  • Lack of progress due to consistent, insufficient practice

 

PIANO RECOMMENDATION

I’m often asked what type of piano is best for learning purposes, so I’ve included some information below that may help you determine whether or not yours is adequate or is possibly due for an upgrade.

Newer is better unless the piano has been well-maintained over the years. Keys and pedals should be in good working order and not sticky. Each key should produce a sound that is bright, clear, and pleasing to the ear. Pianos that sound poor with muffled, uneven, or difficult keys are not very motivating to play nor are they enjoyable to hear. Therefore, I strongly urge you to consider purchasing a different piano if you own one of these older, poor quality pianos so that your child can be excited from the get-go!  Don’t wait to see if your child “likes” piano before making the investment. Students are more likely to stick with lessons if they feel successful and the quality of the piano contributes to this feeling in a BIG way!  Acoustic pianos should be tuned twice a year, spring and fall (a few weeks after the furnace is turned on and off), to maintain a quality sound.

This needs to be a high-quality, cabinet-style piano with 88 full-sized, weighted keys.  Yamaha (Clavinova or NU1 Hybrid), Roland, and Kawaii are brands I would recommend.  A simple keyboard on a stand will not suffice for learning how to play piano with correct technique, expression, and dynamics.

Thank you again for the opportunity to teach you and/or your child piano! I’m so excited to share my love of music with my students and to watch them grow in their musical abilities! I’m confident it will be a great year and a joyful experience for all of us!!

Get ready…here we go!!

JOYFUL NOISE MUSIC STUDIO

Joyful Noise Music Studio is located in the lower level of Haack Orthodontics on College Drive in Rice Lake, WI (near Shopko).