Patrick Byrne, Piano Lessons

(dba Studio of Musical Arts, LLC)

Studio Policies

I.   Piano Lesson Philosophy and Pedagogy.

A. General Approach to Piano Lessons

Play…Learn…Perform… is the core motto and philosophy.

My Wauwatosa piano studio is a unique place where students of all ages and abilities can reach their full potential as a piano player.

B. Pedagogy and Methods

The goal is for my students to perform music that they really enjoy playing.

Beginning students are given a solid foundation in note reading and technique.

Once the basics of playing their instrument are learned, students are encouraged to actively participate in the selection of the songs or pieces that they will study as they grow as a musician.

For both Children and Adults I use the Faber Piano Adventures series of music books.

II.   Terms Regarding Rates, Schedule, Payment and Offerings

A. Piano Lesson Tuition

The basic Tuition rate for piano lessons is only

$22.00 per half-hour piano lesson for beginning students or

$40.00 per hour piano lesson for more advanced students who require longer, hour lessons.

Discounted piano lessons are available for Families and Seniors. See Tuition.

A one half-hour piano lesson per week is recommended for all younger and beginning students.

Because of the longer songs and pieces played by Intermediate and Advanced piano students, the option of taking a one-hour piano lesson per week is recommended as the student advances.

B. Schedule

Lessons are only given in my Wauwatosa Studio on Diane Drive. I teach three days a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Lessons are given 12 months  of the year. New piano students are accepted — subject to my availability — at any time during the year.

C. Tuition Payment

Piano lesson tuition is due either at each lesson or at the first piano lesson of each month if you choose to pay in advance. There is no contract.

Piano lesson tuition can be paid by cash, check or on-line using a credit card.

D. Returned Checks

There will be a $32.00 fee if your check is returned for insufficient funds.

III.   Practice and Parent Participation

A. Recommended Length of Practice.

Every effort is made to inspire my piano students to practice piano daily for a length of time appropriate to their age and level of training. The goal always is for the student to want to practice on their own. Parents may need to offer a gentle nudge or help with time management. At no time should a student be forced or bribed to practice. If practice becomes an issue, please talk with me.

It is recommended that students in the Primer and Level 1 books practice a minimum of 15 minutes per day (five out of seven days a week). As students advance, they should practice more per day with 30 minutes (five out of seven days a week) being the minimum for Level 2 through Level 5. Students working on Intermediate and Advanced music should be practicing a minimum of an hour a day (five out of seven days a week).

The above times are minimums needed to insure advancement in learning the piano.

No matter how long a piano student practices, the key to enjoyment is consistent, daily practice at least five days per week. Cramming a lot of practicing into a single day or two is never recommended.

It is also highly recommended that at least once a week all piano students at any level review the music that they have learned and, perhaps,  perform a short “concert” or “recital” for Mom and/or Dad or any other members of the family who may happen to be available.

These family “concerts” count as that day’s practice session. They will also become an important part of your child’s development as a piano player and, perhaps, become a cherished family tradition.

Important Parent and Family Guideline:

Be Extremely Encouraging!

Absolutely NO criticism, “kind,” “creative” or otherwise!

If something concerns you about a student’s playing, please contact me about your concern. Do not critique your child.

B. Guided Practice Sessions

A piano student’s lack of practice the previous week is never an acceptable reason for canceling a piano lesson.

If a piano student has not practiced adequately during the previous week, their piano lesson will merely be a guided practice session with me.

Consistent lack of practice is a strong indication that a piano student should stop taking piano lessons.

III.   Missed Lessons and Cancellations

A. Missing Piano Lessons

It is understood that a student may have to miss an occasional piano lesson due to vacations, family emergencies or illness.  For all planned absences due to vacations, please notify Mr. Byrne by email 30 days in advance. There is no charge for planned missed lessons if notice is given in advance.

Every reasonable effort will be made to reschedule any piano lessons missed due to illness and/or family emergencies.

If you or your child are sick, please cancel your piano lesson.

When it is impossible to reschedule piano lessons missed due to illness and/or family emergencies, the missed piano lessons will be credited.

Piano lessons consistently missed for any non-illness, non-emergency personal reasons (such as a party, a sporting event, etc.) will be rescheduled subject my discretion/availability.

Whenever possible, if you plan to miss a piano lesson, please notify Mr. Byrne as far in advance as possible.

B. Inclement Weather

Piano lessons are not automatically canceled due to inclement weather.

Even when local elementary schools have declared a snow day, it is likely that piano lessons will still be given that day.

Road conditions often greatly improve by late afternoon or early evening when most piano lessons are scheduled.

When in doubt, please call/text or email me to ask if piano lessons will be given that day or rescheduled.

C. Teacher Absence

Except in the case of illness, if I need to a cancel a piano lesson(s) for any other reason (such as a professional engagement or gig as a piano player) the piano student will be notified in advance, and the missed piano lesson(s) will definitely be either rescheduled or credited.

D. Non-payment

In the event of non-payment, I reserve the right to cancel piano lessons and/or suspend a piano student until their account is brought up to date.

E. Discharge From/Termination of Piano Lessons

I reserves the right to discharge a piano student at any time for inappropriate behavior, which includes, but is not limited to, disrespectful or uncooperative behavior, abusive verbal or physical conduct, or violation of studio rules or policies.

V.   Studio rules

A. Promptness

Please be prompt for your piano lesson.

Piano lessons are generally scheduled back-to-back so it is usually impossible to make up any “lost time” due to tardiness.

While there is a comfortable waiting area at my studio, it is generally recommended that you not arrive more than five minutes prior to your piano lesson or be picked up more than five minutes after your piano lesson ends.

B. Discontinuing Piano Lessons

If you wish to discontinue your piano lessons either temporarily or permanently, please give a 30-day advance notice in writing.

C. Food

Please do not bring food, beverages or snacks of any kind — including gum — to your piano lesson.

Please also ensure that piano student’s hands are washed prior to their piano lesson. Hand sanitizer, sink and soap are available at my Studio.

D. Accidents Happen

Piano lessons should not necessarily be automatically discontinued due to a finger, hand or arm injury. Please consult with your physician before cancelling.

Unnecessarily discontinuing music lessons may only add a further feeling of personal loss to a student’s physical injury.

E. Parent Auditors

Parents are always welcome to sit in on piano lessons. However, piano lessons are generally more productive when the parent does not comment during their child’s piano lesson unless asked a question.

For very young, lower-elementary piano students, parents are strongly encouraged to actively participate in their child’s piano lessons so that the parent understands completely what their child should be doing when they practice the piano at home.

Of course, parents, other family members and friends visiting my Studio are expected to be quiet during the piano lesson.

F. No-Smoking Policy

My studio is a smoke-free environment.

G. Parking

Ample parking should be available in the driveway as well as on the street in front of my Wauwatosa home.

Please be considerate of my neighbors. Also, please try not to block the driveway for those taking piano lessons before and after you/your child.

H. Dropping Off Piano Students

If a piano student will be dropped off for a piano lesson please wait until your child actually enters the front door before driving away.

Also, please be prompt in picking up your child at the end of their piano lesson.

In times of inclement weather when your child may not be able to wait for you outside, please either call/text them or Mr. Byrne (262-893-1759) to inform him that you are outside waiting.

Also, in case of an emergency delay in picking up your child, please call/text Mr. Byrne to let him know what the situation is.

I. Risk and Waiver of Liability

Parents/Students should understand that learning to play a musical instrument includes physical movements. As is the case with any physical activity, the risk of injury, even serious or disabling, is always present and cannot be entirely eliminated.  If I/your child experience any pain or discomfort, please immediately inform me.  By taking lessons you agree to irrevocably release and waive any claims, whether for yourself or your child, that you have now or hereafter may have against Patrick Byrne (dba Studio of Musical Arts, LLC).

J. Change of Terms

Please note that any or all of these Studio policies are subject to change without prior notice. The current, revised Studio Policies are always posted on the Patrick Byrne Piano Lesson web site.