Philosophy and Policy

Thank you for considering me as a piano teacher. Dina’s Piano Studio is located in south Charlotte, NC. Weekly private lessons are offered to students of all ages and skill levels.

Teaching Philosophy

I believe everyone can learn piano, and that music should be a part of everyone’s life. Whether you plan to be a professional concert pianist, or just want to play for your own enjoyment, I will work with you to accomplish your goals. We will explore and master the music theory, history, piano technique, and musicianship skills for you to become a well-rounded musician.

Lesson Format

All lessons are thirty minutes and meet weekly.

Tuition and Payment

Private lessons are $25 each. Payment for the calendar month is due at the first lesson of that month. You may pay with cash or check made out to Dina Marinakos-Oara. There will be a $10 charge for returned checks, plus bank fees. Students who have fallen a month behind in payment will not be allowed to continue until caught up.

In the rare event that I must cancel a lesson without scheduling a make-up time, you will receive a credit to the following month’s tuition. Make-up times for lessons canceled by you are not guaranteed; they are scheduled at my discretion.

Occasionally, there will be additional fees collected. These help pay for facility rentals for recitals, party supplies, and other materials.

If you must stop lessons for any reason, you must give me a two-week notice. Payment for these lessons is due at the beginning of the month, whether you choose to attend them or not.

Attendance

Regular attendance is important for adequate progress to occur. Please arrive on time so that we can take advantage of the full lesson time. If you arrive early, you may wait in the waiting area until your lesson time. If you must miss a lesson, please contact me as soon as you know you will be absent. I am not obligated to make up lessons canceled by the student; neither will the monthly tuition be adjusted. However, if I must cancel a lesson, I will inform you as soon as possible and make every effort to schedule an appropriate make-up time.

Practice

Diligent practice is the only way to be prepared for your lessons. Students’ assignments for the week are always bookmarked, often with detailed written instructions directly on the pages.

In general, young students under nine years old should practice ten to fifteen minutes a day, five days a week. It is okay to practice for multiple short sessions in a day. Sometimes, I will assign more or less daily practice time for these young pianists. Older children and adults should practice twenty minutes a day, five days a week. Try to practice at least for focused, ten-minute stretches, then take a break if necessary. Again, exceptions to this rule may be discussed. Smarter practicing is always preferred to unfocused, longer practicing.

The most important day to practice is the day after your lesson. This is the day that new concepts are reinforced and cemented. If you do not practice the day after your lesson, chances are good that you will forget many of the new concepts you learned. Remember also that focused and purposeful practice is always better than “mindless” practice; we will always discuss your specific objectives each week.

Parental Involvement (for students under age 16)

You, as a parent enrolling your son or daughter in piano lessons, have already identified yourself as someone interested in the well-being and education of your child. Just as you help your child with schoolwork, I ask that you please do your part in our musical venture as well. Please make sure your child practices his or her assignments.

You know your child best. If you have any suggestions on how I can help him or her learn better, please do not hesitate to tell me. We can work together to provide the best possible music education. I am always open to suggestions, and even encourage you to sit in on lessons. This way, you will know how to guide your child’s practice sessions.

Books and Materials

I am happy to provide my students with lesson books and other music. Students are always welcome to bring in any sheet music they would like to learn.

Recitals

Occasionally, a studio recital will be arranged. All students who have been studying for a year or more are asked to participate. A reception will follow.

Odds and Ends

If you have been ill or your hands are dirty, please wash your hands with soap and warm water before your piano lesson. No food or drink is allowed, but bottled water may be brought and kept on the coffee table. Students should keep fingernails trimmed.

Dismissal

I regret that, in the following circumstances, I may dismiss a student:
-Constant disrespect, on the part of student or parent, that goes uncorrected
-Constant neglect of practice
-Constant failure to pay on time
-Display of disinterest

Coda

Thank you for considering me as a piano teacher. My goal is to serve you and provide the best possible music education for you or your child. Feel free to speak with me directly about questions, concerns, or suggestions that you have.

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