Music Student Expectations

Be on Time

Please be punctual. Your lesson begins and ends at the scheduled time.

Arrival (at my home studio)

Please come to the front door and let yourself in. Please remove your shoes and make yourself comfortable in my living room if there is another lesson going on. Please DO NOT LET THE CAT OUTSIDE.

Bring Your Things

This means that you double-check your belongings when you pack up for your lesson. Make sure that you have all of your music, your reeds, mouthpiece, ligature, neck strap and all of the pieces to your instrument. Sounds obvious, but it's amazing how often students forget these things! Remember: It is not your parent or caregiver's responsibility to do this.

Be Prepared

Take a look at what I assigned you. If something is not clear and you have questions about the assignment, call or email me. If you don't have time to accomplish everything I ask, then try prioritizing the assignment.

Practice Rules

Solitary home practice is the most important part of learning to play an instrument. It is where you hone your skills and are able to listen carefully to what you are doing without the added confusion of what other musicians around you are playing. I suggest breaking practice periods into 10, 15, or 20-minute sessions. This gives you a chance to build up your embouchure, and remain fresh for the time period. Practicing is a great study break. You also could try to practice right when you come home from school, or before or after dinner (brush your teeth first if you play after dinner!) Picking a regular, daily practice time is the best way to make sure your practicing gets done! Be creative, and be efficient with your time.

What You Need to Practice at Home

Music stand
Good light
Straight-backed chair without arms (or try standing)

Also recommended: a metronome and access to a mirror.

Practice Guidelines

Turn off the TV and radio and play in a quiet place without distractions. Tap your foot and keep a steady beat. Write helpful hints, fingerings, and definitions of musical terms in your music IN PENCIL.

It's OK to Go Ahead

In fact, it's great! If you feel that you have accomplished the assigned tasks ...turn the page! Choose something new. If there is a particular piece of music you'd like to learn, bring it to your lesson. If you want to work on a specific skill, need help with a band test or audition, speak up!

Be Responsible

Music lessons are a privilege. Someone (maybe even you!) has worked hard to provide an instrument, music and accessories, and the gas to drive you to and from your lesson. They have also invested their time and moral support. So do your part -- it's your responsibility to practice and work hard to improve. Just going to the lessons and playing while you are there will not make you a better musician. Just playing through your assignment once or twice during the week doesn't always make things sound better. Making excuses won't make you a better musician.