Studio Policies FAQ
MISSED LESSONS, PUBLIC HOLIDAYS, ADDITIONAL LESSONS
I have to miss a lesson due to illness or a special event. Can I make up the lesson?
Yes! Starting from 2018, I will no longer limit make-up lessons to 6 cancellations. Instead, students may enjoy the benefit of being able to reschedule the lesson as their schedules allow.
Parents (or older students) may access my calendar here (link coming soon) and book any available appointment slot. Please remember to put in your name when booking the appointment so I know who will be coming for lesson!
For families with sibling groups taking lessons with me, please refer to this part of my new policies.
What happens if my lesson falls on a public holiday?
Lessons falling on these public holiday will be replaced on another day.
If you are unable to come for lesson on any other public holiday, it will be treated as a missed lesson that you can make up by booking an appointment slot through the schedule I will send out at the beginning of the new year.
What if I have to miss multiple lessons as I'm going on vacation?
The last thing I would want to do is to discourage students from going on vacations - they're great opportunities to refresh your mind and just take a break. There are a couple of options here:
Take a break from lessons for the holidays. You won't have to pay for the missed lessons over the four weeks of holidays in June or December.
Pay for the lessons and make up for any missed lessons afterwards.
What happens if you have to miss a lesson?
I will either offset it against my annual leave, or make it up by scheduling a lesson for you. Unlike lessons that are missed due to the student's activities or illness, I will set the appointment based on a mutually agreed time.
My child is having an upcoming exam. Can I schedule an additional lesson?
Of course! Head over to my calendar here (link coming soon) and book any available appointment slot, just like you do for missed lessons. Just remember to indicate that it's an additional lesson.
I can't find a time slot that suits me. Does that mean I will have to forfeit the lesson?
If there is currently no available appointment slot that works for you, you may choose to keep an eye out and wait for one that may pop up due to another student's cancellation. So long as you don't forget about it, your make-up lesson doesn't expire for the year!
Alternatively, here are some other options:
#1 Google Hangouts lesson: If you are unable to travel to my studio for a lesson, you may schedule a Google Hangouts lesson with me at any available appointment slot. More on Google Hangouts lessons.
#2 Record yourself: You may record yourself on the piano and send it to me before the missed lesson. I will then use the lesson time to listen and provide feedback. More on recording lessons.
How does a Google Hangouts lesson work?
If you are studying piano with me, please set your device near your piano so that we can work on repertoire. Do make sure that your internet connection is stable enough to sustain a smooth video call!
If you are studying music composition or music theory with me, please send me a copy of your completed assignment or work-in-progress (for larger projects) before the lesson. We will look through your work and I will assign new work just like a normal lesson in person.
How do recording lessons work?
For piano students:
Record a 20-minute practice session on the piano as you would practise normally at home.
Record a complete performance of any repertoire we are currently learning.
Send the recordings to me before the lesson.
I will then listen to both the practice session and performance, and provide feedback for more efficient practice, as well as on your performance.
Practice at home makes up the bulk of playing an instrument for students, but students often realise that their hours of practice seemed not to have produced proportional results. Many intuitive practice habits are in fact detrimental to good study of the piano even for more advanced students, and younger students may simply play through a piece until it sounds better. Recording your practice will allow me to help you make the most out of your time at the piano, and eliminate any detrimental practice habits.
Recording your performance may also feel like an actual performance at a recital at times, and reveal mistakes under heightened stress or adrenaline. We can then work on those areas preemptively, before your actual performance!
For music composition or theory students:
Send in your completed assignment, work-in-progress (for larger projects), or school worksheets/notes before the lesson.
I will listen/read and offer feedback/corrections where appropriate.
I will then assign new assignments on composition, theory or ear training.
My three kids are taking lessons with you and we have to miss a lesson. How do we make it up?
In the event of missed lessons, you are welcome to book block appointment slots, but please take into account travelling time (1 hour prior to and after lessons) and book the entire amount of time taken. For example, a 3-hour teaching block would take up 4 hours of appointment space, which may at times be available on Saturdays if other cancellations have taken place, or during school holidays when I will open up morning slots.
Alternatively, you are welcome to take advantage of any of the other options I have listed: Google Hangouts lesson or recording lesson.
A fourth option would be to come to my studio at any available appointment slot. This may be a beneficial opportunity for students to play on a different piano, which would prepare them for different touches, tones and weights of keys.
How many lessons will I get in a year?
This depends on whether you are opting in for June and December holiday lessons.
January - May, July - November periods will total up to 38 lessons. June and December each include 4 lessons, so if you choose to take holidays off in December or June, you will receive 42 lessons. If you continue lessons throughout the year, this will give you 46 lessons in total.
There are 52 weeks in a year. Why is my child only getting 46 lessons?
In order to give your child the best music education you have paid for, I am taking 6 weeks of annual leave for events for my personal musical development through performances, conferences, conventions, and collaborative work with other musicians, and of course, vacation, so that I'll always be in a good frame of mind to teach. Each student will receive 46 lessons if he or she continues lessons throughout the year.
Are students going to get fifth week breaks again this year?
Nope! Instead of taking a break every fifth lesson of the month (there are 4 per year on each day), we will have lessons on fifth weeks, but I will accumulate the fifth week lessons to make up 4 weeks of annual leave.
Am I paying for 6 weeks of annual leave?
Nope! As per the previous years, I'll be taking 2 weeks of paid annual leave. The extra 4 weeks are from the fifth week lessons that we will be having, unlike previous years.
When will you be taking your annual leave?
I will mostly likely be taking annual leave in April/May and September/October. Except for in the case of an unexpected event (such as illness), I will notify you of my leave at least 3 weeks in advance.
Will you travel to students' homes to teach?
Starting from 2017, I have stopped taking in new students who require travelling teachers, as I have found it is most mutually beneficial to teach in my studio.
Benefits of studying music at my home studio include:
A quiet environment for focused study with minimal disturbances
Resources such as books, notes and scores ready at hand
Multiple keyboards for interactive or collaborative piano study
Professional audio setup for accurate music analysis
New August Förster - BVK-certified, hand-crafted German piano
I would like my child to take an examination with ABRSM/Trinity/Con Brio. What do I have to do?
Awesome! Barring circumstances where the student isn't ready for the exam, just let me know at least six months in advance, and I will take care of the registration for you. Exams usually cost anything from a couple hundred dollars to a thousand or more, depending on the grade of the exam and the organising party.
Please do make sure that your child will have ample time to practise to ensure best results! :)
You terminated lessons early this week. What happened?
While this very rarely happens, I terminate lessons early when a child refuses to listen to instruction, is otherwise unruly or uncooperative, or if he/she has not made reasonable progress for three weeks or more. As I care about each and every one of my students, I take great care in making sure that the lesson time is well-spent.
I respect that every family has different expectations for their children, and as their teacher, I do my best to impart what I think is important in life and music to students: chiefly, in the context of music lessons, respect - for authority in parents and teachers, for fellow persons by taking their time seriously, for themselves by making the most of their time. However, I do not take myself as a disciplinarian figure in their lives and will not undertake punitive methods. As such, if a child does not respect my principles, I will simply terminate the lesson early.
In the unfortunate case that this continues on for two weeks or more, I may terminate lessons with the student entirely so that they may find another suitable teacher.
I would like to stop lessons for my child. How do we terminate lessons?
No problem! If your child would like to stop lessons permanently, please let me know a month in advance, via email, text, call, or by letting me know in person.
Do you have any rules in your studio?
Just a few! I require that students:
Put in reasonable time to practise. This varies from student to student, and I am fairly flexible with varying expectations. However, a reasonable amount of practice is required for any form of progress at all, and if a student is expected to progress at a specific rate, he or she has to put in the amount of practice that makes it possible.
Listen to instruction. Nothing can get done if a child intends on grappling with authority in a lesson, so for the sake of all parties involved, I expect that a student listens to instruction. This doesn't mean they aren't allowed to question methods, but for the most part, if a child isn't convinced that I know what I'm doing, a lesson just can't be had. :)
Please do not kick, slam the lid on, or otherwise attempt to demolish my piano. I take great care of the instrument for my livelihood. :)