Student Handbook

Procedures and Etiquette


Lesson Procedures and Etiquette

  1. Enter the studio at your lesson time or 2 minutes prior but not earlier. Silence all electronic devices. Prepare for the start of your lesson (wash hands, organize books). Wait in the foyer quietly until the proceeding student has finished the lesson.
  2. Siblings and/or friends of students may be present for lessons if a parent is present and the children remain seated and quiet. Toddlers and babies cannot be present for lessons. All people must remain in the teaching area.
  3. No food or drinks will be allowed except for a drink that an adult caretaker may have. Students may not chew gum.
  4. Have nails clipped short prior to lesson and for practicing. Remove all bracelets, rings, and watches when playing the piano.
  5. For students 2nd grade and under, at least one parent or adult must remain in the studio during the lesson, although all parents (regardless of student age) are welcome and encouraged to be present for the lessons.
  6. Parents present for the lesson should be silent observers unless there are questions about the assignments. Ask questions prior to the end of the lesson.
  7. Be organized – Bring all necessary materials to every lesson and ensure that practice logs have been filled out.
  8. Students are expected to behave appropriately and be respectful. In the event that a student is behaving inappropriately, the lesson may be concluded early by the teacher. The student will not be reimbursed for this lesson.
  9. Discussions regarding student progress should occur during the scheduled lesson time.
  10. If there are questions outside of the lesson regarding assignments, ask the teacher at the next lesson.

Practicing Environment

  1. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that students practice. Practicing cannot be optional. Do not let young students practice without assistance. Ask the teacher whether or not your child is ready for independent practice sessions.
  2. Keep your acoustic piano in a clean, quiet, organized place in the home. Have your piano tuned by a professional piano technician 1-2 times per year or as recommended by a technician. Advancing students should consider upgrading upright pianos to grand pianos.
  3. Ensure that students sit with proper posture when they practice, at a proper height on a piano bench. Have an adjustable bench or “pads” available to students.

Practicing Requirements

  1. For minimal progress, practice daily 5-6 times per week, 30 minutes each session. A minimum of 45 minutes to an hour daily is ideal, especially for advancing students, and highly recommended.
  2. Students may be put on the Non-Performance List for the following reasons:

    The Non-Performance List includes those who do not want to be included in recitals and other performances, young students who are not ready to perform yet and/or those who have not established consistent practicing habits. Adult students may opt for this list as well as students primarily studying theory.

  3. Practice everything on the Ever Note lesson sheet every day.
  4. Students should work toward fluency, accuracy, mastery, and performing at a “Level 4” for lessons. See the “Practice Levels” hand-out for achievement steps and performance diagnosis solutions. When a student has not mastered assignments on the lesson sheet, this is indicative of poor practicing habits and can result in minimal progress. Ensure that students are “practicing the piano” instead of “playing the piano.”

Performance Expectations

  1. During performances, students of all ages are expected to exhibit appropriate audience behavior. This includes sitting independently without having to sit next to a parent and remaining still and quiet.
  2. Audience members should refrain from using electronic devices during a performance, other than for the purpose of taking pictures (without flash) or videos. Please remain seated as you photograph and ensure that devices are silenced.
  3. Please be aware that the teacher, in addition to the families of students and/or audience members, may post photographs or videos of your child on the Internet. If you do not want photographs or videos taken of your child, do not allow your child to participate in these events.
  4. For KMTA recitals and events, parents are only allowed to photograph or record their own child and in some cases may not be allowed photography rights of any kind.
  5. Students and parents will be expected to remain for an entire performance, regardless of when the student performs.
  6. Please refrain from bringing babies and toddlers to a performance. If this is unavoidable, exit the performance area quickly with an unruly or noisy child. Do no re-enter the performance area while a student is performing; wait until the applause to re-enter.
  7. Do not let children wander around during a performance; they need to be on a parent’s lap or sitting in a seat.
  8. Students (and all children present for a recital) should not be running around, shouting, touching/playing instruments, etc., even at the conclusion of the performance. Please discuss these expectations with the student and others attending these performances.
  9. If recitals are held in churches, remain in the performance area, foyer, or bathroom areas only – do not use other areas or rooms in the church. No food or drink is allowed in the churches.
  10. Those attending performances as audience members should dress up.

Performance Attire for Student Performers

  1. For performances, students are expected to wear the following semi-formal or formal clothing, unless otherwise specified: Students performing in competitions or judged events need to remove nail polish. Students will be judged on appearance, stage presence, and musical proficiency. No student may wear jeans, jean material, casual clothing or casual shoes, clothing with logos or words, or athletic clothing. Clothing should be formal. All students must wear dress shoes.Girls: Skirts or dresses must go well below the knees when standing – nearly ankle length. Please do not wear clothing that exposes cleavage, is see-through, or allows bra straps or midriffs to show. Skin-tight clothing, such as spandex or leggings, would also be inappropriate for a performance. When wearing an outfit with shoulder straps, make sure the straps will not fall off the shoulders when performing. Strapless dresses are not recommended. Girls may also wear dressy pants and dressy tops. No girls should wear heels as this can be a safety issue when walking up and down steps and can interfere with proper pedaling technique. Refrain from wearing jewelry other than earrings. Make-up should only be worn by girls of an appropriate age; “stage make-up” is unnecessary. Hair should be pinned back and pulled away from the face. 
    Boys: Wear slacks with a dressy, button-up shirt with a collar, socks and dress shoes. Ties and jackets are optional although ties are recommended. Shirts must be tucked in. 
  2. Performers must be dressed accordingly. This is also an expectation of the Katy Music Teachers Association. Parents are expected to ensure that students are dressed appropriately. Students not dressed appropriately may not be allowed to perform.

    Tip: Have students put their recital outfits on at least a week in advance to ensure that the clothing fits and is appropriate. Have students try out recital shoes with the piano pedals. Lay out the outfit the night before.

  3. The teacher reserves the right to amend this Handbook at any time. Read through this Handbook with students periodically to remind them of studio expectations and to ensure progress.