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Marshall Piano Studio - Houston Texas
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“As a rule, he who has the most information
will have the greatest success in life."
~ Benjamin Disraeli

Marshall Piano Studio

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to teach your child.  I look forward to giving your child an excellent piano and music appreciation education.  I consider it a privilege to be involved in this aspect of your child’s life.  In order to ensure the musical progress of your child, I would like to share the following information with you before we begin piano lessons*:

I.  Parental Involvement


Regular, consistent practice and good concentration during practice times are absolutely essential to musical progress.  Please set a definite period for practice, and see that your child has privacy while practicing.  Since fruitful practice requires a high degree of concentration, it is important that the student is not distracted by siblings or common household noises. Your child will have a detailed weekly assignment sheet to track practice and bring to the next lesson. Please ensure that your student is marking practice as it is completed.  Also, please feel free to discuss with me any concerns with the assignments. Note:  Beginners may require supervision and guidance from parents during the early stages of practicing.

Students are to practice 5 days per week, completing their daily assignments.  Daily minimum practice times:  Preparatory—20 minutes; Elementary—25-30 minutes; Intermediate—40-50 minutes; Early Advanced—60 minutes.  If a student does not complete required practice 3 weeks in a row, the parent will be contacted.  If the student does not complete required practice for the next three weeks, the student will be placed on probation.  If the student does not complete required practice for the following three weeks, the student may be dismissed.


Good practice habits are acquired over a period of years resulting from the student’s cooperation and my constant training.  Encourage your child by letting him/her know that you enjoy hearing her practice.  If not, eventually a child may not want to practice when she thinks that it is annoying to others.  It is both your and my role to give encouragement to the child and to help him/her have pleasure and interest in seeing personal musical progress.  I will attempt to give the student a well-rounded musical education by including all periods of music from Baroque to Twentieth Century and various aspects of music such as theory, history, technique, etc. when appropriate.  Your attitude toward your child’s music and studies helps to mold him/her musical likes and dislikes.  Please encourage your child to do the best he/she can in all assignments.


Please ensure that your child is five minutes early for the lessons so that he/she does not feel rushed before the lessons begin.  In addition, have your child check for all music before leaving home to be sure that he/she has the proper materials for the lesson (music books, metronome, theory book, 3-ring binder, and pencil).  I suggest the student has a designated bag to hold the materials at home throughout the week and to bring to lessons.  In addition, please ensure that your child’s hands are washed prior to the lesson time (at my house is fine) and that your student is picked up promptly after the lesson.


Please attend lessons at least once a month, if possible.  (You are welcome to attend any and all lessons.)  Otherwise, please feel free to drop off your student or wait in the dining room. There are several benefits of you attending the lesson: you observe progress and challenges firsthand, you understand exactly what I am teaching and requiring of your student, and you will be better informed to encourage proper practicing at home.  Please do not make any comments during the lesson.  Do not let friends or siblings attend the lesson with your child.


Please be sure your piano is tuned and in good working order.  A metronome is required beginning the first lesson and week of practice.  If needed, I can give you referrals for piano tuners and metronome vendors.


I will email you a “piano update” at the beginning of each month.  This email is my main form of general communication with you as a parent, and it will contain important announcements and information for you to have for that month.  Please read the email in detail when it is sent.

Problems that may arise concerning the child’s interest or progress should not be discussed in the presence of the child.  Please discuss your observations with me privately.  I appreciate and value your concerns.  Open communication between us is essential for a good music education for your child.

II.  Studio Items


As a part of the Marshall Piano Studio, your student will receive a well-rounded piano education through:

    1. Private piano lessons (sight reading, theory, technique, and repertoire)
    2. Group classes (performance, theory, and history),
    3. A music appreciation lending library (2 items for 2 weeks)
    4. A monthly children’s music magazine
    5. Various performance opportunities
    6. Specialized summer lessons (different genres, styles, activities, etc.)


Tuition is due by the 10th of each month.  Monthly tuition covers piano lessons from September to May (30 individual 45-minute lessons and 4 90-minute group classes) and 7 piano lessons June through August (dates and times TBD). $10 will be deducted from the student’s Materials and Activities Deposit for every 5 days that tuition is late.  Tuition refunds are not given to students who withdraw mid-month.  The tuition amounts are applicable for this school year only and are subject to change annually.


For new students, a $75 Materials & Activities Deposit is due with registration.  For returning students, a $75 Materials & Activities Deposit is due by July 15.  Your student’s Materials & Activities Deposit is used only for your student.  From this deposit, various expenses will be deducted throughout the year. These expenses may include fees for music books/curriculum, piano performance activities, TMTA Student Affiliate membership, late tuition payments, or any other material or piano activity for your student. I will contact you for replenishing the deposit when your student’s Materials and Activities Deposit is depleted.  The deposit amount is applicable for this school year only and subject to change annually.


Group classes will be held approximately 4 times during the school year on Saturday afternoons.  Group classes are required.  These classes are a vital part of my teaching program as they provide an instructional and encouraging environment for your student to learn to share their music with others.  The classes are also a fun and motivational time for students as they participate in review games and interact with peers.   


The summer schedule consists of 7 private lessons which will be scheduled at times convenient to both your schedule and mine.  The summer schedule will be made available during May.  Lesson selections are first come first served and must be selected by May 31.  Regardless of when lessons are scheduled, regular tuition is due by the 10th of each summer month.


Throughout the school year, students will have a variety of rewarding performance opportunities from which to choose.  A list and explanation of these opportunities will be given to you by the beginning of the new school year.  Students must have repertoire perfected and fully memorized 3 lessons prior to the performance activity.  If the repertoire is not perfected and fully memorized by that date, then the student will not perform that repertoire selection in the recital/festival even if the student has already registered and paid for the event.  (Students taking the TMTA Theory Test must have theory books completed 3 lessons prior to the test to allow sufficient time for review.) It is important that students are fully prepared so they can have emotionally and musically positive performance experiences.


Only ONE make-up lesson will be made available for cancelled or missed lessons by the student during the school year. To facilitate the one make-up lesson, I will offer make-up lessons ONLY during the week immediately following the end of the spring semester in May. NO exceptions. If the student is not available for a make-up lesson during that week, no other arrangements will be made. For summer lessons, there are no make-up lessons for cancelled or missed summer lessons unless I am notified at least 24 hours in advance of the lesson and other summer teaching times are still available. In the case of serious illness that would cause the student to miss lessons for an extended period of time, special arrangements can be made. If I cancel a lesson, a make-up lesson will be promptly rescheduled.


The studio website contains the Studio CalendarStudio News, Studio Policy, Tuition Informationlinks to helpful websites, etc.  Please check here at the beginning and during the school year for the studio schedule and important event dates.

I trust the above information will be helpful to you as we guide your child on the journey of music-making.  I am very thankful to be teaching your child, and I hope that our association proves to be a long and valuable one.  Please keep in close contact with me as this will help me to teach your child in the best possible way.



*”Parental Involvement” is taken in part from the policy letter of the
    Salt Lake Chapter of the National and Utah Music Teacher’s Association.


Cheryl Marshall provides Harris County, TX with private piano lessons and summer music camps.


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