1. Establish a schedule for practice. You can use a calendar or place an alert on your cell phone. If you miss a day, double up as soon as you can. Don’t practice late at night (especially HS students, when other family members may be asleep).

2. The most critical day of practice is the day after a lesson, when skills are freshest in your student’s mind.

3. Avoid setting the timer. Instead, practice each piece until you can see an improvement (this includes technique) in the specific items as listed in your spiral. If you do so, you will easily practice the required time.

4. Each student (at least by 4 th grade) has the responsibility to write in the minutes practiced, not the parent. If you did not practice, do not write in the minutes. The only responsibility parents have is to write in the minutes. If you have been ill or out-of-town, etc., PLEASE indicate in the spiral. A student will typically not receive a grade if he has not practiced more than 2-3 days during the week.

5. READ AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS IN THE SPIRAL AS WRITTEN! I assign small, manageable tasks so that the student does not get overwhelmed.

6. Keep a pencil handy at the piano in case you need to circle any items to discuss at the following lesson.

7. Like sports and academics, a musical instrument involves learning new skills and fine-tuning each item (piece). The students who accept and embrace the fine-tuning process through practice each day enjoy their experience more. A student should not dread a practice session; instead, he should look forward to improving the piece little by little with each session.

8. Have a family member ask to hear music practiced or played. He/she does not need to be in the same room. This will help hold the piano student more accountable.


1. Complete theory by the next day or two (or both) after the lesson so that skills learned are not forgotten. In comparison, a student would not normally delay doing homework for more than two days, especially if it is challenging. If you did not or could not complete your theory assignment, do NOT leave your book at home. This will put you even further behind. We can review during your lesson if needed.

2. I am available by phone if you have any questions during the week.