Every student progresses differently, and it is my goal to support and help each student on their journey towards becoming a more developed flutist and musician through creative interaction and positive reinforcement. However, it is necessary for each student to show commitment and a willingness to learn. Private lessons offer the opportunity to learn the valuable skills of goal-setting and time-management. The skills students are building cannot be “crammed” in one long session. Consistent, focused practice throughout the week is essential.
In my studio the expectation is to have at least five days a week of practice with 20-30 min/day for beginning students, 35-45min/day for intermediate students, and 60min or more/day for more advanced students.
My approach is extremely practical—all of our time is limited, and we want a great result in the most efficient manner. I won’t waste a student’s time with mindless, monotonous work. In lessons I work with students (and their parents) to develop home practice skills (arguably the hardest part of learning an instrument). I emphasize special exercises, numbers of repetitions, practice “games” and specific goals, helping students understand how they can break their assignments into small, manageable pieces. Material assigned in lessons needs to be well-prepared in order to continue to move forward the next week.
I also facilitate the growth of a student’s own self-feedback loop. We are own teachers in the practice room, so it is critical to really listen to ourselves and assess what we are doing and how we can make it better. This takes time to know what we are listening for and to trust our judgements. I ask students lots of questions about what they hear, feel, notice—these observations are crucial for their eventual musical independence. The mantra is listen, reflect, improve (repeat).
Of course, I understand that life can be extremely hectic sometimes! If a busy week is coming up with school or family obligations, tell me and we will plan our assignments out accordingly. I encourage students to come to lessons even if they do not feel as prepared as they would like; there are any number of activities we can do for ear training, tone development, and sight-reading outside of the assigned lesson material.
Students are guided on creating a practice plan for the week and a practice journal. They are expected to fill it out as they go through the week, and eventually to create their own plan. This becomes a valuable reference resource for them!
We have performance classes 2 or more times a semester as schedules allow, typically at Vernon Hills High School. These are great opportunities to participate in group learning activities, flute choir, and/or learn from our special guests. Subject matters are mostly chosen by students. These are included in tuition, though not required to attend (except for flute choir recital rehearsal, see recitals).
What you need
Flute in good working condition, regular maintenance must be done.
Notebook for weekly assignments and practice journal
Music stand for practicing
Quiet, distraction-free practice environment
Metronome and tuner (Korg-TM60 recommended)
Somewhere to store music (a special bag or filing crate work well)
Desire to learn
Email is my preferred form of communication and I check it regularly. I will always make my best effort to return your email within 24 hours. I will use this method to keep you updated necessary studio and recital information. If you need to contact me immediately, or you are more comfortable contacting me via telephone, please feel free to call my cell phone at 847-903-4086. Please do not text me important info—email or call me with that info, please.
Communication between student and teacher is essential. If you find yourself frustrated with the material assigned to you during the week, feel free to contact me and we will find a solution. Many times a quick video chat will do the trick!
I expect responses within 24-48 hours to any communication I send to students/parents, please. Especially to anything marked as [time sensitive].
Attendance & Schedule
Generally, I expect to schedule lessons on a weekly basis. When a lesson time is agreed upon, we are all making a commitment to keep that time free from other appointments or activities. I observe the general school year calendar and holiday/spring breaks. For the school year (Sept 1-May 31), students can expect to have 32 lessons over the school year. All lesson packages must be used within their billing period, unless mutually agreed upon in writing.
The studio schedule is kept on a google calendar accessible via the Lesson schedule page of this website. Students are responsible for notating their lesson times and looking at the entire month, including alternate days of the week. Errors? Please tell me ASAP. The page is password protected, you will receive the password after your trial lesson and when you register for lessons.
Note: Failure to check the lesson calendar and/or properly notate your personal calendars does not exempt you from knowing its content. You can add events to your personal calendar, add notifications, etc., to be sure you never miss a lesson.
For lessons scheduled during the VHHS school day: Unless a student is absent from school, s/he is expected to attend the scheduled lesson. If a student is present at school and chooses to miss the scheduled lesson time to attend to other school-related responsibilities (for ex: labs, make-up work, meetings with teachers) or fails to attend the scheduled lesson for any other reason without proper notification, no alternative time/day will be offered. This is a scheduled class in your day/week and needs to be treated as such.
General: Because specific times are set aside for specific students, a student who does not attend a lesson will simply miss the benefit of that lesson. I will then use that time or other times to plan for the student’s progress, locate materials, etc. Please be assured that your tuition pays for far more than the time spent with a student during a lesson. There are no refunds or discounts given unless I am unable to teach the promised number of lessons (or in the case of a documented emergency). I am a reasonable person. If an emergency or major schedule change need arises, please talk to me or call me as soon as possible. I am always happy to find a solution for my students.
Illness: Call me before the start of the school day or ASAP to cancel due to illness. Phone or “Skype” lessons during the student’s regular lesson time are also an option for those that are mildly sick or for inclement weather, or a transportation emergency.
Weather/School closing emergencies: In the event of an emergency school closing or weather travel emergency, lessons are given online at their original time unless otherwise requested/stated. A Computer, tablet or phone will work just fine. Video and high-speed internet are essential. Options: Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts. It is strongly recommended that you register/set-up at least two of these services and test them in advance, so they are ready when/if needed.
Remembering to inform me about conflicts is your responsibility. Last minute changes typically cannot be accommodated.
If a school-sponsored event (assembly, field trip, etc) or other conflict during the scheduled lesson time arises, first try to swap times with another student, or if that is completely impossible, notify me ASAP, and at least 1 week in advance. It is expected that all efforts will be made to avoid scheduling any oher appointments during the scheduled lesosn time.
With at least 24 hours notification, I will happily offer an alternative time/day for that lesson. This may be offered as avirtual lesson or at the Evanston studio, per my avalability. If I am not given at least 24 hours notice for such a conflict, you will miss the benefit of that lesson and no alternative time/day will be offered.
Below are some options available when a student needs to miss a lesson with advance planning.
Swap Lessons: Students (Families of private students) may trade their lesson time with another student to help avoid absences. Please inform me if you do not wish to have your name included on the swap list. The Swap List is in the student portal. Use the following rules to make sure swaps go smoothly:
I must be informed prior to and after arranging a swap. There are sometimes reasons why something is not OK to swap.
When you have found someone to swap with, email me AND the person you are swapping with to inform me of the agreement. I will put it on the google calendar to make it official.
VHHS: If it’s super last minute during the school day, come tell in person quickly or text me.
Should 2 people arrive at once, I will teach the one whose lesson is normally at that time.
No make-up lessons will be given for any missed swap lessons.
Skype/FaceTime/Zoom/Google Hangouts: If there is a serious conflict that cannot be resolved any other way, you may request an alternate day/time and do an online lesson. These are available with at least 24 hours notification and can take the form of Skype/Facetime/Zoom/Google Hangouts according to my availability and are the responsibility of the student/family to request these options.
Performance Classes: At least twice each semester, I will offer performance classes at TBD time and dates. These will be student chosen topics and activities, such as masterclasses, flute ensemble, or special topics sessions. These are extra opportunities for students to attend in place of a missed lesson, too. If a student has attended all their lessons, this is a bonus session for them!
I am an active performer and travel to give workshops and concerts. There are many benefits to having an active performing musician for a teacher. However, this means I will sometimes have to reschedule lessons. Most often this means, we will have the lesson online via Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts or Zoom or reschedule to an alternate day/time. In the rare event that we are not able to reschedule a lesson by the end of the semester (lesson package), I will credit this lesson to your next semester or package of lessons.
Lessons should be considered a year-long commitment. Should you need to discontinue lessons for any reason prior to the end of a school year, semester package, or for an ongoing monthly lesson package, will need to provide at least 4 weeks advance notice in writing (and the tuition for those four weeks). No refunds are given for unused tuition.
Also, remember that this is a relationship that has been developed over time. I care very deeply for my student's continued growth and development. If I can help transition in any way, I would be more than happy to do so! Need recommendations for a superb teacher that will be a great fit? Absolutely! Need to transfer long-range plans, development goals, and plans? I will gladly help!
I provide two recital opportunities per year. One in the fall and one in the spring. Students are encouraged but not required to participate. Recitals are valuable opportunities to present and celebrate the work students are doing in their lessons, and to play in larger chamber ensembles. Every recital features a group flute choir piece with the whole studio.
Accompanist fees for one rehearsal and the recital are part of your monthly tuition. If a student/family requests additional rehearsals, the additional fees are the responsibility of the student/family.
Tuition & Payment
Occasional Lessons: $80/60 minutes. (Occasional lessons are defined as any lessons not regularly scheduled, with a minimum of 3 per month.)
Regular Monthly Lesson Packages:
I provide discounts for my regular weekly students. To maintain consistency in my student's growth and sanity in my schedule, I offer the best discount when students commit to a full academic cycle of lessons: 32-Lessons, Sept 1-May 31. This includes a recital at the end of each semester and performance classes, guest artists, and any other special opportunities that may arise. Additional, extra lessons can be added if requested at same single lesson rates as your package.
Summer Lessons (June 1- August 31) will be scheduled and billed individually per student at the beginning of the summer for the entire summer term. A minimum of 6 summer lessons must be taken to hold your spot in the studio for the fall (unless otherwise agreed upon in writing). These lessons may happen in person or virtually with Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Hangouts, depending on both my own and student travel schedules.
Tuition includes performances classes and All recital fees for lessons Sept 1-May 31 as follows:
*Savings in comparison to paying single per lesson rate of $80 per hour and additional recital fees.
Tuition is due on the First day of the semester, and no later than the first lesson of a lesson package, or on the first day of the month if that option is selected, unless a prior arrangement has been made.
Cash, Check or Electronic payments are accepted. I encourage setting up an auto-pay through your bank (Zelle, Chase Quickpay, etc) using my email or through PayPal.
Late Fee: $30 late fee will be assessed for late tuition payments. If an extenuating circumstance arises, call me. I am happy to work something out to help you. There's always a solution!
Scholarships: I believe all students who wish to learn should have access to high-quality instruction. I do offer limited Scholarships based on demonstrated finanacial need and individual circumstances. Request scholarship assistance here.
Please Contact me for more information.