BRIGHT STARTS

Our group-based lesson program for younger beginners and near-beginners. This unique approach seeks to provide students with the benefits of both group and private instruction. Most students begin the first-year class between the ages of 5 and 8. At the end of the program, the student progresses to advancing study with the INDIVIDUAL program. Students start with a weekly group class and gradually transition to individual lessons.

1ST YEAR

ONE 55 MINUTE CLASS EACH WEEK The principle goal of the first-year program is to instill in students a love of music and music learning by introducing them to basic concepts in a fun, fast-paced environment. We start with the premise that the path to achievement begins with enjoyment and is supported by a productive routine of at-home study. Parent-assisted practice and exploration at home help to reinforce concepts and to build the study skills needed to make music lessons productive and enjoyable over the long term.

2ND AND 3RD YEARS

ONE 70 MINUTE GROUP CLASS EACH WEEK PLUS ADDITIONAL INDIVIDUAL LESSONS Individual lessons can be arranged as bi-weekly 30 minute lessons, or as weekly 30 minute lessons, as best fits the schedule and goals of each student. While we strongly recommend attending individual lessons to supplement the work we do in class, we also offer the option of attending the class alone without additional individual lessons.

FROM EXPLORATION TO ADVANCING STUDY

In the second and third years of the program we gradually move from the exploration-focused first year to a more focused and intensive program study. Yet we still have time for the many benefits of group instruction: enjoyment, ear training, theory, listening, performance, and appreciation. The quantity and quality of at-home practice increase, but in such small increments as to be barely perceptible to the student. When the student finishes the third year of the program, they will have a firm foundation for advancing study that is balanced and complete. Because of their group experience, they will be more comfortable in performance, more skilled at aural discrimination, and more able to play with continuity and in ensemble situations. And they will have "grown up" in their skills not on their own but with a community of peers.

INDIVIDUAL

We are very proud of our unique BRIGHT STARTS beginner program. But most students, including all adults and all advanced students, attend individual lessons. For students of all ages and levels, we offer a flexible individual lesson program, with supplementary classes and events arranged to best fit each individual student.

LESSON LENGTH

Students attend weekly individual lessons of 30, 45, 60, or 75 minutes. In addition, we also have an INDIVIDUAL FLEX option which gives the flexibility to reach students needing two lessons per week, bi-weekly lessons, partner lessons, and more. Weekly 30 minute lessons are reserved for beginners in their first two years. 75 minute and twice-per-week students (both plans include a substantial discount) should expect to devote well over four hours per week to thoughtful at-home preparation.

GROUP AND RECITAL PARTICIPATION

We have regularly scheduled group classes, which we call "Performance Workshops." Youth workshops meet most Saturday afternoons plus selected other times. Adult workshops meet select Sunday evenings. Classes are scheduled on a sign-up basis, with students choosing which dates to attend. In addition, we strive to hold two youth recitals and two adult musicales per year. Workshop classes and youth recitals are an integral part of our program and participation is required for most students in grades three+ with one+ year's prior experience. (Participation is optional for youngest students and adults.) Additional optional master classes and special events are also held on occasion.

FESTIVALS, COMPETITIONS, AND EVENTS

Participation in outside events, which may be competitive or non-competitive, is encouraged, but not required, for students with one+ year's prior experience. Participation is determined in consultation with each student/parent.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE AND TEAMWORK

Performance activities and group events are essential to the development of any student intending to achieve a skill at the piano that is that is durable and shareable. Group and event participation, arranged individually in a way that supports the particular needs of each student, is an essential part of our curriculum. Increase the value you get from lessons by choosing to participate actively in the group and performance activities that we offer! Retention, enjoyment, and achievement are all correlated strongly with group and event participation.