Jeff Spicer Piano

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Piano Lessons At Your Home

Thank you for your interest in piano lessons! I have been teaching piano professionally full-time for over 18 years and I teach 45 students each week in the South Bay area. I have found a great sense of joy working with children and seeing them progress in music.



                       HERE ARE SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:



1. WHERE DO YOU TEACH PIANO LESSONS AND WHAT ARE YOUR RATES?


I teach piano exclusively at the student's home. I do not teach at my home or in a studio.

I teach students from 10:30 AM - 8:00 PM Monday through Friday

in Saratoga, Los Gatos, Campbell, West San Jose, South Los Altos, Sunnyvale, and Cupertino.

10:30 - 3:00 also in South San Jose.


PIANO LESSON RATES

 

30 MINUTE LESSONS:

The first student of the home is $50 per 30 minute lesson ($200 per month). 

Each additional student of the home is $35 per 30 minute lesson ($140 per month).


45 MINUTE LESSONS:

The first student of the home is $65 per 45 minute lesson ($260 per month)

Each additional student of the home is $50 per 45 minute lesson ($200 per month)


DAYTIME DISCOUNT - If the student is an adult or homeschooler and able to take their lesson during the day between 10:30 - 3:00, I give a discount. 

30 Minute Lessons:

The first student of the home is $45 per 30 minute lesson ($180 per month). 

Each additional student of the home is $30 per 30 minute lesson ($120 per month).

45 Minute Lessons:

The first student of the home is $60 per 45 minute lesson ($240 per month)

Each additional student of the home is $45 per 45 minute lesson ($180 per month)


Each week I teach each student one lesson. Monthly lesson payments are made in advance for four lessons. Most students take 30 minute lessons but I can also teach 45 minute lessons.

 

2. AT WHAT AGE DO YOU BEGIN TEACHING PIANO LESSONS?

I begin teaching children as young as age 6. If the child displays to me an early aptitude for learning, I am willing to start them as young as age 5 1/2.


3. DO I NEED TO OWN A PIANO OR IS A KEYBOARD OK?

A keyboard is fine to learn on for the first two years of piano lessons. It must have a stand, music stand, touch sensitive keys for loud and soft playing, and 61 full size keyboard keys. After 2 years, once the student has demonstrated that they are serious about learning to play the piano and want to try to advance to higher levels, I require that you have a piano or a digital piano to practice on.

The student must have a piano that is in good condition and kept tuned. A digital piano is also acceptable and can be purchased at music stores for about $500. 


4. WHAT ARE YOUR PRACTICE REQUIREMENTS FOR EACH STUDENT?

Each student upon beginning lessons must commit to practice every day to improve and learn the assigned songs and exercises. 20 minutes a day, 5 days out of the week as a minimum. 


5. WHAT IS YOUR TEACHING STYLE?

I teach using a curriculum called PIANO ADVENTURES which provides an excellent training for sight reading utilizing a Lesson book, Theory book, Performance book, and Sight Reading book in

five progressive levels. I am not a teacher who skips around a lot with many different books. I like to progressively teach each student level by level fully educating them. In a typical 30 minute lesson I will go over the assigned songs, discuss the new concepts of 1 or 2 new songs, have the child try to play the new songs, assign a theory and sight reading page, and also review pieces they have already learned. I also supplement with songs that the child is familiar with and enjoys playing - music on the radio or on television, rock, pop, blues, broadway tunes, or classical favorites. I teach in a contemporary style. I'm not like an old crochety teacher who slaps the wrists of the students with a wooden stick and only teaches Classical music. I do teach Classical, as well as all other styles of music and give them an overall well rounded lesson. I have a kind and patient personality and over many years have successfully taught over 800 students how to read music and play at an intermediate or advanced level. My main objectives are to develop in the child a passion for music, and the ability to sight read music at whatever level they are able to progress to. I believe learning music is about exploring and having fun, and I only want to help each child reach their own goals and capabilities.

 

6. WHAT IS YOUR PAYMENT SYSTEM?

Monthly payments are for 4 lessons and are required each month in full to reserve your timeslot. Lessons missed on holidays are made up automatically in the months that have 5 weeks. The school year schedule insures that each student receives their total lessons although it is a month to month commitment.


7. DO YOU TEACH IN THE SUMMER? 

YES! I teach through the summer and I encourage each student to continue their piano lessons. This ensures their continued progress and also reserves their timeslot for the fall. 


8. WHAT IF I WAS TO STOP LESSONS?

It is my hope that you do not stop lessons once you start to ensure your child's progress. It is hard for students to learn when they have 3 or 4 different teachers with different books and teaching styles. Most students who are with me for a long period of time take lessons for 4-7 years. But if at any time you decide to stop lessons, please give me a minimum 2 week notice before the date of your last lesson. Also, I may decide to stop lessons if after a long period of time the student is no longer progressing either from a continued lack of practice, poor lesson attendance, or lack of piano aptitude.


9. DO YOU TEACH IMPROVISATION, COMPOSITION, OR PLAYING BY EAR?

My primary goals are to teach the ability to sight read music towards an intermediate level and to instill a passion for music. My philosophy is "Learn to Read First" then EAR later. But once the student has reached an intermediate or advanced level, I can teach these other areas of playing by ear, improvisation, and composition. I have also written a book "Foundations for Piano Improvisation & Composition" which I use to teach these concepts.


10. DO YOU HAVE A MAKEUP LESSON POLICY?

Yes. Students must notify me of a lesson cancelation a minimum of 24 hours prior to the lesson time to receive a makeup lesson. Due to the nature of my business, I am not able to offer lots of makeup lessons. I can give you one makeup lesson every 3 months. If we need to try to reschedule your lesson for a different time on a given week, I am happy to do so if I can.


11. DO YOU PROVIDE BOOKS OR MATERIALS FOR THE STUDENTS?

Parents will need to purchase their children's music books and materials at the local music store or online. Each student will also need to own a Metronome.


12. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR MY CHILD TO LEARN HOW TO READ MUSIC?

The course that I use is progressive and is in 6 levels of books. Each level takes approximately 6-9 months to complete, so if your child continues with my teaching for FOUR YEARS, they will finish with the 6th level and have arrived at an Late Intermediate Level of sight reading and able to read any piece of music. With four full years as a minimum of piano lessons, I can safely say that the ability to read music is securely inside them and will never leave throughout their lifetime. If a child only takes 1-3 years of lessons, it won't be long before they will probably forget a lot of what they learned. For this reason it is vitally important for your child that once beginning lessons they don't quite, take breaks, or keep changing teachers. It is recommended that they continue with their teacher for at least  4 years.


13. DO YOU HAVE PIANO RECITALS?

Yes! Each year on a Saturday in May I hold a piano recital at a local church. I do not make participation manditory but I highly encourage students to come and play a song for their parents. This displays progress they have achieved throughout the year and is an opportunity for each child to see what other songs and styles other students are playing.


14. NOW THAT I HAVE READ THE INFORMATION, HOW DO WE START?

Please give me a call and we can discuss your goals, I can answer any questions you might have, and tell you what days/times I currently have available. Then if all is agreeable, we can set a first lesson appointment. The first lesson is a trial lesson and I ask that you pay for the lesson. I invite the parent to sit in the room to further observe how I teach and the materials that I use. At the end of the lesson I will spend 10 more minutes discussing any further questions you might have. Thank you for considering piano lessons with me and I look forward to the opportunity to teach your child.


JEFF SPICER

(408)893-4442                                                                                                                           [email protected]