I will provide the highest quality instruction possible at all times while sharing my enthusiasm for music, playing the piano and learning. Each of my students should leave their piano lessons energized and confident that they can succeed musically.
Students should arrive on time to their lessons and be well prepared. The daily home practice should reflect the length of the lesson. If a student has a 45-minute weekly lesson, it is expected that he/she practices 45 minutes daily at home. Parents should not expect their children to practice on their own, but rather gently encourage them by sitting with them daily at the piano and work with them for 5-10 minutes at a time if necessary.
Remember: The quality of practice time is more important than the quantity of practice time.
Parents are highly encouraged to quietly watch and take notes (no computer, no phone, no typing) during their children's private lessons only. Parents' presence during private lessons has a considerable impact on young children's success and enthusiasm over time. If you are unable to assist the lesson on a weekly basis, Dr. Boccard requires parents to be present at least once a month to observe so to know what to do at home. A small group lesson is usually a great option for students who need more time, help, motivation and less parental involvement. In general, parents do not need to observe group lessons unless there are some serious behavior issues.
At home be sure to:
create a quiet and comfortable space to practice
schedule a time for practice every day.
Please arrive at least a few minutes prior to your lesson. Dr Boccard will come get you at the beginning of your lesson time. Students are expected to bring all materials (assignment folders, music books, pencils and otherwise) to every lesson.
Lesson time must remain as focused as possible — siblings are not allowed to observe the lesson. It is very difficult and tense to teach while a sibling is walking/running/jumping around and making various noises during a lesson.
All students are required to wash their hands before their lesson. Students and parents must also remove their shoes before entering the piano studio. (Bring an extra pair of clean shoes or socks if necessary). Food, gum and non-water drinks are prohibited in the house and the studio.
Waiting Room: Please feel free to relax in the waiting room. This allows the student(s) my full attention and vice versa. Feel free to use the restrooms. Well-behaved siblings are welcome in the waiting room. Please do not play on the piano in the waiting room.
These hour-long lessons happen in group of 2-3 students at a time. The advantages of a small group lesson are multiple:
More time to cover weekly material such as theory and listening
Significantly cheaper than private lessons
Foster collaboration, camaraderie and competition with other students in the studio
More opportunities to perform in front of other students
Less parental involvement at home
Great for parents who need to run an errand while their children are in the lesson
Faster progress in general
Students will have the opportunity to perform in at least two recitals a year, usually at the end of each semester. Dr. Boccard also offers the opportunity to perform in many festivals and competitions in the area, depending on the student's level:
KCMTA Fall Festival
KCMTA Achievement Auditions
KMTA Music Progressions
UMKC Spring Festival
MNFC Junior Festival
Royal Conservatory Examination
Fees for festivals and competitions usually vary between $10-$120
All music, except duets, is to be memorized. Deadlines for preparation are imposed and strictly adhered to in order to ensure that all participating students are secure with their piece(s). Those students whose piece(s) is/are not performance-ready by the deadline shall be withdrawn from the program.
Students scheduled to perform for recitals are required to attend and perform. Except in cases of family emergency or illness, students may not "drop out" from the program. Such behavior then affects the entire recital, and is not fair to the other performers.
Performers must be at the facility no later than 20 minutes before the beginning of the recital. Participating students and their families are expected to remain for the duration of the entire recital, thereby providing ample audience and respect for all performers.
A couple times a year, master classes (60-90 min.) will replace or supplement piano lessons. These small, fun, group settings provide a great opportunity to meet other students in the studio, perform by memory, deepen once knowledge in theory and history as well as foster camaraderie.
Possessing the right equipment will ensure that students progress with success. Students enrolled in private lessons should possess a well-tuned, regulated, acoustic piano at home to enroll in the studio. Electric pianos are not ideal for proper training, but will be accepted for students enrolled in group lessons. Acoustic piano should be kept in good working order and should be tuned at least once a year. It is highly recommended to have an adjustable bench as well.
Please contact Dr. Boccard if you need help finding:
Material such as seating pads and footstool for young students
When a spot is reserved for the semester, parents and students agree that this represents a mutual commitment as the spot is reserved for them only each week. Dances and sport classes do not offer reimbursement if you do not attend the rehearsal or sport game - music lessons are no different.
Dr. Boccard will offer make-up lessons if he must cancel for any reason. There are no make-up lessons if a student misses a lesson for any reasons (including illness, vacation, sport, weather, etc.). I will use that time to plan for the student's progress, location of material, etc.
Students who are ill should not attend the lesson.
With advance notice (one week minimum) and a serious excuse (required school activity or family emergency) private lessons only may be rescheduled if a mutually convenient time is available on the studio calendar. This option is only available up to a maximum of two times per semester.
Here are different alternatives for students who do not want to lose their lesson time:
Schedule a lesson on Skype. This option is only for students who fall ill, or if severe weather arises. Skype is free to download and use.
Give your lesson to a sibling or parent.
Please understand that your tuition reserves an exclusive weekly time in my schedule for you or your child and, unlike many other service professionals, I cannot resell that time nor can I create extra teaching time in which to give lessons.
Students who want an extra lesson at the end of the semester can schedule one for free during the bonus weeks. Schedule it by December 1st and May 1st. This option is only available for children and teenagers.
While my schedule is quite full, I always welcome new students. If you (a current student) refer a new student to me and he/she registers for piano lessons, make sure he/she mentions your name and you will receive a $50 discount on your next tuition for each referral.
Any and all electronic devices must be turned off before entering the piano studio. Such devices are extremely disruptive/distracting to students and the teacher. Studies have shown that students should not have their phone on them during the lesson as it is more difficult to focus, EVEN when the phone is tuned off.
SPORTS AND EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Although this is a private piano studio which is not affiliated with any school district, it is no less an educational institution and must be regarded as such. It is the position of this studio that piano lessons are to be treated with the same level of importance as any other subjects your child may be studying in school. It is also the position of this piano studio that sporting events and other extracurricular activities are not considered valid excuses for not practicing during the week. Sports and music may not always be mutually compatible, but need not be mutually exclusive. Please respect Dr. Boccard's curriculum and commitment to your child's musical education by maintaining a priority level for piano studies equal to that of other school subjects — regard it as a "private extension" of academics that would otherwise be unavailable to your child.
Dr. Boccard may often be unable to discuss student's progress before or after the lesson since other students have lessons at those times. Parents should call or schedule an appointment if the heave any concerns or questions. Dr. Boccard is mostly available between 11am and 1pm, Monday through Friday by email, text or phone. Please do not call or text before 8am or after 8pm.
Parking is available in front of the house — do not use the driveway. Please do not use any of my neighbors' driveways for any reason. Please do not park in the grass.
Parents should be present at the end of the lesson to pick up their children. Dr. Boccard will not let any young students leave the house if parents are not present.
Photos of students, video and audio recordings of student projects and performances may be posted online and used by the instructor for promotional and workshop materials. Identifying information will be excluded or limited to first names only. Parents wishing to exempt their students from any published media may do so by providing a written exclusion request.
As a piano instructor, I support and care for all my students and their families in a very special way. One-to-one education is very concentrated, and the bond between teacher and student can grow quite strong. Nevertheless, the studio reserves the right to terminate a student's lessons for the following infractions:
Excess amount of absences.
Excess amount of unprepared lessons.
Inappropriate behavior toward Dr. Boccard on the part of the student. This includes violent outbursts, swearing, defamation of character, unacceptable advances or any other displays, which fall outside the realm of common respect and decency.
Inappropriate behavior toward Dr. Boccard on the part of a student's parent(s). This includes all of the above.
Attendance at lessons in any type of intoxicated state.
Failure to pay lessons in full.
If for any reasons a student decides to stop his/her piano lessons, Dr. Boccard would like to discuss about it face to face (no email/phone/text). It is preferable to leave the studio at the end of the year. Discontinuation of lessons requires a 4-week notice – This will allow wrapping up any current projects and discussing how the student can continue to follow his/her music goal. This will also provide the necessary time to fill that empty lesson slot so that Dr. Boccard can avoid a loss in income.
Thank you for your consideration
Tuition & Scheduling
A variety of pricing options are offered based on lesson length, frequency and level.
The semester tuition is based on a monthly installment over the academic calendar year (September—mid-May) for a total of 32 weeks of instruction, and not an hourly rate. Please keep in mind that during the year the number of lessons per month will change. Regardless of attendance, the monthly tuition is due in full on or by the first lesson of each month.
A $35.00 fee will be added for any checks returned due to non-sufficient funds (NSF). Dr. Boccard reserves the right to raise his fees at the beginning of each new academic year.
STUDENT Material/ACTIVITY ACCOUNT
To make sure that students get their music on time, Dr. Boccard will order the music himself. Upon enrollment, you will be asked to make a yearly non-refundable deposit. This amount will:
Secure the student’s spot for the following semester
Purchase sheet music, method books and theory materials
Help with printing costs
Parents will be notified when the account gets low.
What tuition covers
Your tuition does not only reserve your weekly time slot and studio membership. Your tuition covers much more:
17 years of professional experience
Time to prepare for the lesson
Written reports for students and parents
Recitals, masterclasses, festivals presence, preparation and organization
Piano tuning and maintenance
Emails and phone call time
Access to Dr. Boccard's music library
Property taxes, self-employment taxes, insurance, business licenses, retirement. An independent music teacher has no corporation to help in providing health and life insurance by matching funds, so your tuition helps cover the increased living costs of your self-employed teacher.
And much more!
A $25 late payment fee per student will be added when payments are made more than 2 days after the first lessons of the month. You can mail your check to Dr. Boccard if you missed your payment.
If payment is not received by the second lesson, no lesson will be given.
Should something come up where you cannot financially fulfill your commitment to your lessons, advanced notice and open, ongoing communication is appreciated and encouraged!
The studio calendar is divided in two sessions. The school year session runs from September to mid-May, and the summer session. Consult Dr. Boccard’s website for more information.
Summer lessons are scheduled at the end of the spring semester. The full summer tuition is due at the first lesson in June. To secure a spot for the fall semester, students should enroll in a minimum of 6 lessons during the summer.
The following breaks are included in the tuition schedule and not subject to make-up lessons:
The last two weeks of December and New Year’s week
MTNA week Symposium
4th of July
The 2 weeks leading up to Labor Day
Absence for attending festivals, recitals, competitions, and other performances with students