60 minute lessons are offered once per week by appointment. Students will be provided with initial materials for the first month of lessons, and then students will be asked to purchase specific materials for their lessons, which could include 3 to 5 books. Online purchasing links will be emailed to parents the first week in order to give ample time for materials to arrive.

Calendar


Required recitals will be held at least twice a year, once in the fall, and once in the spring. Additional optional performance opportunities, special classes, studio events, or music gatherings will be announced via email. Students will also have the option to participate in festivals or competitions on a case by case basis.

Policies


Studio Policy 2024- 2025 School Year

Piano:
An acoustic (not electric) piano is required for daily practice. If you have an electric keyboard, you may begin lessons but will be expected to upgrade to an acoustic piano within a few months. I will be happy to help you locate a suitable piano. Many members of the community offer free pianos, simply for the cost of moving them. Acoustic pianos are also available to rent by the month from Robert M. Sides.

Private Lessons:
30, 45 and 60-minute lessons are available for students of all ages.

Summer Lessons:
Summer Lessons are scheduled regularly in June, but are not usually available in July or August, due to Dr. Gustafson’s travel schedule.

Practice:
Daily practice is expected. Length of practice should be approximately the same time as the length of the lesson, and students should follow the notes and goals laid out in lesson assignment book. It is the parent’s responsibility to schedule and encourage daily practice. The weekly assignments in the practice notebook should be viewed similarly to homework assignments from school. Completion of homework and thorough preparation of assignments for each lesson is expected. Many students use the Practice Space app to keep track of their practicing. Please let me know if you would like an invite to my studio on the app, and I am happy to send it!

Required Practicing Topics:
Students will be expected to organize their practice time to include their individual variety of assignments which will be similar to the following list.
Pieces
Scales, Chords Arpeggios and other Technical Exercises
Sight-reading and Sight-singing
Ear-Training and Theory

The Importance of Daily Practice:

The discipline of daily practice leads to progress which fuels motivation to continue to practice and progress! Parents (even non-musician parents) are encouraged to be actively involved in assisting practice with young children until they reach an age where they can be more self-directed in their practice.

If students are consistently not completing their assignments or consistently struggling to practice a daily habit, Dr. Gustafson reserves the right to recommend them to a new studio.

Cancellations:
If cancellations are made 24 hours or more in advance, makeups may be scheduled if desired/possible or the lesson fee can also be reimbursed. (Please see the next paragraph about excused absences).

Excused Absences: Students are allowed a total of TWO excused absences or cancellations (other than missed lessons due to sickness and regular holidays) from August 29 to May 31. A calendar will be sent out at the beginning of September with all the lesson days clearly marked. Excused absences include any activity outside the lesson, such as a party, event, family obligation, etc. Scheduling June lessons is more flexible due to summer travels. For any additional cancellations, students will be charged for the missed lesson and not entitled to a makeup lesson.


Snow days/Teacher Cancellation:
• Snow days: Students are entitled to a Zoom lesson on snow days.
• Teacher cancellation due to illness or professional engagement: Students are entitled to a credit or a makeup lesson.
Sickness:
If students are sick, please do not bring them to the lesson. Please notify Dr. Gustafson that the student is sick as soon as you know. We can schedule a Zoom lesson in lieu of an in-person lesson if the student is feeling up to it; otherwise, I can offer a credit for the missed lesson. Missed lessons due to sickness to not typically count towards total allowed excused absences.
Studio Events:
Communications about studio events and studio challenges will be sent by email, and events may also be posted on the website: www.gustafsonpianostudio.com.
Performances Opportunities:
Students will be required to perform a minimum of TWO times per year. There are many options for performance, including:
• Studio Recitals are presented at least two or three times a year. There is a $10 recital fee per family. Recital dates will be emailed out in the fall for the whole year so that dates can be reserved.
• Central Pennsylvania Music Teacher’s Association offers recitals and festivals throughout the year. There is a $10 performance fee per student.
• Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival, which is held annually in the fall.
• Students who would like more rigorous performance opportunities are also encouraged to participate in the Royal Conservatory Exams, local and national competitions, and piano festivals throughout the country, which will be recommended on a case by case basis.
Lesson Commitment:
Students are expected to commit to the full year of piano study, September through May. If you need to discontinue lessons for any reason, please give 30 days’ notice.

Tuition and Fees 2024 – 2025 and Payment:
Due to rising costs and inflation, tuition has been raised very slightly for 2024 – 2025. I will no longer be able to offer a sibling discount for new students. Current families will receive a 5% sibling discount for 2024- 2025.
Invoices will be sent out at the beginning of each month. Payment for Lessons should be at the beginning of each month and can be made by cash, check, or Zelle.

Please see the FAQ page on www.gustafsonpianostudio.com for current rates.

Teaching Philosophy


My goal is to bring all students to their potential, whatever that may be. I enjoy motivating students to be the best they can be by keeping high standards but offering encouragement when it is deserved. I feel strongly that ear-training, sight-reading, and theory must be part of the weekly lessons. I strive to teach my heart out, so that student doesn’t just learn how to play a set of specific pieces or exercises, but instead grows to become a whole musician, someone who can pursue a career in music or someone who will become a lifelong music lover and avid supporter of the arts.