387 Mission St SE

Salem, OR 97302

503.999.4343

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office@nwschoolofmusic.com

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Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

POLICIES

Your tuition reserves a specific time in our teaching schedule– teaching time that is dedicated to you.  Understandably, we cannot dedicate double lesson time to you when you have a schedule conflict:  Lesson time cannot be extended if a student is late, and missed lessons cannot be refunded.  However, when possible, we do make every effort to accommodate a reschedule.  Lessons may be made up in the form of group lessons.

If you alert us of your absence prior to the start of the month, we’ll reduce your bill accordingly. Once the month has begun, so long as you give at least 24 hours’ notice, we’ll be happy to provide makeup lesson time options (although, due to our busy schedule, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to offer times that are ideal for your personal schedule). If you must miss a lesson and give less than 24 hours’ notice, unfortunately that lesson will be considered forfeited. We’ll look forward to seeing you at your next scheduled lesson!

The pricing for the coming year at NWSM are released in April. Please see this years pricing for current details. 

Tuition is due by the 10th of the month.  Payments not received or postmarked by the 10th will incur an automatic $20 late penalty. If your family needs to adjust the tuition date, that needs to be communicated through the office. 

The non-refundable monthly registration fee covers all materials (ie. flashcards, binders/folders, assignment sheets, etc.), as well as use of the studio lending library so that you never have to buy a book, and multiple NWSM programs! The registration fee is $10 for the first two students, and $5 for each additional student. 

After monthly tuition and registration costs, the only additional fees are optional events (such as recitals).

HOME PRACTICE

The student needs to practice daily in order to master music.  They will progress in direct proportion to the amount of time they spends practicing!  A regular time should be set aside for home practice on at least 5 different days during the week.  Before your lesson you will want to discuss with your instructor what is going to be the best option for practicing tailored to you.

Each student should practice for results, but this chart can serve as a general guide:

  • Young students & Beginning students (Primer Level):  10-15 minutes daily
  • Elementary/Late Elementary Piano (Levels 1-2):  at least 20-30 minutes daily
  • Intermediate Piano (Levels 3-5):  at least 30-45 minutes daily
  • Late Intermediate/Early Advanced Piano:45- 60+ minutes daily

Students LOVE to play straight through pieces, beginning to end, often at a fast speed.  However, usually this is NOT practicing.  Good practice includes many, many repetitions of small sections, usually at a slow tempo to insure accuracy, in order to conquer trouble spots.  At the weekly lesson, a practice plan including piece titles, page numbers, and specific goals is written out.  The student should follow this plan in his home practice.  Please note that home practice will often include written work (to be completed in the “theory” book).

Students need to have access to an instrument for their home practice.  Although a well-maintained acoustic piano is definitely preferable, students may use electronic instruments for their home practice as specified below.  (Please note that a keyboard and a digital piano are not the same.)

  • First-year (beginning) students and ages 3-6 ONLY may use an electric keyboard with at least 61 full- or standard-sized, touch-sensitive keys.
  • By the second year of study or by level 1 (after the student has completed the Primer level), students must have regular access to an acoustic piano or a digital piano (e.g. Yamaha Clavinova) meeting ALL of the following specifications:  full- or standard-sized keys, a full length (88-key) keyboard, weighted or graded action, and pedal.

Students are expected to treat their piano assignments as seriously as their homework assignments and other responsibilities.  This will most likely happen if the student has a specific piano practice time built into his daily schedule.

However, even the most dedicated student will have days when they simply does not want to practice. Have no fear – this is totally normal! But as they press forward through the struggle, the rewards inherent in performing a piece of music will stick with them.  

Remember: Lessons are for Learning. Practice is for Progress. 

  • Even if you have no musical experience yourself, you can help your child with their piano in these very practical ways:

    • Provide a well-maintained instrument for the student’s daily practice.
    • Provide a practice area and time that is free from distractions.
    • Help your child be faithful to their practice schedule.
    • Show interest in your student’s progress by asking about their lesson or requesting to hear him play a piece.
    • Feel free to occasionally sit in on a lesson.
    • Make sure your child is at their lesson with their books at the appropriate time.
    • Be ready with praise and encouragement for your child.  These will be vital as they face challenges along the way and realize the commitment necessary to excel.
    • Young children (ages 3-5) will need you to sit with them while they practice. You can encourage them to keep going, read their lesson notes to them, and even point to the notes as they play if they need the help.

DIRECTOR

Ms. Mallory Livingston is the Executive Director of NWSM and has studied the musical arts for over 12 years, taking private lessons as well as completing her bachelor’s of music at Eastern Oregon University. To learn more about Ms. Livingston, read her bio on the About page under Information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

POLICIES

Your tuition reserves a specific time in our teaching schedule– teaching time that is dedicated to you.  Understandably, we cannot dedicate double lesson time to you when you have a schedule conflict:  Lesson time cannot be extended if a student is late, and missed lessons cannot be refunded.  However, when possible, we do make every effort to accommodate a reschedule.  Lessons may be made up in the form of group lessons.

If you alert us of your absence prior to the start of the month, we’ll reduce your bill accordingly. Once the month has begun, so long as you give at least 24 hours’ notice, we’ll be happy to provide makeup lesson time options (although, due to our busy schedule, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to offer times that are ideal for your personal schedule). If you must miss a lesson and give less than 24 hours’ notice, unfortunately that lesson will be considered forfeited. We’ll look forward to seeing you at your next scheduled lesson!

The pricing for the coming year at NWSM are released in April. Please see this years pricing for current details. 

Tuition is due by the 10th of the month.  Payments not received or postmarked by the 10th will incur an automatic $20 late penalty. If your family needs to adjust the tuition date, that needs to be communicated through the office. 

The non-refundable monthly registration fee covers all materials (ie. flashcards, binders/folders, assignment sheets, etc.), as well as use of the studio lending library so that you never have to buy a book, and multiple NWSM programs! The registration fee is $10 for the first two students, and $5 for each additional student. 

After monthly tuition and registration costs, the only additional fees are optional events (such as recitals).

HOME PRACTICE

The student needs to practice daily in order to master music.  They will progress in direct proportion to the amount of time they spends practicing!  A regular time should be set aside for home practice on at least 5 different days during the week.  Before your lesson you will want to discuss with your instructor what is going to be the best option for practicing tailored to you.

Each student should practice for results, but this chart can serve as a general guide:

  • Young students & Beginning students (Primer Level):  10-15 minutes daily
  • Elementary/Late Elementary Piano (Levels 1-2):  at least 20-30 minutes daily
  • Intermediate Piano (Levels 3-5):  at least 30-45 minutes daily
  • Late Intermediate/Early Advanced Piano:45- 60+ minutes daily

Students LOVE to play straight through pieces, beginning to end, often at a fast speed.  However, usually this is NOT practicing.  Good practice includes many, many repetitions of small sections, usually at a slow tempo to insure accuracy, in order to conquer trouble spots.  At the weekly lesson, a practice plan including piece titles, page numbers, and specific goals is written out.  The student should follow this plan in his home practice.  Please note that home practice will often include written work (to be completed in the “theory” book).

Students need to have access to an instrument for their home practice.  Although a well-maintained acoustic piano is definitely preferable, students may use electronic instruments for their home practice as specified below.  (Please note that a keyboard and a digital piano are not the same.)

  • First-year (beginning) students and ages 3-6 ONLY may use an electric keyboard with at least 61 full- or standard-sized, touch-sensitive keys.
  • By the second year of study or by level 1 (after the student has completed the Primer level), students must have regular access to an acoustic piano or a digital piano (e.g. Yamaha Clavinova) meeting ALL of the following specifications:  full- or standard-sized keys, a full length (88-key) keyboard, weighted or graded action, and pedal.

Students are expected to treat their piano assignments as seriously as their homework assignments and other responsibilities.  This will most likely happen if the student has a specific piano practice time built into his daily schedule.

However, even the most dedicated student will have days when they simply does not want to practice. Have no fear – this is totally normal! But as they press forward through the struggle, the rewards inherent in performing a piece of music will stick with them.  

Remember: Lessons are for Learning. Practice is for Progress. 

  • Even if you have no musical experience yourself, you can help your child with their piano in these very practical ways:

    • Provide a well-maintained instrument for the student’s daily practice.
    • Provide a practice area and time that is free from distractions.
    • Help your child be faithful to their practice schedule.
    • Show interest in your student’s progress by asking about their lesson or requesting to hear him play a piece.
    • Feel free to occasionally sit in on a lesson.
    • Make sure your child is at their lesson with their books at the appropriate time.
    • Be ready with praise and encouragement for your child.  These will be vital as they face challenges along the way and realize the commitment necessary to excel.
    • Young children (ages 3-5) will need you to sit with them while they practice. You can encourage them to keep going, read their lesson notes to them, and even point to the notes as they play if they need the help.

DIRECTOR

Ms. Mallory Livingston is the Executive Director of NWSM and has studied the musical arts for over 12 years, taking private lessons as well as completing her bachelor’s of music at Eastern Oregon University. To learn more about Ms. Livingston, read her bio on the About page under Information.