Teacher . . .

My goal is to create a musical environment so that every child's potential can become realized. This is not only for the purpose of making music at the piano and deepening a love of music, but also so that each student can become a better, more self-confident independent learner of any subject matter. I do not audition students—I welcome all into my studio, including beginners, who will practice regularly at home, and whose families view music study as an essential component of their child's education.

General Information about the
Piano Studio
Glenview, Illinois

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Basic Information
Weekly private piano lessons are 40-60 minutes in length, depending upon the age and level of interest of the student. 30 minute lessons are also available to students younger
than 2nd grade. The Studio schedule approximately reflects that of the Glenview public schools. Lessons are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

New Students

New students who are considering enrolling should schedule a free interview, which will also include a few minutes of teaching. At least one parent should be present.

Parental Involvement
Parental encouragement, support and occasional assistance is important to your child’s success in studying music. It is not necessary that parents already know how to play an instrument. Simply reminding your child. "It's time to practice" may be enough in many cases. Students younger than 2nd grade usually need one parent to observe each lesson, with daily parental supervision in home practice.

The Curriculum
The emphasis is on "Comprehensive Musicianship" which consists of learning how to read music; how to practice; how to best use the body in playing; how to hear, understand, and respond to musical events; and how to express oneself through music. Repertoire for young children consists of standard educational materials; older children choose which kind of mix of classical music, jazz, and pop music they wish to learn. The study of music theory is integrated into the study of repertoire and the other activities. I also do improvisation and composition with many students.

Recitals, Get-Togethers, & Other Events
There is a Holiday Music Get-Together at the Studio in mid-December in which students play at the piano while families sing along! There is also a slightly more formal recital given in late May at a local auditorium or church—the Spring Recital. Because I am a member of Music Teachers National Association and the North Shore Music Teachers' Association, there are also opportunities for students to participate in festivals and competitions if they wish to and are ready.

See more information about lessons in my Studio.
Tuition & Enrollment
The Fall semester is usually 15 weeks in length, the Spring is 21. There are usually three weeks of lessons available in July; in order to retain their spot in the Studio for the Fall semester, less advanced students are required to take at least two lessons in July.

Students enroll by the semester and are billed in advance for tuition which can be paid in installments: two for the Fall, three for the Spring. Tuition does not include the cost of music and supplies. Tuition for 40-minute lessons (the suggested starting lesson length) in the Spring 2014 semester (21 lessons), is three equal payments of $322. New students registering after a semester is in progress will receive a prorated bill.

Instrument Requirement
All students must have daily access to a piano that is kept in tune and in good working order. If necessary, some electronic keyboards can be used by students in their first few years of study if they meet certain criteria.

Practice At Home
Students are expected to practice their entire assignment at least five days a week, most weeks.
  • Younger than 2nd grade: Two 10-minute sessions a day
  • 2nd-5th graders: 30-40 minutes total
  • 6th-9th graders: 45 minutes
  • 10th-12th graders: 60 minutes

Cancellations & Make-up Lessons
Cancelled lessons will be made-up if they are due to illness or an unavoidable emergency, and if I am notified by 10 AM the day of the lesson. There are several possible make-up days to choose from each semester. There is also a Swap-a-Lesson option for lessons that would not qualify to be made-up.

The Physical Studio
Instruction takes place in a bright spacious room equipped with a Yamaha 7'6" grand piano and a Kurzweil digital synthesizer connected to a Macintosh computer. There is complete audio and video recording capability - students routinely make recordings of their finished pieces to put on their iPods (and their friends') and their parents' iPads. The waiting room has comfortable seating, a desk, and secure wireless internet access, the Studio Sightplaying Library, as well as a small electronic keyboard with headphones for warming up.


FAQ: Why would I want a professional teacher such as yourself to teach my child who is only a beginner? I don't expect my child to become a concert pianist - I just want him/her to have fun.

A piano student's most important and influential teacher is usually their first one! Attitudes about self, music, and others are shaped in ways that tend to exert an influence over a lifetime.

My goals for virtually all of my piano students have nothing to do with preparing someone for a professional music career. Instead I guide them into acquiring a mindset of effective study (of any subject matter), and learning how to listen to and make music in a meaningful way; this is how people come to love music.

My goals are no different than those of, say, elementary school arithmetic teachers. When they require your child to memorize and drill the multiplication tables until mastered, they are not grooming your child to become a future professional mathematician—they are helping their students learn valuable and practical skills they will use for the rest of their lives. And so it is with music.
In many ways, teaching beginners requires more experience and training than teaching advanced students. Many fewer "pieces of the puzzle" are in place, so it takes great skill, persistence, and desire for someone to be an effective teacher of beginners.

Many children quit piano lessons after only three or four years of lessons when their progress comes to a halt. Much of the time, that situation can be avoided by providing the child with the most effective teaching possible right from the very first lesson. That is how students have fun—they progress regularly and come to see how their own efforts can produce remarkable results. This approach frequently transfers to other activities. How do I know this? Because of the number of parents who have told me.

"Only" a beginner? Hardly.

Beginners deserve the best teacher possible.

"Little by little, one walks far." (Peruvian proverb)

If you are happy with what you see here but would
prefer that your child study with a female teacher instead—
one who shares my teaching philosophy—
please see the website of Jennifer Merry.