All lessons will have a set length of 30, 45, or 60 minutes. This length of time will be determined by level of ability, future goals, and time constraints. The length is set from the beginning of the school year. If a change is needed, it will be discussed before any changes are made.
The student/parent is financially responsible for all scheduled lessons. If I do not receive a telephone call, voicemail, or email at least 24 hours PRIOR to the scheduled lesson, you must still pay for that lesson. If proper notice is given, your payment will be carried forward to the next lesson. In the case of a true emergency, there will be no charge for the missed lesson. A student who has been sick all day and decides to cancel one hour before his/her lesson is not excused from payment for that lesson.
I will do my best to answer calls between 9:00 am and 9:00 pm. Please try to avoid calling outside these hours regarding lessons. If you do not reach me immediately, please leave a voicemail message and I will return your call as soon as I am able. Texting is also encouraged, as I do teach at Howard Community College and Towson University during the daytime hours and have four children at home outside of work hours.
Cost of lessons (as of April 2018) is as follows:
A 30-minute lesson is $35.00.
A 45-minute lesson is $50.00.
A 60-minute lesson is $65.00.
Payment is expected at the beginning of each lesson, or you may pay for lessons in advance. Cash and check (made out to Donna Noyes) are both accepted, and I keep meticulous records concerning payment. If any parent should ever require a receipt, I can supply one quite easily.
All students are expected to practice the given assignments before the next lesson. A minimum of 30-60 minutes per day, 5-6 days per week is the expected practice time. The specific number of minutes required relates directly to the level of ability and desired outcome of each student. This number will be set within the lesson structure and takes effect immediately. If I feel you are not meeting your practicing goals, I may require a detailed practice journal.
If it becomes apparent that our lessons are not achieving the desired goals, I will discuss other options with the student/parent before terminating our arrangement. If necessary, I will provide a list of other teachers for the student. Be advised that consistently missing lessons without advanced notice (2 or more) may result in termination. If a student begins to miss lessons is a consistent manner, we will need to reevaluate our arrangement.
Every student is required to maintain a working instrument and cache of reeds. A minimum of three working reeds is required at every lesson. In the event that we discover a problem with the clarinet in a lesson, I will advise you as to the proper remedy. Repairs can be made by The Band Shoppe in Catonsville.
All students can expect to learn scales, études, and solo repertoire indicative of their level. In addition, advanced students will learn orchestral excerpts and reed improvement skills. Please bring in any band or orchestra music with which you need help. If a student would like to learn something fun, we can spend a few minutes on that tune during a lesson.
To supplement lessons to improve their own playing, students should listen to other students and professionals. I will try to offer information as soon as possible on upcoming clarinet performances in the area. YouTube, SoundCloud, and iTunes have a plethora of amazing recordings for students, so there is always something to be listening to.
We will have a recital each spring, where each student is required to perform a solo. It is also stressed that students perform a chamber piece at some point each year. Learning to play with others in a close setting teaches good listening and ensemble skills. In addition, there will be a required, informal recital in January for those students involved with solo and ensemble festivals and All-State. Each student will perform his/her solo and chamber pieces or études in its/their entirety with accompaniment, dress will be casual, and parents and friends are encouraged to attend.
The style, brand, and size of reeds I require for each student will be discussed one-on-one during lessons. I expect students to practice and perform on the style of reeds I suggest to them. Rarely, this can present a problem with the elementary/middle school student’s school teacher (the student is on a higher strength or better brand than the other children at school). If this issue arises, please contact me or have the teacher contact me and I will take care of it. We can discuss our plan of action at the following lesson.
All lesson books and solo pieces are available through Music and Arts in Ellicott City, Eble Music, or a sheet music company of your choice. All solo repertoire covered in lessons will require each student to purchase his/her own copy of each piece. By law, only pieces no longer in print may be photocopied.