Music Parent Handbook
Private Music Lessons
The majority of music students at the Spark Music Studio choose to take private lessons. They enjoy working at their own pace, according to their own learning style, and on material that is best suited to them. Their teacher will develop a lesson plan specific to them. We have an open door policy and parents are welcome to chat with the teacher at any time they wish. We find that students usually learn best without the distraction of a parent in the room, but if desired you can sit in on your child’s lesson. We find the most successful approach is to take a few minutes at the end of the lesson to speak with the teacher and see how the student is doing. Students start out with a 30-minute private lesson once a week and can progress to a 45 minute or 1 hour lesson. Every conceivable style of music is taught at our school.
In order to progress and learn their instrument, it is essential that your child regularly practice. This does not have to be a negative experience for them and their teachers can let you know what they expect in terms of practicing each week and give helpful hints on making practicing easier. You can also look at our practicing tips page in the appendix of this handbook.
Regular attendance at lessons really supports your child’s success. If your child is ill, please call the school before their scheduled lesson time, and we can schedule them in a group make up class.
Substitutes and Makeup Lessons
In the event that, for any reason, a teacher cannot teach a lesson, we will provide a substitute teacher. If we are unable to secure a substitute to teach the lesson, we will reschedule the missed lesson at a future date. If we have to cancel a lesson due to acts beyond our control, such as a power failure or a snow day, the lesson will be made up at a future date.
Bring a Friend Week
Twice a year all music students can bring a friend to their music lesson. As much as possible the teachers will have the friend participate in the lesson. An invitation is sent home for your child to give to their friend. Each student who brings a friend is entered into a draw for a prize.
We want to reward each of our students for doing a good job in their lesson. Several times a year the teachers will reward the student with the opportunity to pick a prize out of the treasure chest. This is earned for attendance, attitude and practice.
Please note that our spring break may not coincide with the public school system’s spring break. Please consult our music calendar for the dates we are closed.
Student Appreciation Day
Each year in June we hold a Student Appreciation Day party. This is a fun way to end the year and to thank our students for all their hard work throughout the year. We provide live music, hot dogs, pop, ice cream and more. Everything at the party is completely free as a thank you to our students. At Student Appreciation Day we award a trophy to every student who has been taking music lessons for five years and a very large specialized trophy to each music student who has been taking lessons with us for 10 years. Please plan on joining us, and the whole family is welcome.
Each year music students are given the opportunity to participate in a music recital. These recitals are optional and the student can decide, along with their teacher, if they wish to participate. The recitals are free of charge, although we do ask that you bring a non-perishable food donation for the food bank. Recitals typically happen in November and in May.
Recitals are held at a local church and maps to the location of the recitals will be available on our website www.sparkschoolofmusic.com. Each recital session is approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours long.
We try to keep our recitals as stress free as possible so that the students gain performing experience in a supportive environment. Students do not have to memorize their pieces and we encourage them to select a short piece. Vocal students will use a microphone and our staff will adjust the mic for them. The order in which the students are performing is listed in a recital program.
It is just as important for students performing at the end of the recital to have an audience as it is for students at the beginning. We ask that you plan to stay for the entire duration of the recital. Please refrain from talking in the audience while the recital is happening. Should you need to use the restroom, please only exit between performances and return between performances. Cell phones should be turned off. Video recording and taking of photos is highly encouraged.
Year-End Recital Participation Medal
At the recital in May, every student will receive a recital participation medal.
Accompanist for Music Recitals
Voice students, violin students, or any other students requiring an accompanist will need to sign up for a rehearsal time at the school. We have a professional accompanist who will rehearse with your student at the Spark Music Studio, and then attend the performance to accompany them. Students need to provide a copy of their music to the front desk at the time they sign up for accompaniment. This needs to be done before the rehearsal so the accompanist has time to go over the music. Any changes to the music need to be clearly marked. There is a fee for the accompanist, as they have to come to rehearsal, learn the music and come to the recital. 100% of the accompaniment fee goes directly to the accompanist. The fee is low, as we provide a large number of students for her/him to accompany. We will make you aware of rehearsal times several weeks before the recital.