Cheryl's Piano Page
Teaching piano for Over Twenty Years in the Pioneer Valley.

 

 

Encouraging, engaging, nurturing music lessons and classes for all ages and all levels! Piano, Voice, Recorder, Celtic Whistle, Flute, Music Theory, Composition, and Songwriting.

About Cheryl

Cheryl Noble is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music holding a degree in Songwriting. She has been teaching private piano lessons since 1986 and has taught in various settings including the Northampton Community Music Center, and Greenfield Community College. She holds state teacher certification, and Orff Schulwerk certification. She is a composer, songwriter and jingle writer as well as a professional performer.

2014 - 2015 Calendar

Fall Semester Begins

September 8

Columbus Day No Lessons

October 13

Veteran's Day No Lessons

November 11

Thanksgiving Break

November 27 - 28

Valley Piano Teachers Association Fall Recital TBA

Holiday Break

December 24-Jan 4

Fall Semester Resumes

January 5

Make-up Dates

Up to two makeup dates allowed per semester with a maximum of three per year

Martin Luther. King Jr. Day No Lessons

January 19

Fall Semester Studio Recital

January 31

Spring Semester Begins

February 2

Winter Break

February 16 – 20

Young Artists Piano Competition TBA
   

Spring Break

April 20 – 24

Valley Piano Teachers Association Spring Recital  TBA

Memorial Day No Lessons

May 25

Make-up Dates

Up to two makeup dates allowed per semester with a maximum of three per year

Spring Semester Studio Recital

June 13

Summer Session

Lessons Available Upon Request

 
   
 

Practicing Children and the Parents Who Love Them

One of the trickiest issues for parents and students is that of practice. Some children love to practice and will practice without coaxing from you. These children are RARE! I believe that the key to developing good practice habits is to keep the goal in mind.

Practice is the art of taking something complex and breaking it down into a simpler, attainable skill. Children are impatient by nature and the first thing that we want to teach them is to practice patience in practicing. It is important that you the parent are sensitive to your child's frustration threshold. When they are frustrated they will be unable to accomplish mastery of a new skill. I like to tell them to practice "easy". This means that they should break the troublesome passage down into a small enough portions to make it feel easy. Also, they should go slow enough to make it feel simple and only gradually increase the speed until it is up to tempo.

Ultimately, we want to instill a love for music and their instrument. So if you beginner spends 10 minutes on his/her lesson material and 20 minutes simply playing on the piano, that is OK. Children learn a lot from play and you should praise them when they come up with a "new piece".

If you are having a really hard time getting your child to practice try to find out the cause. Are they being reminded to practice when they are involved in another activity that they really enjoy? Are they practicing at a time when they are tired or unable to focus? Do they dislike the piece that they are practicing? Are they trying to play things too fast and then giving up when they are unable to play it at that tempo? Knowing what the issue is will help us to resolve the problem.

As a rule of thumb a beginner should practice 10 to 15 minutes per day, gradually increasing the time as their attention span will allow. An intermediate student should practice 25 to 45 minutes per day. An advanced student will need to practice 45 to 60 minutes per day. These are just generalities and some children may be capable of practicing more while some will need to break things down into shorter sessions. I will try to assess the amount of work that your child is capable of and /or willing to take on and assign things accordingly. In order for me to do this accurately, it is very important that you (or your child depending on his/her age) write down how much they are practicing! There is a space in your child's assignment folder to write this information down as well as detailed notes on what they should be practicing and how to approach a particular piece of music. Please encourage your child to use these folders and be very careful to bring them to lessons. You can also jot down notes to me in the folder with any concerns you may have.

Recitals

Your child will be given several opportunities to perform during the year. Performance is an important part of the musical experience and I strongly encourage students to be involved. Some children are very shy about performing and some are downright "hams". If your child is shy, I would encourage them to at least prepare something for the recital and attend, even if at the last minute they don't want to go through with it. Some kids who at first may be very shy feel comfortable enough to perform once they see other kids playing. I will never force anyone to perform if they don't want to.

Contact Us

EMail: cnoble@alumni.berklee.edu
Phone: (413) 275-7435
Address: 16 Bridge Street
Amherst, MA 01002

Tuition, Payments and Policies

Tuition for one semester (17 weeks) for a half hour lesson is $476. For a forty-five minute lesson the tuition is $680. For a one hour lesson, the tuition is $850. Tuition may be paid in full before the first lesson or broken down into 5 monthly installments payable one week before the ensuing month. For lessons given in your home there is an additional fee of $15 per lesson (for additional children in the same home taking back to back lessons this applies only to the first lesson). If you are unable to complete a semester, you will only be responsible for all lessons taken to date plus a cancellation fee of $50. Lessons missed because of illness or other family emergencies are excused and can be made up during the make-up period. You are allowed up to two make-up lessons per semester with a maximum of three per year.