Piano School Policies | Rules & Regulations
Piano Lessons Dublin

An Important Notice regarding COVID-19

August 2020

Welcome back everyone!

Piano tuition will kick off week of September 7th

If your teacher has not already been in touch to arrange your schedule, he/she will be in touch in the coming days!
In advance of sending out waiver, here are the basic ideas:

Piano Tuition:

While ensuring we follow strict guidelines regarding sanitization & distancing, our aim is to accommodate everybody's needs during these times - that of both our teachers and our students.
Online Piano Those with a preference for ‘online’ lessons will be fully accommodated. Our teachers will use their choice and combination of Zoom, skype, video calls, email and practise apps. As a bonus, these students will also be invited to participate in monthly group sessions, where students may perform for one another or focus on other aspects of their learning together with their teacher.

In-person Piano:

While our Brighton Road Studios are soon to OPEN, Christ Church Rathgar (Mitchell Room, Tenants Hall) remains closed to the public for the time being (at the very least until mid September; however we cannot depend on this venue for now) We shall nonetheless accommodate everyone that requests in-person lessons, with ‘a little’ flexibility, ie with ‘occasional’ online meetings.

On a lighter note, we never considered piano lessons to be a dangerous activity before but anyone in the high risk zone should definitely check with their GP if they should attend.

Distancing:

Each of our studios already houses two pianos, so nowadays, teacher and student can certainly have their own separate keyboard. Sufficient time will be left between classes, for the purpose of distancing & proper sanitisation of the keys. Punctuality will be very important, on the side of both the teachers in terminating classes on time and with parents in picking up their child. We know how teachers and students can get lost in the music and have therefore agreed that a buzzer will go off, to alert the teacher when the lesson is finished and prompt pick up will be necessary. Students will come to class alone; parents and siblings will not be permitted to join them at class for the time being and there will be no hanging around the hallway before/after classes.

Face Coverings:

Entry into the Brighton Road building will require the wearing of a face covering - all in-person students, no matter the age, will wear a face covering (your choice as to the type, but we can certainly recommend visors for piano players) while teachers will be wearing visors.

Visors are preferable for the following reasons:
1. They allow better visability of the keys below, over masks or other face coverings (depending on the size of your nose!)
2. They allow visibility of the facial expressions of both teacher and student, which we value as being very important in communication and in overall musical enjoyment; we want to see your smilesJ
3. Children will be less likely to touch the visor/face as opposed to the mask

Sanitisation:

A sanitisation station has been installed in the hallway and students will be required to use it upon entry to the building. Each studio will also have hand sanitizer in place as a back up. The keys will be disinfected after each lesson. Separately, door handles and surfaces will be wiped with disinfectant during the day.

Health:

In-person lessons will take place only while we are permitted to do so and while students/teachers are not showing symptoms.

Should either student or teacher show any symptoms, or be in contact with somebody with symptoms, they will have their lesson online for that week, assuming they are well enough to have a lesson. Missed lessons due to Covid will only be made up with a Doctor’s note.

Musicianship Classes:

Due to the higher risk with group gatherings and the size of our classrooms, it makes sense to continue all of our group classes in an online format for the time being, ie SK2, Gr 1 - 8, Adult Theory & Appreciation groups. These classes worked very successfully last term and our teachers are more than happy to continue planning to deliver the curriculum in this way. With the uncertainty of things these days, this plan seems to be the simplest and best way forward, for now.

Musicianship Classes will kick off the week of September 21st and your teacher will be in touch with you ahead of then.

Teacher Dr. David Coonan plans to teach Thursdays + Saturdays (SK2 – Grades 4)

Teacher Mr. Jim Murphy plans to teach Wednesdays (Grades 5 – 8 plus our Adults)

SK1: Due to the unsuitability of the online format to this tender age group of 3-5 yrs, we regret to say that our SK1 groups remain on-hold for the time being. We can’t wait to be fully back in-person so that we can meet all our littlest ones again! Let’s stay in touch. In the meantime, we plan to come up with some alternative ways to help keep your small ones engaged musically.

I hope we have covered everything that you will have had questions about.
If I have missed something, or have any other queries, please drop us a note here and we will be endeavour to get back to you soonest!

With a proud passion for piano, amidst a wonderful team of highly accomplished and enthusiastic teachers and administrators, we are ready and excited to serve you! At this point, we are all starved of live performances…hungry for that gift of music. Music is food for the soul; it connects us together and heals us. The anticipation of our future concerts has a whole new significance and will be such a welcome gift to our communities when that time comes!

It may be worth pondering….the purpose of life is not just to be happy, but to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to make a difference, that you have lived and lived well! Thank you for chosing the Piano Academy of Ireland! Your experience here is very important to us so please let us know if there is something we can do better!


March 12th, 2020


Like all of you, PAI has been intently following reports of COVID-19 across the globe and considering the many ways in which its future course might alter our life and the lives of those closest to us. These past few weeks have been a powerful reminder of just how connected we are to one another—and how our choices today determine our options tomorrow.

Fortunately, we have been working literally around the clock to respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19. In our efforts to contain the virus, we already took decisive action one week ago, transitioning our 2020 10th National Piano Festival to online for this year, not an easy decision, involving massive efforts, but which our participants and parents are fully embracing! Amongst all the doom n gloom, and events being cancelled left, right and centre, we are truly excited about the coming weekend, in the spirit of the Festival, and in as fully as possible, celebrating everyone’s performance & generating more JOY during these otherwise difficult times.

With regard to our tuition, we have all of our amazing teachers prepped with good cameras & microphones for transitioning to online tuition for the time being, and with the Taoiseach's announcement today, March 12th, fortunately, we are now ready to go! We are considering every contingency as we undertake our important work on your behalf, and we write to update you on major immediate changes that will limit exposure to the disease among students and staff at PAI:

  • Commencing Monday, March 16th, we will begin transitioning to virtual instruction for Piano, Music Theory classes, and #Sharp Kids 2
  • Your teacher will be in touch with you shortly.
  • #Sharp Kids 1 is postponed until further notice.
  • Students are asked not to return to PAI until further notice.

To our students, we know there will be hurdles to cross. We are doing this not just to protect you but also to protect other members of our community who may be more vulnerable to this disease than you are.

We understand that we are expecting you to go above and beyond in your efforts to support our important mission of excellence in piano teaching. We do this because we know we can rely on your creativity, flexibility, and judgment through these challenging times.

Our actions are consistent with the recommendations of leading health officials and the Taoiseach on how to limit the spread of COVID-19 and are also consistent with similar decisions made by a number of our peer institutions. Administration activities will continue as normal, i.e. office hours as per listed on our website.

The goal of these changes is to minimise the need to spend prolonged time in close proximity with each other, while enabling our students to continue on their path of learning. As teachers and parents, we all know only too well, that our students need minimum once per week contact with teachers, in order to maintain progress and so keeping both a flow and a routine going is hugely important for our students right now! With students staying at home, we anticipate more practise being done! With so many schools and events being cancelled, we can maintain a sense of joy through learning, during these uncertain times and we are lucky that many of our teachers are already very experienced with virtual instruction and that we have prepared them for this transition.

Despite our best efforts to bring PAI's resources to bear on this virus, we are still faced with uncertainty - and the considerable unease brought on by uncertainty. It will take time for researchers to understand enough about this disease to mount a reliable defence against it. Now more than ever, we must do our utmost to protect those among us who are most vulnerable, whether physically or emotionally, and to treat one another with generosity and respect.

We are proud to be a member of a musical community where people put the greater good above their own self-interest.

Thank you for your patience and your resilience as we all learn to temper increased distance with deeper care for one another 🌺

School Rules and Regulations

• If absolutely necessary, the school reserves the right to make changes to teachers’ timetables where necessary.
• All students must aim to have a suitable instrument of their own on which to practise. Keyboards are not recommended but may suffice for the first year only, if necessary. Advice can be given regarding the selection of an instrument and so feel free to contact us for any help needed here.
• Students must bring all the necessary music and notebooks to each lesson. If a student fails to turn up with the correct materials, the teacher is under no obligation to provide a lesson that day.
• Lessons are non-refundable and non-transferable.
• If a student arrives late for their lesson, the lost time cannot be made up at the end of the lesson, as this is unfair on the next student.
• All students must undertake to commit to regular practise in accordance with the guidelines given by their teacher.
• Students are expected to behave in a responsible manner while at class, and all properties must be treated respectfully at all times.
• Snacks may be consumed on the premises but should be disposed of carefully in bins provided and hands washed afterwards.
• Hands must be washed just prior to the lesson, on the premises, even if having been washed before leaving home.
• Chewing gum is not permitted inside any teaching studio.

NOTES FOR PARENTS/ADULT STUDENTS


• While a student is in class, responsibility for their welfare rests with the school; however, before, after, and between classes, this is the responsibility of the parent or carer. Please ensure that your child arrives safely for the start of their lesson, and collect your child promptly at the end. Students who are being met should not leave the building until the person who is collecting them has arrived.
• We request that parents would discuss the school rules and regulations with their children.

ATTENDANCE/MUSICIANSHIP ATTENDANCE


• It is vital that students maximise on their attendance in order to gain as much as possible from their teachers. Unsatisfactory attendance will not lead to good results and so the question would be asked if they should continue to hold a place at the School.
• Children’s piano fees include weekly group Musicianship classes, of which attendance is compulsory. Exemptions from this class are for students in their Leaving Cert year only, or for those taking musicianship in another institution, where a second instrument is being learned. Learning music in primary school or taking it as a subject in secondary school does not qualify for exemption. For those applying, exemptions must be put in writing when returning re-enrollment form. Exemption students will not receive a reduced fee.

CHOIR ATTENDANCE


Children signing up for Choir will agree to participate in both Christmas and Summer Concerts.

HEALTH


The school must be informed if a student suffers from any long term or serious illness or allergy, or if they are on medication. It is particularly important that teachers know if a student suffers from asthma, diabetes or epilepsy, so that they can respond as required in the event of an unexpected attack. If a student suffers from what is termed an “officially contagious illness” (e.g. measles, chickenpox, mumps, etc.) we must be informed immediately. It is also important that teachers are alerted to any hearing, sight or learning difficulties, which might affect a student’s ability to respond in a class. Of course such information will be treated confidentially. To prevent the spread of illness, students should not attend either piano or musicianship classes if they are feeling unwell.

COMMUNICATION BETWEEN TEACHER AND PARENTS


It is important to stress that any issues or anxieties that parents may have be communicated to the teacher at the earliest possible convenience. The school will endeavour to deal with all queries or issues swiftly and effectively once highlighted. We would ask parents and students to be courteous and polite to teaching staff at all times. Parents/Students who fail to comply with this request may be asked to remove their children/themselves from the school.

COMMENTS AND COMPLAINTS


All queries regarding lessons should be addressed in the first place to their teacher. However, some matters may need to be discussed privately without the student being present and so it may be appropriate to arrange a short meeting with the teacher outside class times or to discuss the matter on the telephone. If the parent is still unhappy, then a written request should be made to the Director, Rhona Gouldson, for a meeting between parent, teacher and Director. Written notification detailing the area of difficulty should precede this appointment. Rhona may be contacted anytime by email: info@pianoacademy.ie

REQUESTING A CHANGE OF TEACHER


In the first place, any problems should be discussed with the student’s present teacher. After this, the parent should notify the Director in writing or by email if they wish to request a change of teacher.

MISSED LESSONS


If you know that you/your child will be unable to attend a particular lesson, please give your teacher sufficient notice. If you are unable to let the teacher know at the preceding week’s lesson, please phone the teacher as soon as possible. Lost/missed lessons cannot be made up other than in the case of extended illness. Where a teacher is absent due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances either a re-scheduled lesson will be offered or a deputy teacher will be engaged to take the lesson at the normal class time.

DISCONTINUING OF LESSONS


Students enrol for one compete academic year. Even when paying in instalments, you are agreeing to pay for the full year. In the event of dropping out, the remaining balance is still to be paid, although a discretionary cancellation fee may apply, depending on the stage of the term and whether or not the place can be filled.

CHILD PROTECTION


It is important for parents/adult students to be aware of the physical nature of teaching the piano and that often in order to properly teach a good hand position, for instance, that the teacher may take the student’s hand; or to teach good posture the teacher may place his/her hand on the student’s back. These are regular teaching tools that we automatically use but need to make sure parents are aware of and should anyone have any concerns about that then we would recommend you to be present at the lesson, at least until you are comfortable. Some parents may need reassurance particularly where there is a male teacher concerned and so we welcome you to come to the lessons for as long as is needed.

PARENT ATTENDANCE AT LESSONS


We recommend that where possible parents of students of up to approx age 12 attend their child’s piano lessons. In our experience, it is only from about this age that students can learn to take responsibility for their own practise and naturally begin to incorporate practise methods taught at lesson time by themselves at home. In our experience, it is the students who receive this type of parental support at home that make the most progress. Parents can begin themselves to get comfortable with the methods shown by attending lessons, making it easier for them to guide their child at home. It is important, however, not to take the role of a second teacher in a lesson: your role should be that of an observer and should be a positive experience for the student. The piano teacher will advise you whether to continue to attend lessons thereafter. We recommend that parents attend one lesson per term in subsequent years to maintain good communication with the teacher. In certain instances teachers may suggest that for a particular reason a student works more effectively without the presence of an adult. Flexibility is required in this area. Please note that teacher’s recommendations will always be in the best interests of a student.

PERFORMANCES/FESTIVALS


We encourage all children at the very least to participate in the Christmas and Summer concerts and unless a child is particularly shy or has only just begun playing then we strongly advise all to play. Should your child continuously not be present for these concerts, then the question will be asked as to how genuine an interest this child/parent has in learning the piano. The more motivated and driven students will be encouraged by their teacher to also participate in Festivals throughout the year and we would encourage these students to seize these opportunities. These students may be asked to practise for longer periods at home and certain repertoire may be selected for them to reach higher targets so we would ask for your full cooperation here as we strive to help your child reach their highest potential. If you feel that your child is extra motivated and you feel could be ‘pushed’ a little more in this direction then please speak with your teacher about your expectations for your child and your teacher will see if they can be steered in this direction. It is important to discuss with your teacher what you expect from taking piano lessons.
Discover the Musician Within
Phone: Call us at 01 4972333

Email:
info@pianoacademy.ie

Office Hours:
TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY
10:00AM - 2:00PM

Address:

Head Office and Studios:
1) 71B Brighton Road, Back of Methodist Church, Rathgar, D06Y497

Piano Studio:
2) Tennant Hall, Highfield Road,Christ Church, Rathgar

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