Sounds of Tahoe

Studio Policies & Schedule for the 2020-2021 Piano Year in the VIRTUAL STUDIO

Welcome to the 2020-2021 Piano Year with Miss Elaine at Sounds of Tahoe! Due to the pandemic, I am using an online format for all lessons and classes. I look forward to the days that I can welcome students to my studio and that we may gather in groups again. Meanwhile, we have a valuable opportunity to continue lessons online! My objectives in teaching include fostering the love my students have for the piano by developing piano skills for playing and reading music for personal enjoyment, playing with others, and going on to advanced levels as students progress. Lessons are student centered and include: music theory, improvising, composing, listening, counting, singing, memorizing, recording and playing with others, over the course of study. 

All lessons and classes will be held online until we are all comfortable with in person lessons.

Sounds of Tahoe offers a year round music program including 

Summer and School Year Lessons

The annual tuition plan includes:

 • Up to 6 private, 40 minute online lesson in the summer from 6/22 - 8/20/2020

 •Up to 27 private, 40 minute online lessons during the school year from 9/7/2020 - 6/4/21

Virtual Studio added value events and activities 

  • Up to 3 Sounds of Tahoe Studio recitals (virtual or in person)
  • Guild Auditions* Certificate Program (may be virtual)
  • Special Events which may include: Clavinova Festival* and bonus classes ~ any or all of these events may be online
  • Piano Marvel subscriptions for students who have completed Method & Technique levels 1A-1E ($15.99 value each month, regular** participation required)
  • Piano Maestro membership in the Sounds of Tahoe Studio account (priceless)
  • Teacher provided lesson ‘care packets’ with music, games, activities and stickers (as needed)

*The Clavinova Festival and Guild Auditions require additional entry fees

**Weekly regular use of the program outside of lesson time and a MIDI connection to a keyboard is required

Online lesson recommendations:

  • Please have a PENCIL , paper and all your materials at the piano before your scheduled lesson. You may use a Phone, computer, or iPad. I recommend as large a screen as you have so students can see more!
  • Tips and tricks for connectivity: Close any other open applications on your device and ask family members to avoid streaming or using internet in your home when the lesson connection is unstable. Set your device to airplane mode if you want to avoid text messages being delivered during lessons. Charge your device fully or plug in. Please do your best to eliminate background noises which can be distracting during lessons.
  • Use a stand or creative solution to hold your device during lessons (not on the piano)
  • Remember to update your software regularly
  • And of course you will need a piano (in tune when possible!) or keyboard 

🎹 Registration Fee, Schedule & Tuition for the 2020-2021 Piano Year 🎹

June 22, 2020 - June 4, 2021

Sounds of Tahoe has an annual nonrefundable Registration Fee

The Registration Fee is not included in Tuition 

The Registration Fee is due by June 1, 2020 to confirm your commitment to a space in the 2020-2021 piano year schedule

Summer Session: June 22 - August 20, 2020 (Closed July 6 - 17, 2020)

Annual tuition includes up to 6 Summer online lessons. Summer lessons are an important and valuable part of music study! Regular lessons and practice are essential for maintaining skills and making progress, and summer can be a perfect time for piano lessons. Summer sessions may include the freedom to include additional aspects of music study; creativity, composing, improvising and music theory while getting a jump on new pieces for the next school year. Lessons can be spread out over the course of summer session or multiple in a week. I find that students can make tremendous progress in the summer!

To schedule your summer lessons:

  1. Turn in your complete registration information and registration fee any time before June 1st 
  2. Once you have paid your Registration Fee(s), you are welcome to go online and schedule your summer lessons
  3. Email or text if you need to refresh your password for the site, or if you would like personal assistance setting up your summer schedule

Cancellations and Changes for Summer Lessons

Individual summer lessons in 2020 may be changed or cancelled any time up to June 20, 2020. 

Please limit any summer session changes to ONE after June 20. 

No changes or cancellations can be made less than 72 hours before the scheduled start time. Thank you!

🎹 Tuition & Tuition Payment 🎹

Annual tuition for the 2020-2021 piano year

You may prepay the piano year in full, or in two payments, 6/10/2020 & 12/10/20

Monthly tuition payments are divided into 12 equal payments: June 10, 2020 - May 10, 2021

Tuition is the same each month regardless of the number of lessons in a month

Tuition payments are due even if there are no lessons in a calendar month

Monthly payments are due on or before the 10th of the month

Tuition is past due after the 15th of the month and a $25 late fee is assessed for tuition received after the 15th of the month

Refunds or credits will not be provided

I recognize that some families may be unable to fit summer lessons. 

Studio policy now includes an ‘opt out’ of summer lessons tuition plan.* 

*‘Opt Out’ of Summer Lessons annual tuition

You may prepay the piano year in full, or in two payments, 6/10/2020 & 12/10/2020

Monthly tuition payments are divided into 12 equal payments : June 10, 2020 - May 10, 2021

Tuition is the same each month regardless of the number of lessons in a month

Tuition payments are due even if there are no lessons in a calendar month

Monthly payments are due on or before the 10th of the month

Tuition is past due after the 15th of the month and a $25 late fee is assessed for tuition received after the 15th of the month

Refunds or credits will not be provided

🎹  School year lessons September 7, 2020 - June 4, 2021  🎹

The weeks not scheduled for regular lessons allow space for:

 6 regular weeks of school holidays

 2 ‘personal vacation days’ (PVDs) that you may use in case of emergency, vacation, or unavoidable conflict

 Up to 3 teacher PVDs as needed

 2 additional weeks of vacation on either side of the Winter Break

 In the event that neither you or I use all our allotted Personal Vacation Days, that will result in bonus lessons for you!



October Break Week

October 5-9

Thanksgiving Break Week

November 23-27

Winter Break (4 weeks)

One week before 

AND one week after school vacations

December 14, 2020 - 

January 8, 2021

February Break Week

February 15-19

April Break Week

April 5-9

Cancellations and Changes during the School Year

 The piano year tuition structure allows for each student to use 2 ‘personal vacation day’ cancellations

 I am not able to reschedule or make-up lessons that are missed or forgotten

 If I am sick or have an unexpected conflict I will use one of my (3) PVDs or reschedule the missed lesson at a mutually convenient time

 You may set up a lesson exchange with another student any time you have a conflict

 Please notify me of any changes (Thank you)


I am here to support you, as best as I know how, in understanding how our technology works before, during and after your child’s piano lessons. There are so many assorted apps, programs and things that we may not even know yet! Please let me know any time you would like a recommendation for an additional app or techno resource. I am open to scheduling extra sessions with parents who may have questions - or information to share with me!


Weekday Holidays, Teacher Conferences or School Closures that are not during a Break Week

Lessons remain on regular schedule for assorted holidays, conferences, closures etc. 

Contact Miss Elaine by email, phone, or text if you have any questions

Home Music Time

A regular practice time and routine combined with good placement of the piano and a tuned and well maintained piano provides a home foundation for progress and enjoyment. 

Consistent practice is a requirement for enrollment.

Parents of students 11 years old and younger need to sit with their child at least 10 minutes each day to provide support in a positive routine and assist with the assignment if needed

Students should plan to spend 20 - 60 (+) minutes at the piano each day, depending on age and time studied, and how great they would like to get at playing the piano!

Snowday Lessons (In the event that we are having in person lessons…) 

Lessons will remain on schedule unless you call or text and tell me you feel it is unsafe to travel. Snowday lesson(s) will be rescheduled during the week immediately following the end of the piano year. If you/we have not used both of our PVDs, PVDs will be used as snow day(s). Snow day lessons will be scheduled June 7-8-9, 2021 as needed.

Lesson Withdrawl

If you decide to withdraw from lessons for any reasons, please give one full month of notice before the expected final lesson. Notice can only be accepted at the time the final tuition payment is made. Please understand and respect that this can give a satisfactory time to close the course of music study. Refunds or credits will not be provided.

Thank You for Paying Attention

 In the event that we resume in person lessons, please note…

 Mill Creek is a residential neighborhood with a MAXIMUM speed limit of 25 MPH

 Students may arrive and come in quietly up to 5 minutes before their lesson time

 Please take off all DIRTY or WET shoes and leave them in the front hall

 Wash hands to be ready for playing piano

 I appreciate when you pick up your child promptly. Thank you!

Teacher Qualifications

Private Piano Instructor since 1983

Bachelor of Science in Music Education K-12, Montana State University, Billings 1986

Masters of Music, University of Nevada, Reno 1994

Adjunct Faculty at Sierra Nevada College 1987-1999 teaching Private Piano, Music Theory & Midi Composition 

Adjunct Faculty at UNR 1994-1997 teaching Functional Piano to Music Majors

Member and local Chairperson for American College of Musicians National Guild of Piano Teachers since 1991

Member Music Teachers’ National Association 

Member Northern Nevada Music Teachers’ Association


All lessons and classes are currently being held on ZOOM!