Arbor Music Program
Mentor: Kate Day
After twenty years of experience teaching music, and with currently thirty years spent learning the language of music myself, I have developed the belief that music is a language that every child and adult would benefit from being a participant in (and not only an observer of) because of how it enhances, supports, and aids our experience of life. That said, I don’t believe there is one method that is best for all students, one age that is right for everyone to begin a focused study of music, nor that every student should be expected to develop their skills in the language of music to the same level, at the same pace, or for the same purposes in their life. Rather, I have come to believe that agency is key to effectively learning a new skill and that there are phases a student progresses through that, when honored, create an undergirding peace and joy in learning those new skills. That is why I don’t call this the Arbor Music Method. Instead, it is a program that facilitates flexibility to honor those phases and to use any of the approaches or methods I am trained in to meet the student’s changing needs. (Aside from many years of experience teaching students using different methods, I have formally received training in the Suzuki Method, the N. Jane Tan WPPI method, and college-level training in several traditional method books.)
Over the years, I have had experience performing solo recitals, solos with orchestra, chamber music recitals, accompanying, conducting, judging, and competing in voice, and piano. I have also had training in organ, violin, viola and guitar and increasingly dabble in music composition. These experiences have taught me that music is at its best when it is thought of as a language. Seeing music primarily as a language has strengthened my desire to create more situations where music can communicate ideas and truths. Seeing music as a language, I also strongly believe it is meant to strengthen relationships between parents and students or whomever we use music to communicate with. Relationships are more important than skills or accomplishments. Therefore, in the Arbor Music Program, the skills learned on the piano are developed with the foundational purpose of increasing a student’s ability to create, maintain, heal, and nourish relationships with family, friends, and their creator.
To incorporate these beliefs into a studio program has been the experiment of the last five years. The four phases outlined below, (and explained in detail in the Arbor Music Program Guide you can obtain by contacting me HERE), are the result of this experiment. Each phase has its own options of lesson frequency, length and payment structure. These phases are designed with the student, parent, and mentor in mind in the hopes of not only honoring the musical needs of each student, but also the budgets of each family, and to provide a level of commitment and routine flow for later phases of a student’s development that the last five year’s experiment has lacked.
- Lessons (mentor sessions) are 30 minutes in duration and completely guided by the student’s interests and agency. Games and positive reinforcement are a major part of this phase and no assignments are given. Parents are trained during these sessions how to play with their child at the piano and are often given a future game or skill to teach their child and instructed what cues indicate the student is ready for them.
- A Program fee at the beginning of each semester (January and August) covers: (1) Mentor chats with the parent to answer questions or brainstorm how to help the student in-between lessons. Scheduled as needed. (2) Music Game training sessions that are held on Saturdays to motivate the child further, but also to train the parent and give them materials to use at home. Three are included, more can be attended and paid on arrival - you choose when to come. (3) Students may choose to attend or participate in the Studio Music Bash in April (ask for program outline for more details).
- Lessons are scheduled whenever you want, up to two at a time, pay as you go, no minimum lessons required. No set lesson time is locked in.
- Mentor Sessions are 45 minutes in duration and are guided by the student’s interests and goals. They choose small goals and are supported in how to reach them. Games and positive reinforcement are still a part of this program and used to teach rhythm, sight-reading, and other essential skills. How to practice efficiently and effectively using the ALTRE method is taught and practiced in each lesson using “hot dog” songs. Skill Sets are begun in this phase in earnest and can help a student earn lesson credits. “Roast beef” songs (harder songs they “simmer” longer and possibly perform in a house concert) are also a part of this phase. Parents are trained how to help their child become more and more independent of their help, or the student may practice completely on their own depending on the child.
- A Program fee at the beginning of each semester (January and August) covers: (1) Mentor chats with the parent or student. Scheduled as needed. (2) Music Game sessions with other students in Sapling phase are held on Saturdays to motivate the child further and accelerate skills in rhythm, ear training, note-reading, sight-reading and to have fun with other pianists. Three are included, more can be attended and paid upon arrival - you choose when to come. (3) Students participate in the Studio Music Bash in April (ask for program outline for more details).
- Choose to have mentor sessions once a month, twice a month or weekly at a set lesson time. You will be locked into that time and length for the semester, but can change options the next semester. Pay by month OR pay by semester and receive a 5% discount.
- Mentor Sessions are 60, 90 or 120 minutes in duration. For intermediate and advanced students, branch out into this program if you have goals to major or minor in music, want to teach music to others, or desire to perform often and share the fruit of your labors with many.
- There is no program fee for this program, but student’s tuition covers monthly mentor chats to discuss goals, choose repertoire, and decide what mentor sessions should focus on. Students plan and carry out 30-45 minute house concerts and also heavily participate in the yearly Studio Music Bash. Depending on their goals, they may choose to compete and participate in other outside events that are supported and prepared for during mentor sessions.
- Mentor sessions are held weekly at a set time. You will be locked into the time and length you choose for the semester, but can change options the next semester. Pay by month OR pay by semester and receive a 5% discount.
- Mentor Sessions are 45 or 60 minutes in duration. Whether you’ve played the piano all your life and are now shifting into a time where it’s not your main focus, or whether you are an adult beginner with many demands on your time, but have felt a growing desire to begin learning the language of music on the piano - you are like a sequoia tree. You’re growing or maintaining one of many “thick branches” of interest in your life. You realize that learning is a life-time pursuit, and you have felt the nudge to develop new skills in music. This program is designed with you in mind.
- A small program fee at the beginning of each semester (January and August) covers: (1) Monthly Mentor chats where we have time to discuss your goals and interests and make sure the mentor sessions are meeting your changing needs. (2) Studio music bash where you can choose to participate or watch. (3) Whatever helps you grow your talent! Want to prepare a house concert? Want extra theory lessons? Basic composition? Want training in teaching music? Whatever creative pursuits you can think of I will work to prepare and include in your sessions.
- Choose from once a month or twice a month mentor sessions at a set time. You will be locked into the time and length you choose for the semester, but can change options the next semester. Pay by month OR pay by semester and receive a 5% discount.
- Discounted Practice Coaching Available. If your needs fit this program, you may find it helpful to have a “running partner” who can meet with you to practice the new material given at your last mentor session and keep you going until the next. In this program, I don’t require practice (unless you choose to be held accountable for a minimum), instead, you choose how fast or slow to go - BUT - having a coach to guide your practice and teach you how to make those small moments you have to grow your talent more efficient and effective using the ALTRE method of practice can be a great boost. For $15 a session, I’ll sit down and practice with you! Schedule as needed, pay as you go, or purchase a punch card of 10.
It’s easy! This part is a breeze!
- Summer break is from June 1st to July 31st.
- No mentor sessions required. I’d love to see you when Summer vacations etc. allow. Schedule one lesson at a time, pay as you go, first come, first serve. Choose from 30, 45, or 60 minute sessions no matter what your normal mentor session length usually is during the year.
Contact me for the complete Arbor Music Program Guide with pricing and details.