Studio Policy

Holistic Approach Piano Studio, LLC
A holistic and relevant approach to learning musical skills!
Holistic Approach
The phrase “Holistic Approach” simply means that I teach the student, not the lesson.  Every student has different learning styles, goals, strengths and weaknesses.  I will teach all the elements of music in context of the big picture, not just the written language of music.  I think outside the box and customize the learning journey to help each student reach his or her own potential.

My goal is to facilitate students' own exploration of the piano and its language so that they can learn to play anything independently.  It's a matter of "learning how to learn," and making connections between all of the knowledge they gain. That comes through a functional, relevant introduction to music, as opposed to going through the motions of a method book alone, to memorize numerous isolated facts and repeat them indefinitely.

I am still not a perfect player and I can’t make any guarantees you’ll be a concert pianist. I am confident, however, that I can teach you in a more effective and balanced way to help you gain the skills you need to play better; whether casually or more formally.

Tuition is NOT a per-lesson fee.  It is a flat rate, divided into equal installments.   It is not based on attendance; it pays for enrollment in a time slot.  The same fee will be billed monthly REGARDLESS of how many lessons are scheduled or attended, and regardless of holidays or number of weeks in the month.   
30 minute lesson (young beginners):
$720 for 30 lessons per school year divided into eight monthly payments of $90.
45 minute lesson 
$1080 for 30 lessons per school year divided into nine monthly payments of $135.
1 hour lesson
$1440 for 30 lessons per school year divided into nine monthly payments of $180.
I am happy to allow students to “pay-per-lesson” in the summer months, so long as I am given early notice of scheduled vacations and conflicts.
  • Each monthly payment is due on the first of the month, Sept through April (Remaining May lessons are covered in these payments).   Lessons may commence once payment is received.  
  • Payment may be made by cash, check, Zelle, Venmo, etc.   Checks may be made out to Holistic Approach Piano Studio, LLC.  They can be sent to 1715 Nottingham Trl, Ionia, MI 48846. 
  • I will offer two weeks per semester for makeup lessons.  Students may makeup up to two missed lessons during these weeks.   Any absences beyond these will not be made up or refunded.
  • Please give as much notice as possible if you must cancel due to illness or emergency.
  • No-shows will not be refunded and may lead to termination of contract.   
  • Cancellations on the teacher’s behalf will be made up, or if that is impossible, credited.   
  • Books are purchased ahead by teacher and billed to the student for in-person students. Online students will be given links to books to be purchased.  
  • Registration and media fees are included in tuition at this time.  
Lesson slots are available between 2:00PM and 6:00PM, Monday through Friday, and are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Expectations At Lessons
  • Please enter no earlier than 3 minutes prior to lesson time!  Each student deserves uninterrupted concentration during his or her own time slot!
  • Bring ALL current music to every lesson.
  • Parents are welcome to stay or go during lesson time, but I encourage parents to observe lessons so they can better help their child practice.
  • If students are dropped off, they must not enter more than 3 minutes early and must be picked up promptly.
  • Please have clean hands with trimmed nails to aid in successful technique!
  • Be ready for your call on your video messaging software.
  • Be patient with occasional technical difficulties and I will of course do the same!
  • Have device positioned at an angle I can see your hands and posture.
  • Have all currently assigned music ready at your instrument.
  • Have trimmed nails to allow for successful technique.
  • Copies of music must be accessible to both teacher and student.
  • Tuition is the same.  Online lessons require the same amount of preparation and expertise as in-person lessons. 
  • Online lessons offer the benefit of fewer missed lessons due to mild illness, more independence for students as they must do things the teacher cannot do for them (turn pages, write fingering, work the metronome,) convenience, less time commitment due to commute, etc.  
  • There can be challenges to online lessons, especially for very young beginners, who typically benefit from a more interactive, hands-on approach with the many manipulatives, games, and demonstrations possible with in-person lessons. 
  • Feel free to ask about the pros and cons of each type of lessons and we can figure what works best for your situation.  

Expectations At Home
  • A keyboard is allowed for the first year or so of lessons, but after that a full size, 88-key acoustic piano (or electric piano with fully-weighted keys) in working condition must be available to the student for regular practice.  An acoustic piano should be tuned once or twice a year.
  • To make progress, students must be prepared for lesson with assigned music ready to play.  The lesson is not a time to “practice,” but to “rehearse.”  You can only come prepared if you PRACTICE. I don’t give time goals for practice. If you have committed to lessons, it is assumed you have a goal to make progress, and that progress will come only with dedication to mindful practice.   So rather then setting an arbitrary time goal, set measurable progress goals each time you sit at the piano.   I will assist you with this!
  • Feel free to contact me with any questions during daytime hours via email, phone, or text! 
Media Release
I often photograph or record clips of my students in my studio for use on my professional social media pages.   If you are opposed to this please let me know in writing and I will protect your student’s privacy.   

About Me
I am a life-long musician with training in flute, piano, and vocal technique for both teaching and performance.  I began playing by ear at age three, began formal lessons at age five, and I began taking student referrals from my teacher when she partially retired when I was thirteen.  I have been teaching since that time.   I attended Spring Arbor University and received my associates in Piano Pedagogy in 2004.  I was the pianist at Christ Church Fraser in Fraser, MI from 2013-2019. I am currently Co-Worship Director with my husband, Brandon Spangler, at Kilpatrick United Brethren Church in Woodland, MI. I may also be hired to play for weddings, funerals, and other events.