Private Piano Lessons

I offer weekly semester-based piano lessons through the ISU Preparatory Piano Program(ISU PPP)It is a unique, affordable and helpful program, with many teachers, and with students on a variety of levels. I'm a part of the program myself, as the senior teacher. 

I accept students from age of four, based on audition and probationary period of one semesterDuring this first semester the student has to show a certain level of musicality, an attention span of no less than 30 minutes, and eagerness to learnAt the end of this period, I will decide whether to continue lessons. It is important to understand that just as students choose their teachers, teachers choose their students, and I may decide to discontinue lessons at any time.

If you would like to enroll your child at Natalia Lauk Piano Studio:
  • please, take a couple minutes to read this studio policy 
  • check here, if desired lesson time is available 
  • fill out registration form here
  • I will contact you within 24 hours to confirm the availability of the requested lesson time
Students must be on time and well prepared for every lesson. During the lessons, I attempt to cover all areas of musicianship: theory, technique, harmony, ear-training, sight-reading, performance, etc.. Please bear in mind that no two students are exactly alike, and children (as well as adults) learn at different rates of speed. Even brothers and sisters within families differ radically in motivation and temperament. Therefore, I approach students as individuals and attempt to challenge each according to their own unique potential.

Please, bring to each lesson:
  • Hard cover binder (3 rings) with blank sheets
  • Assigned music books 
I video-record each lesson, so the student can look back and make sure that every practice suggestion is fully understood and used correctly while practicing at home. After each lesson you receive a link to YouTube video. It is set in private mode, so only you can see it.

Student is obligated to attend 13 lessons per semester. Please, note that there is one mandatory ISU PPP recital at the end of fall and spring semesters. Each student is required to perform one piece from memory. Student may be excused only in case of family emergency or illness. Missing the recitals without  the excuse will result in termination of student's enrollment. 

Currently I teach through the ISU Piano Preparatory ProgramPayments need to be made before semester starts. Please, make your checks payable to ISU Piano Preparatory Program.

Here are the start and end dates for the semesters:            
  • Summer 2016: - May 23 - Aug 20
  • Fall 2016: Aug 29 - Dec 11
  • Spring 2017:  Jan 11 - Apr 30
Semester rates are as follows:
  • "Road To College" - preparation for college auditions. $832 per semester (two 60  min lessons per week, piano and Music Theory 101)
  • "Master of Piano" -  $416 per semester (60 min lessons, once per week)
  • "I Love Music!" $312 per semester (45 min lessons, once per week)
  • "Easy Track" recommended for beginners,  $208 per semester (30 min lessons, once per week)
You can find cheaper piano lessons at ISU Piano preparatory program too. Other ISU PPP teachers have lower rates, starting at $169 per semester Thus you will be able to choose a suitable teacher for your budget.  Your child retains access to all ISU advantages:
  • semester performances at a large concert hall, on a Steinway Grand Piano
  • free master-classes with visiting clinicians 
  • free tickets to ISU faculty piano recitals
  • access to scholarships, piano competitions, festivals, etc
  • the opportunity to learn discipline, body and mind control, to acquire knowledge of music and to gain experience in public performance, and, most importantly, to have the joy of playing great music.
To sign up your child with other teachers please fill out the form at the bottom of the page and check "I'd like to sign my child up with another ISU PPP teacher."

I offer only one complimentary make-up lesson per semester. Additional make-up lessons usually will be arranged should I have to cancel. The studio shall not assume any financial responsibility for a student's absence(s).  It is also the position of this piano studio that sporting events and other extracurricular activities are not considered valid excuses for not practicing during the week. Sports and music may not always be mutually compatible, but need not be mutually exclusive. If you have a schedule conflict - please use swap list.
Any cancellation requires 24-hour notice. Missing a lesson without a notice may result in termination of student's enrollment. 

This list is for the purpose of changing lesson day/time for one lesson with another student, when a conflict arises. This will enable the student to still have their lesson if they wish to miss one due to illness, family vacation, sporting event or other extracurricular activity. The list will be given out only to those who give me permission to put their contact information on it. It will then be up to the student/parent to call the other student/parent and arrange to ‘swap’ lesson day/time for the lesson that they wish to miss. Then – please call/email me with the swap so I am prepared for the correct student. 

How much students should practice? It depends on what level of performance they are aiming for.
Want to be a concert pianist? You have to practice 40 hours per week (8 hours per day)
Teach at college level? At least 24 hours per week.
Teach at pre-college level? At least 14 hours per week.
Recreational piano?  If you want to be any good - practice at least 7 hours per week.
Remember - talent doesn't exist without hard, consistent work and dedication. 
Parent's time and money are simply wasted, if a child is not practicing or is not practicing efficiently.

Here are few recommendations.
  • Establish practicing schedule for children and make sure they follow it.
  • Skipping piano practice is similar to skipping school homework - it mustn't be allowed
  • There will be time, when your children beg to quit piano - because it's hard. Don't let them quit. They learn how not to quit something just because it's hard. 
  • Often children are not practicing efficiently - by playing only what they already know. It will seem that they are practicing - but in fact it's just a waste of time - no progress at all. You have to make sure they work on new assigned pieces and places, which may be hard for them to play.
  • Here are a couple books I usually recommend for parents. I promise, you won't regret time spent in reading these. Outliers: The Story of Success and SO YOUR CHILD WANTS TO TAKE PIANO LESSONS

If you should arrive early for your scheduled lesson time, please wait until no sooner than five minutes before your scheduled time before entering the studio. Also, please be prompt in picking up your child after his/her lesson if you must be absent during that time.  This applies to both rehearsals and performances. For your child’s safety, please ensure your student is with an Instructor and in a lesson before leaving. 

When the need arises, the studio shall determine which music books and supplies should be purchased. Music orders will require shipping, and may take some time. If any music needs to be ordered at the studio's expense, the studio needs to be reimbursed upon arrival of the music in order to prevent late charges.

If you have any questions, please call my studio at (518) 596-9664 at any time. An answering machine is on 24/7. Please leave a message, and I will return your call at my earliest convenience.
Thank you for taking the time to read and understand what I expect from myself, my students and their families. I look forward to our musical journey together! 

Natalia Lauk, M.M. in Piano Performance and Instruction , (518) 596 96 64,