The goal of the Young Pianists Program of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is to nurture the artistic talents and pianistic abilities of all pre-college students whose music studies are entrusted to us. One aspect of that goal is to provide students with the very high-quality piano and theory instruction that will enable them to progress, excel and realize their full musical potential. An equally important aspect of our goal is to create a learning climate in which students enrolled in Young Pianists Program lessons and classes feel comfortable, safe, encouraged, respected and well-cared-for. With these aims in mind, Indiana University, the Jacobs School of Music and the Young Pianists Program have established the policies and procedures below.
- Our Commitment to Our Students
- Our Expectations of Young Pianist Program Participants and Their Parents/Guardians
- Health guidelines
- Locale and Transportation
- Severe Weather and Emergencies
- Holidays and Breaks
- Teacher Assignments
- Books and Materials
- Policies of Indiana University and Jacobs School of Music on Interaction Between Pre-College Program Personnel and Children
- Appropriate Access to, and Supervision of, Children Participating in the Young Pianists Program
- Physical Contact
- Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and/or Neglect
- First Aid and Medical Treatment
- The Parents’ or Primary Caregiver’s Role in Lessons of Young Students
- Missed Lessons, Tardiness and/or Unacceptable Behavior
- Merit Awards, (need-based) Financial Aid grants and Courtesy Discounts
Our Commitment to Our Students
- Young Pianists Program instructors and administrators will make every effort to treat each participant in the Program as a unique individual with distinct personality traits, musical/ instrumental and intellectual gifts, attention span, and maturity.
- Young Pianists instructors will adapt their instruction as far as possible to the particular student’s learning style, capabilities, needs, and interests.
- Young Pianists instructors will strive to be supportive, encouraging, and patient – in verbal communications and body language – with all participants in the Program.
- Young Pianists instructors will work to create a positive, friendly learning atmosphere and a productive rapport with parent(s) or primary caregiver(s), and will treat students and their parents/caregivers with respect and courtesy.
- Young Pianists Program instructors and staff will never use, or be under the influence of, alcohol or drugs during any Program activity, nor use tobacco products during any Program activity.
- Young Pianists instructors and staff will never use foul or inappropriate language during a lesson or Program activity.
- Young Pianists instructors will immediately stop any participant from using foul or inappropriate language or engaging in teasing, bullying, disparaging remarks/behavior, or any other form of harassment directed at instructors or at other Program participants, whether this occurs in a lesson or during another Program activity.
Our Expectations of Young Pianist Program Participants and Their Parents/Guardians
- Students enrolled in the Young Pianists Program are expected to arrive promptly at their lesson time, and to bring all music books containing pieces they have been assigned as well as their assignment notebook. If due to sudden illness or other emergency situations, the student will be late for the lesson or unable to come, the parent/caregiver should notify the teacher as early as possible.
- We expect a parent/primary caregiver to attend the lessons of young children (ca. age 12 and under) and supervise their daily home practice as often as possible, encouraging them to do their best to master challenges, and seeing that they cover all parts of the assignment. Monitoring home practice does not require knowing how to play piano in order to be very helpful to the child. A supportive adult supervising home practice through encouragement, reminders of the instructor’s advice, and help with structuring practice sessions effectively can be highly beneficial, in some cases can enable students to progress up to 30-40% faster than if they must practice all on their own. The instructor will advise students and parents how much practice time per day is appropriate, taking into account the student’s age, attention span, advancement level, academic and extracurricular commitments, and other relevant factors.
- Students (and their parents) should set aside a regular time for daily practice, should prepare their assignments to the best of their ability, and should demonstrate a sincere willingness to apply the instructor’s suggestions and/or corrections. Parents should see that their children understand that not all comments they will receive from the instructor will be compliments, and should help them learn to accept both compliments and constructive suggestions/criticisms with good grace.
- The Jacobs School of Music presents over a thousand concerts and recitals each year, many of them free. We strongly urge parents to take their children to a wide variety of musical experiences: piano and other solo vocal/instrumental recitals; chamber music concerts; symphony, choral and band concerts; ballets and operas; jazz, Latin, contemporary popular, avant-garde, and many other offerings. This will expose them early on to the remarkable diversity of musical styles and ensembles offered for their enjoyment. It will inspire them, broaden their horizons enormously, and deepen their appreciation for our wonderful, multifaceted musical art.
- We expect participants in Young Pianists to conduct themselves in a responsible manner within the facilities of the Jacobs School of Music, out of respect for others who are practicing or attending classes/concerts. This includes talking in a quiet tone of voice and not engaging in rowdy or disruptive behavior in lessons or hallways; not running in the halls or stationing themselves in a way that obstructs the free flow of traffic through the hallways, and remaining very quiet and attentive at any concert/recital they are performing in or attending as audience members. Note: It is strongly recommended that students/parents not bring food/drinks into studios, classrooms, or concert halls. Food or drink should never be placed on a Jacobs School of Music piano, or on the student’s home piano/keyboard.
- Public performance is an integral and essential part of piano study. Students should consult the Young Pianists home page for the dates of Fall and Spring recitals, which are posted early in the semester. Young Pianists participants are expected to perform each Fall and Spring semester in one of the end-of-term recitals. They may be expected to play in other piano classes held during the semester as well if informed by their instructor that participation in such classes is mandatory.
- Parents should take care not to make travel arrangements to depart from Bloomington before the recital dates unless they truly have no choice but to do so. If there is a compelling reason why a student cannot perform in one of the end-of-semester recitals, the parent or primary caregiver should inform the instructor, the Program Director, and her executive assistant of this as early as possible.
- Parents should see that the student’s practice instrument is in good working condition and well-maintained. Acoustic pianos should be tuned at least once a year, preferably twice a year—in the late Fall after the weather has consistently turned cold, and in the Spring or early Summer after the weather has consistently turned warm. A piano tuned during the changing of the seasons when outside temperatures are fluctuating a lot, will often go out of tune rapidly and need to be re-tuned again soon. Either the instructor or the Director can give parents the names of several reliable, expert piano technicians if they do not know one.
- Students and/or their parents/primary caregivers should not enter competitions or apply to perform in masterclasses or auditions without first seeking and receiving permission from their teacher to do so.
Several of our Y.P. teachers are especially vulnerable to viruses and other contagious diseases that often spread rapidly through school classrooms or are contracted from siblings/associates of the student. If your child has a fever or a cough/cold, flu symptoms, or other illness that may be highly contagious, we strongly recommend that you contact the instructor in advance of the lesson to reschedule and/or arrange to have the lesson online.
Registration for the Young Pianists Program is done entirely online. Click here for guidelines on how to register. Payment in full of the semester’s tuition is due before the first lesson unless the student is applying for need-based financial aid or a merit scholarship.
The Young Pianists Program reserves the right to cancel any theory class listed/proposed due to insufficient enrollment. Unless parents are notified of cancellation prior to the first class meeting, classes listed on the online registration will meet at least once before being canceled.
Note: Parents of prospective new piano students should contact the Director, Dr. Elizabeth Yao at firstname.lastname@example.org before registering! The Director will collect relevant contact, family schedule, and prior study information, as well as parental/student’s teacher preferences, and will make the appropriate teacher assignment, provided the Program has openings for new enrollees.
Students must have their own instrument and practice location off-campus. Local and Indianapolis music stores which may have used acoustic pianos for sale, rental or rent-to-own contracts include Melody Music Shop and the American Piano Factory in Bloomington; Meridian Music and Piano Solutions in Indianapolis. Parents needing to purchase an instrument are also welcome to check with the Director, who may know of other options for procuring an instrument.
Students enrolled in the Young Pianists Program or referred to a Y.P. instructor by the Young Pianists Program may not seek to arrange a switch to private lessons with their instructor or another Y.P. faculty member outside the Program, as this would place the instructor in an ethically compromising situation. Similarly, instructors may not ‘recruit’ students studying with them or refer to them by Young Pianists in their independent studios for the purpose of giving them private instruction outside the Program. If there are extenuating circumstances, the Director may occasionally authorize a YP faculty member to give a student private lessons outside the Program for a brief period of several weeks, but this is rare, and permission for such an arrangement must be secured in advance.
Locale and Transportation
Most Jacobs School of Music buildings is located near the intersection of S. Jordan Ave. and E. 3rd St.
Note: In the Fall semester of 2022, all lessons and theory classes will take place both online and in-person. The information below refers to face-to-face teaching in the Jacobs School facilities.
The great majority of private (one-on-one) piano lessons and Young Beginners group classes take place in one of 3 Jacobs School buildings: MA (Music Addition, the round building), MU (Merrill Hall, which faces on Third St.) or PB (the Practice Building, on the south side of Third St., across from MU). Theory classes will be held in the Simon Music Library and Recital Center. Check with the instructor in advance regarding the specific studio or locale where you should meet him/her. Visit this link for a map of the Jacobs School facilities.
The student’s parent(s) or primary caregiver and his/her piano instructor should exchange phone numbers and email addresses prior to the first lesson and should have this contact information ready at hand at all times, in the event that either party experiences a sudden illness/emergency or unanticipated delay.
A student’s parent(s) or primary caregiver is responsible for transporting him/her to and from Young Pianists lessons, classes, and other Program activities. They may pre-authorize other adults to transport the student by placing their names on the “Transport List” (see I.U. Jacobs School of Music Pre-College Programs Safety Form). If, exceptionally, a student will be transported by an adult not listed on the “Transport List”, the student’s primary caregiver should notify his/her instructor 24 hours in advance of the scheduled lesson or class, if at all possible. The instructor should be told who will transport the student, as well as when/where the student will be dropped off and picked up. Young students age 12 and under must be handed off directly to, and collected directly from, their instructor.
Young Pianists Program supervisors, faculty, staff, and volunteers are not permitted to transport minor students and/or their accompanying adult(s) to or from Program lessons and events.
Parking in the vicinity of the Jacobs School of Music buildings is highly problematic for those who do not have an IU parking permit. The few visitor’s spaces near the Jacobs School (e.g., on the upper level of the Jordan Garage), are metered and are fairly expensive. Parents who do not have IU parking permits are strongly advised to arrange lesson times after 5:00pm unless they can be dropped/picked up by a third party or take a city-IU bus that stops near the Jacobs School. After 5pm there is on-street parking on all the small streets south of the Jacobs School (Highland, Ballantine, Hunter, University, Second St., etc.); before 5pm parking on these streets is zoned “residential” by the City of Bloomington, which will ticket cars not displaying local permits.
Parking on campus in several lots close to the Jacobs School of Music is free from Friday 5pm to Sunday evening, whether one has an IU parking permit or not. Parking Operations also sells Evening parking permits allowing parking in the Jordan Garage between 5pm-7am weekdays and all day Sat. and Sun. The cost of an Evening permit is considerably less than the cost of a full-time parking permit. For more information, call the Special Programs Office at (812) 855-6025 before going to Parking Operations to purchase one. The Office must send the names of eligible parents/students to Parking Operations in advance of permit purchase.
Severe Weather and Emergencies
Young Pianists Program faculty, staff, and volunteers play a vital role during emergency response procedures. Participants and their parents/caregivers depend on them for immediate guidance and assistance. Instructors, as well as parents who are IU students/employees, will generally be notified of impending severe weather or other emergency conditions —if they register for this service– by an IUNotify emergency alert sent to their cell phone. Visit the Knowledge Base for additional assistance. Contact information for IU Notify (emergency alert system) can be updated by searching “IU Notify” in One.IU.edu
In the event of severe weather including a tornado warning, instructors will take students to an interior hallway in the lesson/class building that is away from windows, exterior doors, or flying debris. The instructor or Program director will let students know when it is safe for them to return to their studio or classroom.
If a fire alarm goes off in the building, the instructor, student, and any accompanying adult will exit the building and remain outside until the “all clear” signal has been given and they can safely return to the studio/classroom.
If severe weather conditions (tornado warning, icy roads, etc.) arise prior to the lesson and pose a serious risk, the parent should confer with the instructor to determine whether holding the lesson is advisable. Lessons missed due to inclement weather will be rescheduled whenever possible.
Holidays and Breaks
Except by special arrangements, no lessons will take place during Thanksgiving Week, the period between semesters, or Spring Break. Thanksgiving week and Spring Break weeks, as well as “Free week” at the end of the semester when recital rehearsals take place, are not included in the quota of 15 weeks of lessons per term that students receive, and are not charged as part of the tuition fee. Make-up lessons may nonetheless be given during those weeks by mutual agreement of parent and instructor. Lessons that fall on other holidays (Memorial Day, Veterans Day, MLK Day, religious holidays of other cultures), or during the brief Fall Break (if there is one) may be given or re-scheduled by agreement between parent and instructor.
All instructor assignments will be made by the Director. Parents/students should not approach Young Pianists instructors directly seeking to study with them or switch to their class. They may, however, express a preference for one or more particular instructors. The Director will take their request(s) into account as far as teacher availability, scheduling, and student advancement level permit. A list of current Young Pianists instructors can be found here.
If a parent/student is dissatisfied with the student’s current instructor, they should not try to arrange a switch of instructor on their own initiative. Rather, they should contact the Director and express their concerns or complaints. The Director will take these under consideration, perhaps conferring with the current teacher, and will decide whether a change of teacher is possible and advisable.
Students who know they must leave Bloomington or withdraw from lessons before the end of the semester or school year should inform the instructor and the Director at the time they enroll, or as early as possible in the term. In certain cases, it may be possible to arrange for pro-rated tuition that allows the student to continue Y.P. lessons for as long as they are able to, at a cost adjusted to reflect fewer weeks of lessons than the standard 15. Do not wait until the last minute to tell the teacher that your child cannot take lessons for the full semester, or must leave at the end of the term. Out of consideration for the teacher, please inform him/her of your situation as soon as possible. This increases the likelihood that the Director will be able to fill any gap in the faculty member’s schedule with a new student.
The Young Pianists Program has an instructor on staff who is experienced in teaching atypical learners. The Program is happy to admit students with learning disorders, provided they are receptive to instruction and capable of working productively in highly structured lessons. For more information, contact the Director, Dr.Elizabeth Yao at email@example.com (preferred), 812-855-9009 during 10:30am-3:00pm EDT.
Books and Materials
The Young Pianists Program offers participants complimentary method books and collections of piano pieces up to about the 2nd or 3rd year of study—that is, until repertoire assignments need to be highly individualized. The only materials parents of prospective beginning or early elementary students will need to purchase are:
1) An inexpensive 8”x11” lined notebook with many pages, in which the instructor can write assignments and practice tips. The student should bring the notebook to the first lesson.
2) A set of music flashcards used to drill note recognition in lessons and home practice (if recommended by the instructor).
Policies of Indiana University and the Jacobs School of Music on Interaction Between Pre-College Program Personnel and Children
Appropriate Access to, and Supervision of, Children Participating in the Young Pianists Program
In order to ensure as far as possible the safety and well-being of minor children, Indiana University has established certain policies with which the Young Pianists Program complies:
- One-on-one contact between Young Pianists faculty/staff and students should only occur if it is a necessary part of program activities.
- All Young Pianists instructors/staff and supervisory personnel must pass a background check before teaching Young Pianists participants or interacting one-on-one with them in program activities.
- Young Pianists staff or assisting volunteers who have not been background checked may not interact one-on-one with Young Pianists students other than their own children during program activities (lessons, classes, recitals, etc.).
Private (one-on-one) lessons will typically involve the child, his or her accompanying parent/primary caregiver, and a background-checked Young Pianists Program instructor. The vast majority of Young Pianists teaching rooms have a window in the studio door through which the parent (if he or she is outside the room), Young Pianists administrators, or others directly associated with the instruction may observe the ongoing lesson. Theory classes will contain small groups of 8-12 children and a background-checked instructor. Parents may request to sit in on theory classes and will be granted permission to do so by the instructor, provided their presence does not pose a distraction to the student or other class members.
Communications between Young Pianists Program faculty/staff and students enrolled in Young Pianists should be largely confined to musical, instructional, and program-related matters, whether occurring in the Jacobs School of Music or beyond (i.e, in a phone call or email). The content, language, and means of communication should be appropriate to the student’s age. Young Pianists personnel who need to convey information to young children outside the studio will do so whenever possible by contacting their parent(s) and/or guardians.
Inappropriate communications between Young Pianists faculty/staff and participants in Young Pianists or another Jacobs School pre-college program – whether initiated by a Young Pianists employee or by a student enrolled in a Jacobs School Pre-college program – will not be tolerated. This includes verbal communications or phone calls to and from Young Pianists personnel/students, electronic communications (emails, texting, contact through social media), and communications between Young Pianists Program participants or between Young Pianists participants and students enrolled in other Jacobs School pre-college programs.
Parents, please note: in the study of many musical instruments including piano, the teaching process often requires the instructor to demonstrate a correct technique or adjust the learner’s posture by touching. Parents or students enrolled in the Young Pianists Program who have concerns about this should contact the student’s teacher prior to the first lesson to discuss the matter. Parents are highly encouraged to share any relevant information or special condition that the teacher should bear in mind when interacting with the student.
Touching a student in any context other than teaching or performance-related activities may be inappropriate, and—depending on the circumstances—may be in violation of Indiana University policies and state law.
If you have questions or concerns about this issue which you do not wish to discuss with the student’s instructor, please contact the Director of the Young Pianists Program, Dr. Elizabeth Yao: firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred), 812-855-9009 during 10:30am-3:00pm EDT.
Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and/or Neglect
Indiana state law requires that any person who has reason to believe that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect has an affirmative duty to make an oral report to the Department of Child Services (DCS) 1-800-800-5556 or to their local law enforcement or to the IU Police Department. Failure to report may result in criminal charges. Indiana state law and the university also require that faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and other university personnel – in addition to notifying DCS and/or local law enforcement – must report any suspected abuse or neglect of minors on Indiana University property or as part of an Indiana University program, to the IU Superintendent of Public Safety.
First Aid and Medical Treatment
If a participant is believed to need medical treatment, program faculty/staff/volunteers will try to contact the participant’s parent/guardian or primary caregiver as well as the Program Director or nearby Jacobs School/Young Pianists administrative staff. In the event of an emergency – if the child’s primary caregiver is not on site – Young Pianists instructors/staff will call 911 for medical or emergency assistance.
First aid and medical treatment should only be given by program faculty/staff who have received proper training. However, in certain emergency situations, it may be necessary for non-trained staff to intervene before emergency personnel arrives. The nearest first aid kit is located in MA (Music Addition) Room 325.
Parents’ or Primary Caregiver’s Role in Lesson of Young Students
If there is a compelling reason why a parent/primary caregiver cannot attend a lesson of a young student (age 12 or under), they should contact the instructor in advance and agree upon the exact place where the child will be dropped off/picked up. Young students must never be allowed to roam the halls of the Jacobs School of Music, or the grounds outside the Jacobs School, unaccompanied. It is recommended that parents accompanying a child to lessons not bring younger siblings or babies with them unless they have no choice but to do so. The presence of younger siblings in the small, confined teaching rooms can easily distract students’ attention from their lessons. If this becomes an ongoing problem that prevents the student from benefiting fully from the instruction, the teacher may be obliged to ask the parent to sit just outside the studio door with the younger siblings for part/most of the lesson. In such situations, the instructor will confer with the parent near the end of the lesson on what needs work, and how to supervise home practice. If a parent/caregiver cannot attend a lesson due to an unbreakable commitment or must remain outside the studio during part/all of the lesson, they should feel free to ask the instructor to record the lesson on the parent’s cell phone or camcorder for later viewing.
Missed Lessons, Tardiness and/or unacceptable behavior
Click here to view cancellation and makeup lesson policies for private lessons. Missed group classes are not eligible to be made up.
The lesson time mutually agreed upon between instructor and parent/student at the start of the semester is reserved for that student alone and should be adhered to. Unless there is a compelling reason to request a change, parents/students should not ask the instructor to switch their lesson day or time once the lesson schedule has been set.
Regular attendance at lessons and/or classes is required and crucial for student progress. Chronic tardiness or substandard work; more than 3 lesson cancellations in a single semester; frequent, obvious lack of preparation/motivation; or unacceptable behavior/hostility toward the teacher on the part of either the student or his or her parent/guardian, are grounds for the student being placed on probation. The Director will notify the parents if a student is placed on probation. If a student on probation does not demonstrate significant improvement, the Director reserves the right to dismiss him/her from the Young Pianists Program, with no refund of any tuition fees paid to the Young Pianists Program for that semester.
The Young Pianists Program reserves the right to dismiss any student without first placing him/her on probation if the student shows a strong dislike of, or lack of interest in, music/piano study; rarely practices between lessons; is frequently tardy or absent; displays behavioral problems; is unwilling or unable to comply with Jacobs School conduct policies; is delinquent in payment of tuition fees; or if the student or his/her parent or primary caregiver treats the instructor with disrespect or is unacceptably aggressive, rude or disparaging in their interactions with the instructor. A student dismissed for any of the above reasons forfeits all tuition fees paid to the Program for the semester in question.
On the advice of the instructor, the Director may elect to make an exception to the ‘no refund of fees’ policy in the case of a very young student (4 or 5 yrs. old) taking his/her first semester of piano lessons, who proves unable to focus and stay attentive/receptive during structured 30 min. piano lessons. In such cases, a portion of the tuition fees may be refunded if the decision that the student is not ready to take piano lessons is made during the first 2 weeks of lessons.
Merit Awards, (need-based) Financial Aid grants, and Courtesy Discounts
The Young Pianists Program offers limited financial aid and merit awards as well as courtesy discounts for multiple siblings during the Fall and Spring semesters. Click the links below to learn more.
- Jacobs Academy Need-based Financial Aid
- Artistic Merit Award
- Courtesy Discounts for Multiple Siblings or Classes
Please note: No artistic merit awards or courtesy discounts are offered during the Summer Session.
Financial support is renewable, contingent on satisfactory progress and motivation, and on consistent practice between lessons as well as prompt and regular attendance at lessons. Parents requesting financial aid must re-submit the form and supporting documentation to the Special Programs Office each semester by the posted deadline. Those requesting a merit award must re-submit a brief letter to the Director each semester by the posted deadline. Merit awards are selective and very few and are normally granted only to advanced, serious students who have studied piano for a number of years. Beginners and near-beginner or elementary-level students should not apply for merit awards, as the Program simply does not have sufficient scholarship funds to honor such requests.