Rules and Policies 2022

Josiah Austin Music


  1. Fail a lot, and without fear- just not on purpose! The Number 1 best way to learn anything is to attempt it and fail over and over. Question what you did incorrectly and perform at least a little bit better the next time. Your failures during a lesson will give me valuable information for future lessons. I welcome your failures as much as I hope for your progress and success. As long as you are truly doing your best, I will not be disappointed. Failure is frustrating, but don't let it beat you up.
  2. Ask as many questions as you can. Questioning anything shows that you are thinking creatively and critically and are interested in the subject. My best performing students are the ones who have plenty of questions.
  3. We will warm up before each lesson with a variety of exercises, including scales, chords, music games, inversions, quizzes and more.
  4. Most of the lesson will be spent playing what you worked on the previous week, analyzing the music, learning new concepts and theory from each piece,


  1. Practice at least 30 minutes per day at home during the week. This is bare minimum. You will not see the progress you desire if you practice less than this.
  2. Make time in your schedule for piano practice. Try to make it the same time every day if possible.
  3. Take one day off each week if you need to. This can help cut down on frustration.
  4. Practice HANDS SEPARATELY when beginning a new piece. Learn one hand first, and then the other. It's usually best to start with Left Hand, but it depends on the piece of music.
  5. Practice SLOWLY at first. Most students hear me repeat this billions of times. Trust the process. All music of all speeds is best learned by starting slowly.
  6. Practice in SMALL CHUNKS. Learn no more than 2-4 measures at a time. Build a piece of music chunk by chunk, like puzzles or Legos.
  7. I may seem easy-going at times, but I take your lessons, time, and progress very seriously. You are solely responsible for your progress with the practice time you put in outside of lessons.
  8. There will be days that you absolutely can't make it to the piano. Don't fret it! I understand. Life is busy and difficult. Just be honest with yourself and me. If you are truly dedicated to learning piano, you will forgive yourself and get back to it the next day.
  9. You will go on vacations. Vacations are vitally necessary. Go! Don't practice piano while on vacation unless it will bring you 100% joy and relaxation. That being said, if you happen upon a piano during your vacay, play a favorite song if you have one memorized. It usually brings a lot of joy and/or human connection.
  10. If you haven't put in much practice time in 3 weeks, and you haven't mentioned anything before then, I will bring it up. I don't want to see you wasting your time, and my work is much more enjoyable when my students are passionate and seeing progress. 
  11. Piano can be difficult, especially at first. But once you see some good results the work on each new song becomes more like a puzzle or a video game. It's always tricky, but you know satisfaction is close behind.


  1. We have a friendly indoor-only cat, so please keep the door shut if you are not entering or leaving.
  2. Please take off your shoes when you enter.
  3. Please only use the studio, living room, and bathroom. We ask that you do not go into any other areas.


  1. If a lesson is cancelled less than 24 hours in advance, you will be charged for that lesson.
  2. Please give at least 24 hours notice if a lesson must be rescheduled. 
  3. You get 1 emergency cancellation per year, where you can cancel within 24 hours of a lesson. You will receive a makeup credit to go towards a future lesson.
  4. If you begin cancelling many times per month for 2 months straight, regardless of the reasons, we'll talk about it. If you don't bring it up, I will.


  1. You will go on vacations. Vacations are vitally necessary, so please take at least one every year for your own sake! Don't practice piano while on vacation unless it will bring you 100% joy and relaxation. If you'd like, I will be more than happy to give you some materials that you can work on without a piano, but this is optional. 
  2. If you happen upon a piano during your vacay, play a favorite song if you have one memorized. It usually sparks a lot of joy and/or human connection.
  3. If you intend to go on an extended vacation, just let me know well in advance. Preferably at least one month in advance.
  4. When I go on an extended vacation I will let you know as well.


  1. Please only bring children who are piano students. And if possible, please bring students in one at a time. Our home isn't set up to accommodate extra young children, and we are not a daycare.
  2. Feel free to leave your student for the duration of the lesson if you need to run a quick errand at the nearby mall or shopping centers. But please make it back in time to pick up your child. There will be no one to watch them during another student's lesson.


  1. You may park in any space near the mailboxes (except to the right side) or in front of our garage 47 if it is available.


  1. We have an indoor cat named Nova. :)
  2. If you or your child have any allergies, please let me know. We will occasionally set out a candy dish or other snacks, and we want to be as allergy friendly as possible. 
  3. At our home we eat occasionally eat foods that contain a small amount of peanuts, and we use peanut butter every now and then.