Frequently Asked Questions

Check below for answers to some of the most common questions I receive about my studio and piano lessons in general.

I'm not certain if I can commit to a whole trimester, but would like to try lessons and see how it goes for me or my child.  Can we just schedule lessons individually?

I understand that committing to several months of lessons in advance can seem daunting at first, so I have every new student go through a set of two trial lessons, one week apart. The purpose of this arrangement is to get a sense of how well we will work together as teacher and student, and to give you a chance to practice concepts on your own for a week to see whether or not they work for you. After that, we can talk about a longer commitment. See my full policies and the Tuition & Fees page for more information.

We're going to be out of town (or busy with other activities, or just want to take a break) for several weeks.  What should we do?

The lesson commitment of 13 weeks in Fall and Spring and 10 weeks in Summer is designed to allow flexibility for vacations and other planned absences for both the teacher and student. Let me know about any such events in advance of the trimester start and we'll find a way to make it work.  Also, to accommodate holiday plans no lessons will be scheduled on the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Easter.


If we're unlucky and your absences are on totally different weeks from my own, making it impossible to do all 13 or 10 lessons, we can discuss a prorated plan on a case-by-case basis.  If you want more extended time off, you are free to take off a whole trimester--but unfortunately I can't guarantee your spot will be available when you want to restart.

How long should lessons be for my child?

I only recommend 30-minute lessons for students under age 6. 45-minute lessons are appropriate for elementary school students, while 60-minute lessons are preferred for all older children and adults. Because children under age 9 need parental supervision in their practice, I require parents to attend their lessons as well.




Can you come to my house to teach?

I can, but my availability is likely to be quite limited for that arrangement. If I’m driving to your location to teach, an additional commuting surcharge of $5 per lesson ($65 for Fall/Spring and $50 for Summer, or $10 for trial lessons) will be added to your invoice. This service requires that you have an acceptable instrument in your home. Because this significantly complicates scheduling, taking lessons at my studio in Northeast D.C. is strongly preferred.


Do I need to pay all at once for a trimester or can I pay lesson-by-lesson?

Payment can be made as a lump sum at the first lesson of each trimester, or monthly with 25% of that trimester’s tuition due on the 1st of each month. Unfortunately, because of a need to cut down on the time and effort keeping track of payments that are due, I generally don't take separate payments at each lesson.  I accept cash, check, or PayPal (with 3% service charge). If paying monthly, please provide postdated checks for the first of each month or set up automatic payment through PayPal to avoid late payment. Payments received after these due dates are subject to a $5 per week late fee. Payments are nonrefundable, except that you may withdraw from lessons and receive a prorated refund within the first 14 days of the trimester. Refunds after this point will only be offered for documented medical reasons or relocations beyond the control of the student and parent.


What's a "studio class" and what does it involve?

Studio class is when a group of students get together to perform informally for me and for each other.  Studio classes are held at my studio in Northeast D.C., two or three times per trimester.  These classes offers a chance to play through your repertoire in a less stressful environment than a public recital, and receive helpful comments from your peers. Attendance is highly encouraged, and students should perform in class at least once before the studio recital.


© 2017 by Ellen Hwangbo

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