Piano Lessons - Voice Lessons - Composing, Songwriting, and Arranging Lessons - Since 1984 In Person or Remote/Online Lessons Available via FaceTime or Skype Elizabeth C. Axford, Instructor - M.A. Music SDSU - B.A. Music University of Illinois Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Member Since 1992 Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) Member Since 2004 MTAC Certificate of Merit for Piano and Voice
Lessons for All Ages and Levels Offered In Piano/Keyboard Music Theory and Ear Training AP® Music Theory Voice Audition Prep/College Prep Beginning Guitar Songwriting Composing and Arranging Computer Music Software, iPad and Android Apps, and Recording Music History and Literature
Elizabeth C. Axford, M.A. has provided both private and group lessons since 1984 in her Del Mar, La Jolla, and Miami, FL studios, in music store studios, private homes, and public and private school classrooms. Her students have ranged from the very beginner (3-4 years) to the senior citizen, from the hobbyist to the professional recording artist. With a long list of alumni, her students have successfully performed in recitals, showcases, talent shows, festivals and competitions, auditioned for and received parts in musical theatre and opera productions, become college music majors, and pursued professional recording careers. Many of her students have successfully completed the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) Certificate of Merit (CM) program for piano and voice.
Elizabeth has worked with local public high schools to help students acquire independent study credit towards graduation as well as home school students and students with special needs. Internships for course credit are available for college-level students. By providing a comprehensive music program, her students learn general musicianship as well as proficiency on the instrument.
Students are encouraged to participate in annual spring and holiday recitals as well as programs and festivals sponsored by MTAC, MTNA, and CAPMT. Those students not interested in performing may elect not to do so. Students are regularly encouraged to memorize pieces and receive special reward stickers on their incentive charts when they do. This helps students prepare for performing by memory at recitals and other events. Students' assignments are clearly marked with the date of the lesson in pencil or pen on the pages to be practiced, with a paper clip, and/or in an assignment notebook. Theory assignments are done both in the lesson and as homework, and should be done in pencil.
Students should practice every day, going through the new lesson material first, then spending time reviewing/memorizing previously learned pieces. Each lesson is designed to include technique, scales, warm-ups, finger exercises, teaching pieces, performances pieces, sight-reading, theory, and ear training. Students may at any time request to learn pieces or songs of interest to them. High school and home school students may apply for independent study credit through their counselor. Students may use their lesson time to prepare for professional auditions.
Lesson Studio Mission Statement Learning to play the piano and/or sing plays an important role in a child's development, not just as a means of learning performance repertoire, but also as a means of nurturing the student. Students have different strengths, interests, and learning styles. All these things are considered when choosing an appropriate curriculum and lesson materials for each individual student. Aspiring musicians are encouraged to develop musical artistry and personal expression in addition to the achievement of musical skills and knowledge. Our responsibilities include helping students develop an appreciation for all styles of music, providing musical challenges, a music education, and performance opportunities, and preparing young students for college music departments as music majors and non-majors and/or professional performing careers.
Lessons are billed by the trimester.
The three 16-week trimesters per year are: January-April (I), May-August (II), September-December (III).
Lesson tuition may be paid in full, or in two or four equal installments:
Option I: Lesson tuition paid in full is due the first lesson of the trimester.
Option II: Lesson tuition paid in two equal installments is due the first lesson of the first and third months of the trimester (January/March or May/July or September/November).
Option III: Lesson tuition paid in four equal installments is due the first lesson of each four-week session.
Books and lesson materials are billed separately.
All checks for lessons should be made payable to Elizabeth C. Axford or Piano Press.
Lesson Studio Policy
All cancellations require 24 hours notice minimum if a make-up lesson is to be rescheduled. Please call or text (619) 884-1401 to cancel or reschedule or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
If 24 hours notice is not given, the student forfeits the lesson.
Please do not send students to their lesson if they are sick. Make-ups for illness will be arranged when time is available.
Students are allowed two make-ups per trimester at an alternate time slot only. The regular lesson time may not be used for make-up lessons (unless doubled, e.g., from a half-hour to an hour lesson).
If there are more than two absences in any trimester, make-ups will be arranged if time and space permit, however the teacher is not obligated.
All make-ups must be done in the same trimester as the absence.
There are no make-ups of make-ups.
All payments for lessons are due the first lesson of each four-week session. A statement will be sent home the week prior to the due date.
Lessons are billed at a flat fee for a minimum of one month (four weeks).
Payment is due in full for the month for the weekly standing appointment, regardless of cancellations.
The time and space are being reserved for the student, for which the teacher is paying rent on a weekly basis. This policy establishes a student/teacher commitment of good faith, and enables the teacher to pay studio rental fees on time each week.
Partial payments of any amount less than the amount due are not accepted.
Pro-rating is only done upon starting lessons for the first time (new students) or stopping lessons and giving up your time slot.
A 30-day cancellation notice is required when discontinuing lessons for any reason.
Any unpaid tuition will result in the loss of your time slot.
Credit or refunds are not given for missed lessons.
Students should arrive no sooner than 5 minutes prior to their lesson time and be picked up no later than 5 minutes after their lesson ends.
Only students and/or siblings with a scheduled lesson time should be in the studio at the time of their lesson(s). We are not responsible for friends, relatives, pets, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Q. 1. How often should students practice? A. Try to practice every day at a regularly scheduled time. You may not always be in the mood, but if you show up for your practice session the way you show up for work or school, you'll get the job done. Go through your new assignment first, then spend some time reviewing repertoire and memorizing. Playing Heart & Soul for a half-hour is NOT practicing! Remember to practice all your pieces and/or songs, not just your favorites. It is more important to get in a quality practice session and cover your entire new assignment at least once than to worry about how much time you've spent at the piano. Spend as much time as it takes to give yourself a thorough work-out. Be honest with yourself. Q. 2. Should I help my child with his/her assignment? A. If you can read music and help your child, fine. But please make sure you really understand what you're telling them. I have had students misdirected by their parents. And if it's a theory assignment they need help with, please do not do it for them! I constantly tell students to please save anything they're having trouble with for the next lesson. Don't worry if all the blanks are filled in...I want them to understand what they're doing! Q. 3. Should students practice on a keyboard, a digital piano, or a real piano? A. For starters, keyboards are OK when students are first learning the notes, and parents haven't decided whether or not to invest in a piano. Eventually, however, it is better to be practicing on an acoustic piano because the weighted action of the wooden keys provides a better workout for finger strengthening than the plastic keys of a keyboard. A digital piano with weighted keys and piano-like action is equally suitable for practicing and often has additional features such as the ability to record and play various instrument sounds. Keyboards and digital pianos do not require tuning, are more portable than acoustic pianos, take up less space, and may seem like more fun to the young student. Acoustic pianos should be tuned twice a year and should not be kept near open windows, heaters, fireplaces, or AC vents. Storing things on top of your piano can cause sympathetic vibrations while playing. Do not set drinks or lit cigarettes on your piano. Q. 4. Should students be practicing with a metronome? A. I generally only use metronomes with students who are having problems keeping good, even time on their own. It is much better to have an internal time/rhythm keeper than to rely on an external one. Metronomes are great to use while doing scales and finger exercises. When used while playing pieces, however, they can be a distraction. Q. 5. Should I require my child to perform in recitals, festivals or competitions? A. Quite plainly, NO. Too many people have quit taking lessons because of bad recital experiences. We are not trying to make concert pianists or opera divas out of the entire population! We want people to learn music, and enjoy playing an instrument and/or singing. If recitals aren't your thing, fine. No one's forcing you. Play or sing for yourself, just for fun. Record yourself sometime and listen to how you sound. We can record students in the studio during their lesson as well. Q. 6. Is it OK to make copies of sheet music to use in the lesson? A. Every time a work is unlawfully duplicated, a writer or arranger's income is slighted. Copies should not be used to avoid purchase of a piece of sheet music or a recording. Q. 7. May I sit in on my child's lesson? A. Personally, I do not have a problem with this, especially for the little ones. I do, however, feel I can build a better rapport working with the student by myself, one-on-one. Q. 8. Do I need to cut my nails for playing the piano? A. Yes. If you can see your nails when you look at your hand palm facing you, than they're too long for playing the piano. They will click on the keys and get in the way. You need to attack the keys with the fleshy part of your fingertip. If the nail is too long, you will not be able to do this. Q. 9. Can I bring a friend to sit in on my lesson? A. As long as they're quiet, and as long as it's just once in a while. I do not want students to be distracted during their lesson, nor am I a baby-sitting service. Q. 10. Can I practice songs other than the ones I'm assigned? A. Sure, but in addition to, not instead of, your assigned lesson pieces.