Studio Upgrades for Fall Semester 2019

The DSoP Studio is in the middle of some exciting upgrades that will be ready for the Fall 2019 Semester! The upgrades include:

  • 2 warm-up pianos in the waiting area

  • 8 new keyboards and a baby grand piano in the Primary Studio (Primo)

  • 6 keyboards and an upright piano in the Secondary Studio (Secondo)

The 2019 Fall Semester begins Monday, September 9, and classes are available for enrollment.  Enroll today to secure your spot this semester.  If you don't know which class to enroll for, or you're a new student, no problem!  Just send your questions by contacting us, or book an appointment for your FREE 15-minute consultation to find the best class for you or you.

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Fall 2019 Enrollment and Registration Now Available

It may be hard to believe, but as summer is winding down, Fall schedules are ramping up! The 2019 Fall Semester begins Monday, September 9, and classes are now available for enrollment.  Enroll today to secure your spot this semester.  Here's how to enroll online:

  1. See what classes are available. Click on the "Classes" tab to see brief summaries of each class.

  2. Pick the right class for you. Click on the "Enroll" tab to see the semester schedule and when each class is offered. Then click on the class that works best for you and fill in the information blocks.

  3. Ensure your spot. Click the "Pay Now" button to either pay the semester deposit, or the full semester tuition. Paying the deposit will ensure your spot for the semester. Fill in the Student's name, the class day and time, and you are all set for the semester!

Don't know which class to enroll for, or you're a new student?  No problem!  Just send your questions by contacting us, or book an appointment for your FREE 15-minute consultation to find the best class for you or your student!

Studio Recitals: Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Studio Recitals are THIS Saturday, April 13 at River Terrace Church in East Lansing (Address: 1509 River Terrace, East Lansing, MI 48823). Recital times are 9:00a and 10:45a - please note the time for the second recital.  Admission is free and you are welcome to invite family and friends!

Here is some helpful information for the day of the recital:

ARRIVAL:

- Arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your recital time; this is very important if you are one of the first 3 performers listed in the program!

- Attire: please wear "dressy casual" or above to the recital  

Upon arrival, drop off your post-recital refreshments in the gym (light, finger-type foods for at least 2-3 dozen people) - a highlight to many of the student performers!

- Proceed to the sanctuary/recital hall.  Printed programs will be available by each recital hall entrance

STUDENTS: 

- You are welcome to sit wherever you like during the performance, but remember to sit in the front row during the performance immediately preceding yours (if you are listed first in the your program, please be already seated in the front row at the beginning of the program)

- For your Performance: Walk around the bench, check your distance and take a deep breath!  Take your time - no need to rush…. and whatever happens, keep on going - you are well-prepared!

- SMILE and bow at the end of your performance. :)

POST-RECITAL and OTHER INFO:

- Join us for the reception after each recital, and please keep food and drink in the gym, per the request of River Terrace's staff.  

- If you are able to come early, stay between recitals, or stay after to help set up/clean up that would be very much appreciated.  

- Videos and pictures are allowed during the performance. Please be mindful of those around you.  

- Each recital will last approximately 75 minutes. Please stay for the entire program, per proper recital etiquette. If you have been in separate communication with me and you must leave early or during the program, please wait at least two performers after your student's performance before leaving, sit towards the back of the sanctuary, and exit in between performances using only the back doors to exit.  

- Spring Semester sign up and registration will be available in the gym, and is also available online at diaz.school Winter Semester begins the week of April 29, 2019.  The 5-week Spring Semester class schedule will have some classes consolidated but, for the most part, will be a continuation of this Winter Semester. 

- Have fun and help foster the atmosphere of encouragement and support for your student, as well as other students.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and thank you again for allowing me to serve as your piano teacher!

DSoP: March Announcements

Here are a few announcements at Diaz School of Piano for the month of March:

  • Studio Updates and Closures Due to Inclement Weather:

    • We've had several studio closure due to inclement weather this winter so far, and you can find class cancellations and studio closure updates on the website (diaz.school) and Facebook page (@DiazSchoolOfPiano). If the studio is open and you are unable to make it to class that day because of weather, please check the schedule of classes for the remainder of the week and let Ben Diaz know which class you would like to attend.

  • Dates to Remember:

    • Thursday, March 7: Payment Plan - Next Installment Due

    • March 30 - April 7: Spring Break - Studio Closed

    • Saturday, April 13: Studio Recitals - River Terrace Church

    • Thursday, April 18: Winter Semester Ends

    • Monday, April 29: 5-week Spring Semester Begins

    • Monday, June 3: Spring Semester Ends

  • Studio Recitals: 

    • Saturday, April 13 at River Terrace Church. Recital times are 900a & 1045a.  If you would have a recital time preference and would like to request a recital time, please let me know via email by Thursday, March 28 with your recital time request of either 900a or 1045a. Thank you!

  • Recital Preparation for Remaining Weeks of Winter Semester:

    • Week 9: (Next Week) Students will put "sticky tabs" on 5-6 potential recital pieces that they will work on memorizing 

    • Week 10: Students will have a goal of having 3-4 of their "sticky tab" pieces memorized

    • Week 11: Recital Prep Week - during performance time, we will go over the logistics of their recital performance and students will aim to have 4-5 of the tabbed pieces memorized

    • Week 12: Decision Week - We will make the final decision of the 1-2 pieces that will be performed at the recital. 5-6 pieces should be memorized by this point.

    • Week 13: Recital Week - students will record and watch their performances and give themselves and their classmates constructive feedback as a final preparation for the recital.

    • Week 14: Last week of the Winter Semester

As always, please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for allowing me the privilege to serve as your piano teacher!

Studio OPEN: Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Despite the numerous school closings, Diaz School of Piano is OPEN today, Wednesday, February 13, 2019 for regularly scheduled classes. If you are unable to make it to class today because of the weather, please check the schedule of classes for the remainder of the week and let Ben Diaz know which class you would like to attend. You can find class cancellations and weather updates on the website and Facebook page. Thank you and please let me know if you have any questions!

Winter Session 2019: Begins January 7

Happy New Year! The 2019 Winter Session begins the week of Monday, January, and classes are available for enrollment.  Enroll today to secure your spot this semester.  Here's how to enroll online:

  1. See what classes are available. Click on the "Classes" tab to see brief summaries of each class.

  2. Pick the right class for you. Click on the "Enroll" tab to see the semester schedule and when each class is offered. Then click on the class that works best for you and fill in the information blocks.

  3. Ensure your spot. Click the "Pay Now" button to either pay the semester deposit, or the full semester tuition. Paying the deposit will ensure your spot for the semester. Fill in the Student's name, the class day and time, and you are all set for the semester!

Don't know which class to enroll for, or you're a new student?  No problem!  Just send your questions by contacting us, or book an appointment for your FREE 15-minute consultation to find the best class for you or your student!

DSoP: December Announcements

Happy December! Here are some announcements and studio info for Diaz School of Piano:

1. STUDIO RECITALS: Congratulations to all who participated in Saturday's recitals - it was a tremendous program and thank you for sharing your music with us.  Well done and congratulations again on your achievement!

2. UPCOMING DATES:  There are still two weeks of class remaining this semester...

  • This Week (12/3-12/6): Recital Review and New Music Packet 

  • Next Week (12/10-12/13): Aural Skills Game and Celebration Week

  • Winter Break: Studio closed from 12/17/18 - 1/6/19

  • Winter Semester: Begins the week of January 7, 2019

3. WINTER SEMESTER ENROLLMENT NOW AVAILABLE:  The Winter Semester begins the week of January 7, 2019.  The current Fall 2018 Semester class schedule will remain the same.  Online enrollment is now available at diaz.school If you intend on continuing with lessons next semester, please let me know by either enrolling online, via e-mail, or in person.

4. PAYMENT PLAN:  Full payment for the Fall Semester is due on/before Thursday, December 6.  You may pay using the "Send Money" option from your PayPal account, pay from the website (diaz.school), or make checks payable to "Diaz School of Piano."  Please let me know if you have any questions regarding your balance.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for allowing me to serve as your piano instructor!

DSoP: November Announcements

Hello, Everyone -  Here are a few announcements for Diaz School of Piano in November:

1. HALLOWEEN - STUDIO CLOSED:  On Wednesday, October 31, the studio will be closed due to Halloween... you can make up classes by attending any of the following:

    • Help Room on Sunday, November 4, 4p-530p (Help Room is closed this Sunday, October 28)

    • another class equivalent next week on Monday (10/29), Tuesday (10/30), or Thursday (11/1)

    • a make up class on Monday, November 19 or Tuesday, November 20

2. MARY GOSSELL IN CONCERT: DSoP Teacher Mary Gossell will be in concert on Friday, November 2 at 730p at Trinity Church in Lansing.  The program will feature original compositions by Mary and music by Chinese composers. All are welcome and admission is FREE.

3. PAYMENT PLAN: The November installment of the Payment Plan is due by Thursday, November 8.  You can pay through the website drop down menu (www.diaz.school), via PayPal, or by check/cash.  Please let me know if you have any questions regarding your balance.

4. STUDIO RECITALS: Saturday, December 1 at River Terrace Church. Recital times are 900a & 1045a.  If you would have a recital time preference and would like to request a recital time, please let me know via email by Monday, November 19 at 600pm with your recital time request of either 900a or 1045a.

5. DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • Sunday, October 28: No Help Room

  • Wednesday, October 31Studio Closed (Halloween)

  • Friday, November 2: Piano Concert by Mary Gossell - 730p at Trinity Church

  • Thursday, November 8Payment Plan - Second Installment Due

  • November 21-25: Thanksgiving Break - studio closed

  • Saturday, December 1: Studio Recitals - at River Terrace Church in East Lansing at 9a & 1045a.  Admission is free and you are welcome to invite friends and family members

  • Tuesday, November 20: Enrollment begins (Winter Semester 2019)

  • Tuesday, December 18: Fall Semester Ends

  • Monday, January 7, 2019: Winter Semester Begins

As always, please let me know if you have any questions and thank you for allowing me to serve as your piano teacher!

Introducing: Mary Gossell, New Instructor at DSoP!

Please join me in welcoming Mary Gossell as a new instructor at Diaz School of Piano!  Mary just recently graduated from Michigan State University with her Masters of Music in both Piano Performance as well as Music Theory.  Mary brings a fresh perspective to piano playing, as well as a lot of experience with music theory, performance, and composition.  Mary will be starting this Fall Semester of 2018 and will be teaching Homeschool Classes as well new Preschool Piano Sessions.  (Click here to see her teaching schedule.) She will also be offering "Saturday Morning Workshops" later in the Fall that will focus on fun activities like playing your favorite song in two hours, as well as playing duets with friends and family.  You can read Mary's bio here.  

Please join me in welcoming new DSoP Teacher and Instructor, Mary Gossell!

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FAQs: What do lessons cost, and what does it include?

In the 14 years of running Diaz School of Piano, perhaps the most frequent question I receive is: "What do lessons cost?"  And a close second is: "What does this include?"

This is a very important, and responsible, question that families ask.  In a lot of ways, the answers to these questions determine who will become you, or your child's, piano teacher.  If the price is too high, perhaps piano lessons become cost-prohibitive because there are other (cheaper) ways to "invest" in one's artistic development.  On the contrary, if the price is too low, perhaps it's a reflection of the teacher's lack of credentials, or skill, or teaching ability.

So, let me answer the first FAQ: "What do lessons cost?"  At Diaz School of Piano, the cost of a 4-month semester is $450.00.  But before you stop reading because of perceived sticker shock, let me also answer the second FAQ: "What does this include?"

Included in the 4-month tuition is:

  • 14 one-hour classes. Each student has their own keyboard outfitted with headphones so they have the luxury of a classroom setting while also having the privacy of their own piano station.
  • Music materials are supplied. I provide much of the music materials for the students.  You aren't expected to buy a set of books that can be an unexpected initial cost.  Each student is given a packet each week of original music that I have composed that seeks to support their technical and musical development, as well as arranged music from different genres, and worksheets to support their understanding of music theory. 
  • Weekly Performance Times. At the end of each class, students are given the opportunity to share their music with their peers by playing and performing for one another.  It can an entire piece from memory, or simply a part of a piece they are working on with music.  Either way, it is meant to be a safe and encouraging place for students to develop confidence and courage in finding joy in sharing their music as a gift to others.
  • Use of the Help Room.  The Help Room is open on most Sundays from 4p-530p and is included in the semester tuition. It is meant to be an additional and optional tool to help: 
    1. make up a missed class
    2. have a quiet place to practice
    3. get extra help between lessons
  • Assistants in most classes. Most classes have a more advanced student assisting with the class.  They are responsible and knowledgable students who help contribute by assisting in classes by offering extra help, encouragement, and direction during each class.
  • Recitals. At the end of the Fall and Winter Semesters, we have a studio recital where we go to a local church and have a recital program and light reception afterwards.  It is a highlight for many families and students in the community - and admission is free and is included in the semester tuition cost.
  • Developing skills to become a pianist for a lifetime.  One of my greatest goals for my students is that they become pianists for their lifetime.  That their piano playing days are not limited by the times that they were taking lessons.  But as they learn to play the piano, they are, in fact, developing the tools that equip them to play the music they love - for the rest of their lifetime. 

There are many factors to consider when trying to decide whether or not to pursue taking formal piano lessons, much less deciding on a teacher.  But for me as a teacher, the greatest joy is seeing students make profound discoveries about themselves through the medium of music-making at the piano.  And for what it's worth, in my opinion, that is priceless.