Sustainable education

Lessons focus on the total growth needs of every individual student. Piano Lessons, Musicology Lessons, and Composition Lessons are tailored to the needs and strengths of the students enrolled in the course of study.

For many people, being in a private course of study can be a little jarring: classroom instruction with dozens of others is more structured, with set times for each subject, and a propensity to teach down the middle. If a student happens to be very advanced in theory, they have to sit through the full thirty minutes of theory instruction in a classroom setting. If the same student needs an hour on literature studies, they are only given the allotted thirty minutes of instruction in the classroom setting.

Being in private instruction means having an individual curriculum, where the teacher is teaching to where you currently reside within the spectrum of the subject areas being studied. This may be a bit freer in form, but it is much more tailored to the needs of the student.

Studio instruction is particularly concerned with instilling consistent and sustainable technical mastery in students. As such, proficiency and technical students are challenged to learn to play not just in correct time and expression, but also in the correct physical posture.

Matthew J Viator Teaching Hand Posture to David in the Studio.jpg
Matthew J Viator evaluating a score with Quang in the Studio.jpg
Matthew J Viator discussing musical expression with Natalie in the studio.jpg

Studio Salons

Studio salons are at the heart of our community interactions. The Studio hosts occasional musical socials, Studio Salons, which bring together musicians from around the region for fellowship and music making with students, reading through chamber music, giving discussions of obscure music and instruments, and networking.

Attendees have had such varied affiliations as the World Bank, Georgetown University Faculty and Students, the Kennedy Center, the Washington Arts Society, the Peabody Conservatory Administration and Students, the Justice Department, NASA, the Marine Corps, and others.

Copious amounts of food, drink, and wit await you at a Salon Evening in the Studio. We’re a friendly bunch, bring a bottle and your enthusiasm and join us for the evening.

Philip performing Clementi at a Salon Evening at Studio V.JPG
Salon Evening Vignette Shot Betsy Leigh Isabella Thomas Sandy Watching Performance
Salon Evening Vignette Shot Chas Brook Laura Laughing between performances.jpg



Studio quarterly Tuition Rates
for 2019

The studio’s quarterly tuition rate is



This is the lesson rate used to calculate Quarterly Tuition.

This fee is assessed to help cover supplies, materials, cleaning, and tuning which allow the studio to remain in good working order.

What does this include

Lessons are 1 hour and fifteen minutes each. Lessons are given every week indefinitely while the student remains actively enrolled except for times of studio closure as outlined below.

 How the Studio BillS

The studio bills tuition on a quarterly basis. This means students are billed every three months, or four times per calendar year. Lessons are one hour and fifteen minutes in length, occur on a fixed day and time in the studio calendar, and occur once per week.

When the Studio Bills

The Studio bills students by the quarter, with three months comprising a quarter.

Spring Quarter Tuition
is due by February 1st.
Summer Quarter Tuition
is due by May 1st.
Fall Quarter Tuition
is due by August 1st.
Winter Quarter Tuition
is due by November 1st.

How bills are calculated

The studio teaches 46 weeks per year, and is closed for 6 weeks throughout the year at various times, some fixed, some floating. Tuition is calculated by multiplying the lesson rate by 46 weeks, dividing this by four, and adding the quarterly studio fee. Studio tuition is a fixed rate, with no deduction given during holiday times as these 6 weeks have already been withheld from the tuition calculation.

CAN I ENROLL Midway in a quareter?

Yes you can! Students wishing to matriculate into the studio mid-quarter will be billed a pro-rated amount for the lessons through the end of the present quarter. It’s important to note: if you enroll with one month or less to go to the next quarter, the you will be billed at the time of admission for the prorated last month of the present quarter plus the next quarter together.

at what times can i take my lessons?

There is, generally speaking, a waiting list for after-work slots. These slots are defined as lessons with start times of around 5pm to 8pm Mondays through Thursdays. These are the most popular times for students to take lessons, and even within the current studio roster, there are usually students who are in the queue to move into a weeknight slot if it should come available. It’s important to know that the studio generally doesn’t have after-work time slots available immediately, and that a first-come, first-serve policy is in effect.

As to the studio’s general time frames in which it offers lessons, students cannot commence their lessons any earlier than 10am and cannot commence lessons any later than 8:00pm. The studio teaches Sunday through Thursday, and is off Fridays and Saturdays. No lessons, make up or regularly scheduled, are allowed during Fridays and Saturdays.

When the studio is closed

The studio closes for 6 weeks per year. The studio is closed for 1 week at Thanksgiving, 2 weeks at Christmas / New Year, with 3 additional floating weeks to be determined. Your tuition has been calculated to withhold these 6 weeks; as such, the tuition is consistent across the calendar year. No deduction is given during weeks when the studio closes as these 6 weeks have already been withheld from the tuition calculation.

Bust of Haydn in Studio V.jpg
Natalie working through Czerny's School of Velocity during her piano lesson.jpg
Philip's hands playing Clementi during his piano lesson.jpg

For a full list of policies, please scroll below to see
the Studio Statement of Policies for 2019


2019 Statement of Policies

Effective Feb 2019 to Jan 2020



The Studio utilizes the European Classical tradition of building a holistic and supportive musical community of learners, founded in a sustainable curriculum of technique, musicology, and literature studies.


The musical curriculum must first instill basic proficiency in the core areas of reading, playing, rehearsing, and rhythm; secondly, instill a sustainable, considered technical mastery; and finally, develop a unique and expressive interpretation that fully incorporates the whole musician.

Matriculation Lecture: All matriculating students must complete the Matriculation Lecture, a small discussion course which covers problem solving, technique, history, and musical theory.  This lecture is designed to prime the matriculating student’s understanding and provide a base from which further technical, physical, and musical education can be developed.  This course will be administered during Studio Lessons until completion, at which point the student will proceed into the curriculum studies required.

Proficiency Studies: Proficiency level students are at the beginning of their studies, or lack the sufficiency due to time or inexperience to warrant a more technical curriculum.

Technical Studies: Technical studies are for the student who is proficient but requires technical refinement, exposure to literature, and technically integrated theoretical training.

Professional Studies: Professional Studies engage the proficient and technically masterful student in deeper, expressive musical approaches to develop an artistic, expressive, and individual musical performance at a professional level.


The Studio pursues some very specific objectives for its students:

Integrity: It is fundamentally essential that each step along the path to any musical objective be fully completed. The work is cummulative, and will suffer if any one step is not fully completed.

Responsibility: Students commit to taking responsibility for their studies by their thoroughness. The Studio offers a deep dive into musical learning, and students are expected to embrace and integrate this in their studies through their own reflexive, at-will integration fo the knowledge.

Self-Sustainment: As with any course of education, the Studio seeks to make independent thinkers who can musically exist past their time in the Studio. The education is meant to be for-life.


STUDENTS’ CODE:  I am committed to being respectful to myself and to my instructor. I am committed to my studies, my betterment, and the success of my peers to the best of my abilities. My time in the Studio is limited; I will make the most of it through my hard work, preparation, and enthusiasm.  The Studio is grounded in a love of music; I will embrace this commitment in my Studio life.

GENERAL:  Lessons cover practical, theoretical, musicological / conceptual instruction to be determined by the instructor. Adequate practice time is expected of each student. Assignments should be completed outside of studio time: guided practicing is not a productive use of Studio time.  In these situations, the instructor may choose to engage in an extended conceptual lesson, or the instructor may conclude the lesson early and send the student home.  

GRADING, LITERATURE, ASSIGNMENTS: All students are graded and monitored on an individual curriculum and will be contingent upon reasonable understandings of the student’s circumstances and needs. The Studio will give a classical education to its students.  Foundational literature must be mastered, but seeking out music that is particularly interesting to individual taste is encouraged. Technical students will be assigned Weekly Assignments to develop sight-reading skills and hone individual musical technical skills. These works must be completed in the span of a week and graded.  

PRACTICE & PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:  Students should commit to practice the piano every day, even if this is only for ten or fifteen minutes. Practice strategies are fundamentally important, and will be discussed frequently with students as their curriculum needs evolve. Students will be given various physical exercises to perform that will assist in the strengthening and development of task-specific muscles involved in the playing of piano.  Students with demonstrated motor-skill issues will be refered to physical therapists to rectify the situation.  

OUTSIDE RESOURCES:  The Studio encourages students to do research outside of the instruction they receive, but it is expected that students will defer to the instructor’s prerogatives if the information conflicts with studio instruction.  This is particularly important when discussing misleading or factually incorrect information available on YouTube and Mass Media.  

RECITALS:  ALL Students will be expected to participate in the recitals or studio salon evenings offered by the Studio.  These works must be performed from memory.  For exceptional students, the instructor may require a multi-movement work, several works, or sight reading.




General: The Studio bills quarterly at the following intervals:


Policies & Procedures: Tuition is due by the 1st of each quarter. All payments made after the 1st day of the first calendar month of each quarter are considered late, and subject to the late fee. Lessons are once a week, one hour and fifteen minutes in length, a fixed day & time in the Studio Calendar. Students matriculating  mid-quarter will be billed a prorated tuition to cover lessons until the new quarter begins; if the matriculation is one month before the new quarter, the one month prorated plus the following quarter will be billed at the time of admission.

Calculation: The Studio teaches 46 weeks per year and is closed 6 weeks of the year. The Studio is closed for 1 week at Thanksgiving, 2 weeks at Christmas / New Year, and an 3 additional weeks to be determined. Quarterly Lesson Totals are calculated by multiplying 46 lessons/year divided by 4 quarters, plus the fixed quarterly fee.  No deduction is given during holiday closures as these weeks have already been withheld in the quarterly tuition calculation. Itemized rates below.

Fees: The quarterly fee of $49 is for the upkeed and maintenance of the studio.   There is a late payment fee of $50.00, which is assessed to any unpaid bills after the 1st calendar day of each quarter.




The Studio accepts Venmo, an easy, fast way to pay with little or no fees. The Studio also accepts cash, personal checks, and major credit cards.



All scheduling is confined to the quarter: scheduling issues not resolved within the quarter in which they occur are considered closed or forfeited. No scheduling issue of any kind may transfer between the different quarters of the billing year.

Make-up lessons are strictly contingent upon studio availability: while the Studio tries to make up lessons that meet the conditions below, no make up lesson can be guaranteed, and further, students understand that  the studio’s first obligation is to regularly scheduled lessons. 

Winter Make-Up Blackout: during the months of November and December, make up lessons will not be offered for Attendance reasons, as the holiday season makes it impossible to adequately recover from sudden attendance issues as well as the large number of sudden attendance issues that occur during this time. Any Absence Reschedules must be made by October 31st.

TIME-SLOT RESCHEDULING: Students who need to switch their weekly lesson times to a new fixed time-slot should notify the instructor immediately.


GENERAL: When a student has a known scheduling conflict in a future quarter, this is considered an abscence. Absences in future quarters may be rescheduled, if possible, so that the student maintains consistent lesson time in each quarter.  If this is not possible, students may elect to deduct the individual lesson from their monthly bill. Fees may not be deducted from the monthly bill. The instructor shall have final discretion regarding absences.

QUARTERLY MINIMUM: Students may not pay less than $825.00 in quarterly tuition, regardless of the number of absences.


GENERAL: Attendance is a scheduling change or make-up lesson request that occurs within a quarter for which tuition has already been paid. Should the instructor need to cancel the lesson, the student will be given a make-up lesson, or, a tuition credit will be made to their tuition for the next quarter. Students who must miss lessons within quarter are subject to the conditions below. The instructor shall have final discretion regarding attendance issues.

CONDITIONS: Students are only permitted 2 unscheduled make-up lessons per quarter. Make-up lessons are not permitted during the months of November and December. Lessons missed with less than 48 hours notice are ineligible for make-up. Make-up lessons must occur within a week of the originally scheduled lesson. Missed Make-up Lessons are not eligible for make-up. Make up lessons may not carry over across calendar months, except if the make-up lesson occurs within the week of the originally scheduled lesson. Make-up lessons may not be turned into tuition credits. If these conditions are not met, or if a student excessively misses lessons, the tuition for these lessons is considered forfeited.

SCHEDULED MAKE-UPS / ABSENCES: According to the instructor’s discretion and consent, students may continue to ask for, schedule, and receive scheduled absences and make-ups.

Successful compliance with these policies is strictly the discretion of the instructor.

Successful compliance with these policies is strictly the discretion of the instructor.

Thomas playing a Haydn Sonata in the Studio.jpg