Charleston Piano Lessons

Dan McCurry is a piano instructor in Charleston, South Carolina.

 
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About

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy is to stimulate the student by creating a positive learning environment where the student feels capable and not intimidated. I consider myself to be a piano coach, not a piano drill sergeant. In my lessons, I stress the development of good habits and understanding the music. I want to see that each student improves and can see this improvement.

I am an active member of MTNA (Music Teachers National Association), SCMTA (South Carolina Music Teachers Association) and CMTA (Charleston Music Teachers Association). Being a member of these organizations benefits my students by allowing them to participate in various auditions, recitals, and competitions affiliated with the associations.

I host Fall and Spring recitals every year to give my students an opportunity to perform and see others perform. Participation is voluntary, though I do encourage performing because the experience of sharing music with others is positive and rewarding.


Teacher Bio: Dan McCurry

I am from Charleston, South Carolina. I started playing piano at age 9, picked up violin at age 10, and trumpet at age 11. I performed in numerous All-County and All-Region Bands, as well as regional music camps and honor groups such as Charleston Youth Symphony Orchestra and Na Fidleiri. I played piano in the jazz band at Stratford High School for 4 years, and graduated from Stratford High School 3rd in my class in the Spring 2004. I attended College of Charleston to study music, studying with Tommy Gill for 3 years in jazz piano, performing in jazz combos as well as playing in the College of Charleston Pep Band for all 4 years on trumpet. I graduated Cum Laude with departmental honors in December 2007 with a Bachelor’s in Music Theory and Composition. I have been performing locally and regionally with various groups for over a decade now. I've toured with Run Dan Run from Mississippi to Massachusetts, released two full-length albums with this group, and continue to tour and record with this group as well various other projects. I have been teaching private piano lessons since 2007 and enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with others through teaching.

Tuition

Tuition: these rates are for half hour lessons in the student’s home.

Tuition for one student is $35 per 30 minute lesson, in your home. Tuition for additional students in the same home is $30 per 30 minute lesson. 

Students per Household
First Student – $35 per lesson
Second Student – $30 per lesson
Third Student – $30 per lesson
Fourth Student – $30 per lesson
 

Monthly Total
$140 per month
$260 per month
$380 per month
$500 per month

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Policies


Payment

  • Tuition is due at the last lesson of each month for the following month in full.

  • Tuition reserves your lesson time and the teacher.

Registration & Supplies Fee

  • This yearly fee of $30 per student is due prior to the start of lessons.

  • This fee covers all necessary student materials supplied by the teacher such as lesson books, music folder, music copies, etc. This fee DOES NOT include a metronome, any piano transcription or “pop” music books, or any other materials that are not a part of the regular curriculum.

Absences & Cancellations

  • Credit will not be given for absences and/or cancellations.

  • If you must cancel a lesson, the teacher needs to be notified at least 24 hours in advance. Notification by email or phone is acceptable. Notification less than 24 hours in advance must be made by phone.

  • If the teacher must cancel the lesson, you will be informed in advance and will receive credit.

  • Make-up lessons typically are not possible due to the teacher’s schedule and travel routes. Any make-up lessons will be scheduled at the teacher’s convenience.

  • The teacher does not assume financial responsibility for any missed lessons on the student’s part. Illness, sports, extracurricular activities, field trips, appointments, emergencies, etc. will not be credited.

  • The teacher assumes full financial responsibility for any missed lessons on the teacher’s part (illness, appointments, emergencies, etc.). The student will be credited for any teacher absence or cancellation.

  • The teacher reserves the right to credit any student or schedule a make-up lesson.

Holiday Breaks

During the School Term (Monday, August 26, 2019 – Thursday, May 28, 2020) the teacher will observe the Charleston County School District holiday break schedule.

  • Labor Day: Monday, September 2nd

  • Halloween: Thursday, October 31st

  • Election Day: Tuesday, November 5th

  • Thanksgiving Break: Monday, November 25th – Thursday, November 29th

  • Winter Break: Monday, December 23rd – Thursday, January 2nd

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Monday, January 20th

  • President's Day: Monday, February 17th

  • Spring Break: Monday, April 6th – Monday, April 13th

  • Memorial Day: Monday, May 25th

No other breaks will be observed (this includes teacher workdays, birthdays, family vacation, school field trips, etc.) during the School Term.

During the Summer (June – August) a different break schedule and policy terms will apply to allow for family and teacher breaks.

Scheduling

  • Scheduling is done by the month.

  • The teacher will consolidate his schedule every month.

  • Requests for a new time may or may not be honored. The teacher will make every reasonable effort to accommodate but cannot guarantee any change in scheduling due to the possible inconvenience it may place on other students.

  • Generally, changes in schedule will occur at the start of a new month so as not to disrupt any scheduled month.

Required Lesson Materials

  • Music, assignment folder, pencil, & metronome are required at every lesson!

  • The student may bring music into the lesson provided the teacher deemed it of the appropriate level for the student.

Discontinuation of Lessons

  • Payments made will not be refunded should the student choose to discontinue.

  • The teacher must be notified of the discontinuation of lessons at least TWO WEEKS in advance so that the teacher can coordinate his teaching schedule.

  • The teacher reserves the right to discontinue teaching any student. In this event, lessons will be discontinued after last paid lesson has been given.

Performance Opportunities for Students

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019
MTNA State Composition Competition

Details available at MTNA’s website
Submission Deadline: Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 at 3pm EST
Registration Fee: Varies Based on Division of Student
*Open to students from 1st through 12th grade.

Saturday, November 11th, 2019
Charleston Sonatina Performance & Composition Festival
Charleston Academy of Music
342 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Registration Deadline: Saturday, October 19th, 2019
Details available at: Charleston Sonatina Festival
Registration Fee: $20 per student

Sunday, November 17th, 2019 at 3pm
CMTA Duet Recital
Cokesbury United Methodist Church
4990 Dorchester Road
North Charleston, SC 29418
Registration Deadline: November 1st, 2019
Details available upon request.

Sunday, December 15th, 2019 at 3pm
Fall Piano Recital

Circular Church
150 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Registration Fee: $20 per student

Monday, December 16th, 2019
Bach Society “Young Artists” Scholarship Audition

Details available at Bach Society Of Charleston
*Auditions open to students 12-18 years old.
Winners to perform on Saturday, March 7th, 2020 during the Bach Festival

February 2020
Charleston County School of the Arts Auditions

Details available at CCSD SOA’s Website
*Auditions open to rising 6th through 12th graders for the 2020-21 School Year

Saturday, February 15th, 2020
Louise Mathis Scholarship Audition

Charleston County School of the Arts
5109 W Enterprise St B
North Charleston, SC 29405
Details available at CMTA’S website
Registration Deadline: TBA
Registration Fee: TBA
*Auditions open for 7th through 12th graders

Saturday, March 7th, 2020
Achievement Day

College of Charleston, Cato Center for the Arts
54 St Phillip Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Details available at CMTA’s website
Registration Deadline: Friday, February 14th, 2020
Registration Fee: $20 per student
*Open to students from 1st through 12th grade.

Saturday, March 7th, 2020
Bach Festival, Young Artists Recital
(featuring selected Scholarship Winners)
Location: Bishop Gadsden

Sunday, March 15th, 2020 at 3pm
Honors Recital
(featuring selected students from Achievement Day)
James Island Presbyterian Church
1632 Fort Johnson Road
James Island, SC 29412

Saturday, March 28th, 2020
District Auditions
(winners are invited to compete at State Auditions)
College of Charleston, Cato Center for the Arts
54 St Phillip Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Details available at SCMTA’s website
Registration Deadline: Friday, March 13th, 2020
Registration Fee: $20 per student
*Open to students from 1st through 12th grade.

Saturday, April 25th, 2020
State Auditions
(participation limited to District Audition Winners)
USC School of Music
813 Assembly Street
Columbia, SC 29208
Details available at SCMTA’s website

Sunday, May 17th, 2020 at 3pm
Spring Piano Recital

Circular Church
150 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
Registration Fee: $20 per student

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Piano & Keyboard Maintenance

Piano Maintenance and Setup

  • The piano should be tuned every 12 months and be mechanically sound.

  • When not playing the piano, the lid should be closed to protect the keys.

  • A bench of the appropriate height for the student at the piano should be provided.

  • A footstool for the young student to rest his/her feet to maintain the proper balance at the piano should be provided.

  • The piano room should be well-lit. An appropriate piano lamp is recommended.

  • The piano room should be free of distractions. TVs, toys, siblings, etc. are generally not a good atmosphere for the study of music.

  • Food & drink should never be present on or near the piano. Accidents can lead to costly repairs and possibly irreversible damage.

  • The piano should be placed away from windows, outside doorways, outside walls, and air vents. Frequent changes in temperature will cause the piano to go out of tune quickly. The piano is best situated along an inside wall away from any air vents.

  • Keep heavy items and décor off of the piano. Only music, pencils, metronome, & a piano lamp should be allowed to rest on the piano.

  • If you notice a problem with your piano, have that problem addressed promptly, otherwise this problem might cause more problems and repairs may be costly.

  • An in-tune piano is a joy to play and listen to. An out-of-tune piano can be both painful and difficult to play as well as unpleasant to listen to.

Recommended Piano Tuner & Technician:

Joe Fike | CharlestonPianoTuner.com
(843) 559-1494 | CharlestonPianoTuner@gmail.com


Keyboard Maintenance and Setup

  • The keyboard should be of the appropriate size (61-keys or more with full size keys) and mechanically sound.

  • An appropriate keyboard stand should be provided.

  • An appropriate music stand should be provided (most keyboards have a built in or attachable stand, some do not and will need a separate music stand).

  • A sustain pedal should be provided (some smaller keyboards may not have this option).

  • A keyboard bench of the appropriate height for the student at the piano should be provided.

  • A footstool for the young student to rest his/her feet to maintain proper balance at the keyboard should be provided.

  • The keyboard room should be well-lit. Any appropriate piano lamp is recommended.

  • The keyboard room should be free of distractions. TVs, toys, siblings, etc. are generally not a good atmosphere for the study of music.

  • Food & drink should never be present on or near the keyboard. Accidents can lead to costly repairs and possibly irreversible damage. Electrical shock is also a risk.


 

Contact

Dan McCurry
843-442-4338
dan@charlestonpianolessons.com

 

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