Utah Piano Conservatory Lessons Handbook

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2015 Handbook

“Tuning hearts through music.”  

Utah Piano Conservatory offers piano education in a Christ-centered environment. Our mission is to provide excellent, piano programs through the simultaneous development of Talent and Testimony, the dual pillars of instruction at Utah Piano Conservatory.

The Utah Piano Conservatory offers classes, ensembles, concerts, groups and private piano instruction for all ages.

Quick Facts:

  • Piano instruction from beginner to advanced in a variety of methods and styles
  • Over 10 different professional programs offered
  • Private lessons for all ages
  • Opportunities for scholarships, financial aid & trade
  • Programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school age children, youth and adults
  • Before, during and after school programs


  • 23,500 SF facility with award winning pianos and on-site technicians
  • Over six large group classrooms areas
  • 10+ studio lesson rooms for private instruction
  • Free conservatory student use of available practice rooms
  • Two stage and recital areas
  • Private studio lesson rooms with grand pianos
  • State-of-the-art music theory, teacher-monitored computer lab
  • Highly accomplished faculty with degrees


A Letter from the Director


Dear Conservatory Families-


As defined by Webster in 1828, a conservatory is a place for the preservation of a desired state, and the assurance that something of great value is not lost, does not experience decay or injury, and is not wasted. Applied to our efforts with music education, this title for our piano school helps to encapsulate the vision of Utah Piano Conservatory. We are not only in the business of providing “lessons”–rather we are devoting the entire mission of our family, our business, our whole lives and daily efforts to preserving the art of complete musicianship, and then sharing that gift abundantly.

This all-out effort to elevate the state of music in individuals, families and our community is founded upon a desire to glorify God and to give thanks to Him for the talents, blessings and opportunities he has abundantly given to each of us. The Utah Piano Conservatory is devoted to building pianists who are raised up in both TALENT and TESTIMONY, the two pillars of instruction for each of our conservatory programs.

I encourage our faculty and our entire community of conservatory families to take heed from the Book of Mormon passage in Nephi 32:9

“But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always… that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.

Performance opportunities–when combined with prayer and the guidance of the spirit–can refine an individual in unique ways, whether in the practice room or the performance hall. Our family has selected music as the specific tool for helping our children develop not only their talents, but also the interwoven qualities that come from exercising that daily habit, including: self-discipline, respect, refinement, work ethic, service, time-management, self-government, gratitude, sensitivity, spirituality and obedience. Hence our conservatory tag line, “Tuning hearts through music”, which builds upon the roots of our family business. It all began with a single piano tuning hammer in 1995 and has become what you now see today housed in our beautiful 23,500 SF building, home to Brigham Larson Pianos and Utah Piano Conservatory.

As we partner with faculty and parents alike to shape musicians in both talent and testimony, my hope is that we all can draw nearer to Christ by remembering to place Him at the foundation of all we do through practice, performance and service through music.  May we each become instruments in the hands of God and in gratitude praise Him as Bach did, as he penned on every blank page prior to composing, “Soli Deo Gloria” (Glory to God alone).

Praying and cheering for each of our musicians,

Karmel Larson

Director at Utah Piano Conservatory


Conservatory Benefits

As a member of the Utah Piano Conservatory, you will enjoy:

  • A community of like-minded families who strive to use music as a method of developing hearts, minds and character
  • Comprehensive and well-rounded piano curriculum designed for long-term development
  • Quality individual and ensemble piano instruction from the Conservatory’s experienced faculty
  • Comprehensive, ongoing assessment of student progress
  • Opportunities to perform in recitals, concerts and opening acts for Brigham’s Concert Series
  • Opportunities and discounts to attend concerts, recitals & performances
  • Community-outreach service performance experiences
  • Opportunities to attend the Conservatory’s master classes, camps and other seasonal events with priority registration


Brigham Larson Pianos

The Utah Piano Conservatory is fortunate to share a building with Brigham Larson Pianos. The Conservatory’s classes are held on the east end and upper floors of the building. The address is 1497 South State Street, Orem, UT 84097. Parking is available in the lots surrounding the building, on the adjacent streets and at the Taylor building located NE of the Conservatory, after 5pm.

Brigham’s Concert Series

Now in its fifth season, Brigham’s Concert Series hosts weekly events and concerts.  Conservatory students are given discount seating to many events. Free tickets are available to select shows. Conservatory students may be nominated by faculty to provide opening acts for the main concerts each week.

Utah Piano Conservatory

The Utah Piano Conservatory welcomes you to a unique and challenging program designed to guide and assist you and your student(s) as you reach your musical goals.

The mission of the Conservatory is “Tuning hearts through music” by emphasizing the simultaneous development of talent and testimony. The Conservatory offers music education in a Christ-centered environment, grounded in the truths and principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Conservatory is designed to prepare each student with a solid foundation in music performance, theory, aural skills, music history, self-discipline, leadership and refinement. The Conservatory maintains high standards and accountability, strives for excellence and emphasizes the dual nature of training that music provides (both of heart and mind). Faculty and parents are trained, encouraged and continually reminded to discuss and promote faith-centered, disciplined musicianship in addition to the more traditional focus on talent development.

The Conservatory runs year round, for the duration of a normal academic year as well as summer lessons, camps and programs.  The academic year in the Conservatory is comprised of three terms: Fall (September – December) and Spring (January – April).  Additional private instruction, summer camps, master classes and unique musical opportunities are provided in addition, throughout the Summer term (May-August).  Most Conservatory programs run year round.

Conservatory faculty follow students’ progress through practice notebooks, theory lab notebooks and assessments. Faculty members keep detailed notes on student performance and achievement. Student progress is carefully monitored in all areas of instruction.

Parent and or Tutor Support

Parents are encouraged to be active participants in their student(s)’ progress. Questions for faculty are welcomed and best handled through email or through a separately scheduled meeting, not during the student’s scheduled lesson time.  Parents and or a Piano Tutor are required to practice with beginning students daily and piano tutor training is provided to assist in the quality of this important daily habit.

Parents are also required to attend the yearly conservatory training meeting held each August in preparation for a new academic year. The parents agree to ensure student’s regular and punctual attendance throughout the year by providing the transportation, parental guidance, time management, practice supervision and other support necessary for successful participation. They agree to provide the encouragement, structure, and environment necessary for the student to develop the habit of regular practice at home. In addition, they agree to supervise and document the student’s practice time in the practice journal provided by the Conservatory as part of the notebook process.


Prospective Conservatory parents and students are encouraged to visit the Conservatory, meet with the Director or one of our program directors for a private tour and interview, request observations of classes/ lessons, attend rehearsals and concerts to gain an understanding of the program expectations and requirements. All prospective transfer students are invited to audition and new students are given a placement evaluation.


The Conservatory requires an entrance audition (transfer students) or evaluation (new students) and interview from each student and his or her parent(s). The audition process for admission to the Conservatory is designed to identify students best suited for the Conservatory curriculum. While students need not have any prior experience or training in music, the auditions are designed to identify students with innate aptitudes in pitch perception, rhythm, and physical coordination, all of which are intrinsic to musical success and key to identifying those with musical talent.

While musical aptitude is an extremely important component of the audition process, decisions to admit students to the Conservatory go beyond the simple assessment of musical talent. The audition process also weighs other factors, including the student’s overall attitude, motivation, willingness to practice and desire to enroll in the Conservatory, as well as the parent or guardian’s ability to provide adequate supervision and moral support for the student’s musical growth.

The Conservatory Audition is an interactive assessment with a Program Director or Faculty member(s), during which students are evaluated for their ability to perform musical tasks. New students are evaluated for their ability to:

  • Sustain an even beat and steady tempo
  • Accurately replicate rhythmic patterns
  • Perceive differences in pitch
  • Vocally match pitches and replicate melodic phrases
  • Demonstrate coordination by simultaneously performing different rhythms with each hand.

The interactive audition also provides an indication of the degree to which the student is able to focus on given tasks and follow directions. At the end of the audition, the student is engaged in a brief interview that yields a sense of the student’s interest, attitude, eagerness, and ability to participate in the Conservatory curriculum.

Participation in the Conservatory requires commitment not only from the student but also from the parents and the entire family. After the student audition is complete, parents may also be interviewed.

The student is considered accepted once the parent(s) or guardian of each prospective student meets individually with the Director or lead faculty over desired program, reads and signs the contractual Letter of Agreement, which outlines the terms, conditions, policies and the responsibilities of membership in the Conservatory.


Parents of all entering first-year Conservatory students participate in the Orientation Session, led by the Conservatory Director, Karmel Larson, program directors and faculty members prior to the start of classes in September.  Parents of returning students are required to attend as well for ongoing support and training on achieving a successful Conservatory experience as well as home music and practice environment.

Conservatory Office

The management and staff of the Conservatory are always available to help students and their families. Questions about auditions, admission, scheduling, rescheduling, makeups, etc. should be addressed directly to the Conservatory’s office. It is the responsibility of the student and/or parent to notify the office when problems arise, whether instructional or personal. Every effort will be made to respond to individual needs.


Conservatory Administration & Faculty

Director of Operations

Mrs. Karmel Larson – UtahPianoConservatory@gmail.com   801-427-9293

Accounting & Registrations

Mrs. Stacey Beadle – BrighamLarsonPianos@gmail.com 801-701-0113

Program Directors

Piano Academy Program Directors

Ms. Lindsay Bastian – PianoAcademy.upc@gmail.com  385-219-0774

Ms. Halie Augustus – PianoAcademy.Halie@gmail.com 385-219-0774

Early Childhood Division Piano Academy Program Director


Kindermusik Program Director

Ms. Julie Barker – Kindermusik.upc@gmail.com

Recreational Music Making and Way Cool Keyboarding Program Director

Mrs. Carol Cherry – carolcherry.upc@gmail.com 801-317-3825


For a complete list of current UPC faculty, visit UtahPianoConservatory.com and click on the “meet the faculty” link.

Concert/Event Attendance

Exposure to professional musical performances is an essential part of a complete music education. Such exposure provides inspiration, promotes familiarity with repertoire, and gives students examples to model. Accordingly, the Conservatory recommends each Conservatory student to attend a number of concerts/recitals, in addition to regular classes and lessons. We recommend students attend at least 6 performances each year.

To increase attendance at these events, our students and families are provided discount tickets through Conservatory partner organizations such as:

  • Brigham’s Concert Series
  • Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra
  • BYU Fine Arts, and others.

Parents are encouraged to post additional concert opportunities to our Facebook community group page.

Additional Events: Throughout the year, the Conservatory may inform parents of additional opportunities to attend outside and in-house concerts that do not presently appear on the Calendar of Events, such as the in-house master classes, guest speakers, and other educational programs, all of which are open to our families and to the general public to attend. These events will be added to the Calendar of Events on an on-going basis and posted to our UPC Facebook community page. The Honors Concert performance is a recommended concert for all Conservatory students regardless of whether or not the student is performing.

Conservatory Listening Program

From the first date of the student’s enrollment, listening skills should be improved and nurtured.  The conservatory provides a recommended family listening schedule which focuses on a new composer each month.  Students who are engaged in active listening programs outside of lessons perform much better, learn more quickly and have a higher rate of success with intermediate and advanced repertoire learning, memorizing and performing.  Having a familiarity of excellent musical repertoire helps the student to have greater musicality, refined tastes in music and more overall enjoyment while practicing which results in longer practice times and more rapid talent development.  We can not recommend enough the importance of participating in a regular program of music listening for all conservatory students.

Recital Performance Concerts

Performance in recitals is by nomination from UPC faculty for students who are performance ready.  This includes preparation in performance etiquette (entrance, introduction, performance, bow & exit) and a fully memorized piece.  No sheet music is allowed at recital performances.

Beginning students are encouraged to perform their solo pieces 5 times prior to their concert recital performance.  Mid-level to advanced students are encouraged to find 10 performance opportunities prior to performing on the concert stage to refine their piece and presentation.

Exceptions to this policy are private lessons, recreational music making and Music Motivation.  Faculty leading those programs will determine the best method of sharing talents at the end of each semester based on the needs of the individual student or group.

Student Recital/Concert Dress Code

There is no required dress code for attending Conservatory classes.  We do require modesty and dress as outlined by the standards set forth in the LDS guide “For the Strength of Youth”. However, for quarterly recitals and community outreach performances, the required dress code is “Sunday Best”.

In addition to appropriate attire, regular instruction is given at lessons on performance etiquette. The performers’ posture should be professional. No distracting objects such as gum, excessive jewelry, etc. on stage. Good stage presence, like music itself, is an art, a clear expression of the disciplined musician’s respect for the music, the audience, for other musicians, and for him or herself.

Recital Etiquette  

Proper concert etiquette must be observed in order to ensure the most orderly and pleasant experience for all.  Proper concert etiquette requires that audience members

(1) Refrain from talking, walking, texting & cell phone use.

(2) Hold applause until each performance (including all movements) is completed;

(3) Take younger children outside the black box theater in an event they become disruptive;

(4) Display general respect and appreciation for the hard work that each student has done to prepare his or her piece for performance.

In addition, please remember that arriving early helps a child to mentally prepare for a professional performance and to not feel rushed or uncertain.  It is the responsibility of the parents to please arrive early to ensure the best overall experience for your child.  Recitals will begin on time regardless of late arrivals.

Progress Reports & Parent/Faculty Conferences

At the end of each semester, members of the Conservatory Faculty meet to complete and discuss progress reports for each student. The completed evaluations may then be discussed with parents, as necessary, during Parent/Faculty conferences. During the conferences at the end of the Fall semester, parents are notified if a student is to be placed on probation. During the conferences at the end of the Spring term, parents are notified of placement renewal, which may occur in person or by phone.

Membership in Utah Piano Conservatory is a privilege and ongoing opportunity for those devoted to the mission and purposes of UPC.  Placement renewals are not guaranteed and UPC reserves the right to offer referral recommendations to any students who are not abiding by conservatory standards, continually arriving unprepared or in any way not succeeding with conservatory programs.  Not abiding by standards outlined by “For the strength of youth” guidelines or being disrespectful to faculty are grounds for immediate termination.

Community Outreach – Service Performances

The mission of Utah Piano Conservatory is one of “Tuning hearts through music.” Sharing our beautiful music and talents is one method of tuning the hearts of our students.  Parents and faculty are encouraged to watch for all opportunities to set up outreach performances to engage conservatory students in service oriented performances.

Conservatory students are often invited to perform for community organizations and venues outside the Conservatory. Engagements include the Partners in Education Reception, nursing homes and retirement centers, churches, private and public Schools, and many other community venues. Community outreach performances are held throughout each semester with a focus on service oriented performing the week prior to formal recitals to prepare students further for stage performance. All students at any level of preparation are invited to share their talents at the Community Outreach performances.

Utah Piano Conservatory Policies

Each student’s success in the Conservatory is absolutely dependent upon consistent parental support, interest, guidance and supervision. The parent, the child and the faculty member must work together to achieve success. For best results, a minimum required practice schedule of 40 minutes at least 5 days a week should be established.  Practice 7 days a week is encouraged with repertoire review and hymns emphasized for Sabbath playing.

However, the faculty instructor may recommend increasing practice time as it becomes necessary for each student’s progress. Any missed practice time should be made up the following day or week.

Conservatory students and their families should note the following:

Missed Lessons

Regular attendance at lessons, daily practice, and parental support are the essential elements necessary for educational progress and skill development. Therefore, students are expected to attend all lessons/classes as scheduled. Lessons missed by the Conservatory will be rescheduled during summer lesson weeks upon request.

The Conservatory assumes no obligation to make up or reschedule lessons missed by the student. Parents must ensure that students bring all necessary musical materials to the lessons, Including music books, lesson binder, handouts and any other materials that the instructor recommends.


Lessons/Classes must start on time. It is suggested that you arrive 10 minutes prior to the lesson so that the student can warm up (if a room is available) or simply get mentally prepared for the lesson/classes. Parents are expected to be present and guarantee the punctual arrival, transition and departure of their child(ren), especially for those young students in the Piano Academy who may not be able to understand the necessity of being on time.

Please be aware that there are various classes and lessons both preceding and following your child’s lesson. Punctuality – except for emergencies – is a necessary prerequisite for smooth operation of the Conservatory. Please note that if your child fails to appear on time, the teacher will have to proceed with the rest of the schedule as is, which will result in reduced lesson time for your child(ren).  Parents are also invited to discuss student progress at the beginning of a lesson with the faculty instructor, but not at the end of a lesson to respect the lesson time of the next student scheduled.

Photo/Video Permission

By signing the registration form, students/parents give permission to the Conservatory to use photo and audio/video materials for documentation, publicity, and marketing purposes.


Parents whose children are taking piano should own a standard acoustic piano or be prepared to purchase or rent a piano. Parents may consult with the director to ensure that the student has the proper instrument at home to provide for the best opportunity for ear training, touch, tone and dynamic range.  Proper technique and ear development is best learned on an acoustic piano.

Email Communication & Facebook Community

Email is the main communication method used by the Conservatory. It is imperative you have and keep an updated email address on file and consistently check your email for updated information. Additionally, the Conservatory maintains a private community Facebook Group for the purpose of building community among administrators, faculty and Conservatory families. Please check the group regularly for information concerning Conservatory events and current discussions.

Practice Rooms

Currently enrolled conservatory students may use unoccupied rooms to practice when available. Please check with the front desk conservatory administrator to inquire about availability of a certain practice room. It should be noted that certain rooms are reserved for a specific use, such as ensemble practice or piano practice. Students are required to treat the room and equipment with care. Students are not to eat, drink or have gum in the building.

Parent Lounge & Student Study Area

The conservatory reception area & balcony area (above the main piano gallery) are available for parents waiting for students in lessons or classes.  Students may also study on the balcony if waiting for a class. Noise should be minimal and conducive to library type study and quiet reading.

Inclement Weather & Holidays

In the instance of inclement weather it may be necessary to cancel lessons and classes. Closings due to inclement weather will be announced by email or text. Any classes that are cancelled due to inclement weather will not be made up. Lessons will be taught through all holidays and school breaks excluding Thanksgiving and the Friday after, Christmas break and the 4th of July.

I have read and understand these stated policies and procedures.                          Date

_____________________________________________________                          ______________


Piano Academy Policy

  We look forward to teaching your children, helping them develop their talents, and giving them a deep love for music.   The Piano Academy offers you our best efforts in your child’s pianistic progress.  

Tuition and Costs

Tuition is $130 per month for a weekly 90-minute lesson. Initial start up costs  include:

  1.     Master Musicianship Curriculum (MMC) + Computer Binder
  2.     Piano Lesson Binder + Music Buck Bag
  3.     Pass-Off Materials: 3-4 Level books and 1 Hanon book + Flashcard Set

Solo music will be loaned from our Academy music library and will never incur a fee.

When students pass off level and theory books during that month, that cost will be included. Utah Music Conservatory sends email invoices on the 1st of each month, and automatic withdrawal takes place on the 10th.  Tuition remains the same for each month throughout the year providing you with a few free lessons each year.

Weekly Lessons and Incentives

Academy lasts 90 minutes and includes 4 stations: Performance, Technique/Hymn, Pass-Off , and Computer Lab. Students will be expected to practice diligently and do their best. Music Store, Grab Bag, and Golden Bench are incentives teachers use to help students live up to their potential. Students are expected to come to every weekly lesson prepared:

  1.     Brought all books and materials
  2.     Recorded practice days/time on practice chart
  3.     Shows improvement and progress for all Academy assignments and receives grade

Makeup Lessons

There will be no makeup lessons during the school year. Please keep record of all lessons missed during the school year, and in the summer, we will be glad to secure make-ups. Lessons last year round, five days a week.  Academy will not have lessons on July 4th, Thursday-Friday of Thanksgiving, and 2 weeks for Christmas break. Lessons will be observed on all other holidays.


We host 4 Piano Academy recitals per year. Teachers do their best to encourage students to be prepared with memorized, polished solos, which is a pre-requisite to recital participation.  In addition, we host four Community Outreach recitals per year where any repertoire can be performed.

Parent Involvement

First Piano Academy lesson is mandatory for parents to attend. Parents are welcome to come and visit any lesson anytime.  Parents are to provide and insure uninterrupted practice time at least 5 days per week. Limiting other extra-curricular activities is strongly encouraged to achieve progress in piano. Parents will be contacted if student receives an overall grade of “Unprepared” three weeks in a row. For these students to achieve their musical potential, a piano tutor will be required, and we are happy to assist in free tutor training.

I have read and I agree to the terms and conditions of this policy statement.


Parent______________________________________________ Date_____________



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