This article walks through the behaviour we expect each student (and parent) to use when communicating with their teacher. We value and respect everyone's time (including the personal time of our teachers), so we have put some boundaries in place about how and when you can contact your teacher.
These are our approved methods of contacting your teacher (and asking them questions):
Using one of your 2 weekly "Life-Lines" to message your teacher using the pop-up chat window. Find out how these work here.
2. Weekly Showcase Videos
If you have any specific questions relating to your homework that you'd like to ask your teacher, you can ask these in your Weekly Showcase video. As you are playing through certain things, you can add a comment like "I'm finding this passage particularly difficult". Or "I'm a bit confused about the fingers in this scale". These kinds of questions help your teacher know where you're having trouble, and they can demonstrate solutions to your questions (in the weekly feedback video you get from your teacher) if you point certain things out.
3. Monthly Q&A Sessions
We have set up regular monthly Q&A sessions as part of your membership fee (so at no additional cost to you), where you have the opportunity to ask general (non-personal questions). This might be a useful channel to ask some of your questions. We encourage questions that would also benefit other students, such as "How many piano exams are there?" or "How long should I practice for?" etc etc.
If you'd like to submit a question like this for an upcoming Q&A session, you can find out more information here. You can also attend these live Q&A sessions in-person via Zoom.
4. Request An Additional Lesson (via Zoom)
Your lesson fee does not include additional time spent chatting to you outside of the Help-Lines, Weekly Feedback Video and Q&A sessions. If you'd like to talk in-depth about your progress, your goals, your application for a university degree, your questions about a school assignment or performance, work through something specific in your music that requires a face-to-face Zoom session, or discuss anything outside of the normal weekly lesson material set by your teacher, you will need to request an additional lesson. This session will be conducted at a specific time, via Zoom. Minimum session time is 60 Minutes, and is charged as a one-off fee of AUD$150. You can find the form to request an additional lesson under the "Important Info" section of your portal.
5. If You Have an Admin-Related Question
Your first stop in trying to find an answer to an admin, payment or music school question, is to search our Help Centre (which you are on right now). We have written close to 100 helpful articles, that walk you through everything from what to expect in a piano exam, to what to do if your internet is down, to what happens if you're away sick. This is available to you 24/7, and will be the quickest and easiest way for you to get an immediate answer to your question. If, after searching our Help Centre, you still can't find the answer to your question, send Virtual Piano Academy a message using the pop-up chat window (see image below). We will get back to you in 1-3 business days.
6. Ask Your Fellow Learners (and Their Parents)
We set up The Academy HIVE as a community hub, where all our students and their parents can chat with each other, post questions and helpful articles/videos, interact, comment and help each other out. If you have a question, post it to The Academy HIVE. There's a good chance another student has thought the same thing, and can shed some light on it for you.
Virtual Piano Academy is open between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday (Melbourne, Australia [GMT+10] time). Our teachers don't respond to messages outside of these hours, or on weekends, public holidays or when they are on scheduled holidays.
For more information on when/how you will receive feedback on your messages, please read this article.
You can also find out more information on exactly what your lesson fee covers (and what it doesn't) here.