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Getting Started: Parental Involvement

Success at the piano requires not only a commitment from the student, but a huge commitment on the part of the parent. For preschool and elementary students, parents are required to sit in on lessons, take meticulous notes, and practice with their child at home. This system ensures that the child is practicing correctly, and helps the child become motivated in learning the instrument. Once the student becomes capable of independent practice, parents are encouraged to continue observing and taking notes at lessons.

Taking Notes

Detailed note-taking is imperative for the parent’s complete understanding of the content presented, and it enables the parent to replicate the principals conveyed at lessons. Taking detailed notes maximizes efficiency at the lesson. If the teacher takes notes, the student loses at least five minutes of valuable lesson time. Parents are expected to have a full-sized spiral notebook devoted to piano lessons. Typically, the notes from each lesson will fill a full page. In addition to the parent’s copious notes, the teacher may also address the parent with specific items to be written down. The weekly lesson is not intended solely for the child’s instruction, but also for the teacher to instruct the parent how to assist the child at home.

Practice at Home

The weekly piano lesson is the model for practice at home. Activities and methods presented at the lesson should be recreated during daily practice. The sense of teamwork is a great motivation because of the praise and encouragement that a parent can provide for the student.

Once a student is capable of independent practice, the parent is still expected to monitor practice on a regular basis.

Parent/Teacher Interaction

During the Lesson

It is very important that the parent does not correct the child during the lesson, or answer questions directed to the child. The parent is welcome to address the instructor with questions, but should refrain from interacting with the student or teacher in any manner that undermines the teacher’s authority or in any other way detracts from the lesson.

Outside the Lesson

Parents should feel free to communicate with the instructor between lessons regarding any issues that concern them. It is better to solve problems immediately rather than waiting for the next lesson.

Which Parent?

The parent who accompanies the child to the lesson needs to be the one involved daily with the student’s practice at home. The most important factor is not which parent has the most musical talent or experience, but rather, which parent is the most available to help with the student’s daily practice.

Expectations for Piano Lessons


Students are expected to arrive on time for their lesson. Lessons missed by the student because of illness or emergency will be rescheduled at a mutually agreeable time. In the case of illness, if the school is not notified before the scheduled lesson time, the lesson will be forfeited.  In the case of vacations, a maximum of 3 makeup lessons will be allowed and the teacher must be given at least 7 days prior notice.  Lessons missed by the student for any other reason are forfeited. However, the teacher may occasionally make up other lessons missed by the student if sufficient notice is given and if the privilege is not abused. All such make-up lessons are at the sole discretion of the student’s teacher.

Parental Involvement

  • For younger students, parents are expected to observe the lesson. This includes taking copious notes so that they may help their child with practice throughout the week. This will ensure the steady progress of the lessons.
  • Parents are also expected to help their young child practice at home. The teacher will remain in close contact with the parent and communicate when this is no longer necessary.
  • Parents are encouraged to get involved with their child’s piano lessons, regardless of their age.
  • More details on parental involvement


  • Consistent practice is expected of each student. It is often best to schedule practice time and make it part of the daily routine. If regular practice is not maintained, Kansas City School of Music reserves the right to discontinue lessons.
  • The parent is responsible for the child’s high quality practice 45 minutes per day, seven days per week.
  • A well-maintained piano to practice on at home is very important, especially as the student advances.
  • Electronic keyboards are unacceptable as the primary practice instrument. However, an 88-key digital piano with fully weighted keys is acceptable for the first year of private piano instruction.
  • The piano should be in an area free of distractions
  • Bench height and distance should be adjusted appropriately as discussed in lessons.
  • If the student’s feet do not touch the floor, a stool or box should be placed so that the feet are stabilized.

Lesson Behavior/Expectations

  • Nails are to be kept trimmed.
  • No food, gum, or drink (except water) is allowed into the lesson.
  • Parents are expected to support the teacher when student behavior is inappropriate.
  • Disrespect for the teacher will not be tolerated.


  • Students are expected to purchase books and materials promptly. Failure to do so will affect the progress of the lessons.


Our students become artists who learn to communicate and express themselves through music. To support this, our master teachers use a comprehensive curriculum that helps our students learn theory, music reading, technique, ear training, and other important foundational skills. Here are what a few of our students and parents have to say:

“My family has been part of the KCSM family for over 5 years. It has been an incredible experience all around. Top notch teaching, ample performance opportunity and a supportive community as well. We love KCSM!”

-Kristen Lehman

Want to seriously learn an instrument…voice as well? This is the place to be. Want to learn music, well beyond the sounds of your instrument? To learn how music actually functions as part of our natural “ear?” This is the place to be. Great teachers, well structured curiculam. This is the place to be.”

-Bill Burgweger

“Our family has several years of experience with the Kansas City School of Music. The Director, Scott Smith, is a very dedicated, passionate teacher who focuses on learning in a nurturing environment. Scott’s enthusiasm for music and teaching has fostered self-esteem, creativity, and confidence in our children.”

-Gretchen Stout, Overland Park, Kansas

“Studying voice with Bonny Green has joyously influenced every area of my world – in my profession, family, community, volunteering, church, and very soul. The faculty is extremely supportive of each student and I encourage every young person and adult to experience life with Kansas City School of Music!”

-Kaaren Witte, Kansas City, Missouri

“Such an amazing school with incredibly gifted instructors! They want your child to not only learn music but to love it as well!”

-Marcia Williams Valera, from Facebook

“When we moved to Lenexa 14 years ago, in my search for a piano instructor for our 7 year old son, I found Scott Smith at the Kansas City School of Music. We will forever be grateful we found Scott. His dedication to training young minds in the art of piano is more than exceptional.

Scott is an uncompromising, devoted individual who is committed to training your child. He expects effort on the child’s part and parental involvement in your child’s learning. Lessons with Scott are calm, not rushed, and he is kind and patient with children. He makes lessons fun, has a great sense of humor, and will let your child choose music that he or she may enjoy. Our son had two previous years with two other piano instructors outside of Lenexa prior to discovering Scott, so we know the difference a solid teacher can make.

If you are considering learning piano, or any other musical instrument, my husband and I highly recommend the Kansas City School of Music. Music training, particularly piano instruction, does a great deal for training young minds intellectually. Our son was trained by Scott Smith for 10+ years until high school graduation, of which he graduated as valedictorian, and is now preparing to graduate from Kansas State majoring in computer engineering and minoring in mathematics and information systems as an “A” student. I state these things not to boast in any way, but to suggest that your child can do the same with perseverance and proper training, particularly in piano.

The other instructors at KC School of Music were also very good. We had met with two other instructors occasionally if Scott was ever unavailable, on rare occasion.

One more note I’d like to mention: Our son is engaged to be married next year, and when I was preparing a guest list for his fiancé, the only person our son said that he wanted added to the list was “Scott Smith.” This speaks volumes. Scott is more than a piano instructor. He is a true friend whom our son respects greatly.”

-Tammy Larson Hill

“I can’t say enough about how wonderful Scott Smith and the Kansas City School of Music have been! My son took piano lessons for many years with Mr. Smith until he graduated from high school and moved away to college, and my daughter is going to be a senior in high school and is still taking lessons. I’ve lost track of how many years, 9 maybe?, but it says a lot about the instructor when both your children continue to study and practice, despite the many demands of other extracurricular activities, especially in high school. They have learned so much through studying with Mr. Smith and the Kansas City School of Music, and I’m not just talking about technique, theory, and music knowledge, although they have been exposed to so much more knowledge than I could have ever hoped for. More than this, they learned about perseverance, dedication, commitment, how to conquer perfectionism, and the value of hard work, largely through the example set for them by Mr. Smith. They find such enjoyment in music now, it is a vital part of who they are, and I attribute this to Mr. Smith’s influence in their lives. You won’t find a better school of music. It has been worth every penny over the last nine or so years. I read a review here saying that it may be a little pricey, but worth it. It is definitely, definitely worth it. Honestly, knowing what I know now and how our lives would be blessed by enrolling at the Kansas City School of Music, I’d pay twice what we have over the years. Mr. Smith’s influence on our family’s life has been invaluable. I wish I could leave my number here for those that have questions, because I could go on and on, but I absolutely, unquestionably recommend the Kansas City School of Music for the best music education in the Kansas City area.”

-Jennifer Vrablic

“I can’t thank God enough for leading us to Kansas City Shool of Music! 5 years ago. My daughter started “from scratch” in 5th grade and Mr Scott applied an outanding teaching method on her and currently she is playing like a real pianist! His patience, talent, sense of humor, but still with a rigorous lesson and routines make this school the best place in town if you are interested in playing any instrument professionally.”

-Susana Belvedere, from Facebook

“If you are serious about learning music and enjoying it as you learn – this is the best school for that. Mr. Smith is really an admirable, thoughtful and committed teacher and the students are blessed to be learning from him. That being said all the teachers here are amazing.”

-Vinayak Kamat, from Facebook

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Scott Smith

School Director
Piano Instructor


Scott Smith

Scott Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Park College and has completed graduate work at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, Central Missouri State University, and Bob Jones University. He studied under Joanne Baker, Laurence Morton, Richard Smith, and Robert Anderson. Mr. Smith is an active performer, appearing numerous times in the Kansas City area as a soloist and chamber musician.

An experienced piano teacher, Scott has taught at Central Missouri State University, Calvary Bible College, and several elementary and secondary schools in the Kansas City area.

In addition to being a theory and piano teacher, Mr. Smith directed the Kansas City Youth Chorale and has held positions as organist, pianist, and choir director at several churches in the Kansas City area. Scott has been the director of Kansas City School of Music since its inception in 2003.

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Bonny Green

Director of Operations
Voice Instructor


Bonny Green graduated Magna Cum Laude from Concordia College with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. While at Concordia, she was a frequent soloist in the world-renowned Concordia Choir under the direction of Dr. Renè Clausen. She also studied the roles of Adele from Die Fledermaus and Zerlina from Don Giovanni as well as performing the role of Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Fargo-Moorhead Opera.

After Concordia, she studied under Dr. Anne De Launay at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where she earned her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance. She performed with the UMKC Conservatory as Ruth Putnam in The Crucible, the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel and the lead role of Helene in Hindemith’s operatic sketch Hin und zurück.

Along with opera, Bonny enjoys musical theater. She has performed as Maria in West Side Story as well as the title role in Cinderella. She has sung with the premier choral ensemble, Kantorei, and was the soprano cantor for St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church for 15 years.  Mrs. Green has been teaching with the Kansas City School of Music since May 2006 and was promoted to Assistant Director in 2008 and Director of Operations in 2013. Bonny performs regularly in various concerts and recitals throughout the Kansas City area.

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John Eadie

Cello Instructor


John Eadie was immersed in music from a young age at the Victoria Conservatory of Music in Victoria, British Columbia. Since 2009 John has been a cellist in the Kansas City Symphony.

He received his bachelor’s degree in cello performance cum laude from Butler University studying with Dr. William Grubb, and received his master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati studying with Yehuda Hanani. During the summers he studied at the Aspen Music Festival with William Grubb, Yehuda Hanani and Michael Mermagen.

John then became an orchestra fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL for three years. He has performed as principal cello of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra and he has performed with the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Aspen Chamber Symphony, the Spoleto USA Festival in Charleston, S.C., and the Colorado Music Festival. He has also performed extensively both as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the Kansas City region.

Mr. Eadie is a cello teacher for students of all levels. He find teaching both fun and rewarding, and he believes music is something that can be learned and enjoyed at any age.

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Alla Krolevich

Violin and Viola Instructor


Violinist Alla Krolevich holds a Master Associate Degree and Artist Diploma from St. Petersburg Conservatory and has also studied at the Sverdlovsk Conservatory and Polevskoy City Music School.

Ms. Krolevich has toured 40 U.S. States and toured internationally with the St. Petersburg Quartet, in addition to performing with orchestras and chamber ensembles in major theaters and performing centers around the world. As a soloist, she has performed concertos with the Leningrad Chamber Orchestra, the Miami City Ballet Orchestra, and the Israel Symphony Orchestra of Rishon LeZion. She has also recorded under the Melodia label with the St. Petersburg Quartet.

Ms. Krolevich began as a violin teacher more than 20 years ago as an Assistant Professor of Violin with the St. Petersburg Conservatory. She has also taught at the St. Petersburg International Summer Academy, the Conservatory of Music “Beit Barbur” in Tel Aviv, Israel, and has given chamber music and violin solo masterclasses around the world.

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Christina Webster

Flute Instructor


Dr. Christina Webster is a flute teacher who completed her Doctor of Musical Arts in flute performance at the UMKC Conservatory of Music. She studied with Mary Posses. Winner of a Fulbright award, she earned a Postgraduate Performance Diploma at the Royal Academy of Music (London). Here, she studied with William Bennett and Kate Hill. She holds a Master of Music in Flute Performance from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music in Flute and Piano Performance, summa cum laude, from the University of Kansas.

Dr. Webster was awarded UMKC’s Graduate Woodwind Quintet Fellowship and performed with that group for three years. She was also Co-Principal Flute of the UMKC Conservatory Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Musica Nova. While at the Conservatory, Dr. Webster also won the Conservatory’s Concerto/Aria Competition, twice. Dr. Webster has performed with the Kansas City Symphony and has concertized with harpist Tabitha Reist Steiner and pianist Ya-Ting Liou. She was the instrumental winner of the 2000 Naftzger Young Artist Competition, and in 2005 was the winner of the SAI Scholarship Competition and the Kansas City Musical Club Scholarship Competition.

Currently, Dr. Webster holds the position of Second Flute with the Wichita Symphony and teaches flute at Kansas State University as a Visiting Assistant Professor of music. Previous teachers include John Boulton, Shannon Finney, Judy Johnson, and Geri Turvey.


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Un Chong Christopher

Voice Instructor

Piano Instructor


Un Chong Christopher is a voice teacher who holds a Master of Music in vocal performance and a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. Here, she studied piano with Joanne Baker and voice with Inci Bashar. As a mezzo-soprano, Ms. Christopher has performed throughout the United States, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Seoul.

Ms. Christopher has served on faculty at Calvary University and University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. She is also a part of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), as well as Mu Phi Epsilon (International Music Fraternity).


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Matthew Scrivner

Voice Instructor


Matthew Scrivner is a voice teacher who holds a Doctor of Musical Arts and a Master of Music in vocal performance from the UMKC Conservatory of Music, and a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Washburn University.

Dr. Scrivner has an extensive list of operatic credits, which includes originating the role of the Ox in the world premiere of How the Camel Got His Hump. In 2008, he participated in the inaugural L’arte del canto Lirico program in Italy. He has also been a regular member of the chorus at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City since 2008.

In addition to being an experienced performer and voice teacher, Dr. Scrivner has been involved with music behind the scenes. In 2011, he published two short articles with the web magazine, Operagasm. Dr. Scrivner was also a production assistant for the Topeka Symphony, a board member for the Topeka Opera Society and Concert Association, and the co-founder and executive for the Kansas City Opera Institute.


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