2023 Summer and Fall Piano Lessons

  Friday, May 19, 2023 by Debra B Heald | Uncategorized

Most students will have 3 lessons to schedule throughout June and July. Click here for details. EVERYONE needs to schedule their summer lessons on the online calendar.
Scheduling for fall will be changing just a bit. I am planning to consolidate lessons to FOUR days a week. I have plenty of room on my calendar to accommodate all existing students and siblings who may wish to start this year in those four days. However, I am not accepting any other new students at this time. Most likely, the day which will not have scheduled lessons will be Monday or Tuesday. My "unscheduled day" may occasionally be used for a rescheduled lesson, or for me to travel to Omaha/Ft. Calhoun for in person lessons.
What does this mean for you? If you are very restricted on day/time of lessons in your schedule, you need to:

  • Register for fall on the "early bird" registration on the website (calendar June 3) and pay the first tuition installment for 2023-2024 by June 30. This is just like signing up for a lesson time, just click on the "term registration".
  • Those who do the "early bird" get the lower tuition for the year AND first dibs on scheduling. Encore Studio
    Let me know what days/times you are wanting
  • If your lesson is on Monday or Tuesday, we may need to find a new day. (Beginning in late August.) I have plenty of open times in my schedule to accommodate current students, but most of those open times are between 3:30 and 6:00.
  • If you are a student with Friday early outs you might want to consider scheduling a lesson early to mid afternoon Fridays.
  • Alternatively, I'm working with a UNO piano major to possibly be available for you if my schedule is too restrictive. She would probably do something similar to what I've been offering online students, with the majority of lessons online and possibly come to you once a month or so for lessons at your location. Let me know if that's the case.
  • The tuition costs for 2023-2024 currently only appear on the calendar registrations on June 1 and July 15. The webpage has not yet been updated. Semester and Yearly tuition plans available on request.

What does everyone need to do?

  • Sign up on the calendar on June 1 "early bird" registration and pay first tuition installment if you want to save money AND be guaranteed a spot AND have first choice at open times. And let me know if your first preference is to keep your current day and time.
  • Sign up on the calendar on July 15 regular registration and pay first tuition installment if you are not ready to commit in June and don't care about lower tuition
  • The tuition costs for 2023-2024 currently only appear on the calendar registrations on June 1 and July 15. The webpage has not yet been updated.
  • Encore Studio

Summer Lessons - Register for your day and time! Get extra lessons! Here's how:

Friday, May 19, 2023 by Debra B Heald | Uncategorized

First, everyone should have at least 3 summer lessons to select day/time for. Open lesson times are available for 9 weeks throughout June and July, so everyone should be able to find THREE times which they can attend. You can sign up for all 3 lessons in the same week (or even the same day) or spread them out evenly over the summer, or any combination that works for you. How to:

  • Go to Encore Studio, login, and you usually land right on the calendar where available times show up.
  • Click on the desired time slot
  • Click on "register"

You may have more than 3 credits available if you had a qualified absence recently. To check the number of credits available:

  • Go to Encore Studio, login
  • On the menu on the left (click 3 bars if needed) click on "Contact Info"
  • To the right of "teacher" and "contact information" will be makeup credits 
  • Or just go ahead and schedule your 3 and ask if you have more

If you want more than the 3 already covered in your tuition (as in, maybe you want a regular weekly lesson or just a few extra) you must register for the 3, 6, or 9 option on the calendar on June 1. And you must do so BEFORE June 1. It's just like signing up for a time on the calendar. After you've paid tuition for the additional summer lessons, extra credits will be applied to your account and you'll be able to sign up for more lesson times on the calendar.

Reminder: Summer Lessons conclude at the end of July. Lessons in August do not resume until the fall schedule begins in late August.

Since they days/times quite limited on the summer calendar, you may request a day/time that does not show on the calendar. Depending on my schedule, I may be able to accommodate.

Recording for Festival or Online Recital

Friday, March 31, 2023 by Debra B Heald | Uncategorized

Some Festival participants are submitting recorded entries! So here are some tips for recording:

  • Keep it simple, use what you have. Almost every phone/tablet has the option of a video recording. Choose a high quality recording if option is available. For best results, Mom, Dad, sibling, or other person helps start and stop recording.
  • If possible, use a similar view to what we use for lessons. Student's face, hands, and as much of the keyboard as possible should be in the frame. If pedal is used, the foot on the pedal should be visible in the same frame. For memorized piano solos, make sure the music rack WITH NO MUSIC is visible in the frame. (So that it's clear you are playing by memory.)
  • Please record VERTICALLY if at all possible. (This may be a change from your normal lesson setup. If you are using pedal, this may be the only way your feet can be in the view.)
  • It will be best if the recording device is stationary - on the stand or music stand you normally use for lessons, rather than handheld. HOWEVER, if you can't get the above frame from your normal location, have the person taking the video hold in their hand if needed.
  • Wear decent clothes (no short shorts, t-shirts with graphics, tank tops, flip-flops etc) and if you want, you can dress up. Keep in mind you will want to wear the same clothes for multiple "takes" so that both pieces appear "live".
  • Please announce your name, your event/level (i.e. "Piano Solo" and "Primary 3") and the name of the piece. I will be sending individual emails/messages with your level information.
  • Please record the pieces separately - this helps everyone with quicker upload/download.
  • Here's a rough idea of how you want your view (It could be lower and more to the side):

2018-01-17 15.29.38.jpg

If possible, please upload to youtube as "unlisted" and send me the links. Here is a short video on how to do that: upload unlisted video to youtube. If that is a problem for you, hang onto your "best" performances and I will let you know in a few days where to upload your final recordings.



Mrs. Heald was an excellent teacher. When my daughters were just starting she was so patient and kind with the little ones. As they continued she not only was their piano instructor but became a life-long mentor. We are looking forward to starting the next generation of our family with her. I highly recommend her!

Susan B

My son has been taking lessons from Debra for three years.  The first two years were in person and the last was online.  My daughter started taking lessons this last year online.  I was a little bit worried how online would go since she is only 6, but is has been great!  Debra is easy to work with and my kids say that she makes learning the piano fun!

Sara Y

Debra Heald is amazing piano teacher. She taught all three of my kids, and I have been taking lessons from her as an adult student for several years. One of her best strengths as a teacher is figuring out ways for everyone to be successful at piano. She is extremely knowledgeable about music and theory but also has a calm teaching approach.

DeeAnn W