Valerie Erickson

 Flute/Piccolo and Oboe Studio Policies

Universal Music Store (Thornton),  Home Studio (Denver)

 My contact information:

Valerie Erickson

Home: 720-308-8061

Current Lesson Tuition: 

½ hour= $30.00

45 minutes=$45.00

1 hour= $60.00

It is recommended that beginning students do half hours, intermediate ones do 45 minutes, and advanced players do one hour lessons. Tuition for lessons is due in advance, at the last lesson of the month for the following month. 

Lesson Cancellations:  If I must cancel a lesson, I will try to give you at least 24 hours notice, and I will cancel lessons if I am contagiously ill. If you must cancel a lesson, you must cancel at least 24 hours in advance to avoid being charged for the lesson (with the following exceptions): Student sickness on the day of the lesson, family emergency, or weather that makes it unsafe for you or me to drive in. If you don't cancel within 24 hours for any other reason, you will be charged for the lesson scheduled. No-call and no-shows will not be refunded, as your time slot is saved especially for you.  Lesson times are on a first come, first serve basis. I will do my best to find a time that works for you. Students who leave on extended vacations may have a different lesson time when they return.

Makeup Lessons: I will provide a makeup lesson at no additional charge due to the above conditions, or when you cancel more than 24 hours in advance. All makeups are at our mutual convenience, but must be made up within 30 days. After 30 days, no refund for missed lessons will be given.


Students will learn:

History of the flute or oboe, correct fingerings, correct hand and body position, tone production, correct rhythm and counting, technique (scales and other technical studies), solo pieces from all different time periods (Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Twentieth Century, and even Twenty-first Century if the student wishes.) Students can also learn music theory, jazz, and music history according to their interests. Chamber music (duets, trios, etc.) will also be incorporated into lessons. Advanced students will learn orchestral excerpts, and will learn 1-2 etudes (technical studies) a week. We will prepare for honor band auditions, as well as chair try-outs. Students will be required to perform at a student recital once a year (generally these are done at a nursing home,) and also at their school district’s solo/ensemble festival.  There are also other opportunities to play in the community, such as a Christmas performance at a local nursing home, and many various locations in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas.

Practice Policies:

Beginning students: A minimum of 20-30 minutes a day

Intermediate students: A minimum of 45 minutes a day

Advanced students: A minimum of an hour a day (more if you plan to become a music major!)

The techniques and methods taught in lessons are essential to students’ success. Students will get out of lessons what they put into them in the way of practice. They will only improve if sufficient time is spent on the assignments they are given. Spiral notebooks MUST be looked at weekly, and assignments are expected to be prepared. Parental involvement is more than welcome, and if you would ever like to observe lessons to know how to further encourage your child in his/her practice, that is wonderful.

Lessons are a lot of fun!! 


Required Materials:

¨Spiral notebook for assignments (must be brought to EVERY lesson!)


¨Flute or oboe, of course! 

- An open mind, eager and willing to learn! 

¨Music stand for home practice (a piano bench doesn’t suffice)

¨A metronome to practice steadiness and increase tempos, preferably one that subdivides. THIS IS A MUST!

¨An electric tuner for intermediate and advanced students to work on intonation skills

¨All assigned books, sheet music, solos, duets, etc. (Please budget approximately $50 a year for these expenses.)

¨Recordings of solos the student will be performing, available from most libraries, or from I have some available for borrowing as well, as long as they are returned! I will recommend performers to listen to for each particular piece.


Piano Accompanists For Our Annual Recital:

Each student will need a piano accompanist if they perform for solo/ensemble festival through their school district, and also for our nursing home recital in the Spring. Flute and oboe repertoire (solos) are mostly all accompanied by piano. ***Parents will pay the piano accompanist for his/her services.*** We will prepare the solo in lessons before students rehearse with their accompanist. I will come listen to each student rehearse with his/her accompanist one time before the recital for free to offer my feedback.


Concerts by the Teacher: I am planning on having a solo teacher recital, and also have concerts every couple of months with the Colorado Wind Ensemble. It is important that my students get to see at least one concert per year, preferably my solo recital, so that they will get to see a lot of the techniques they are learning in lessons being used in a performance setting. Listening is a crucial part of the learning process. I will try to schedule my recital on a day when everyone will be in town. It is also very beneficial to see other flutists and oboists play as well, and I will periodically alert my students of performances in the area.

Upgrading Instruments: If you plan on upgrading to an intermediate or professional model of flute or oboe, please consult me! J I am familiar with the majority of all brands. Some instruments are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but may have a weak tone capacity. And some are at an extremely low price, but there may be a reason for that. I can help you find the best one for your needs and budget.

Recommended Memberships:

For Flutists:

¨Colorado Flute Association (there are annual master classes and competitions through this group which are extremely beneficial for students.) More information located at:

¨National Flute Association (has a national conference once a year with tons of booths, classes, competitions, performances, etc.) Check out:

¨Flute Talk Magazine: (for intermediate to advanced flutists)

Located at:



The Oboe Spot:

The All Oboe Page:

International Double Reed Society:

Woodwind Brasswind Company: This is where the reeds can be purchased from. They are fabulous as far as quality and price. I recommend the medium soft Marlin Lesher brand reeds, or the Woodwind brand artist series reeds.



Lesson Contract for the Student

I, ____________ agree to abide by Valerie Erickson's studio policies, and to do my own personal best at learning this instrument. I understand that I must prepare for lessons in order to improve.





Lesson Contract for Parents

I, _________________ agree to the terms as according to Valerie Erickson's  Studio Policies. I will encourage my child to prepare for lessons and do his/her personal best.