Berkeley Piano Lessons
Sign Up for Fall Lessons!
Berkeley piano lessons students start with the first book in the KC & Friends method, diving into the world of illustrations, characters, and learning that KC has created over 20 years of making piano lessons fun for beginning students. Through meeting the characters and the Friends, kids will learn to read music, write music, and understand the core fundamentals of the piano. Come on in and meet your music! Have questions? Check out our FAQ’s here.
A comic piano method?!
Our comic based piano books makes learning how to read music so easy kids can’t wait to learn more!
Kids LOVE KC & Friends!
Our students form relationships with the characters in our books while they form their own relationship with music!
Zoom Lessons? No Problem!
We have been working hard making awesome games and activities to make remote learning a blast! Our families love Zoom lessons with KC & Friends.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
During the COVID-19 outbreak, we will be holding all lessons online through Zoom. We have spent the last several months converting some of our processes to work through Zoom and are very pleased with the quality of lessons we can provide.
Once it is safe to resume in-person lessons, we hope to resume teaching in South Berkeley in the Lorin Arts District, which is the area near Ashby Bart.
KC & Friends is a comic based introduction to piano method that is taught by teachers who are trained and managed by KC Cavanagh, who has run a Bay Area-based piano studio since 2002. If you sign up for KC & Friends lessons you will be hearing from KC directly and she will either be your teacher or she will manage your teacher, being available to you for any questions or concerns you have. KC hires only awesome people, you’ll love your KC & Friends teacher. Meet some of the teachers here.
We are currently accepting new students for the fall semester. Once we see that we are full we will begin a waitlist. Historically, KC & Friends has had a waitlist for most semesters.
Once the fall semester is full, we will open our waiting list. Whenever an open slot becomes available we will contact you and if you are still interested we will set up a sample lesson. If you are not interested, we will ask if you want to remain on the waitlist or to be removed.
We teach Sunday – Thursday, 2-8pm. All lessons are private, one-on-one lessons that are held weekly. For individual students, 45 minutes is the minimal lesson. For siblings, we recommend either a combined 1 hour or 1 hour, 15 minutes. Siblings do not share a lesson, lessons are one-on-one.
KC & Friends runs on semesters: There is a fall semester (4 months), a spring semester (5 months), and a summer semester with more flexible options.
- Fall 2020 semester is September 8 to December 20
KC & Friends is closed for two weeks each year for winter/Christmas/New Years holiday and one week over President’s Day holiday. For other holidays we will work with you to reschedule any timing conflicts. If we cannot reschedule, we will credit you for a summer lesson.
All beginning students learn with the KC & Friends method, an illustrated comic series that creates laughter and teaches all piano fundamentals. These books last for two to three years, depending on the student, and then they can graduate onto any music we collectively choose. Learn more about the method.
You do not need to buy anything. Your teacher will provide all necessary books by either mailing or personally delivering them. The fall semester payment includes a book deposit that covers most books for students. If you start later than September, KC will invoice you separately for the book deposit and any balance owed will be included in the final invoice for spring semester.
Our expectations for success are easy. For beginning students, we encourage kids to practice for five minutes a day, four days a week. As they progress, we increase this to ten minutes and then fifteen minutes. We are open to tailoring practice expectations based on family expectations.
Before COVID we provided a piano notebook where the teacher wrote the student's homework and provided checkboxes for kids to check off when they did their homework. This gives the students structure and accountability. It also provides the teacher the insight about what they will have retained from the previous lesson. In our Zoom lessons, we now provide a Google Doc for students to track their homework. Their teacher will update their homework during their lesson and parents can either print it, help their child access it online, or help them transcribe it in their piano notebook. We encourage the “checking off” still, it helps us all stay on the same page.
Yes, we offer sample lessons. Sample lessons will give us a chance to meet you, answer questions, and learn your first songs as we try out the first dozen pages of the beginning book. If you have previous piano experience we will learn what you know, what you are looking for, and let you know if we are a fit. You can sign up for a lesson here.
Lessons will be a fixed amount based on your lesson length with a small allotment for a book deposit.
Piano lessons start at $270/month and the minimum duration for a lesson is 45 minutes. For siblings, the minimum is 1 hour and they meet with the teacher individually typically for 30 minutes each. Please see a complete breakdown of pricing here.
Our minimum commitment is for one semester. The fall semester is four months and the spring semester is five months. Summer lessons are optional.
KC & Friends uses a service called Bill & Pay to accept electronic payment for lessons. It offers an online portal for everyone to view all of their past invoices, pay online through their checking accounts, and set up auto-payments that will automatically pay the invoice on the due date. If you don’t want to use that service, no problem, KC & Friends will send you an address to send a check or set up a bill pay with your bank.
We do accept payments via credit cards for monthly lessons.
Late Fees: A late fee of $20 will be issued to families who have a balance older than 45 days. Late fees will appear on your next invoice.
Sure! In the past we have loved it when parents learn piano with their kids (or remember what they once knew). The books are easy for adults to learn, if they remember to practice just a tiny bit so the information makes its way from your short term memory to your long term memory. KC & Friends books are written for kids 5-12 years old, so as long as you can jump into that mindset, we’ll teach you. For adults you can either use a couple minutes of your child’s lesson to run through the songs with your teacher or schedule a separate lesson. For adults we offer “one lesson at a time” option that will be scheduled outside of the normal teaching hours.
We will do everything in our power to reschedule if there is a conflict and make up missed lessons if we can. Our policy, however, is that if the student canceled the lesson, it still needs to be paid for. If the lesson cannot be rescheduled we offer up to three credits for a summer lesson, offered at the teacher’s discretion.
Teacher cancellation: If the teacher cancels for any reason, the lesson will be made up either that week, at another time that works for you, or a credit will be issued for the next invoice.
We do not want to teach students who do not want to learn, so there are minimal commitments to these lessons. They are:
New Students – Please schedule a sample lesson so we can know if we are a good fit. If you sign up for the semester and lessons are not working out in the first month, we can part ways without penalty. After the first month, the commitment is one semester at a time.
All Students – We ask you to commit for the semester. If that is not possible, please contact KC. There is no flexibility March – June for ending our contract.
The contract for the semester will be sent for online signing and will include a notice about video and audio recording as well as a copyright license.
No, we are open to teaching people in other locations via Zoom.
KC & Friends will sometimes use video & audio equipment to take photos and/or videos during lessons. This material may be used for social media, website tutorials, or any other place that KC & Friends advertises or markets their materials. Lesson times will not be interrupted for this. If you see an image of your child on our website or social media and would like it removed, please inform KC.
KC & Friends encourages all kids to write songs! It’s great! If you sign up, the contract grants KC & Friends a copyright license to use these songs royalty-free for any reason. Mainly, kids think it’s cool when other kids play their songs. We are trying to make that happen, but need your permission to put the songs in places other kids can see them. If you think your child’s song is the next big hit and don’t want to grant the license, please inform KC in writing.