Hastings Piano Policy



L essons are held once a week. 

Lessons are held in a private studio that serves as both an art and music studio located at 223 North Lincoln in downtown Hastings. 

Parents are welcome and encouraged to sit through piano lessons. 

From the beginning of piano lessons, students are provided with a binder. Over the course of their study students are given extensive collection of classical music and information. This is a great start to building their own music library. Students are encouraged to listen to classical masterworks and write down composer and Opus or file number. The sheet music will likely be available in the studio library and provided free of charge. 

Festivals, Recitals and Competitions

 Piano students are given many performance and audition opportunities through Hastings Piano Studio. Each student has his or her own purpose in pursuing private music education so these events are optional but available.

 Winter Awards Recital. Students have the opportunity to play for family and friends. Awards are presented and accomplishment acknowledged. 

Music Olympics This audition is held the last week of July at UNL in Omaha. Students are required to memorize two pieces of music. Performances are held in front of a judge and critiqued. This is a very positive experience. Even the youngest students are encouraged to participate. 

Spring Piano Festival. This audition is held locally. Students memorize two pieces of music and are critiqued by an adjudicator. Medals are awarded.  

Working Artist Open House

Teacher Responsibility

 The lesson method books are from Faber Music and available and purchased through the piano studio. This curriculum is supplemented with additional and even advanced music theory. 

A clear understanding of music theory leads to a greater appreciation of music and ownership of the skills they are learning. 

When a student comes to a lesson and plays the prepared assignment, note recognition, rhythm, dynamics, hand position and posture are observed. Corrections are made and success is encouraged. New concepts are discussed by analyzing the theory, key signature, chord structures and intervals of the new music. 

The remainder of the lesson is left for activities that reinforce ear training, rhythm, terminology and note recognition. After a student has successfully completed level 2 of the curriculum, they are given the opportunity to start a much more demanding classical curriculum. Students study Bach, Mozart and Beethoven among others. This is optional but the majority of students chose to study the classical masterworks. Many study materials and teaching guides are used when assigning students these works. The guides help determine the level the students are performing and recommended complimentary pieces. When a student reaches this level of study, it is important to customize curriculum to enhance strengths and improve weaknesses. Students learn to play classical music as it is a foundation for every other style of music. Students also learn styles such as Jazz, Gospel and Contemporary Christian. Instruction in improvising, following a lead sheet and music composition is incorporated into the music lesson.  

Student Responsibility

 Students should practice on a well maintained piano or digital piano. The piano must be tuned yearly. The student works at developing tonal memory and a musical ear. This is as important as learning notes. It is impossible to develop a musical ear when learning on an out-of-tuned instrument. Most importantly, students will lose interest. You will be surprised at how much extra practice time your student will put in after a piano is tuned. 

Students are expected to practice their lessons at home and outside of the regular piano lesson. 

Students should bring all flash cards, binders and curriculum books to lessons. Any music or theory worksheets should be left in the binders so they do not get lost. 

Students are expected to listen to  piano music. The more exposure the student has to music the easier they will learn to play any genre and style of music. 

Cancellation, Tuitions and Fees

CANCELLATION If you need to cancel a lesson you may reschedule on the first Saturday of the month at 8:00 a.m. Lessons missed without prior notice will not be rescheduled. 

If I cancel I will prorate the next month's tuition. 

INCLEMENT WEATHER.  If Hastings Public School closes due to weather (Not breaks or holidays)  Hastings Piano STudio will also close. 

 TUITION Lessons are held weekly. Tuition is paid once a month and is the same regardless of the number of lesson in that month. Some months have four weeks of lessons, some five but tuition remains the same. Tuition payments are due the first lesson of the month. Please contact me for current tuition fees. 

There are no lesson scheduled for 2 weeks over Christmas break, 1 week over Thanksgiving and a week in April. Monthly statements will not be prorated for these Holidays. 

 ADDITIONAL FEES Additional registration fees may be required for auditions and competitions. 

The Instructor


Kris Allphin Brakenhoff grew up in Columbus, Nebraska. She played piano in both contemporary praise and worship bands and was church accompanist while attending colleges in Oklahoma and Nebraska. She has degrees in Art and Design and Foreign Mission Ministry.  After college she was employed  as an illustrator and artist.  

She continued 15 years of active involvement in music ministry. When she and her husband started a family, she opened a private music studio in Columbus offering piano and Kindermusik classes. The private studio grew to 60 students a week. Many of her students participate in piano and music competitions taking home highest honors.  

Kristine is also an award winning artist and illustrator.  Her work can be found in exhibits and galleries across the Midwest.  Piano lessons are  held in her 2,000 sq foot professional art studio.

Kris and her husband have four boys, two golden retrievers and several hermit crabs. Her husband is a quality engineer and they have recently relocated to Hastings Nebraska.   Although she now limits her number of students, she is excited to offer the same  quality private music education, performance and competition opportunities as she did in Columbus. 

Visit her website at AllphinBatik.com