Video copyright Shad Ryan Wenzlaff 2017

What to expect when you study piano privately with Shad:

Lessons mean regular practice and parental support. All students must meet personally with Shad before starting lessons to discuss appropriate starting age given learning styles and level of interest and commitment. All students who are ready to commit to private piano study are welcome in Shad's studio.

All students - please keep your piano in tune.

Students who study on a digital piano must have a standard 88 key piano, with weighted keys, a permanent place in the home that is not the child's bedroom; and a full sturdy piano stand (not a table) that is set at a standard height. Students must have a sturdy bench or piano chair that is an appropriate height. Younger students will need a footstool.

Beginners under the age of 5 1/2 - please inquire. 

Beginners ages 5 1/2-7:

Will spend 20-30 minutes weekly in a private lesson. Mom, Dad, or a guardian - who will also supervise practicing outside of lesson at least twice weekly - will join us for part of the lesson each week until age 7 1/2.

Basic theory is covered in lesson. Some students will learn 1/3 of their repertoire "nearly by rote" - all repertoire will be taught from a score/sheet/print music as a point of departure or completion.

Beginners ages 7 1/2-9:

Will spend 30-45 minutes weekly in a private lesson. Mom, Dad, or a guardian - who will also supervise practicing outside of lesson at least once weekly - will join us for the last 5 minutes of lesson every other week.

Students at this age can expect one theory worksheet/page as homework (approximately 5-10 minutes to be completed away from the piano).

Beginners ages 9-12:

Lessons will last 30 minutes through the 4th lesson, then lesson length will be 45 minutes in duration.  

Parents or guardians are expected to look at the piano assignment book, and verify that practice takes place between lessons, according to the notes kept in the piano lesson journal.

Theory sheets will take approximately 10-20 minutes away from the piano weekly. Most students at this age will be asked to purchase ABRSM theory materials ($10- or more, depending upon level and level of interest.)

All students ages 8-17:

Lesson normally last 45-60 minutes in duration. Group classes take place once each mid-November, and again in the late winter or early spring session.

All students are expected to progress according to Shad's recommendations, including completion of theory as both group class and outside of practicing.

Some students will participate in ABRSM assessments (additional fees will be assessed, based upon level of study), All students* will participate in either

the Fall Piano Festival (November, $20 studio fee);

MAPTA Honors Festival ($20 studio fee); Federation (February, $20 studio fee);  WSMA (through the public/private school system, additional fees may be billed through the school), or a similar adjudicated event once per year. Demonstrated progress through increasingly advancing repertoire is expected for all students.

*Exceptions are for students whose lessons are taught to accommodate unique learning styles, at Shad's recommendation.

That's a lot of money for private piano lessons - is it worth it?

Please scroll down to learn more about the value for your piano education my studio offers.​​

In my studio, studio scheduling ensures regular lessons and committed practice so that progress is achieved.  - but also balance with a reasonable schedule of other activities.

 Fall Session begins the week

 after ​Labor Day.

  Winter Session includes 6 private lessons

  in January / February.

 Spring Session allows students to  reschedule lessons missed due to  

 spring break​​.

Summer Flex-scheduling allows students to tailor a schedule around summer camps, vacations, and other activities. Summer session lessons are required for all students enrolled for lessons.

Written by a parent of a recent student:

Shad has been piano teacher for my 2 daughters for over 10 years, we enrolled in his studio when the girls were in 2nd grade. Shad has always amazed me with the level of professionalism he puts in his work regardless the age of his students. He steers away from "one fits all" approach and designs curriculum and teaching methods based on his student's individual strengths. He actively promotes effort among his students, an understanding that consistent practice is part of the deal, even at a very early age. He encourages his students to be actively involved in music outside his studio and supports them all the way. He would always find extra time to work with my daughters on their vocal pieces before their auditions or important competitions. Shad has always been willing to work alongside my daughters' piano teachers at school and they benefited from his suggestions and advice. Shad keeps a close eye on other music curricular programs available: my daughters have been participating in ABRSM program which was significantly different from the way music is taught in the US. Shad has not only been willing to help them work on required repertoire and prepare for their exams, he decided to study this program in depth and, seeing the merits of it, started suggesting it to some of his students. I especially appreciate the fact that Shad is constantly working on improving his own musicianship, and his students ultimately benefit from what he learns in summer music clinics and master classes. Over the years Shad has become more than just a music teacher, but a close friend; my daughters appreciated his advice when they were going through college application process. Both my daughters would continue with music even after graduation from Shad's studio, an achievement Shad would always acknowledge and celebrate with his entire studio.
Shad is an amazing music teacher and he has our highest recommendations.

If you are interested in scheduling an interview lesson, your $10 interview lesson fee may be credited to your first semester tuition and fees. 

If you have a referral from a currently enrolled student, your $10 interview lesson fee may be waived. Please ask for details.  wenzlaffsh(at)

Tuition is billed at

$65 / hour (prorated)

Fee for beginners

through age 9 is $25

(one time fee).

Call Shad at 608-663-9899

What students value about lessons with Shad Wenzlaff:

Regular and many recital and performing opportunities.

Professional and equitable studio policies.

A professional studio space with side-by-side grand pianos and a comfortable waiting area. 

Expertise as a musician, in creating unique lesson plans, and challenging students to achieve their best.

Creativity as a composer, fascinating teaching style, and awareness of unique student learning needs.