Teachers have asked and I have done my best to answer.
Here you find their good questions, and a compilation of my responses. I hope you find this information helpful. If you have a question and cannot find the answer here, please contact me.
Question on promotions
I would like to receive more information and updates on your products. Do you provide a monthly newsletter or send information on new products?
As a member of Red Leaf Pianoworks, I contribute to our collective newsletter, and my latest products will be updated there. To receive Red Leaf News, click here. We'd love to send it to your inbox!
Questions on ordering from the Notekidds website
Are your prices listed in U.S. dollars or Canadian dollars?
Both Americans and Canadians will be happy with this answer. Prices and shipping are listed in Canadian dollars (CND). This means U.S. customers almost always pay less than the listed price. When you pay with your credit card on PayPal, the exchange is automatically calculated, and you will get a nice surprise when you see how little you paid. For Canadians it means you pay no more than the affordable listed price.
Do you sell wholesale to music stores?
Yes. Music stores should contact me directly.
Do you have discounted pricing?
At various times of the year I run discounts and promotions for particular products or events like conferences.
Questions on shipping
How is shipping calculated?
There are two simple shipping rates, and no limitations:
Order Total Shipped to Shipping cost All orders Continental North America $3.99
How long will my order take to arrive?
Within North America, a PayPal order sent airmail is in your hands in ten business days. Sometimes the shipping amount you pay does not cover the true shipping cost I pay. When this happens, I choose the ground option, which takes two to three weeks. In any case, it is my standard policy to ship the next day. After I send your package I will send a follow-up email to confirm the estimated time of arrival for your materials.
My poster was rolled when it arrived. How should I prepare it for teaching?
When you receive your poster, keep the plastic sheath on and find a careful way to weigh down the curled edges until it lies flat on its own. Then laminate for durability.
Questions regarding international orders
I live outside North America. How should I order?
For international orders I recommend that you contact me. You can email me your list and I will weigh the package for the shipping. We will create a special order page so you can use the convenience of your credit card and PayPal.
How long will my international order take to arrive?
International orders sent airmail arrive in your hands in ten business days. Orders sent ground can take up to three months. I'm willing to help you choose the option that is best for you.
Questions to do with payments
How secure is my credit card information with PayPal?
PayPal is the most trusted way to pay. As the merchant, I receive notification of your order from PayPal but I never see your sensitive banking information. PayPal is secure.
I would rather pay with my credit card this time. What can I do?
Simply select the credit card option and do not login to PayPal. In the Shopping Cart window you will see two yellow buttons for check-out, one says "check out" and the other says "Check out with PayPal." To pay with your credit card without using your PayPal account, click on the smaller yellow button. You do not need a PayPal account to check out this way.
Do you accept personal checks?
Yes. Most people prefer the speed and convenience of using the credit card option, but I do accept payment by personal check or money order. This takes longer because I must wait for it to arrive by mail before I send the package. Within North America, a PayPal order sent airmail is in your hands in one week. Add three weeks for orders paid by check. Both USD and CND currencies are accepted. Contact me if this is your preference.
Questions about Notekidds materials
Which teaching aids are best suited for private lessons?
All of the teaching aids are appropriate for private teaching. Each item comes with suggestions on how to use it in your private lessons. In fact, I originally designed all of the teaching aids as needs arose with my private students. Once I had them I found fun ways to use them in all of my teaching.
Which teaching aids are best suited for group lessons?
All of the teaching aids are appropriate for group teaching. This means group teaching with or without multiple keyboards. You will notice that all of the teaching aids appear on the Games page of the website. When several individual products are used together, you can reinforce concepts with games for multiple players or teams. The rules of each game are outlined on one of the packages.
Which methods are compatible with the Notekidds teaching aids?
Notekidds materials are designed to be compatible with all methods. I created the teaching aids you find here early in my career when I was teaching with other methods on the market. After my students enjoyed a high level of learning success, I then created the Notekidds method based on the teaching aids. Because the teaching aids came first, they remain compatible with all methods.
I have Notekidds 1 (the Primer). Do you have a second level, or what do you transfer your students into once they are finished?
Notekidds 1 (the Primer) can be followed by Book/Level 1 of any method, though you will find you can work very quickly through that to Level 2.... And yes, I am working on a Level 2 of the Notekidds program.
Questions on the Notekidds approach
The teaching aids are in color. Does this approach prepare students to read regular black music notation?
Yes. The goal is to help children become better readers of standard black notation. The color designs you see in all the teaching aids help make concepts memorable. Moving from the known to the unknown is the strongest way to learn. For example, children already know that the sky is high and the sea is deep (the known). To relate this known to the grand staff, the unknown, with a blue sky and green sea, helps young learners understand where high notes and low notes belong. So, the colors and image of the Fly/Swim grand staff will ensure that your beginning students will never mix up notes between the treble and bass clefs, and that sets them up to be stronger readers, even when the colors are not present.
About Mobile Notes, I see that these are used with Notes that Fly, Notes that Swim, but I also see 'cars' notes. How do these apply?
You will notice that the Mobile Notes also go with the Paper Piano. The racecars go with the Paper Piano only, to help teach children to remember the G and A keys. The rest of the Mobile Notes work with both Paper Piano and Notes that Fly, Notes that Swim.
About Puddles and Sticks, I really like the idea, but I see that the sticks begin with 'G', what about notes before 'G line' - CDEF?
Beginners don't know it, but the Puddles and Sticks puzzle is really the bass clef. I chose that clef for the game because it is the only clef that has a complete alphabet A, B, C, D, E, F, G, all in a row, which makes it easy to highlight skipping letters. Plus, it helps the children see the G-A at the bottom and the G-A at the top where the complete alphabet connects to other implied ones. As the children grow with music they will eventually discover that it is the bass clef and can play games to strengthen their reading skills.
Questions on publishing
What is your policy on copyright?
The reason I self-publish is because I prefer to keep my copyright. Literary authors retain copyright of their work even when it is published. Composers do not. Published composers completely lose all rights to their own music and cannot even arrange it! If a publisher decides to take a composer's book out of print, the composer has essentially lost that music (and so has everyone else). Keeping my copyright means I retain artistic control over my music, and that I commit to keep my books in print. As a self-published composer, I depend on sales to develop new books and to keep my current books in print. I receive no government grants or corporate sponsorships. Thank-you for supporting the arts.
What is your policy on photocopying?
I believe that photocopying a composer's work is the same as shoplifting. Yes, shoplifting. If your conscience will not allow you to shoplift, then it should also stop you from photocopying music. There is one instance where I would allow teachers to photocopy my music, with my written permission. But you will have to read this story first.
The Last Time I Ever Photocopied Music. In my second year of teaching I found the best piece for my student. I photocopied it for her as a favor. The problem was that the composer of the book and I had adjoining studios. She was so excited to hear us working on her piece that she came through to chat. We heard her coming and slammed the binder shut. Awkward chat. I had the most terrible feeling, and I decided then and there that photocopying was wrong. I asked my student to buy the book (which cost the same as two coffees at the coffee shop) and have not photocopied anything since that day.
Piano teachers work very hard to teach music to students, and deserve to be paid for what they do. So do composers. If your student cannot afford a book that costs less than $12, then you are charging $12 too much for piano lessons. Here is the one exception to my policy on photocopying: If you, the piano teacher, have agreed to teach a student for free because they can't afford piano lessons, and you would like to teach my music to that particular student, but they cannot afford my book, write to me the particulars of your situation and I will give you written permission to photocopy my music for that student. I've asked God, himself, to stand over your photocopier.
Talented, creative piano students learn a lot by their teacher's actions. If you are a teacher who photocopies, caution your best students against becoming composers. Your actions demonstrate that composers don't deserve to be paid, and therefore there is no future in writing music. OR Teach your creative students that there is a future for them by using printed books exclusively! You can make a difference.