•    Instructor Sarah Huntzinger

I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Northern Arizona University.  I have taught private piano lessons since 1995 and am a member of the National Federation of Music Clubs.  I also play the flute and have performed with the San Antonio Symphony.  I have fifteen years of experience in teaching piano to students with Autism.   I have thirteen years of daily first-hand expertise in helping children with Autism thrive inside and outside of the classroom.

    •    Website

The address for the interactive studio website is:


Parents will be provided a login and password. The website contains helpful information such as studio announcements, a calendar of lessons scheduled and studio events, lesson notes and account balances. 

•    Lesson Structure

It is strongly recommended that one parent attend lessons with the student so that they can learn to become a practicing coach at home. The lessons are fun but extremely thorough, including music theory in a workbook (the study of how to read music), regular ear-training with the use of computers, weekly technique and scales, classical pieces, and choice pieces by the student.  Friends are not permitted to attend lessons with the student.  Lesson notes will be emailed to the student and parent after every lesson.  Practice keyboards with headphones will be available for students to warm up on before their lessons.

    •    Teaching Philosophy

You will notice right away that the energy level in my studio is very high!  I am excited about teaching piano and my enthusiasm will be contagious.  I teach every student a little differently depending on their personality and learning style.  I am able to determine their strengths and learning styles very easily.  It is very important that parents do not interrupt a lesson.  I will always make time to allow for questions by the student and parent at the end of the lesson.  If you regularly speak for your child when I ask them a question, you will be preventing them from forming the brain pathways necessary to arrive at the answer next time on their own.  You will also prevent me from assessing their progress each week.  I will remind you of this when necessary.  I have a passion for working with special needs children, and fifteen years of experience working with autistic children specifically. 

I prefer to use the Snell “Piano Town” method books.  These books teach students how to read music by taking them on a journey through the Key Signatures which I apply to the Circle of Fifths.  They introduce not only classical styles but teach how to use and identify chords.  Students will learn to accompany melodies on their own, and also learn how to play from a fake book while transposing the music into any Key Signature.  This skill will allow them to play music with their friends on other instruments and perform in any type of ensemble.  I require that every student study out of graded lesson books and also learn choice classical and modern pieces at the same time.  Every student is also required to complete Theory workbooks and learn scales.  If I feel that “Piano Town” is not an appropriate tool for your student, I will recommend another graded method book in it’s place.  Students will be able to choose solos from my huge music library.  I have solos of all types, with styles and titles that will appeal to students.  I will, of course, need to approve of the chosen solo.  A solo needs to reflect the level of playing we have achieved through the study of the lesson books.  These choice pieces will keep the student motivated and entertained.  Each lesson begins with technique work (using a metronome), followed by scales, lesson book, theory work, and finally, the solo!  If a student is not prepared with their lesson book assignment, we will usually not have time for the fun solo at the end.

I have high expectations for every student.  I will introduce a new lesson every week.  If I feel the lesson needs to be reviewed because of poor understanding, I will give it again in a new format as many times as are necessary.  However, if I feel the student is not prepared to play the lesson material that was assigned because of lack of practice, I discuss this with the parent.  It is important for the parent to be aware of poor preparation in order to get the full value of tuition.  If the student is poorly prepared two weeks in a row, I will notify the parent that day in writing.  On the third week in a row, if the student has still not practiced their assignment, I will ask them to practice during their 30 minutes instead of receiving a lesson, or I will dismiss them early.  I prepare for each student’s lesson individually each week and I fully expect them to be respectful of my time and their parent’s tuition money by putting in sufficient practice to be able to perform their assigned pieces each week.  If your student is dismissed early, I will ask the parent to be present for the next several weeks in order for the student to continue in lessons.  

These policies may sound strict - but they ensure that every student is progressing every week!  Students who progress are confident in their playing and always have fun in their lessons.  Students who struggle usually do not enjoy learning an instrument.  It is my number one goal that every student have FUN and ENJOY the gift of music!  I feel strongly that the best way to do this is to succeed!

    •    Practicing and Parental Support

Sufficient scheduled practice time on a daily basis is the surest guarantee that the student will experience consistent progress. Learning the necessary skills to become proficient at an instrument will not occur by simply going to lessons. Parental support is an extremely important factor in musical training. Children whose parents take an active and honest interest in their child’s progress tend to be more enthusiastic and productive. 

It is suggested that every student practice a minimum of 5 days a week. The amount of minutes spent practicing is not as important as the material covered during the session. 

    •    Performances

We have several performance opportunities each year.  Our formal studio recital is held in April or May of each school year, and usually has an audience of about 200!  It is the culmination of the students' learning for that school year and a chance for them to share their performance live with family, friends, peers, and the community.  In February of each year there is the opportunity to perform at the National Federation of Music Clubs Festival, earning ribbons, certificates, and gold cups.  At any time during the year that a student has completed a performance piece, there is the opportunity to film it in studio.  This is a fun, interactive project which uses professional videography equipment including a green screen.  The students get to style their own videos and learn about the production.  These videos can be shared with friends and family near and far!  Every student has the opportunity to participate in this project during December of each year, where we produce individual videos to share as virtual, musical holiday greetings!

    •    Tuition

An initial enrollment fee of $60 is due at registration. Tuition is $160 per month and due before the first lesson of every month.  Half hour lessons are taught weekly.  Boerne Piano does not offer refunds for lessons missed.  I will, however, work with you as much as possible in switching lesson times with other students if you know that you have a conflict in advance. The studio schedule is always full and does not easily allow for make-up lessons.  If I have to cancel a lesson with you, your account will be credited the value of the missed lesson towards your next tuition payment.

Books must be ordered through Boerne Piano.  The tax-free cost of music books for students is added to your monthly statement. You will have a $4.99 standard shipping charge for music orders.  Students should anticipate a yearly cost of about $50 for music.  

Recitals are treated as the most important lesson of the year and you will see a $45 recital registration fee on your invoice when your student is scheduled to perform.

Invoices are emailed to you on the 20th of each month for the following month.  Tuition may be paid in cash, checks made out to Boerne Piano, or Paypal.  If a student decides to discontinue lessons mid-month Boerne Piano does not offer a refund.  If a student decides to discontinue lessons any accrued make-up lesson credits expire immediately.

    •    Holidays

Boerne Piano is closed on all US Holidays, the week of BISD Spring Break, the 4-day weekend of BISD Fall Break, the week of BISD Thanksgiving, and three weeks of the BISD break at Christmas.  We follow the local public school schedule for these weeks of vacation.  These holidays and vacations do not reduce tuition and make up lesson credits are not issued.

Students are expected to continue their lessons during any summer breaks from school. Any student who misses too many weeks of practice and lessons will experience a major setback and will lose techniques gained during the previous school year.  If students do choose to discontinue lessons during the summer, they will either be placed on the waiting list for re-enrollment in the fall, or tuition may continue to be paid in their absence to guarantee their enrollment in the fall.  Make up credits are not accrued for paid breaks from lessons or family vacations.  Summer months are a great time to take advantage of any un-used make up lesson credits.  Extra lessons and longer lessons are encouraged during the summer in order to make sure you have received the full value of your tuition payments during the year as it is inevitable that your student might miss once or twice due to illness or another conflict.