What to expect

The elements of good piano performance are closely interwoven, and at Northern Baltimore Piano we introduce beginners to all of these elements with their first lessons. Beginning students are taught not only the proper fingering of the keys but also hearing skills, rhythm, dynamics, touch, colors and, of course, music theory and how to read music.

Very young students, whose hands are small and still growing, start with five-finger exercises, first with the right hand and then with the left. Later they will transition from playing notes with one hand to playing songs using both hands.

At the beginning, students aren’t reading music in the traditional sense. They are learning to find C, D, E, F and G, and the other notes, by touch, so that eventually it becomes second nature to them. They are learning quantity: whole note, half note, quarter note, and so on. They are learning to hear intervals: half step, whole step, third, octave. They are learning to keep time: common time, waltz time, march time. By the time they are introduced to musical notation, they are already familiar with the concepts. Using a workbook called a note speller, they draw notes and color-code them, which fixes the notes in their memory.∗

And they won’t simply be playing notes mechanically; they will be learning to make music. They will learn how to play both softly and loudly. They will learn to play notes separately (staccato) and also to tie them together (legato). They will learn that notes in combination have different colors that project different moods. With a simple song of merely four to eight measures, students can begin to apply these lessons. When the student succeeds in putting together the elements of good piano performance in even the simplest song, the result is magical. The student is actually making music! This is a moment of great fulfillment for both the student and the teacher.

Continued lessons build on these elements. As the students learn more about music theory (major and minor scales and chords) they also do exercises (scales and arpeggios) that improve their performance skills. But we always return to the music. There are different lessons to be learned from each of the compositions the student is assigned, but the same acts of connecting with the music and projecting feeling apply to them all. Every student progresses at his or her own rate, depending principally on how much time the student can devote to focused, disciplined practice. The lessons are tailored to the rate of progress of each student, and new material is added when the student is ready for it. A hard line cannot be drawn between beginner and intermediate or intermediate and advanced. The student simply takes on greater challenges as he or she develops as a pianist, and one never runs out of new challenges.

* Please be advised that students are responsible for purchasing all lesson materials, from note spellers and books on theory to books of etudes and assigned musical scores.


The following is a portion of our studio policy. Click here to view the full policy.

Piano lessons are available at Northern Baltimore Piano (hereinafter referred to as “NBP”) for all ages. Learners are divided into two categories based on their age. There are different tuition structures for each category.

  • STUDENTS: Learners enrolled in preschool through 12th grade are referred to as STUDENTS (hereinafter referred to as “Students”).
  • ADULTS: Unless they are currently in high school, learners ages 18 and older are considered ADULTS (hereinafter “Adults”).


  • It is mandatory for students to enroll for a full studio calendar year. 
  • There are two semesters in the Studio Calendar Year (hereinafter referred to as “Calendar Year”). 
  • Calendar year runs from September to June. Please refer to the studio calendar for specific semester start and end dates. Up to date calendar is on the website (www.northernbaltimorepiano.com/calendar). Student/parent responsibility to check dates.
  • There are 38 lessons and two recitals in the full calendar year.
  • To schedule the weekly lesson time and day, the instructor will coordinate with the Student or parent (if under 18). Once this schedule has been set at the beginning of the Fall Semester, the schedule remains the same into the Spring Semester. 
  • If a lesson needs to be canceled, students cannot request a reschedule, even with advanced notice. Details can be found in the Missed Lessons section.
  • Lessons during the summer are highly recommended by NBP; family schedules will be accommodated by prorating the lesson fee. 

Student Tuition
Tuition rates are divided into two tiers. NBP’s director provides lessons at TIER ONE rates. NBP faculty provide lessons at TIER TWO. Please note the following tables reflect the tuition amount for the full calendar year (10 months).

TIER 1 – Student Lessons with NBP Director

Lesson LengthIn Your HomeIn Studio
30 Minutes$2,050/yr$1,950/yr
45 Minutes$2,850/yr$2,700/yr
60 Minutes$3,600/yr$3,400/yr

TIER 2 – Student Lessons with NBP Faculty

Lesson LengthIn Your HomeIn Studio
30 Minutes$1,950/yr$1,850/yr
45 Minutes$2,700/yr$2,550/yr
60 Minutes$3,400/yr$3,200/yr

Family Discount
Enroll a second student and save 5% off both tuitions. The third student earns a 7.5% discount on three tuitions, and so on, up to a maximum of 10% for four or more students in the household.

Tuition Payment Options

  1. PAY BY SEMESTER:  5 months; 2 payments per studio calendar year. Tuition is due by the 1st day of each semester. Please refer to a Studio Calendar.
  2. PAY BY CALENDAR YEAR: 10 months; 1 payment per studio calendar year. $25 discount applies to the total amount. Tuition is due by the 1st day of studio calendar year
  3. PAY BY MONTH 1 month; 10 payments per studio calendar year. $50 one-time charge per family applies to the 1st month tuition. Tuition is due by the 1st day of each month.


  • Piano lessons for Adults are only available as single lessons.
  • It is required that you give NBP at least 24 hours’ notice if you need to reschedule a lesson. Instructor must be notified at least 24 hours in advance of any changes, otherwise you will be charged the full fee. Details can be found in the Missed Lessons section.

Adult Tuition
Tuition rates are divided into two tiers. NBP’s director provides lessons at TIER ONE rates. NBP faculty provide lessons at TIER TWO.

TIER 1 – Adult Lessons with NBP Director

Lesson LengthIn Your Home*In Studio
45 Minutes$80/lesson$75/lesson
60 Minutes$100/lesson$95/lesson
90 Minutes$145/lesson$140/lesson

* See Travel To Home Policy below

TIER 2 – Adult Lessons with NBP Faculty

Lesson LengthIn Your Home*In Studio
45 Minutes$75/lesson$70/lesson
60 Minutes$95/lesson$90/lesson
90 Minutes$140/lesson$135/lesson

* See Travel To Home Policy below

Travel To Home Policy

  • Lessons at home are based on distance (between studio or instructor’s home and student’s home) up to 3 miles or approximate travel time up to 15 minutes. If the mileage is between 3 and 6 or if the traveling time is between 15 and 30 minutes, an additional $25 will be added; if the mileage is more than 6 or if the traveling time is more than 30 minutes, an additional $50 will be added.
  • Parking fees (meters, garages, etc.) will be added if they apply at the lesson location.

Meet Soyoung Ryoo

For over 20 years, Soyoung Ryoo has been committed to building a strong musical foundation that not only helps her students achieve great things in front of the piano, but also in life. Northern Baltimore Piano is currently accepting new students of all ages and levels.