Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my child is ready to begin lessons?
The age at which to begin piano study is different for each child. The first thing to consider is whether the child has expressed an interest in the piano. Is she picking out tunes on her own? Does he ask for lessons? Second, what kind of attention span does your child have? Piano study isn't just about coming to lessons once a week, it's about daily and engaged practice. It's helpful if the child can already read, but not necessary. Your child will need some help with their practice for a portion of the first year. If the answers to these questions are mostly positive, then it's time to schedule an interview!
How long should my child practice?
This will differ from child to child. Beginners benefit from having several shorter practice sessions each day, about 10-15 minutes each, if possible. As the child’s skills develop and the music becomes more difficult, the amount of practice time will increase. Most importantly though, practice needs to be regular.
Must a parent attend the lessons?
For very young beginners, yes, parents should attend lessons, at least for a while. This is usually needed because of the development and age of your child. It is helpful because then the parent can know how to guide their child at home. After that, parents are welcome to attend at any time.
I don't play the piano! How can I help my child?
This is why it is so helpful for you to attend your child’s lesson. You can learn the same things your child is learning by paying attention in the lesson. You might not be playing the piano in the lesson, but you are learning the concepts, note names, what hand position should look like, etc. Please feel free to ask any questions you have in the lesson or email me during the week if a question arises.
Why do I pay the same amount every month if there aren't the same number of lessons in every month?
You are making equal payments based on an annual tuition of a certain number of weeks. Having equal payments makes it easy for you to remember and makes for less bookkeeping for me.
Does my child have to participate in recitals?
Yes, if at all possible. There are two recitals each year and I encourage all students to participate. Music is made to be heard and shared. Most students are usually happy after performing because of the praise they receive for their efforts. I strive to make recitals be a positive experience for the students. Ensemble playing in the recitals helps to reduce the stress of playing in front of others. I will certainly listen to your concerns and do my best to accommodate your child's needs.
How should I choose a teacher?
Your child's teacher should be a well-educated professional. Simply because a teacher is conveniently located to you doesn't mean that individual is the right teacher for your child. Also, just because someone took piano when they were younger and can play the piano doesn't mean they know much about teaching. Inquire about credentials and schooling. It's a good idea to interview several teachers to find one who is the best match for your child. In addition, have your child meet the teacher. It's so important that there be a good connection between the teacher and child.
The first piano teacher that your child has is the most important piano teacher he or she will ever have. That teacher lays the foundation for what can happen in your child's musical future. A good teacher will:
• create a foundation of good habits in reading, technique, rhythm and listening
• teach your child how to practice
• foster a life-long love of music
• help your child develop self-discipline and motivation
The chemistry between teacher, child and parent is vital. Communication and respect are a must. Piano study is a triangle of teacher, student and parent.
What about different types of pianos?
An acoustic piano is different from a digital keyboard. Digital pianos do come with weighted keys, but the action is still very different from an acoustic piano. The harder action of an acoustic piano enables a student to develop strong fingers. The digital piano does not have strings and hammers that attach to the keys thus making the touch completely different from an acoustic piano. If you do have a digital piano, it's best to make certain that it has the standard 88 keys.
A piano needs to be tuned regularly, at least once a year. A piano should also be placed on an inside wall of your home, if possible. Maintaining your instrument is important to ensure that it is in good shape for your child.
Please see my full studio policies.