Frequently Asked Questions
How old should a child be when they start taking lessons?
Generally 5 years old is the youngest a child can begin learning the piano in earnest. It depends on the child though. I highly recommend that children younger than 5 try Kindermusik. It is a great way to gain exposure to music, and it is a lot of fun. Guitar lessons are harder to assign an age to. The child needs to be able to hold a guitar comfortably, and have the finger strength and dexterity to hold down the strings. The most important thing a student needs to have for any instrument is enthusiasm and interest in learning.
What kind of piano or guitar do I need for my child to practice on?
I highly recommend acoustic pianos, even for beginner students. Hearing actual string vibrations is a much more enjoyable, and enthralling experience than recorded sounds. Children gravitate to this and in my experience, are more likely to practice of their own volition on an acoustic piano. There are many used, relatively inexpensive upright pianos to be found on websites like craigslist. Acoustic steel string or nylon string guitars are generally the best for a new student, but electric guitars are ok as well. Instruments purchased from general goods retailers like Target are probably not the best choice though. If you would like, I would be happy to assist you in finding an instrument.
How often does a piano student need to practice?
This largely depends on a student's goals. I encourage younger students to practice several short sessions a day, rather than one longer session.
What will I or my child get out of piano lessons?
While music is certainly its own reward, it also lays a foundation of achievement and builds confidence in children. Piano especially is good for a first instrument, as it doesn't require any special skill to create a beautiful tone (like a violin, or a clarinet does). Piano allows a student to learn the fundamentals of music and gain an appreciation.
What is different about your lessons?
Our teachers are themselves highly skilled musicians as well as experienced teachers. We keep a student's eventual goals in mind, even when just starting lessons. Small adjustments made to a beginner's habits (such as hand and finger position) can have dramatic consequences over years of study. We are highly energetic and make the learning process fun and interactive. The student's progress and interests drive the course of study, not the contents of a lesson plan or a method book. No two lessons are ever the same.
Can parents attend lessons?
Absolutely! For young children, I request that parents attend as much as possible to allow them to reinforce key concepts throughout the week. Parents are always welcome, and siblings are welcome as well as long as they don't provide a distraction from the lesson.