FAQs for Children/Teens
For Adult FAQs, scroll down to the bottom or click here.
WHEN TO START
My child is 7 years old, is she ready for piano lessons?
Yes! An ideal age to begin lessons is 7 or 8 years old, 1st through 3rd grade (kids are used to the routine of school, homework, etc. and their physical coordination is more developed). That said, kids can start younger, too; it depends on each individual child’s development.
What days do you teach?
Tuesday through Friday, after-school into early evening hours. I also teach during the day (adults mostly) but have time slots for homeschool kids.
Do you have any openings?
Yes, contact me here.
Do you teach during vacations? Summer?
During the school year, there are no lessons during public-school vacations, students take 6 lessons throughout the summer. There is more info on summer at my Studio Policy page.
Do you offer make-ups?
Yes—if you miss a lesson, you can reschedule it if I have an available slot that week, during my regular teaching hours only. If no spaces are available that week, you can “bank” it for later. You can also do a Skype/Facetime lesson. I leave it up to parents to remember their bankable reschedules. I also provide parents with a Lesson Swap Sheet so if you know in advance you can’t make a lesson, you can swap with another parent!
check out my studio policy page for more info.
Why is it “tuition”? Aren’t I just paying for a weekly piano lesson?
Think of signing up for my program as similar to enrolling your child in a music school; not only are you getting a weekly lesson, you’re getting an instructor dedicated to the entire music education of your child who does as much for her students outside the actual weekly lesson as during the lesson.
How much is the tuition?
For more info, please see my tuition and rates here.
Please click here for an interesting viewpoint in an article about what your tuition pays for.
How much will my child be required to practice?
For success at the piano, students should strive to practice the length of their lesson time, at least 5 days a week. Students begin with less time per day so that they can first develop the habit of daily practice. And that practice time doesn’t have to be all at once! In fact, it’s often better for the student if it isn’t. Splitting it up into 2 or 3 sessions is often more productive, with better concentration and focus, plus often, for parents!, easier to get your child over to the piano! A major part of my job is teaching all students how to practice, and helping parents enforce this at home. Please see the Piano for Kids page for more in-depth info on practicing.
Have more questions about practicing? Please visit the On Practice section of my Kids’ Lessons page.
We’ve only got a keyboard, is this good enough?
As long as you have a digital piano to start out—88 weighted keys and a sustain pedal—if your child is a beginner, that works. I do require students who are advancing and committed in their study of the piano, to have an acoustic piano. Each child’s journey is different!
If you’re curious to learn more, click here to read my article on acoustic pianos versus digital keyboards, and why I believe, after 50 years of playing, why the real thing is always better!
There are also many other articles about the differences. Here’s one, for starters.
I want to get my child a piano, but I don’t even know where to start. And I’m not sure I could afford one.
I’m happy to help you with advice and steer you in the right direction and let you know of people, for example, my piano technician, who know more about getting one and where. Believe it or not, you can get a new-used upright piano for about the price of new top of the line digital piano. But please don’t run out and buy a piano on Craigslist before you talk to me! – I also have info over on my Resources page.
Okay, but we just don’t have room for one!
If there’s a will there’s a way! An acoustic piano takes up the same amount of space with just inches of difference length-wise and about 2 feet additional width-wise as a digital.
HOW TO START
How do I sign up?
Call or email me to set up a meet-and-greet interview (this is not an audition), which will be about 20–30 minutes. It’s free of charge and I give a very short “mini” lesson to beginners—which includes learning a first song. Your child can experience what it’s like to play the piano, meet me, and see the studio. I’ll also go over my program in more detail with you, including going through my studio policy; it’s a time for you to ask me any questions you might have about piano study.
Interested in signing up? Click here.
FAQs for Adults
I’m retired but have always wanted to play the piano. Is it too late?
It’s never too late! If you’ve never played piano, with time to practice (even 30 minutes a day, or most days) and if you’re self-motivated, disciplined, and, most of all, patient!, you will see results soon. And if you’re able to practice even more, you will be a piano player in short order! Beginners generally are able to play an early intermediate classical piece, such as Für Elise by Beethoven, as early as 1-3 years after study, depending on how much you can practice. If you had lessons when you were young, and you’re returning to the piano, you’ll begin to see results right away. If you’re a beginner at the piano and don’t have an acoustic piano, you’ll need an 88-key digital piano to start (if you have questions about getting one, I’m happy to give you advice).
I travel a lot and can’t make it to a regular lesson, is it possible not to come every week?
Yes, indeed! In the scheduling of my adult students, I can be more flexible. You can of course sign up for a weekly lesson, but I also offer lessons “a la carte.” Generally I don’t have a la carte slots between roughly 3–7 or even 8 pm, Tuesday through Thursday for adults because it is my “prime-time” for younger students, but sometimes I may have a slot during that time here and there! I have available slots at other times during the day and later evening slots.
What if I don’t want to work on classical, just pop or rock or jazz tunes?
Lessons for adult students are geared toward each student’s individual game plan. Some students want to learn only the classical repertoire, while others may be more interested in studying jazz harmony and improvisation to be able to play “standards.” Many want a combination of the two, and other genres of music as well. And some students want to know more about theory basics, or how to compose their own music. But I do believe in laying a foundation, which includes sightreading and technique, so a “classical” foundation at least in the very beginning will serve you the best!
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