Do I need to have a piano to take lessons?  Is a keyboard the same thing?

Yes, you absolutely must have an instrument at home to practice on once your lessons begin.  An acoustic piano is strongly recommended.  The studio stands proudly behind its commitment to technique, and a large majority of technique is simply not possible to learn on a keyboard.  Pianos have weighted keys, which actively respond to different pressures, hand positions, and movements of the body and wrist.  Many keyboards do not have weighted keys, and, as a result, do not allow students to fine tune these capabilities that are introduced and reinforced in lessons.  Even students who play on keyboards that DO have weighted keys still never build up strength and control in their fingers the way they would playing on an acoustic piano.  The studio reserves the right to defer students who do not have an adequate practice instrument at home.”

How often should I have my piano tuned?

It is recommended that a piano be tuned twice a year with the change in season.  Because your piano contains materials such as wood and felt, it is subject to change with climatic conditions. Extreme swings from hot to cold or dry to wet cause the materials to swell and contract, affecting tone, pitch, and touch. You can reduce the severity of these effects by placing your piano near a wall away from windows or doors that are opened frequently.  Avoid heating and air conditioning vents, fireplaces and areas which receive direct sunlight.”

Why is at least one recital a year mandatory?

The piano is a performance art, and the best way to become comfortable performing is to perform often.  The studio offers multiple performance opportunities each year, and although only one is mandatory, students are encouraged to participate in as many as possible.  Performances also provide a motivating deadline for students to polish their work.  Students who perform tend to be more serious about their learning and will prepare all of their pieces more thoroughly.”

When is tuition due?

Tuition is due no later than the first lesson of every month.  It may be pre-paid for three months at a time if you prefer to avoid the hassle of monthly payments.  Please respect your instructor and be prompt with your tuition.  Many students choose to have tuition sent through their online Billpay, which is encouraged.  If you forget to bring your tuition to your lesson, it may be mailed to the studio.  Please do not mail cash.  A late fee of $10 may be applied if payment is not received by the second week of the month.”

As a parent, should I sit in on my child’s lessons?

I highly encourage parents to sit in on lessons.  For young students who depend on their parents’ assistance to practice at home, this is especially crucial.  By watching the instructor, you will be better prepared to answer questions and help guide practice sessions.  For independent students over 8 years old, parents need not sit in on every lesson, but I recommend observing at least once a month.  Students who feel that their parent is actively involved tend to meet and exceed standards more consistently than students who always work on their own.”

How long and how often do students need to practice?

No matter how talented or experienced your instructor is, your success with your lessons depends largely on the amount of time you are willing to commit to practicing. From the very start of your lessons, it is ideal that practice time becomes part of your daily routine. The muscles in your hands develop much the same way as any other muscle in your body. Just as you would not attempt to run a marathon without months of training, you should not expect your hands to master your lesson material the day before your lesson. If your lesson is 45 minutes, a daily routine of 30 minutes to an hour of practicing is ideal. More advanced students with longer lesson sessions are encouraged to increase their practice regiments accordingly.”

What is an ideal age for a student to begin lessons?

It is ideal to start lessons for children at a young age. I begin teaching children as young as five years old, provided that they can be attentive in a one-on-one lesson setting.  For children ages 4-6 who need a jump start, Piano Readiness Classes are available to establish a fun music routine and to prepare them for the responsibilities of private lessons in the near future.  Parents of very young students should be prepared to spend time helping their child learn to practice and establish a routine.”