It is natural to have lots of questions, especially if music instruction is new for you or your family. Below are answers to the most common questions I get asked by prospective students and their parents.
INSTRUMENT & SUPPLIES:
“Do I need to have a piano or keyboard to get piano lessons?”
- Weekly lessons are for learning new concepts and building on what has been practiced. The six days in between lessons are vital to moving forward. No instrument in your home means no weekly practice. No practice ensures you (or your child) will not progress.
“How do I know what type of piano or keyboard to buy?”
- Please read details on the “Do I Need a Piano?” page. I have listed pros, cons, and things to keep in mind for each option.
“Do you sell music supplies?”
- I provide a binder with tabs to keep everything organized for each new student. You will be expected to purchase any books or additional supplies needed. However, I am more than happy to point you in the direction of where to buy what is needed. Before your first lesson, you will be give a list of supplies needed. At the first lesson, I will determine the best program and let you know what books to purchase.
[Our initial hope was] that CJ would gain an appreciation for, and love of, making music. CJ’s “go to” when stressed, bored, happy, whatever, is to go practice the piano. While she may not be progressing at a “normal” rate, she is moving forward at HER pace. Something we very much appreciate!
~ Mick L. parent
“What is the best age to start piano?”
- This is dependent on many factors, including a keen desire to learn music through playing piano, the attention span for lessons, and ability to dedicate time to practice. I use the Wunderkeys program for preschool students (ages 3-5 years old) which focuses on pattern recognition and engaging activities. For a fantastic article on the best age to start lessons, read Diane Hidy’s “The Window”.
“How long does it take to learn piano?”
- This is different for each person. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. Usually, several months of lessons and consistent practice will allow a student to have the basics and play rudimentary pieces. For more difficult songs, it will take longer to learn the skills necessary to play the piece. Like everything in life, the things we work for are the most rewarding. So, try not to put unrealistic expectations on yourself or your child. The key is to have fun and enjoy the journey.
“How can I practice effectively or help my child?”
- Set up a routine, review the practice page each week, and reward yourself (or your child)!
- Time: Set aside time 5 days a week so it becomes routine. Once a habit or routine is formed, it is much easier to follow through.
- Review: Read (or have your child read) all assignments and teacher notes before they begin practicing. This will allow them to organize their practice time from hard material to easy, or less enjoyable tasks (these tend to be technique) to their favourite parts. This ensures students end on a positive note each time they practice. You, or your child, has forgotten something since lesson. Not a problem! Give me a quick call, email or text and I will be more than happy to give extra guidance.
- Rewards: These are different for each individual. For adults, it may be specialty coffee or time reading a book. For children, it may be occasional rewards for successful practicing. However, the most successful reward is specific praise. Some examples are: they worked hard on a challenging piece of the song or their scales have improved substantially since the week before.
“How will I know if I (or my child) is progressing?”
- Firstly, it is important to talk keep the lines of communication open between you and your teacher. Feel free to ask questions, share concerns, or parents can even sit in on a few lessons to get a sense of what their child is learning. We also have student-led conferences twice a year. These are great opportunities for your child to teach YOU a specific skill they have learnt in the previous months. It will also give your specific vocabulary to use in your praise throughout the year.
“Where do I go for lessons?”
- I come to your home for lessons at a regularly scheduled time that works for both of us. I want your lessons to be fun, relaxed, and the least disruptive to your schedule. Having a teacher come to your home means you have right up to the moment I arrive to relax, eat, practice, or anything else you might like to do.
Nico’s lessons are always varied and engaging. Through her lessons, we feel that Nico will have the introduction and background to be a life-long lover of music. This year, you have helped her to develop the confidence necessary to tackle longer pieces as well as to discuss music and solve problems on her own.
~ Harich family, parents
“What method of payment do I use to pay for lessons?”
- The two options are post-dated cheque or credit card. You can pay tuition annually, biannually, or monthly.
- Post-dated cheques are dated for the first of each month. This frees up time for both of us since I have all cheques for the 10 months before lessons begin. You get to enjoy lessons without pesky reminders for payment.
- All fees are listed in the Must Love Music tuition rates section.
“Do I pay less in months with fewer lessons?”
- Every month the fee is the same. This allows you to budget for lessons with a consistent amount so you and I can put our energy into the fun part – the lessons! Don’t worry. Over the course of the 10 months, your lessons will average out.
“If I miss a lesson, do I get a reduction in the monthly fee?”
- There is no reduction in the monthly fee. However, when you give at least 24-hours written notice before your lesson time, I will provide either a FaceTime or video lesson.
- When you register, you and I are committing to meeting a particular time each week. If you miss a lesson, this does not negate the time I have already invested to ensuring your lesson time is productive.