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Studio FAQ's

What is the process for new students?

It’s As Easy As 1-2-3!

  1. Book a FREE Meet ‘n Greet:  You’ll meet your teacher, each student in your family will do a few activities, and learn more about the program that is best suited for each student and current scheduling options.
  2. Reserve your lesson spot: Once you submit your registration form and pay your initial invoice, you’re spot is reserved! 
  3. Start having fun in your piano lessons!  

We offer a 3-week paid trial so you can make sure the group is a good fit before committing to ongoing lessons.  After your trial, stay with your group or if it wasn’t the right fit try a a different class. 

After your trial, tuition is paid monthly, by semester or annually.

How much is tuition and what does it include?
  • All fees, including tuition are in Canadian Dollars (CAD).
  • All new families pay a one-time $25 registration fee.
  • New students start with a 3-week paid trial for $126 so you can make sure the group is a good fit before committing to ongoing lessons.
  • Group piano lesson tuition is $151 per month with options to pay annually, semester or monthly.
  • Your tuition includes many things that go well beyond your lesson time.
    • Directly used by individual students: music, recordings, tutorial videos and activity materials.
    • Studio-wide costs: subscriptions for studio-licensed music, programs used for lessons and recitals, resource storage, studio newsletter and other studio-wide communications with families, etc.
    • Admin and planning time: composing music for students, recording new content, professional development, communications with students and parents
  • Starting lessons after our September start date? No worries! Tuition will be prorated for students who join later.
  • Sometimes a student will want to learn a piece not covered in the tuition. Families would cover the cost of the piece.
Why group piano instead of the traditional private lessons?
  • More Fun:  Many kids give up piano because they see their friends having fun in dance, sports and band.  Adding a social element to piano lessons makes it more likely kids (and adults) will look forward to their weekly time together.
  • Independence:  It’s easy to let the teacher do the hardwork when it’s private lessons.  In a group, students are inspired to take what they’ve learnt and confidently apply it to new music!
  • Relevant: Not many people take piano lessons because they want to be a solo concert pianist.  But, many people DO take piano because they want to create music with others.  Whether it’s playing music with friends or more formal arrangements like band.  Group lessons mimic these experiences.
  • Efficient And Fun Learning: Whether a student needs more review or a challenge on a concept, each activity encourages them to learn at their own pace while seamlessly staying part of the group.
  • Small groups:  Having taught in classrooms of 25 – 35 students, I know how hard it is to meet each students’ needs in big groups.  With no more than 5 students per group, your piano lesson experience is much different with a more personalized feel.
Which curriculum do you use?
  • We use several resources in our studio including original music from Rosemarie Penner, Supersonics, TopMusicSheets and more!
  • Resources are typically studio-licensed and are generally covered within your tuition.  Your teacher has paid more to use the resource with all students.
  • Rosemarie composes music that is interesting for students and is based on specific skills and concept students should learn at a particular level.  Or, as she puts it “tricks students into learning”.
Do you need a piano at home before starting lessons?

Yes.  Just like any other skill, playing piano regularly is what leads to progress.  If you only do something once a week, it will take much longer to master than if you spend a short time multiple days per week.

Some must-have’s:

  • 88 weighted keys
  • At least one pedal
  • Sturdy stand for the keyboard: Avoid ones where the stand forms an ‘X’ since these are very uncomfortable.
  • A music stand attached to the piano
  • A piano bench

Some other things to consider:

  • If you do not want to budget for piano tuning twice a year, a digital piano is a much better option.  The Yamaha Clavinova series, plus Roland and Casio brands are excellent options for digital pianos.
  • Invest in the best instrument you can afford so you have a positive playing experience.  You’re likely to avoid playing if you have a piano stand that doesn’t let your feet go under the keyboard, tinny or unpleasant sounds, trying to awkwardly prop music or a bench that makes sitting at the piano uncomfortable.
  • You should expect to spend anywhere from $1000 -$2,500 for a new high-quality instrument (ah, inflation).   However, you may be able to find a better price on a used digital piano.  
  • Feel free to send a link to the piano (acoustic or digital) you are looking to buy if you would like some guidance on whether it’s a good investment.
How long does it take to learn the piano?

There are many factors and it also depends on what you consider “learn the piano”.  Your specific goals change this answer.

Practice is encouraged.  However, it’s about the quality, not time spent at the piano playing.  Short, regular, focused practice leads to much higher progress than a long practice right before lesson time.

Students and parents get regular updates on their progress and how we are working to reach their goals.

Keep in mind that progress is never in a straight line.  Some things will come easily and you will fly through the activities.  Other concepts or skills will just take time and it will feel like a plateau.  This is completely normal and part of any learning journey.

What tech do I need for piano lessons?

Online lessons can provide just as much or more support than in-person lessons.  Especially when the majority of the tech comes from the teacher’s side!  You’ll need just a couple of key pieces of tech combined with the tips below to have a fun, engaging piano lesson.

Must have’s (outside of a piano):

  • Tablet or laptop: A cell phone does not have a large enough screen for students to effectively see.
  • Webcam, speaker and microphone: Most devices already include these.  You want to be able see, hear and communicate clearly during lessons.
  • Internet connection:  Invest in the best internet connection you can afford.   Lessons are no fun for students when the connection is breaking up the whole time.

Tips to make your tech work effectively:

  • Avoid streaming (i.e. Netflix, Disney+, YouTube, etc.) during lessons.  Prioritize your wifi connection for the person taking lessons.
  • Age matters with technology.  Aim to have devices that are no more than a few years old.
  • Always update your apps and software.  This helps keep your device running smoothly and safely.
  • Make sure your device can sit or be propped easily and securely so your teacher can see you or your student playing.  Try to make it as easy as possible so it doesn’t become a chore before lessons.
  • Test the wifi by the piano using this FREE tool.  If the wifi is not reaching the levels in your internet package, consider adding a wifi extender (plugs into the wall) or plugging the device directly into the wifi router.
  • For your internet package, aim for a download/upload speed of at least 100 Mbps.
  • Some devices come with quiet speakers.  If it is difficult to hear, a small, inexpensive Bluetooth or wired speaker can make all the difference.
How do you support families of students?
  • An encouraging musical community.  And, yes, this also includes encouragement for our amazing piano parents!
  • Support both during and between lessons.  You are not alone!
  • More music in your home, including original music from your piano teacher and student!
  • Studio events that extended family and friends can attend!
“My hope was that Wesley would enjoy music and explore his interests - yes, it matched! I was very happy to see Wesley participate in a way that he was able to experience his own satisfaction and enjoyment :)”
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Studio FAQ's: Student Q's

When should we start piano lessons?

For adults, if you have been thinking it would be great to learn piano, why wait? Today is a great day to start!

Children can start as young as 4 years old with parental support.  But, some students are not ready to start lessons until they are 6 to 8 years old.

Children who already know “right” and “left”, numbers 1 – 10, and the alphabet may find it easier to progress at the beginning.  However, we will do plenty of review during lesson time for beginners.

Parents, the younger your child is, the more hands on support you will need to provide.  Both during lesson time and during week.  However, the goal is to build student independence right from the start.  We know you would rather be listening to your child playing piano than monitoring every moment.

Students and parents are encouraged to contact your teacher during the week with questions or concerns.  We want to solve these before they become big issues.

Should we continue piano classes during the summer?

Summer is a fantastic time for a relaxed family schedule.  This can include piano lessons!

Much like school, stepping away from the piano for 2 months will mean a loss of progress.

Summer programming is offered each year that bridges the gap between a relaxed schedule and steady progress.  Typically this means less lessons over June, July, and August. 

Studio families will find out summer lesson options each May.

What if my student is too fast for his/her/their class?

Your piano teacher will monitor your child each class with check-ins for progress every few weeks.

Each activity has different difficulty levels.  Your teacher will encourage your child to challenge themselves with these first.  If they are successful at the more difficult levels, you will be contacted about switching to a more advanced class.

Another option may be occasional private lessons to work on a personal project such as composing a longer piece.

What if my student is struggling with his/her/their class?

Your piano teacher will be monitoring your child each class with check-ins for progress every few weeks.

Each activity has different difficulty levels. Your teacher will encourage and guide your child to choose a level that best suits them.

Is practice happening during the week? If practice is not happening, your teacher will give you and your student ideas on how to get to the piano without it being a fight.

If you have worked with the teacher on the above steps and your student is still frustrated, there’s still hope! Your teacher can arrange for your child to try a class that better supports their learning pace.

My child is neurodiverse or I’m an adult who is neurodiverse. Will this work for us?

Yes!  Your piano teacher trained as a teacher to work with neurodiverse individuals and students with unique learner needs.  She has a lot of strategies to support you!

In the Meet ‘n Greet, your piano teacher will get to know you and your student so she can recommend the best programming option.

If you need more review, each activity is designed for you to learn at your own pace while staying part of the group.  There are also supplemental videos that may be provided that would be fantastic review during the week.

Our studio programming is designed to be cyclical throughout the year.  This means that we will come back to the same concepts and skills in different ways.  If it didn’t click the first time, no worries!  You’ll come back to it later.

Regular communication will be incredibly important.  No question is silly.  Each concern is heard.  Your teacher will work with you to figure out the best approach and supports for you or your child.

How does practice work?

Our goal is to create a positivity loop. 

  • Having fun in class leads to excitement to try it on your own during the week. 
  • Focused practice leads to progress. 
  • Progress makes you excited to learn and explore more. 
  • Because you are excited, the positivity loop continues each week.

Focused, short, regular practice is encouraged during the week because it leads to confidence and excitement for piano lessons.

You or your student will see and hear other students in piano lessons.  This can be inspiring for trying new things!  It can also make kids more open to practice during the week so they can keep trying these new ideas.

You will be given resources to support exploring and playing piano (AKA practice) during lesson time.  These can range from listening to music, backing tracks to play with, videos to watch and music to play.

“I hoped that he would learn more of what he enjoys playing so that he would like learning, practicing, playing. He often commented that he was enjoying his lessons and that he felt like your teaching methods helped him so much. Zane's favourite part was composing.”
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What People Are Saying

“Rosemarie is a very dedicated teacher. She develops a program unique to your child and motivates them in a variety of ways ... Watching my child grow and perfect her skill [was my favourite part of the year].”
“Although I didn't expect it, I found the recital preparation and experience a highlight - to hear the other students was very encouraging. But, I also began to enjoy working on the ‘backing tracks’ and compositions toward the end of the semester. Your transformation of my composition of 'Pika Observing Mountain Stream' onto a sheet of music was very enlightening, and much appreciated ... I enjoy the challenge and feel that it is good for my 'old' brain. Thank you very much for being my teacher!”
“Rosemarie is a very conscientious teacher who takes into account the needs of her students. She teaches piano techniques using a variety of methods that are interesting and engaging. Music appreciation is also a key element in Rosemarie's pratice and she has introduced us to music that we may have never been exposed to otherwise. Regular assessment also ensures that students get constructive feedback so that they can continue to be encouraged.”

Ready To Learn Piano?

Don’t just read music.  Create music! 

Sign up today for your piano lessons.  Your future self will thank you.

Ready To Learn Piano?

Our next 3-week INTRO sessions begin the week of August 6th!  

Perfect for beginners of all ages.  Limited lesson spots available. 

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