What ages do you teach?
We teach ages 4 through adult with a specialized method exclusively for young children 4 to 6 years of age. This method utilizes a combination of piano practice and musical concepts. The approach is structured, yet positive, patient, and engaging. The program is dedicated to gradually developing a working knowledge of keyboard concepts, theory, proper finger technique and hand positions, posture, note location, rhythm, dynamics, etc.
Once proficient with primary concepts, note reading will be introduced. There will be a delay in note reading because children should develop basic technical competence on their instruments before being taught to read music.
Studies have shown that children in the Pre-K age range age retain not only the foundations of the musical principals, but also the positive associations and personal development that come from expressing oneself through music. Some of our best 8 and 9 year old students started in our young beginners classes and have progressed to study a variety of different instruments.
Should I purchase a piano or keyboard?
A piano is ideal, but a keyboard is a great option for a beginner. If you go this route, you should get a keyboard that has at least 5 octaves, has full-sized keys, and is touch-sensitive (the harder you strike a key, the louder the sound it produces). Even better is to get a keyboard with weighted action (similar to that of a real piano), though these are more expensive. Electronic keyboards are great for playing in bands and for situations where sound level is a consideration.
You should realize, however, that electronic keyboards do not come close to the living, breathing, hugely dynamic and very individual natures of real pianos. Just as there is a huge palette of sound available to you with synthesizers, there is a huge palette of nuance, dynamic range and expression with an acoustic piano that cannot be replicated with an electronic keyboard.
Do I need a piano at home?
No; additional practice time is available if you do not have access to a piano outside of lessons.
What about families who want to learn?
Lessons can be scheduled to accommodate your busy family with back-to-back lessons to cut down on travel time.
What should I expect during lessons?
Each lesson has three major components. The first segment is devoted to last week's lesson assignment where the student gets a chance to demonstrate what he or she has worked on. The second component is time spent on technical development and music theory training.
Students are taught how to read music, increasingly complex rhythms, note interval recognition, ear training, and chord construction. The third component is introducing the next assignment and teaching the student the important elements of their new song(s).
How often are lessons?
Lessons are usually once a week, but for students who want to excel at a faster pace, two or three days per week lessons are also available.
Will I perform in a recital?
The opportunity to participate in recitals, festivals, and competitions is always open, but it is not mandatory as part of your lesson plan. While it is encouraged to perform your learned pieces in front of an audience, you won’t be pressured to do so.
What styles of music can I play?
You are free to choose any style of music you like best whether it be classical, baroque, romantic, impressionistic, pop, rock, blues, jazz, contemporary, modern, or religious styles.
How much will I need to practice?
Regular daily practice is most effective. If you can average 30 minutes a day, you’ll make good progress. Of course there will be days when your busy schedule may not permit playing for 30 minutes. However, you will be well served if you can at least pick up the instrument for 5 minutes. Don’t let a day go by without getting some playing in, and try to average 20-30 minutes per day over the course of a week.
For younger students, it is important to focus on practicing at a daily, regularly scheduled time in order to develop a consistent routine. The length of time of each practice session can be minimal, usually 15 minutes, and gradually increase as the student transitions into playing more challenging songs.
How quickly will I learn?
Making the decision to take music lessons means you are ready to regularly devote some of your time and attention to learning something new. Practice habits usually dictate how quickly a student progresses. The physical skills involved can take quite a while to develop to a high level.
The mental understanding of music theory and the language of music is likewise a long-term undertaking. However, if you enjoy the process of hanging out with an instrument and learning how to make it sing, you’ll be well rewarded at every stage of your progress.
Will I learn music theory?
Yes. Understanding theory will give you an advantage in music comprehension and the ability to independently learn new songs of your choosing.
Will you help me get into a prestigious university or conservatory as a music major?
We work with you specifically to meet your goals. If you are thinking of applying to a full-time music school or conservatory, our music college prep courses and extensive repertoire training can get you ready for auditions and your future studies.