Private Lesson FAQs
What is the cost investment for private lessons?
For a half-hour lesson, tuition is $25 per lesson, paid monthly, with a 10% discount for siblings. For young beginners, a 20 or 25-minute lesson is offered, $17 and $20 respectively, also paid monthly.
Materials will be needed to start with and then every 6-12 months; cost will range from $18-$22. The pace of private lessons is designed to match the needs, interest level, and goals of each child, so completing a level varies greatly from student to student.
Is a keyboard good enough for beginner lessons?
The uncertainty of whether or not your child will enjoy learning to play the piano and continue in lessons can discourage many from investing in an acoustic (“real”) piano. If you prefer to begin on a starter instrument, a full-sized keyboard with weighted keys will be an acceptable substitute. Even better would be a digital piano, as it resembles an acoustic piano in looks and feel and there are less distracting buttons and gadgets than on a keyboard!
What do you require for weekly practice?
I start beginners out with a target time of 10 minutes a day for a minimum of 5 days. As they advance through each level, the minimum is increased by 5 minutes. Practice incentives are offered to motivate practice, as I completely understand that life is busy and it's hard to make consistent practice a habit!
Students are encouraged to enjoy practice and learn to practice well, but I also see the struggle to practice as an indication that we need to adjust the pace of lessons. Maybe the student has simply hit a plateau or isn't grasping a concept and we need to move more slowly. Often, introducing some “just for fun” music helps them understand the goal of daily practice and application: it gives them the skills needed to play the music that excites them!
I would like to see if you are a good match for my child(ren). What should I do?
If you would like to meet with me before reserving an ongoing lesson time, we can schedule an interview/sample lesson. I will answer any questions that you have and sit down with your child(ren) for 10-15 minutes and introduce some basic piano concepts with them, or, if they have taken lessons already, have them play some pieces for me and talk with them about what they are used to as far as lesson and practice expectations.
What if my child gets sick or we will be out of town?
Keeping your scheduled lesson on a regular basis is important for retention and growth, but for those inevitable conflicts, make-up lessons are offered. Ideally, we would reschedule for another time during the week, but if that doesn't work out, you may reserve a time on the make-up days that are held periodically throughout the school year.
What about summer lessons?
Continuing with lessons during the summer is highly encouraged but not required. Each summer you will be given the opportunity to reschedule your lesson for a morning or early afternoon time if you wish, and are given a calendar of dates to choose from. Even having a lesson just every few weeks during the summer can ensure that what they learned during the school year is not forgotten in the busy days of summer!
What method(s) do you use in private lessons?
My favorite method for beginners is Piano Adventures. Concepts are presented in a logical progression and the music is designed to be engaging and sound interesting from the very first lessons. If the student has taken lessons before, we will continue working out of the books they currently have, unless we both agree that a change would be helpful.
For preschoolers and the very early elementary grades, I use Wunderkeys, My First Piano Adventures, or Piano Castle (a method I personally developed), depending on age and interest level. Often, I will use the best elements from each method to personalize lessons for the very young beginner.
What are your qualifications for teaching?
Officially, I have worked towards completing the requirements for a CDA (Child Development Associate Credential) from the Council of Professional Recognition and had over 5 years experience teaching in a daycare/preschool with 3 and 4 year olds before returning to teach piano after some time away. All together I have over 10 years' experience as a piano teacher. I consistently research new methods, ideas, and activities to present to my students.
Unofficially, I love teaching in general and the piano in particular! The “light-bulb” moment is exciting to see and is greatly worth the effort. I enjoy getting to know each of my students and listening to them talk about what happened during their week – or trying to draw them out, as the case may be!
When I was taking piano lessons myself growing up, “piano lesson day” was my very favorite day of the week. Now that nearly every day is a piano lesson day, I am living a dream come true for which I am very grateful!
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