Before you begin lessons you will need to consider buying an instrument if you do not already have one. An acoustic piano is always best but you can begin with a keyboard or a digital piano. The main thing is to have an instrument that you or your child is going to go home and enjoy using.
Do I need to worry about buying books?
I am happy to make the necessary trips to the music store to order and pick up books on behalf of students. There is no additional charge for this but the cost of books will be placed onto the student's account. This way students will always have the books or music they need when they need it. I also have a lending library which students may use for supplemental pieces so there is always plenty of music to play.
Do students need to do exams?
Absolutely not! But they certainly can if they want to and if I feel they are ready to. The main focus in my Studio is for the enjoyment of music and learning to play many different styles on the piano. I do direct students to take exams when I feel they are ready and they are keen to set themselves a goal. When ready my students are prepared for the AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) exams.
Is the piano a good instrument for children to learn?
I have often been asked by parents what instrument is best for a child to start with. Whilst I would not like to be biased (but after all I am a piano teacher) I would have to say that if your child shows no particular preference for an instrument then I would recommend that they try the piano first.
One of the advantages of learning to play the piano first is that a student must learn to read two lines of music simultaneously in order to play this instrument. It is then easier for students to transfer to other instruments where only one line of music is required to play the instrument.
Another advantage is that the piano is suitable for very young students which cannot be said for all instruments. A young student can find the keyboard an exciting place to begin with as they need only push down on a single key to make a sound. Students can also sing along with the piano and this is something that most very young students love to do.
However if your child has an absolute passion or keeps insisting that they want to learn the violin, flute, drums or any other instrument then please do not make them take piano lessons first. It is important to keep their passion alive and to take advantage of it when they feel it the most, otherwise they may lose any passion for music while going to lessons they really do not want to be at.
How is my child going?
It may seem at times that children are not progressing and sometimes this has parents wondering if they are losing interest. In reality they are merely taking time to process all of the information they have been taught to date or perhaps they are just having a little trouble with a new concept. There will be times when students progress rapidly and then seem to slow down. You will notice this when you start to hear them playing the same piece for several weeks. However you will find that if they stick with it they will start to progress more quickly again.
It is not an easy thing to learn to play a musical instrument but every student has the capacity to do so in their own time. There are many concepts involved in playing just a simple piece of music. Please remember that every child learns at a different pace and they should not be compared to anyone else.
Why should i pay for missed lessons?
There are a number of reasons why a professional teacher will charge for missed lessons but one of the main reasons is to ensure that students turn up on a regular basis which is important if they are to progress.
Professional music teachers, like everyone else in the community, need to earn a living. They need to be able to rely on a regular income so that they can stay in the business of teaching.
You are not paying for a piano lesson you are paying for a reserved time in a Studio.
Teachers who charge in advance will have lessons well planned in advance so that no lesson time is ever wasted. Professional teachers do not just work during the time you attend a lesson, they are thinking of you throughout the week and know where you are heading as the year progresses.
The overall cost of learning to play any musical instrument should be considered in terms of years and not just a lesson or two.