FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Do I need to own a piano to take piano lessons? If so, what do I need and where do I start?
A: Yes! You need a piano to practice between lessons at home. As with any new skill, if you take time off between lessons, you won't be able to reinforce what you learned and truly master it without forgetting important things! I require a piano/keyboard with 88 weighted keys and a damper pedal. (We use all the keys starting at the first lesson!) A great store for these needs is Piano Solutions in Carmel, IN. A general rule, the more expensive the keyboard, the better. You can also find cheap uprights on craigslist. Be sure to investigate it before you buy it! Look for missing keys, coffee, spills, etc. I find the newer the upright, the better.
Q: You have all these fancy degrees and experience. Do you teach kids? Why should I take from a professional teacher?
A: YES! I studied piano teaching so I could effectively know how to give kids a solid but enjoyable foundation for their piano study. If you "try it out" with a random person before finding a real teacher, that doesn't create much excitement or a love for piano. The first few years of lessons are the MOST IMPORTANT in terms of motivation, fun, and long-term enjoyment.
Q: Will my kids like piano lessons and what makes yours different?
A: Yes! My studio has a 98% retention rate over the course of my 14 years of teaching. In trying to pinpoint why that is, I realized it has nothing to do with WHAT we do in lessons (although it helps!) but everything to do with HOW I teach the material. Over the course of my own studies, I've had 13 different private teachers (on multiple instruments), 20 years of my own private piano lessons, and Kindergarten and Middle/High School Teachers as parents. Having been a student for so long, I know what teaching is effective and fun and what doesn't work from a student perspective. Teaching someone to do something new has always been a love of mine, and I channel that through my lessons. As a result, my students love piano and are successful at it, which gives them the most vital piece for sustaining piano lesson fun: intrinsic motivation to keep learning.
Q: What are your age limits:
A: I youngest I teach is 6-years-old with no top age limit. Students need to be able to sit through a 30-minute lesson and the ability to read is a plus!
Q: How much time do I have to practice?
A: Students who play piano every day and have parental support are the most successful. When practice at home stops happening, so does the fun at piano lessons. Most beginning students can practice 10 minutes every day and be prepared for lessons - it just depends on how fast they can learn an assignment well.
Q: What method series do you use? Can I use books I already have?
A: This depends on the age of the student, if they have siblings learning from the same books, and what experience they already have. I don't streamline my students into one series so I can keep my teaching interesting and cater to how each student learns. I mostly use Piano Adventures, Piano Pronto, Alfred Premier, and Bastien. Intermediate students branch off into classical, jazz, pop, movie music, and anything else they desire to learn.
Q: How does a monthly flat rate work if there are only 2 lessons in a month? Am I over paying?
A: No, you are not overpaying. I add up the cost of 38 lessons over the course of a year as well as the built in book fees/upkeep fees (see below) and divide by 12. This makes your monthly rate lower overall, instead of charging per lesson and nickel and diming you for everything I pay for.