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Frequently Asked Questions

How old should my child be before starting piano lessons? The ideal age will be different for each child, but most begin between ages 5-7. Children age 4-5 will need more parental involvement in lessons and at home. There are books and materials especially designed for every age group, preschool through adult.

What age is best to begin voice lessons? It is better to be a little older and to have some prior musical experience before beginning voice study. Vocal chords need to mature a little before being worked vigorously. Middle school aged students can begin with careful use of the voice.

Should I study piano if I want to sing? All voice students would benefit greatly from having 2-3 years of piano or another instrument before turning to voice.

Do you teach adults? I love working with adults, whether they are beginners or returning after studying when younger.

Am I too old to begin piano lessons? Of course not. My oldest beginner (so far!) was 86 at her first lesson. Playing piano is a fun and fulfilling way to exercise both body and mind.

30 or 60-minutes lessons? For most beginners 30 minutes is enough. After a year or two of study all students can benefit from more time to cover the increasing complexity of the music, finer points of technique, listening, rhythm, expression, etc.

Do you allow make up lessons? Yes. Though most teachers offer limited or no rescheduling of missed lessons, I have decided to make flexibility a feature of my relationship with you. Please check the Tuition & Policies page for details.

I have a keyboard, is it better to have a real piano at home? YES, for several important reasons:

  1. You have to have something at home to practice with between lessons. Keyboards can help you learn notes, but...
  2. Digital keyboards sound and feel different than a real piano. The listening and technical skills being developed can only be refined on a real piano. Some students do pretty well despite having a digital piano at home, but I always wonder how well they would be doing with the real thing.
  3. Many keyboards are missing the entire range of notes a piano keyboard has, and/or the foot pedal.
  4. Playing on a different instrument at home than the one at your lesson slows progress and frustrates the student.
  5. Bringing a piano into your home sends important signals to your child. It tells the child you trust them to take this new venture seriously, and that you are committed to helping them do so. It tells the child that this is an exciting new part of your home life. It increases their enthusiasm about piano and practicing at a crucial stage.

Keyboards are terrific in their own right and I recommend one as a fun addition to -- but not a replacement for -- a piano. A keyboard can be a short-term solution while you look for the right piano. A quality piano, properly cared for, can last as long as your home, serving generations of musical talent. There are great deals available for new and used pianos and I will be happy to aid your search.

How much should I/my child practice? All students should average practicing at least 5 days a week -- in addition to their lesson time. The amount of time will depend on age and level. Beginners should practice 10-15 minutes per day, minimum, and each year of study should add about 5-10 minutes per day. How to practice the weekly materials is discussed in every lesson and is just as important as the amount of time spent.

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