Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: What ages do you teach? When should a student begin?

A: I teach children and adults.  Most beginners start around 5-7 years old.  Some are ready as young as 4 and others are better waiting until they’re 8 or 9. It really all depends on the individual. Young beginners may take longer to grasp the basic concepts at the instrument, but the cognitive benefits of early music education are well established. Ultimately, it’s all up to how much effort you put in! Intentional practice makes perfect.

Q: I’m not sure if my child is ready for piano. How can I tell?

A: At a minimum, children should be able to stay on task with one activity for 20 minutes. They should know left from right, be able to recite their alphabet, read basic sentences, and count to ten. If they can count backwards from 10 to 1, that’s a good sign also. Most importantly, are you the parent ready to practice with your child daily? More on this below:

Q: How much practice is required?

A: For young beginners, 10-15 minutes daily should be enough at first. Once a student reaches a late beginner skill set, 20 minutes is recommended. Intermediate and advanced students should expect 30-45 minutes of practice. For all students, daily practice is recommended but 4 days a week should get the job done. For young beginners (ages 9 and below), parents must be prepared to practice with their students each day!  While learning how to practice, Nathan will provide helpful instructions for everyone involved, but parents do need to be there to encourage and guide productive practice.

Q: What styles do you teach? What will my student learn?

A: I strive to include a wide variety of styles, customized to each student.  I often find arrangements of songs they want to learn or create our own arrangements.  That said, most things could be considered “traditional” teaching. That’s a strange term, but mostly, it means that instruction centers around the ability to read music, to replicate what’s on the page at the piano, and to understand the structure, meaning, and beauty of the music on the page. Additionally, students also have the opportunity to compose their own pieces, play by ear, and understand the music they hear in everyday life.

Q: Do you offer recitals and other performance opportunities?

A: We have two ‘formal’ studio recitals – December and May – as well as other events like the Halloween Party. High-achieving students may also participate in competitions and festivals throughout the year.

Q: What do I need to get started? Do I need a piano?

A: Yes, to learn to play the piano, you will indeed need a piano of your own at home. If you don’t have one already, please contact me and we can discuss types of instruments. A full-size keyboard (88 keys) with weighted action is highly recommended. Pianos should be located in a quiet space where a student has regular access and can focus without excessive distraction.

Q: How often are lessons? How many lessons per year?

A: Lessons generally occur at the same time each week. For 2018-19, there will be 43 lessons. For more info, check out our Policies.

Q: What if I have to cancel a lesson? Do we get a refund or a makeup lesson?

A: Life happens! Within reason, we’ll try our best to accommodate your needs. Your tuition reserves you a specific time slot and just like a school, tuition is fixed. If we have to miss a lesson for some reason, the next invoice will be prorated for that missed lesson.  More info in our Policies.


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