Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I have to own a piano?

A: Yes. Ideally, an acoustic piano (meaning it does not plug into an outlet.) If you do own a digital piano or keyboard, I just ask that you understand that if interest is maintained, investing in an upgraded instrument will be crucial to your or your child’s development.

Q: Do I need to have my piano tuned before we start?

A: If you’re like most students, you’ve inherited a piano from a relative or friend and chances are that piano hasn’t been tuned in years. A proper tuning will revitalize your instrument, increasing its lifespan which means you may never have to upgrade to a newer piano.

If you already own a newer piano, you may think the initial tuning that came with the instrument is all you need, but that’s not true. Every piano needs to be tuned and serviced by a Registered Piano Tuner (RPT) once a year (or more depending on the advice of your tuner.) Having a properly tuned piano is necessary to the development of a student’s ear, so I always recommend having it tuned before the first lesson or soon after.

Q: Who should I call to have my piano tuned?

A: Al Shaeffer is a highly skilled RPT who services my studio pianos. Take a look at his website and shoot him an email to set up an appointment. I recommend him to all of my students because of his unparalleled expertise and professionalism. 

Q: How old should my child be to start lessons?

A: 5 or 6. Some 5 year olds have great success in piano lessons, others aren’t quite ready. Email me and we can talk in depth about your child and what I look for in a young beginner.

Q: Am I too old to start lessons as a beginner?

A: No! I don’t even know you yet, but of course you aren’t! Read about my views on adult students here.

Q: Will I be able to pick the music I want to play?

A: Yes. I love when a student comes to the lesson with their own ideas. Of course, as the teacher, it is my job to direct you towards music that will enhance your skills, but you will always be an active participant in the selection of your music.

Q: Will I need to practice everyday?

A: Yes. I do encourage that each student sits down to the piano everyday, but I will tailor the recommended amount of practice to you and your goals. Read more about the importance of practice here.

Q: How often will we have lessons?

A: Lessons will occur on the same day and time on a weekly basis and are 30, 45, or 60 minutes long depending on the age and skill level of the student. Finding the right time for you is important to ensure consistent, weekly attendance. Email me to see what’s available and to talk about starting lessons!

Q: What about payment?

A: Email me for pricing. Lessons are billed on a monthly basis and can be paid by cash or check. Payment is due at the first lesson of every month. 

Q: What if I need to cancel a lesson?

A: Your weekly lesson time has been reserved for you and is unavailable to any other students, therefore monthly payment is neither reduced or refunded due to missed lessons by the student. Because of this, it’s important for us to find the right time for you (or your child) to ensure weekly attendance is possible.

If a student must miss a lesson, I will do my very best to work with you in order to schedule a make-up, but if that isn’t possible, the missed lesson will not be credited back to you. (See “Studio Policies”

Remember, lessons are most effective when held weekly so the student is constantly learning and growing at a steady pace. Practicing the same stuff for 2 weeks because you missed a lesson won’t do you any good and frankly, it’s boring!

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