- How do you differ from in-home lessons?
- Is the teacher qualified?
- What if the student’s and teacher’s personalities don’t mesh well, or the student is dissatisfied?
- What are the names of your teachers?
- What if my child starts the lessons and does not like the instrument?
- Do you offer discounts on music lessons if I register more than one child?
- Can I sit in on my child’s private music lesson?
- Can my two children have a music lesson together, or both me and my child?
- Can we take lessons every other week instead of every week?
- Can I just take one month of lessons?
- Do we need a real piano at home to take piano lessons?
- How long will it take me to be able to play?
- What is the earliest age that my child can take lessons?
- Do you offer Suzuki method?
- Is half an hour long enough for a private lesson time for beginners?
- Will music theory be included in the private lesson?
- How much practice is required each week?
- Can we start in the middle of the year?
- Do you offer Orff?
- Do you have rental instruments available?
- Why do you charge an enrollment fee?
- Am I too old to begin lessons, or is my child too young?
- Do you work with special needs students?
A. Attending lessons in a professional environment means that the teacher and student are free from home distractions (TVs in the next room, doorbells, friends, siblings, and pets). Students tend to take their music study a little more seriously when they are coming to a “school” situation, bringing their books and materials to the lessons each week. Also, students gain excitement about the music making process when they are surrounded by other people of all ages engaged in music learning for many different instruments from drum lessons to trumpet lessons. Also, we offer a social outlet for siblings who are waiting for a lesson to end and formal, professionally recorded recitals that most in-home teachers cannot provide.
A. Yes. The majority of our teachers have multiple degrees in their field or are professional musicians in their instrument of specialization. Our teachers are experienced professionals and are chosen not only for their qualifications, but for their love of teaching and their ability to relate to the students. Our teachers have spent years developing their skills on their instruments or vocal training and studied with many master teachers.
A. This is one of the advantages of taking your lessons at PMA: We have multiple music teachers for each instrument so if a problem occurs in your flute lesson-which is extremely rare-you can switch to one of the other flute teachers so your studies are uninterrupted. If you think you may get more out of lessons from a teacher with a different teaching style, we have the flexibility to change you from one private piano instructor to another private piano instructor.
A. We have many teachers at our facility. Details for most of them are listed on the site, but at any given time we have additional teachers who’s information in not listed. We specialize in connecting students with the most appropriate teacher for their personality and goals. With a little information from you, we can make recommendations and you can view the picture and professional information under “Lesson Options” tab.
A. Usually students have “begged” to start music lessons on a particular instrument, so we suggest that the student sticks with their instrument choice for at least two months before switching to another instrument or voice lessons. That way, you will know for sure that the problem is not just the challenging first hurdles of learning a new instrument. If this situation occurs, the parent should contact our office right away so we can give the teacher any feedback that might be helpful and discuss ways to generate more interest. Students may switch to another instrument at any time during the year.
A. Yes. Families with more than one enrolled student pay a reduced enrollment fee. We pride ourselves in paying our instructors well and do not reduce their pay for multiple family members so we cannot discount the weekly lessons.
Q-7. Can I sit in on my child’s private music lesson?
A. Yes-we have an open door policy, but it is strongly discouraged due to the distraction it causes the child. It is your choice when to sit in. The teacher will offer their professional advice on this after they get to know your child, but would appreciate the opportunity to keep the lesson private for the first few lessons to get a feel of what will work best between the two of them.
A. Yes. Two individuals may have a team lesson and second person’s fees will be half as much as the first (teacher addresses both learning levels during the lesson). The teacher will let you know when the students should start with their own private weekly lesson. Or, if you are looking for convenience, you can ask about scheduling both lessons at the same time with different teachers or book them back to back.
A. At first this might seem like a good idea, but we have tried this in the past and we do not recommend it. (If you miss a lesson, it would be an entire month before you saw your teacher again!) It is really important that the teacher checks your progress and corrects your form every week. Also, attending weekly lessons will continue the learning momentum and generate mastering a skill more quickly. It is recommended to take weekly 1/2 hour lessons rather than a full hour if finances are a concern. Also, the tendency becomes to not practice the first week since you have another week before seeing the teacher.
A. Yes. This gives you the opportunity to meet the teacher and check out what lessons will be like before paying the enrollment fee to the academy. This series is taught at a slightly higher rate.
A. Although a real (acoustic) piano, or a digital touch sensitive piano is always best, they are not necessary to start. Some students can start with keyboards and once they decide they like to play piano, then you can look at an acoustic or digital piano for your family. The most important thing to know when purchasing a keyboard is that it must have full sized keys. It is best to get a keyboard with at least 60+ keys so that you don’t outgrow it too quickly (a regular piano has 88 keys).
A. That varies from student to student and really depends on the individual, how much practicing they do, and their age. Playing is a physical skill so it does take repetition to improve. Typically, if you start piano in August or September, by December you will be able to play a recognizable Christmas carol. With something like guitar, in a few short weeks with regular practice an adult will improve dramatically. Most students take approximately one year.
A. Piano is a great choice for the youngest students, but please inquire regarding your child. Some students are developmentally ready at different ages. A typical age for beginning a private lesson is 5. Some students are ready earlier, and some need to wait a little longer to begin. Violin is also a good choice for the youngest students. By the age of 5 or 6, guitar and drum lessons also become a possibility.
A. We do not offer Suzuki in piano. Suzuki piano is a method that was adapted from Suzuki violin. We do have a violin instructor who has been trained in Suzuki, and can use Suzuki books combined with traditional books for violin if requested.
A. Yes. In the beginning the half hour lesson gives the student a lot to practice at home. In a half hour, they will get enough material to be able to learn well and develop proper technique. As they progress, at the advice of the teacher, they can go to a longer lesson time.
A. A certain amount of theory is essential to learn any instrument, but is not the focus of private lessons. At the request of the student, theory can be more of a focus. We are always eager to share a more complete understanding of music with our students.
A. We recommend setting aside time for music practice at least 5 days out of the week. For a more age-specific guideline, please refer to the Tips While at Home article on our site called “How Long To Practice.”
A. Yes. We have year-round open enrollment. There is no reason to put it off another day!
A. Orff is a methodology of teaching children music through rhythm and specially sized rhythm and tonal instruments – it would be similar to saying Montessori preschool – and is another method of teaching. We do not incorporate these methods as a rule. One of the teachers might use certain aspects as helpful tools, but not the whole curriculum.
A. In addition to the fine lessons we offer at PMA, we do offer instruments for rent. We have both band and orchestra instruments available no matter what your age. If your daughter’s strings teacher recommended a different size instrument, bring her in and we will measure your bundle of girly joy and fit the right instrument for her growing arms. With our dedication to service and the beautiful instruments supplied by our partnership with NEMC, your experience is sure to be a good one. With advanced notice we are also able to get guitars and other non-band or orchestra instruments for rental.
A. We charge an enrollment fee to help cover administrative costs as well as costs associated with having a beautiful facility in which to learn. This fee is not yearly, but a one-time fee that is collected before lessons begin, no matter how long you continue your studies.
A. You are never too old to learn an instrument, and we recommend not starting lessons of any kind with children until at least the age of 4, sometimes older if the child needs to develop more before beginning.
A. We currently have special needs students and have had great successes with them. Our very qualified instructors have techniques to work with everyone. Before starting lessons with anyone, we always like to meet the prospective new student.