What you need to know before enrolling:
Learning to play the piano well takes time, perseverance and patience. While some students adapt very quickly to new skills, other students may need more time to master these very same tasks. Regardless, all students will progress and learn to play well--as long as they don't quit.
Because students are at home with their parents every day of the week and in the studio with their teacher only one day of the week, parents are required to provide the optimal musical setting at home. This includes enforcing a regular practice routine, providing the best sounding well-tuned piano you can afford and lots of encouragement.
Families are encouraged to listen to music at home (or on-the-go) and to attend at least two fine arts performances every year. (If you would like some recommendations on music or concerts, please feel free to ask me for some ideas!)
How much am I required to practice?
I believe that consistency and quality (not quantity) is most important when it comes to practicing at home. I do not require my students to practice for a certain amount of minutes each day.
Students should practice at least 4-5 days per week. That's all I require.
In the beginning stages, practicing 5-10 minutes a day will be adequate.
Over time, the amount of minutes that a student spends at the piano will need to increase, but the number itself isn't important (and will likely vary a from day to day). The goal should always be to meet the targeted assignment and to come to their next lesson prepared.
Why do I need an acoustic piano?
Despite technological advancements, even the best digital pianos fail to accurately replicate the sound and feel of a real piano. The good news is that an acoustic piano holds their value better than digital pianos do, so they are usually a worthwhile investment even when buying used.
In addition, a real piano tends to command respect as an instrument and--simply by being 'the real thing'--motivates students to practice more often. Most children tend to treat keyboards as if they were toys and, feeling their inferiority & limitations, is often less exciting to practice their piano assignments on. Give your child the best opportunity of sticking with lessons by investing in a real instrument.
How often should I have my piano tuned?
Acoustic pianos should be tuned once or twice per year by a qualified piano technician. Regular tuning is crucial to the development of the students ear so that the student is hearing the proper pitches of each note of the piano. Skipping tunings is a bit like skipping oil changes for your car--not good! Over time, a well-matained piano will begin to hold pitch better and better between tunings. Getting regular tunings is worth it.
A bad-sounding instrument does not inspire ANYONE to want to sit down and play. Provide your child with a nice instrument and maintain it.