Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Joe, you seem like a pretty serious dude. I want my kid to have fun too. Where is the fun?
A. Despite my ''lets get down to business attitude'' that may be portrayed through the website, there is always time for hearty belly laughs. My students know this and come to lessons with a big smile. We get down to business AND we do a lot of laughing.
Q. Is a piano at home a requirement for lessons?
A. Don't think of it as a requirement. Think of it more like this; if you are going to spend money on weekly private piano lessons that are often as short as 30 minutes, how can you get the most out of the lessons? The answer is practice at home the other six days of the week.
If we cover 2-3 concepts during the lesson, the best way to reinforce those lessons learned is practice at home. Piano lessons is not like many sports where kids need to practice with their team and meet up multiple times per week. It's not like martial arts classes where they also meet multiple times per week practicing with others. It's not even like reading class or science class where they meet multiple times per week with homework included. With piano lessons we generally meet only once a week for a short amount of time. The absolute best way to strengthen what is taught during the lesson is practice at home.
Let's take math class in school. Kids spend 45 minutes in math class 5 days a week. That adds up to 3 hours and 45 minutes each week NOT including homework which can double the time spent in class. It takes years to become proficient in basic math from when kids first start learning numbers. You can already see how the hours add up. If you practice piano only once a week for 30 minutes at a time, how good can you possibly become?
How good can you become at anything with only 30 minutes a week? We spend 2000 hours + each year in our profession not to include what it took to get there.
See what I am saying?
Students don't need to become great pianists like Lang Lang, Vladimir Horowitz, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Evgeny Kissin, Martha Argerich, and Van Cliburn. They "lived" piano for several hours a day every day for years and years. But they do need to make progress to become fairly proficient so they can continue playing piano well into their adulthood. Practice at home with a quality acoustic or digital piano is the way to do this.
Q. Can parents watch lessons?
A. Oh yeah. They are strongly encouraged to watch lessons and ask questions. Parents will have a better idea of what is needed at home during practice, and this helps with overall progress of our students and children. Even though piano is more of a solo event compared to many other activities, life is a team event; help show our young ones how to succeed! Get involved with practice.
Q. I have a keyboard. Will that work?
A. Probably not. A quality acoustic or digital piano (with 88 keys) is necessary for progress with piano lessons. Contact a piano technician or myself for more information on how to pick a quality piano for you or your young one.
Q. I just want my child to love piano and to enjoy music as an adult. What do you recommend when finding a teacher
A. I recommend finding a teacher that is passionate about teaching (not just playing piano but about teaching). Someone that loves what they do and wants to see you or your young one progress. That is what I recommend.
::raises hand:: Me me me!!!
Q. I have a question for you. Do you know the biggest way for your young one to progress faster at the piano?
A. Parental involvement. Get involved :-D