Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a piano in order to start lessons?

Yes, an instrument for practice is essential from the first lesson. An acoustic piano (upright or grand) is the best choice. A digital piano is also fine for beginners, but is not an instrument for long-term study. As comparison, consider taking art lessons but only using pencils. The acoustic piano gives you the full palette of colors for musical expression, providing the most rewarding experience.

What ages/levels do you teach?

I work with students of all ages, levels, and backgrounds. I have worked with hundreds of pianists over my 20 years of teaching, from the 5-year-old learning his very first note, to the middle-schooler juggling her love of piano with her commitment to the field hockey travel team, to the college music major preparing for a career in music.

What is a good age to start?

Typically no earlier than age 5, or kindergarten. A child must have a 30-minute concentration span and should have begun directional tracking (learning to read left-to-right).

Is there an age that is considered “too old” to start?

Children can start at any age, and adults are encouraged to learn music as well. I teach all ages and levels, and students will achieve results no matter what their previous background. Studies show that the brain is more active while making music than with any other activity. This is the best reason to play the piano, no matter what your starting point!

What are your teaching methods?

My goal is to nurture a love of classical music and maximize each student’s potential regardless of experience level. Just as every child is different, I adjust my teaching style to each individual rather than subscribing to any one method of teaching.  I emphasize the necessity of reading music and encourage students towards this initial goal as quickly as possible. Once fundamentals are achieved, the possibilities are endless.

Will there be any extra costs?

Students will need to purchase music books along the way, which adds up to approximately $50/year. Students will also need an assignment book and a metronome (although metronome Apps are available for free download).  If a student participates in Certificate of Merit, registration fees and theory lessons will be an additional fee.

Do you teach the Certificate of Merit syllabus?

Yes, I am a member of the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) and, while not required, I encourage students to work towards the Certificate of Merit.

Group lessons for music theory and history are offered for students preparing for CM in the months leading up to the event.

Do students have performance opportunities?

Yes, students will be able to attend group lessons twice a semester, as well as perform in Studio Recitals for family and friends. There are other opportunities for performance and competition if interested, as well.

What is the level of parental involvement?

Parents are requested to leave during lesson time so that the student can focus his/her attention fully on learning. While occasional observation is fine, experience has shown that students have a very difficult time concentrating when a parent is in attendance.

At home, parents should encourage students’ daily practice. Parent-teacher conferences are available at any time to answer questions.

Can you travel to my home for lessons?

No, piano lessons are only offered in my home studio.

What is your scheduling policy?

As with most extracurricular activities, tuition for piano lessons is paid by the semester, and make-ups are not provided unless there are extreme circumstances (long-term illness, death in the family). It is important to remember that your tuition payment reserves your weekly lesson time slot and this is time that your teacher has committed to you.

If the instructor must cancel a lesson, a make-up lesson will always be provided.