FAQs

Instructor

Why did Mrs. April become a professional piano instructor?

Because she loves music! She loves the sound of the piano, both when she is playing and listening, and she loves to teach. She has had an interest in teaching since she was a young child. Over the years, as her piano lessons and practice continued, her great enjoyment and progression in piano led to a career.

Does the instructor having training and/or a degree?

Yes, April has a degree in music and she has been playing the piano for over seventeen years.

Does the instructor teach piano just as a hobby?

No. Although it remains a beloved hobby, Mrs. April teaches full-time for her yearly income. Mrs. April specifically trained to become a piano instructor. She teaches piano full-time and dedicates all of her energy and inspiration to her piano studio.

Registration

What do I need in order to learn piano?

Commitment, time to practice, an interest in learning, an acoustic or proper electronic keyboard, a metronome, and a piano instructor. Books and all music are provided through the Registration & Materials Fee at April’s Piano Studio

Do I need a piano?

Yes. The student must have access to an acoustic or electronic keyboard about five days a week in order to learn to play piano. Skills are acquired by practicing on a regular basis.

See below, under the “Pianos” section for more information on types of acoustic and electronic keyboards.

What is the first step to register for lessons?

Call, e-mail, or fill out the online contact form. Mrs. April will be glad to answer any questions you have. April’s Piano Studio gives a FREE introductory lesson to the potential student. If the instructor believes her teaching methods work well with the potential student,  and you believe April’s Piano Studio will be a good fit for your child, actual registration for lessons can occur at this time or a later time if lesson slots are available when a decision is made.

What is an introductory lesson?

An introductory lesson is a short introduction to the piano or an observance of a child’s ability who is transferring or has had previous piano training. The instructor will observe the child’s capability to listen, follow instruction, and his/her interest in learning.

Can we register for lessons at any time?

Yes! Students can register for lessons at any time of the studio year, providing the studio is not closed for a holiday. Just call, e-mail, or fill out the contact form with any questions and to schedule an introductory lesson.

Tuition & Fees

How much is the monthly tuition installment?

30-minute lessons are $95.00 per month/per student, 45-minute lessons are $142.50 per month/per student, and 60-minute lessons are $190.00 per month/per student.

What forms of payment are accepted?

Cash and check are acceptable forms of payment. Cash or personal check can be given to the instructor directly at the lesson, or for the ease of never having to remember- ask your bank to setup a recurring monthly check to be sent to April’s Piano Studio before or by the due date. All checks must be made payable to April’s Piano Studio.

How much is the Registration & Materials Fee?

If a student registers September to February, the total is $80. If a student registers during March – July, the total is $40.  Further adjustments may be made depending on when the student registers. The Registration & Materials Fee of $80 is then due annually at the first lesson of August to register for the next studio year.

What is the Registration & Materials for?

The non-refundable, non-transferable Registration & Materials Fee covers books and materials needed for piano lessons.

Interesting Fact: Instead of asking parents to spend extra time to go to a music store or order books online (which can be frustrating and time-consuming), the instructor orders them as needed throughout the year. Less stress for you!

Lessons

What makes April’s Piano Studio unique?

April’s Piano Studio specializes in piano lessons for children in a positive learning environment. Lessons are focused on the student being an active part of the learning process through learning fun pieces, playing musical games, drawing activities, listening to famous piano music, and learning about famous composers. All of these activities are included in lessons and are important because they reinforce everything the student is learning by practicing at home. Students can earn prizes too for completing pieces and written work. There are also several optional yearly recitals!

What type of lessons are available?

Private piano lessons are available at April’s Piano Studio. There are also occasional small classes for making up missed lessons.

How often do piano lessons occur?

Piano lessons occur once a week, except when the studio is closed.

How long is each piano lesson?

Lessons are available for 30, 45, or 60 minutes. To find out more information on the different lengths of lessons: Lessons

What happens during a piano lesson?

At April’s Piano Studio, the lesson can consist of the following: new information and pieces given to the student, a review of pieces the student is currently learning, flash card review, sight reading and technique exercises, musical games, drawing activities, listening to famous piano music, learning about famous composers, playing duets, and more! And to make it even more fun, students receive stickers and prizes for learning pieces and completing written work!

Is my child too young to begin lessons?

Typically, children are mature enough around age five to begin private piano lessons. At this point they are beginning to understand numbers, letters, and patterns.

Schedule

How many lessons do students have each studio year?

Students are scheduled to receive a total of 44 lessons. Lessons include FREE (optional) recitals!

How many lessons will a student have if registering mid-year?

Students who register mid-studio year will be scheduled to receive the remaining lessons for the current studio year. (Each studio year is twelve months from September through August.)

Do lessons continue during the summer?

Yes. Students are scheduled to receive lessons during the summer months of June, July, and August. This prevents students from losing several month’s worth of skills and is a great opportunity for students to relax a bit and learn more “fun” music and participate in musical games, OR if the student wishes, to take on new challenges and quicken the pace of learning!

Does the studio close for holidays?

Yes. Most major holidays are observed by the studio, but not all school holidays are studio holidays, as in the case of minor Monday holidays.

Do “Monday” students have lessons on school holidays?

Yes, Monday students are scheduled for their regular lesson on most of the Monday school holidays. Please refer to the Monday Student Schedule sheet if you are unsure whether there is a lesson or not. If the student must miss any of these days, please inform Mrs. April in advance.

What happens if the student cancels a lesson?

If you must miss a piano lesson, please inform the instructor in advance. Any lessons missed due to inclement weather, instructor sickness, or student cancellations for any reason, can be made-up by attending one or more of the “Musical Game” group classes offered in August.

What happens if the instructor cancels a lesson?

On the rare occasion that Mrs. April must cancel a lesson, the student will then be scheduled to attend a fun “Musical Game” group class in August.

Can the student attend a lesson if he/she is sick?

No. He/she should rest at home and resume practice once he/she has recovered. This will also prevent spreading illness to the other students and instructor via the piano keys. The instructor will cancel a lesson if the student arrives and appears to be ill/not feeling well.

Practice

Is practice important when taking piano lessons?

Yes. Practicing is the most crucial part of learning to play the piano. Piano is a very physical activity and is an acquired skill, so practice is needed in order to acquire the skill. Students who practice often will succeed!

What does it mean to “practice” the piano?

It means that a student has a set of pieces and exercises, often with specific instructions, to play on a regular basis at home. Often times, a student will be given instructions to learn a piece/exercise in small sections, hands separately or together, and sometimes with a metronome at specific tempi (speeds) or counting aloud to keep a steady beat and be able to play the rhythm correctly.

The outcome of good practice is that the student will learn how to play enjoyable songs, will understand new concepts, and be ready to further their skills with more new pieces and exercises.

What will make piano practice successful?

*5 or more days of practice every week: Practice= Progress = Enjoyment = Practice = Progress = Enjoyment = etc.

*Locate the piano or keyboard in a room away from distractions such as siblings, TV, computer sounds.

*Set-up a regular practice time so it becomes a part of the daily routine.

*If the student has a short attention span, set-up two shorter practice times a day (example: 15 minutes each session, two times a day).

*Check the assignment book regularly to confirm the student is completing all assignments, both pieces and written work.

*Check that the student’s posture is correct to avoid pain or injury (check the height of the bench).

*In general, students should practice anywhere from 20 – 60 minutes of practice a day-generally, the longer the lesson each week, the longer the practice time at home. Ask your instructor for a specific time if you are unsure of what is best for the age and skill level of your student.

*Even if a student is getting sufficient “time”at the piano; if he/she is not following any specific instructions given in the assignment book, he/she is likely not learning as easily as they could be.

*Tell the instructor if you have any questions or concerns regarding practice.

Should I help my child with piano practice?

Yes. Children benefit from the supervised help of an adult at home providing the adult is positive and patient. The adult should also check that the student is following the instructor’s written assignments and specific instructions.

What if my child doesn’t want to practice?

Children are known to go through phases of enjoying and not enjoying practice. In most cases, if children are encouraged by parents to practice and stay with it, they will develop musically and eventually have the needed skills to enjoy the piano for the rest of their lives.

The greatest reason for children dropping-out of piano is because they just don’t practice or “don’t want to”. Mrs. April highly encourages parents to not give up, considering the financial resources and time already invested in lessons/practice. Mrs. April highly suggests trying some of the following:

*Set a daily practice time for your child so it is a normal part of their routine.

*Show interest in your child’s practice time and be encouraging to them.

*Ask the instructor if he/she can offer more variety of music; perhaps to introduce some music the child especially likes to the practice routine to encourage practice.

*Reward the student for practicing. (Sticker chart to earn bigger prizes; food reward; special day out with mom/dad, etc! Be creative!)

Pianos

What is the best type of piano to have?

It is highly recommended that students practice on an acoustic piano (with actual strings). The most affordable type of acoustic pianos are in the “vertical” category: spinet, console, studio, and upright. For specific measurements, visit Types and Sizes of Pianos at Blue Book of Pianos.

Can the student practice on an electronic keyboard?

Yes. The student may begin learning on any type of electronic keyboard, provided that it has at least 60 keys and a music rack. If the electronic keyboard lacks particular important functions, it is important to update to a proper electronic keyboard after six months of starting lessons.

A proper electronic keyboard has the following included or made attachable to the keyboard:

*88 Keys (full-size) more keys means less limitation in the kinds of pieces the student wants to learn

*Touch Sensitivity/ Weight Sensitivity (known as Velocity in some manuals) – This refers to the ability to create loud, soft, and any other variation of dynamic by how much weight is exerted on the keys.

*A Sustaining Pedal (also known as the damper pedal) – which can be plugged into the back of the keyboard – this pedal causes the sounds to all flow together, creating a beautiful sound

*A Music Rack So the student has a place to prop the books so he/she can learn to read the language of music! (This is a must even for the cheap keyboards that don’t have the first two features listed above.)

*A properly adjusted bench or chair – So the student can sit comfortably in the correct posture in order to avoid bad habits which will most certainly cause PAIN either now or later. The correct height of the bench/chair will be evident by the student’s arms being level with the keys when he/she is sitting. If the student is too LOW, add a cushion to the chair. The distance from the keyboard should be such that when the student lengthens out their arms and makes a fist toward the fall board (at the back of the keys) they are just barely touching it with his/her knuckles. (This is a must- even for the lesser quality keyboards that don’t have the first two features listed above.)

What are the specific types of electronic keyboards?

Answer: Within the electronic keyboard category there is the following:

Digital Pianos: These are the best because they are full-sized keyboards that sound and feel almost like an acoustic piano.

Stage Pianos: These are second best and are known for being used by professional musicians in live performances.

Synthesizers: Known for unlimited creative potential for any style of music.

Digital Keyboards: These are by far the most popular and cheapest of the category. These tend to have poor quality in general, but offer lots of choices in “sounds” and interactive ability. Students are most likely to begin on this type of electronic keyboard; a large amount of these do not have touch-sensitive keys or the standard 88 keys, which can be a great hindrance to a student’s musicality. Upgrading to a digital keyboard that has touch-sensitive/weighted keys and the standard 88 keys after six months of lessons is best for the student’s progress.

For more info: Electronic Keyboards

How can I take good care of my piano?

Answer: For acoustic pianos: Acoustic pianos need to be tuned about once a year. Tuning will result in the strings sounding at the correct pitch. Also, protect your acoustic piano by keeping food/drink away from it. Children should always have clean, dry hands when practicing.

For electronic keyboards: In general, protect your keyboard by keeping food/drink away from it. Children should always have clean, dry hands when practicing.

Can you recommend a piano technician to tune my piano?

Yes! The instructor highly recommends this piano technician team:

Jordan Kitts.

Discontinuing

1. When can students discontinue lessons?

Students can discontinue lessons at any time with a written/typed noticed including the date, the student’s name, and the parent or guardian’s name. Notice may be given in writing or e-mailed. Please include a one-month tuition installment notice to give the instructor time to fill the slot with a student from the waiting list.

The student may attend the final lessons if they wish to do so. It is highly recommended that the student/family speak with the instructor about possible solutions before choosing to discontinue lessons.

2. Can the student re-register for lessons at a later time?

Yes, if all policies were abided by, the student may resume piano lessons at a later time provided there is an open lesson slot in the studio.