Q: Do you teach on Pro-D days & Holidays?
A: Yes - we can even move your lesson time earlier in the day!
If I will be away on holiday, I will inform you ahead of time (please do the same)
Q: Are there lessons during the summer?
A: Usually, yes! You are welcome to take summers off, as students also need a break :)
I'm happy to continue lessons as well. If I am going away, you will be notified in advance.
Q: What books are required?
A: Depends on your lesson path - but generally: 1 Warm Up/Exercise book, 1 piano book, 1 theory book
RCM Exam preparation requires: 1 Four Star book, 1 Etudes, 1 Repertoire, 1 Technique (optional: 1 theory)
Books can be purchased at any music store: Tapestry Music, Long & McQuade, Tom Lee
Q: How often should students practice?
A: In the most ideal world, students should practice everyday.
The length of time usually depends on their age.
As a general guideline, 15 - 30 minutes every day, 6 - 10 times per piece.
When appropriate, I will include specific lesson notes for focused practice :)
Q: What should the student prepare for piano lessons?
A: Please always have your notebook/binder, piano books, and theory books ready.
Pieces should have been practiced during the week, and ready to share confidently!
Q: I don't have a piano at home, do I need to buy one?
A: It depends - people are able to start learning how to play the piano on any type of keyboard instrument. A piano is a big investment in money as well as space! Be sure you will continue lessons. Generally, learning on a full upright piano is the best choice for beginners/intermediates. A studio upright is also okay.
Q: Can I learn on an electric keyboard?
A: Yes - however, if you do feel you will keep up with lessons, invest in a keyboard with fully weighted keys and a pedal.
It does not need extra buttons nor a built-in metronome.
Q: I'm going to buy a piano, how do I choose a good one?
A: Wonderful news! Check Craigslist, you might be able to find a beautiful piano for a little less.
When you have found the piano of your dreams, make sure to see it and PLAY IT in person!
Check to see if all the keys work, press & use the pedals to ensure they also work. Look at the soundboard (back of the piano) to make sure there are no cracks. Look inside to see that it is in decent condition ... if this is all too overwhelming, book an appointment with Hiroki Uchino to inspect for possible internal damage before investing in any second-hand instrument - whether from Craigslist or a music store!. He is a highly skilled, expert piano technician.
Q: How often should I tune my piano?
A: Consider tuning your piano once every year - it is easy to go many years without tuning the instrument, but it does make a big difference!
If a piano has not been tuned for 2+ years, the chances of it becoming out of tune after it has been tuned.. is sooner than you think. The strings have gotten used to being loose & will want to go back to how it was.. tuning the piano once after several years will not keep it in tune for very long. It must be done consistently in order for the strings to form the habit of staying in place. I highly recommend Hiroki Uchino, he has over 20 years of experience, highly qualified & an expert piano technician.
Q: Are there recitals?
A: Yes, two recitals are organized per year, taking place in December & June. Dates vary year to year.
Q: Do you offer RCM Exam preparation?
A: Yes - although I do require an interview with the student & parent. Everyone needs to know the requirements & formal nature of exams. It does take learning the piano to a higher well-rounded level, but does require dedication from the student & parent. Practical piano & music theory are offered.
Q: How long does it take to complete one RCM level?
A: It depends on the student & their efforts during the time between lessons ... usually, about 1 - 1.5 years to successfully learn well.
Please ask me & I am happy to discuss with you.
Q: When and how do I pay?
A: Please pay by the last lesson of the month by cash, cheque, or e-transfer.
Q: Do you accept credit card payments?
A: Payment by credit card is available upon request - please note there is a 3.5% service fee.
Q: How will I be billed?
A: Monthly balances will be sent via email.
Q: What If I have to cancel a lesson?
A: 24 hours notice is required to cancel without charge - the more notice, the better :)
Please keep in mind, lesson cancellations should be for legitimate reasons (eg. illness, stomach flu), not for avoidable appointments (eg. dentist appointments)
Less than 24 hours notice, the cancellation results with an automatic charge.
Q: Do you offer make up lessons?
A: Please give at least 24 hours notice to be able to receive credit towards a make up lesson.
Make up lessons are scheduled upon availability - please note that my teaching schedule has little wiggle room, while the best effort is made to arrange a make up lesson, it is not guaranteed. Make up lessons usually take place during student's Spring Break, Holidays, and/or Pro-D Days during the afternoons.
Q: How do I stop lessons completely?
A: Please give one months paid notice.
Q: Are there report cards?
A: No - I do not write report cards.
However, I would be happy to organize a Parent-Teacher conference to discuss the progress & goals of students upon request. This can take place in the students home, or a different meeting spot can be arranged.
Q: What age should my child start lessons?
A: Children as young as 3 are able to start music lessons. I recommend looking into Music for Young Children (MYC) programs in your area for toddlers (3-4). My personal thought is, depending on the child, piano lessons can begin as young as age 4 years old. 5-6 is optimal as they have experience in a school setting to learn about listening skills, paying attention, focus/concentration :)
Q: How long should lessons be?
A: Elementary Levels (Prep - 4): starting with 30 minutes for approximately 4-5 lessons to develop custom tailored lesson structure for the student, increasing to 45 minutes for optimal outcome, allowing for quality learning that arises that may encompass several facets of music literacy (practical playing, music theory, composition, technique, ear training…)
Intermediate Levels (5 - 8): 45 minutes for optimal outcome, allowing for quality learning that arises which may include: technique, sight reading, ear training, repertoire, etudes, music theory… may increase to 60 minutes
Advanced Levels (9+): please inquire
RCM Practical Piano Examinations (Prep - 8): 45 - 60 minutes
RCM Music Theory Examinations (Level 5, Level 8): 45 - 60 minutes