Frequently Asked Questions
1. What classes or lessons do you offer?
We offer private lessons for students at least 5 years of age, partner lessons (2 students who take a lesson together based on similar ages and playing abilities), and group classes (3-6 students).
2. When do you offer lessons?
When you are placed with an instructor at Piano Pathways, each teacher will put together his or her teaching schedule for the entire semester. Each family is asked to give 3 options for a lesson appointment, and we do our best to place you a day and time that works for both the family and the teacher. Lessons can be scheduled during the week and also on weekends.
The studio is open 7 days a week, with teachers offering morning, afternoon, and evening appointments. New appointments are accepted based on teacher and family availability. Our most popular lesson times are on weekdays from 3:00-7:00, but we also can schedule home-school families and adults at other times of the day that may be more convenient in their schedules. Though an afternoon or evening lesson may seem like the obvious choice for a lesson appointment, our teacher Melanie offers before-school lessons for students. A growing number of parents and children are discovering that well-used morning hours yield benefits that afternoon hours cannot match. Here are a few reasons to consider scheduling morning piano lessons:
1) Getting kids up and out of bed.
2) Greater focus and alertness.
4) Leads into morning practicing.
5) What a way to start the day!
3. What are the differences between the group classes and private lessons?
Both private and group classes are effective methods to learn to read music and play the piano. Here are a few differences:
The Group Class…
• Explores a variety of musical styles.
• Can build confidence to play in front of others.
• Builds positive peer support and motivation.
• Teaches musical and non-musical skills that are necessary to participate in a group.
• “Practice” is replaced with the word “play” for at-home time on the piano.
• Is a longer lesson for a more economical cost.
The Private Lesson…
• Is tailored to exactly the student’s goals and rate of learning.
• Is for a student who does best one-on-one with an adult.
• Requires careful monitored practice, and a weekly practice plan should be agreed upon with the parent at home.
• Is for advancing students whose goals are to build piano technique and learn a variety of the classical repertoire.
4. How long is my commitment in piano lessons?
The fall semester is 16 appointments (August-December), the spring semester is 16 appointments (January-May), and 6 meetings are in the summer semester (June-July). On weeks that schools are closed, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, we do not have lessons those weeks. Learning to play the piano is a long-term commitment, so we hope that your child will be with us a long time. But we do understand that not everyone will take lessons through their entire schooling! At the end of a semester is when your enrollment can conclude, if you wish to withdraw from the program.
5. What will my child learn in piano lessons?
No matter which lesson or class you choose for your child, we strive to make every meeting a musical experience. Some of the musical skills that your child will learn in piano lessons are music reading skills, performance skills, aural skills, practice techniques, listening and evaluation of music, music history and theory, duet and ensemble playing, and some composition and improvisation.
Some non-musical skills that your child will gain from piano study are confidence, appreciation of different styles of music, fine-muscle coordination, and concentrated focus-time on an activity that does not give “instant gratification”!
6. Do I need to have a piano at home?
Yes, we do ask that you have a piano or digital instrument (full size, 88-weighted keys) for at-home practice. If you do not own a piano, we would be glad to put you in touch with someone at O’Neills Music to ask about their options for Piano Pathways’ clients.
7. We are out-of-town most of the summer and will not be able to continue lessons in the summer. Do I have to enroll in summer lessons?
We do ask that all Piano Pathways students enroll in some type of summer instruction. This is to ensure that your child won’t forget everything that we have worked so hard to attain during the school year, to maintain the business during the summer months, and also to reserve your lesson place during the school year. Much can be learned during the summer months, and there are lots of ways to be creative and flexible to accommodate summer lessons if you have a unique travel situation.
8. Do you have any make-up classes?
Your appointment at Piano Pathways is an exclusive time reserved only for you. Once your time in a lesson is missed, we are unable to use that time with another student. We do not offer any make-up lessons. We ask for cancellations to be notified within 24-hours, and it may be possible to swap lessons with another student in that same week.
9. How do I register for lessons?
Please complete the online registration form on our website and remit the registration fee. Once all new registrations and fees are received for the semester, you will be placed with a teacher and he or she will contact each family to confirm your appointment. Openings are on a first-come, first-serve basis. If the semester has already begun and you would still like to register for classes, we can let you know what availability we have in our teaching schedule, or place you on the waiting list for the following semester.
My children appreciate that their teachers listen to their ideas of songs they want to learn. It is a great balance of working hard, while learning music for a lifetime of enjoyment!