How do I know if my child is ready to begin piano lessons?
Each child develops in a way that is unique to them and no one knows a child better than the parent. It is important to consider the following questions when the idea of taking piano lessons comes to the forefront:
One of the most important questions a parent must consider is if their child has exhibited a genuine interest in music. Have they expressed a specific desire to learn the piano? Once this has been ascertained, it is important to consider the ramifications of learning a musical instrument. Is your child able to focus and sit still for a solid half-hour? Does your child understand that learning the piano is a responsibility and that it requires a consistent practice schedule?
Learning the piano is gratifying and fun, but it also takes many hours of hard work in order to play well.
Is it better to have a keyboard or an acoustic piano to practice on?
This is a question I get time and time again. Buying a good piano is an investment and many people are hesitant in making such a purchase, especially if they are unsure if the piano will be used enough to justify buying it. Many parents explain that their child received a keyboard as a gift and they would like the child to learn how to play it before stepping up to something better. I completely understand this predicament and agree to temporarily allow the student to practice on a keyboard to see if they are serious about taking piano lessons. However, once a student has continuous lessons for three months, it is time to start thinking about buying a piano. The reasoning behind this is that a piano is worlds apart from a keyboard. Everything from the touch, to the sound, to the mechanics is markedly different. Many keyboards have keys that are not weighted and it inhibits the development of proper piano technique. An acoustic piano is necessary if you are serious about learning the piano.
Is it really necessary to have a highly qualified teacher in the beginning?
The best thing someone can do when looking for a piano teacher is to research their educational and performance background. Some people are of the mindset that it is not necessary to have a teacher with an extensive background in the very beginning, but this can be quite detrimental to the student. The first piano lessons are of the utmost importance because this is where much of the “groundwork” is accomplished. Having a strong foundation from the very beginning allows for a progressive and successful course of study. It can also prevent the heartbreaking setbacks I have seen in students from less qualified teachers. There have been myriad instances in which students have come to me after years of study with another teacher, only to have to go back to the basics because they were never reinforced or even introduced during their lessons.
Do you teach piano to adult beginners?
Yes. Adult students tend to be very motivated and driven, since this is something they generally do for themselves. Piano lessons offer an outlet for creative energy and are often a relaxing experience.