Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do you offer recitals? I offer my students multiple performance opportunities throughout the year. We have two yearly recitals, one in early June, and our Winter Recital in December. In addition, my students often perform in local retirement homes, festivals and local, regional, and national competitions.
Q. Do I need a piano to begin instruction? An instrument is essential to begin piano lessons, since daily practice is needed. Some electronic keyboards are acceptable, as long as they meet certain minimum requirements. Please contact me for information about what keyboards are good choices, as well as where to buy an affordable, high quality acoustic piano. However, all students should aim at acquiring a quality acoustic instrument as soon as feasible.
Q. How long are the piano lessons? Students are assigned to 30, 45 or 60-minute lessons, according to their level of achievement and interest. Typically, beginners start out with 30 minutes. However, 45-minute lessons are recommended for adults, beginners, or experienced. A short interview is scheduled prior to being admitted to the studio, so that I can meet and talk to the students about their background, interests, goals, etc. Lesson approach, duration, and format, are decided at that time.
Q. When are lessons available? Lessons are available most weekdays and on weekends. Morning lessons and lunch-time lessons (for adults and home schooled students) are also available. Please contact me for current open spots.
Q. What if I miss a lesson? A make-up lesson will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time. Unlike large music studios, there is no limit to how many lessons are available to be made-up. The only exception is a no-show lesson; if you did not cancel a lesson and I make the trip to your home and you are not there, or I am waiting in my studio and you do not attend you lesson without prior notice, a make-up will not be issued.
Q. Do I have to sign a contract? Although many local music studios and even some private instructors require a yearly contract with penalties and even the threat of legal action if you discontinue lessons, I do not favor this approach. What if your student does not like piano lessons after some time? Should he or she be forced to attend the lessons anyway? Should you be forced to pay for several months of lessons that your child is no longer interested in? I do not feel you should.
Since teaching piano is my only occupation, and therefore how I make a living, I request to be given two months notice if lessons are going to be discontinued, so that I can arrange for the vacant spot to be filled.
Q. Am I too old to begin piano or guitar lessons? No. I have had students in their 80s start piano and they enjoy it and are successful at it. Some even assure me that their arthritic fingers feel better after practicing every morning.
Q. How old should my son or daughter be before he/she tries lessons? That depends on their desire. The rule of thumb that I use is: if they are interested and can hold their attention for twenty or so minutes, then go at it! Most of the finest pianists and composers started their training when they were 3 or younger. In my experience, I have found that some instructors do not like to start students that young because they require a greater amount of attention and energy that the older student.
I have successfully taught lessons to students as young as 3, but I require an introductory meeting with students younger than 5, so that I can gauge their suitability for lessons.
Q. Can you tune my piano? A. No, I do not tune pianos, but I can recommend a local qualified piano technician who can.
Q. Do the lessons have to take place in my home? A. I maintain a studio in my home. The time slots in the studio are typically reserved for students who drive from out of town (Atlanta, Havana, Thomasville, Jacksonville, etc). If you do not wish to have lessons in your home and time slots are available, I will be happy to accommodate your request.