What instruments do you offer?
At this time, we offer voice, piano, guitar, brass, woodwinds, drums and strings. As our business expands we continue to add additional teachers and instruments. If you are looking for another instrument, feel free to email us for a recommendation.
How much should a student practice?
30 minutes, 4 times every week, in their first year of study
40 minutes, 4 times every week, in their second year of study
50 minutes, 4 times every week, in their third year of study
Children ages 4-7 should practice 10-15 minutes, 4 times a week.
High schoolers and serious students should plan to practice 45-60 minutes at least four times a week.
When should a student practice?
We recommend that students practice the day after their lesson, the day before their lesson, once on the weekend and at least one other day. In the 6 weeks leading up to a performance, audition, or recital, expect to add an additional day or more of practicing per week.
Balancing practice, homework (or work), and life.
This is often a challenge. It is essential that students practice regularly, even if it is only for 5 minutes at a time. When a student goes a week without practicing they are far less likely to progress and are more likely to become frustrated, possibly giving up music forever. We know from experience that even the best high school performers - even future college music majors go through periods in their young lives where finding time to practice is a struggle. Should a student just stop lessons for awhile? We prefer to look at the big picture and do our best to get that student back on track as soon as they find their own balance in their lives. Stopping lessons during a sports season, a musical, or a time of heavy testing or study tends to lead to a much larger gap before that student returns to lessons. when they do return, valuable progress is lost and students often wind up back at square one. It’s not about the money for us - we can always fill that empty time slot - we hate to see a student lose progress. Talk to your teacher and let your teacher reduce the weekly practice load until their schedule lightens up.
If a student is sick - should they come to their lesson?
If your child is sick with stomach ailments (in or out), a cold or runny nose, a fever or cough please do not bring them to their lesson. Your teacher and all of the students before and after your child will thank you. Additionally, if voice students are recovering from losing their voices due to illness, they should return when they can sing a scale in their normal range.
Do I need to purchase books before my first lesson?
We will order books before your first lesson and have them ready for you when you start. Feel free to pay the first month's tuition at the first lesson and leave the price of the books for the second month if that's more convenient for you. Additional books are needed occasionally - usually every year or so. Voice students will usually add a new book every year.
Small Children and Young Beginners
Do parents stay in the room with their younger children during lessons?
This is entirely up to the student. We recommend that parents stay with children under the age of 12 for at least the first few weeks. After that, we prefer to take our cues from the student. We find that voice lessons tend to be more sensitive than other instruments and often students prefer their parents leave during voice lessons. Parents are welcome to record audio or video during lessons at any time.
What can I do with younger siblings?
We know it can be difficult to keep younger siblings quiet during a 30 minute lesson, but it is essential to a child’s concentration. We recommend that parents bring either a device with headphones, or plan to take younger siblings for a little walk during the lesson. The Pitman Library is a half a block from our studio and has a wonderful children's playroom and reading room. Also there are many local shops that might appeal to smaller children.
What if my younger child is confused about what to practice, or how?
This happens with young children and beginners. Talk to your teacher about it and he or she will layout specific step-by-step instructions for practice - or even make a video during their lesson to help them remember what to do. Make sure your beginner knows that their teacher will not be upset with them! It takes time to get into the swing of music lessons.
My child is anxious, nervous, or afraid to go to their lesson.
Let your teacher know right away but bring them anyway - do not let a child who is afraid to come allow you to cancel the lesson. We find that in the first stage of lessons, sometimes young children forget what the room looks like, what the teacher’s name is, or what will be expected of them. This is a result of the adrenaline and nerves. Your teacher can work to make sure the lesson is a positive experience. Additionally, please email Lauren Canna, owner, and let her know that you’re experiencing this. A nervous child might feel more comfortable beginning with worksheets and tasks that are less performance-driven. Your teacher can help make the transition into their regular lesson material a bit less stressful. Remind small children that there are lollipops and stickers, too. :)
Sugar before a lesson
For children under 12 who have a lesson after school and before dinner, please be mindful of the snacks they are given before their lesson. We always know when a child has had too much sugar before their lesson - it's not usually a recipe for a successful lesson.
We've seen little ones wiggle themselves right off the piano bench!