Q. I want my child to enjoy music and I'm worried that piano lessons may be too strict. How will piano lessons be fun for my child?
A. Many parents have the perception (and some from personal experience) of piano teachers being strict or rigid in their methods. While some teachers might continue to use this approach, this style of teaching is becoming less and less prevalent today. The very first music lessons are so important in establishing an appreciation for the piano as well as demonstrating the marvellous possibilities of the instrument. Professional teachers use various methods to capture the imagination and awaken the creativity of your child. This is why I employ many tools which enrich the experience for young beginners: it makes it more fun for everyone involved!
Q. I'm not sure if my child is old enough to start lessons. When is a good time to enrol my child?
A. I personally believe that there is no pre-requisite for a child to be exposed to music. Having said that, piano lessons require that a child is able to listen and follow simple instructions. Five years of age is generally a good time to start but it will always depend on the maturity of the child. Remember that parental involvement is also key in ensuring that a child progresses and remains stimulated!
Q. I'm not a musician and have a very limited understanding of music. How can I help my child with their practice at home?
A. The great thing about music lessons is that they can be just as fun for the parent as they are for the child! Sharing in the joy of musical discovery can become a wonderful way to spend time with your child and witness their creative potential. Even if a parent has little or no knowledge of music, sitting in on your child's lesson allows you to observe the way that we work so that you can replicate the experience at home. Science has shown us that the capacity for critical thinking doesn't develop until a child reaches his or her pre-teen years, so parental supervision and interaction is invaluable to a child's progress and continued enjoyment - when done correctly. I am always willing to provide tips, strategies and other information on supporting a child's practice at home.
Q. For whatever reason, we cannot get a piano. Would an electric piano be sufficient?
A. It's true that music lessons require an investment in the purchase of a proper instrument. While I strongly encourage acquiring a piano (upright or grand), it's true that this isn't an option for everyone. In lieu of a piano, an electric piano with weighted keys can suffice for the first few years. I am happy to make recommendations on this important purchase to ensure that your child has an appropriate instrument to practice on at home.
Q. I'm an adult who used to take piano lessons and I'm thinking of starting lessons again. My technical skills aren't good as they used to be so I'd like to ease back into lessons. Could your approach work for me?
A. The short answer: absolutely! I've lost count how many times that I've heard someone say that they used to play and regretted quitting, but would like to start again. Part of the reason I enjoy teaching is because I'm interested in discovering the most effective way that I can help a student that corresponds with their personality and background. Restarting lessons with a new teacher can be a wonderful way to gain an entirely new perspective on music-making. I accept students of all ages regardless of ability or prior experience.