Piano Lessons in Nampa
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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the features that make your studio unique?

What performance opportunities are available?

Melody Bober
May 2008: Students meet and play for renowned American composer Melody Bober

Sharing our music with others is an essential part of being a musician. Students are required to perform in our annual studio recital and at NFMC Festivals twice per year. Other audition and competition opportunities are also available.

Performing encourages students to polish a piece of music, and holds them accountable in their practice. Performing increases their confidence and poise in front of others. Recitals and festivals also provide a chance to hear other students perform--letting the student discover music they might like to learn themselves. It can be very inspiring and motivating to hear advanced students play!

Do you offer group lessons?

Not at this time. We focus on private lessons to ensure that students receive personal attention, with lessons customized to their specific needs and interests. We do recommend group music classes for very young children, whose learning is stimulated by group interaction and full body movement.

How much practice is required?

Students are required to practice at home 5 to 6 days per week, for 15 minutes to 2 hours each day depending on their level. Most young children need a parent's daily assistance with practice, and even older children need a parent to remind them and check on their practice and progress.

Is my child ready for piano lessons?

Interest: Has your child asked for lessons? For how long? Do they frequently go to the piano on their own? Do they dance or move to music?

Basic Skills: Can your child say the alphabet, read letters A through G, and count numbers 1 through 5? Do they know their left hand from right hand?

Family Committment: Can you commit to the time and costs necessary for successful piano study, including a piano, piano tuning, monthly tuition, books, and event fees? Can you help the child with daily practice, written theory assignments, and bring the child to lessons and recitals?

Practice: Can you provide an appropriate practice environment for your child each day? Is your child willing to practice daily? Is there adequate time in your child's schedule for practice?

Why do you require an acoustic piano?

Parents often ask if they can use an electric or digital keyboard "for now" and wait to see how the child does before investing in a real piano. It may seem like a great idea, but a piano and electric keyboard are different instruments.

piano

Acoustic Piano

electric keyboard

Electric/Digital Keyboard

Acoustic: hammers strike strings to create sound vibrations. Computerized: pushing a key causes a pre-recorded sound to come out of speakers.
Has 88 wood keys. Often has 76 (or fewer) plastic keys.
Keys are weighted and touch-sensitive. The volume is controlled by hammers striking strings. Pre-recorded sound comes from speakers at a higher or volume. On some models, the student is not able to practice playing loud and soft at all.
Practically infinite range of sound, since sound is produced at the moment the key is played. Sound is limited to the pre-recorded tones stored on the device's hard drive.
Has 2-3 foot pedals to change and enhance the sound by physically adjusting the action. Has no pedals, or 1-2 pedals which manipulate the sound electronically.
An affordable used piano allows for seamless transition to a higher-end piano (such as a grand) in the future. When a student is accustomed to the touch of an electronic instrument, transition to a real piano in the future is more difficult.

Beginning students need to explore the full sound range of the piano, including the pedals, and learn the mechanics of how the instrument works. A student cannot experience these things on an electronic keyboard, and has a hard time adjusting to the real pianos they must use during lessons, recitals, and Festival. Progress is slowed, and as a result, you do not get a good return on your investment in piano lessons.

Fortunately, you can rent or finance affordable pianos (new or used) from local stores, or purchase a used piano from a private individual. I am happy to answer questions or meet you at a music store to help with your piano purchase.

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