Frequently Asked Questions

Is my child ready for piano lessons?

Tambourine in our Nampa studio

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 read letters A through G, and count numbers 1 through 5? Do they know their left hand from right hand? Will they sit and work with a teacher, and sit to practice at home?

Family Commitment: Can you commit to the time and costs necessary for successful piano study, including: a real acoustic piano, annual tuning, monthly tuition, workbooks, and event fees? Can you help the child with daily practice, weekly 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?

If the answer to these questions is YES, please contact me and I will be happy to answer any questions or schedule an interview!

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:

pianoAcoustic Piano electric keyboardElectric/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. (Cheaper models don't differentiate loud and soft sounds at all.)
Practically infinite range of sound, since sound is produced live 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 moving the action. Has no pedals, or 1-2 pedals which manipulate the sound electronically.
No need to switch instruments and relearn technique later. When a student is accustomed to an electronic keyboard, transitioning to the real pianos at lessons, Festivals, and recitals is difficult.

Beginning students need to explore the full sound range of the piano—including the pedals—and learn the mechanics of how the piano 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 Festivals. Their progress, and your investment in piano lessons, are diminished.

Fortunately, you can rent or purchase affordable new or used pianos. I am happy to answer questions or meet you at a music store to help with your piano purchase.

And remember, if you have room for two instruments, an electric keyboard can be a GREAT supplementary instrument to your piano!

Do you offer group lessons?

Not at this time. I focus on private lessons to ensure that students receive personal attention, with lessons customized to their specific needs and interests. I do recommend group music classes for very young children.

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 age and level.

Most young children need a parent's daily assistance with practice. Older children still need a parent to remind them and check frequently on their home practice.