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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Our classes are grouped loosely into beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate and beyond.  Within those brackets, students are divided by age and learning style to ensure that everyone advances at a similar pace.    Every student attends an ‘interview’ where we determine the best placement.

It is possible that a class will have mixed ages if a certain combination of students paces well together.  That said, we also make a strong effort to connect peers in the same age group for maximum class enjoyment.

Class time is divided into multiple segments.  Instruction with group repetition, games, verbal drills, individual practice, enhanced studies (discussing composers, musical styles) and ensemble playing.  If the students are taking time to practice a new technique or passage, they may wear headphones while the teacher walks around and observes but more often the class is asked to play in unison or demonstrate one at a time.

Every effort is made to ensure students are well placed but if it turns out that your student is advancing more slowly or quickly than their classmates, he or she has two options.  We can schedule some private sessions to see if that helps and/or we can move the student to another group.

When you register, just give an idea of your child’s previous experience.  We will determine his or her level at the interview.

Private lessons can be scheduled by students who desire additional support. The cost is $45 for a 45 minute session.  There are limited spaces available each month so advance scheduling is recommended.

There are many ways to evaluate the progress of each member of the group. Students are asked to write on the white board, perform their homework solo, clap rhythms aloud, complete written assignments and answer questions during game time.  During ensembles, each player may be responsible for a different measure or a slightly different part to highlight individual playing.

 

Students are encouraged to support each other and reach out with questions and answers.  Additionally, Piano Lab advanced students are invited to serve as monitors in our beginning classes, providing additional eyes and ears.

One of the benefits of group lessons is not leaving gaps in students’ knowledge. Often, students transferring from private lesons to Piano Lab, will need to take one big step back in order to solidify their foundation of skills.  Students are not evaluated based on there hardest piece they can play, they are evaluated based on their sight reading which is a good indicator of fundamentals and can often fall behind. Students are encouraged to see the value in strengthening and deepening their core knowledge in pursuit of lifelong musicianship.

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