Frequently Asked Questions
I don't have a piano at home. What kind of instrument do I need?
All students must have a piano at home in order to be able to practice regularly. For beginners, keyboards are acceptable, but uprights are preferred. Keyboards must have weighted keys and have 88 keys. They will be expected to upgrade when they get to a higher level. For intermediate/advanced students, upright OR grand pianos are necessary. For more details on choosing a good piano/keyboard, please contact me.
What equipment do I need for online lessons?
There are various set ups that work for online lessons. The most simple set up is to have a laptop with a webcam (built-in or attached), on the side of your piano or keyboard. You will need to download Skype. You can add an additional webcam angle above your piano as well, just like I have, but it is not required. The webcams that I use are the Logitech Pro C920(S) model. The webcam above my piano is attached to a AmazonBasics Tripod Boom Microphone Stand. In terms of sound, I use an Audio-Technica microphone A2020 USB Plus Deluxe Cardioid Condenser Microphone to help avoid distortion because I have a grand piano. Usually, digital instruments don’t have an issue with distortion over Skype. If you prefer to use a tablet, there are flexible gooseneck holders available that you can prop up on your instrument.
2) Laptop or Tablet with a camera/webcam
3) Skype (requires Internet)
What is the perfect age to learn piano? Is it too late to learn as an adult?
For children, I recommend starting between the ages 4-8, depending on the child. In order to become a professional musician, it is necessary to start as early as possible. However, it is never to late to start learning for your own enjoyment at your own pace! I have taught children as young as 3, as well as seniors over the age of 80. There are many method books structured specifically for adult beginners, so you will not need the same books as the little kids. The biggest difference is that they are for fully grown hands, and faster-paced learning.
How much do I need to practice?
I always recommend daily practicing, in order to have continuous progress. Many teachers give a specific amount of time that is required, for example 30 minutes a day for beginners, or 3 hours for advanced pianists. I recognize that everyone learns at their own pace and for that reason, I recommend goal-oriented practice sessions. Instead of repeating the same piece over and over, choosing difficult passages and solving problems is more effective than practicing mistakes.
I learned piano as a young kid. What level am I?
If you studied for many years as a child, you may still be at a late beginner-early intermediate level. If you studied for 3 years or less, and haven’t played since, you’ve likely forgotten and will need to start from scratch. But don’t worry, it’ll get easier once you start to recognize concepts you’ve already learned in the past!
Which books do I need in order to start lessons?
For children, I usually start with a primer book and then gradually transition into the RCM (Royal Conservatory of Music) series. For adults, I start with an adult beginner method book (such as the Alfred Adult Beginners book), and then choose the next steps depending on the students goals. All of the books required will be available on Amazon. RCM books are available on Amazon as well as their own website, rcmusic.com.
I already have a keyboard but it doesn't have weighted keys or 88 keys. Can I still use it for lessons?
If you already have a keyboard, it is okay to use it to get started, but you will quickly run out of keys. In order to train your fingers to be strong, you will need weighted keys. Most students who do not have a proper instrument to practice on will struggle playing most pianos other than their own due to their fingers being weaker and not used to touch sensitivity.