FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Are you offering lessons during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes! Since mid-March 2020, all piano lessons have been moved online via Zoom. Lessons may resume in-person with proper precautions, but this will depend on the situation in Elkhart County at that time. Zoom lessons will continue to be offered as an option for the foreseeable future. For more detailed information, please see the home page of my website, under "COVID-19 Pandemic and Online Lessons."
2. Do you have openings for new students?
3. What days and times do you offer piano lessons?
4. What is a good age to start piano lessons?
In most cases, my youngest piano students are age 5 or 6, entering Kindergarten or 1st grade, and have a long enough attention span to stay engaged for the duration of a 30-minute lesson. After that, any age is a good age to start piano lessons! If you are looking for a way to encourage musical growth and development in children ages 0-5, I highly recommend the Goshen College Music Together program!
5. Do you teach adults?
Yes! I have taught many adult piano students, from absolute beginners to avid music lovers with years of piano, and from college students through retired adults. I always enjoy hearing each person’s story, and working with them to help them accomplish their musical goals.
6. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of online piano lessons?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, taking online piano lessons is a way to continue learning at the piano while eliminating the the risk of sharing germs. Online lessons eliminate the need for transportation to and from the studio, give the teacher an opportunity to see the student’s home practice environment, and provide a chance for fun and creative technology usage during the lesson. Online lessons also build independence in the student, since learning skills like counting measures and marking their own music will be even more necessary. A few disadvantages include reliance on stable internet, lack of in-person interaction for engaging communication and demonstration, and limited ability for teacher and student to tap, sing or play together simultaneously. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it will be an ongoing task to weigh the risks of in-person lessons against these advantages and disadvantages.
For another perspective, check out this article by Wendy Stevens written in March 2020, titled “Will online piano lessons really work for my child?”
7. How do I pay for piano lesson tuition?
Choose one of these ways to pay lesson tuition: pay cash or check in-person (for in-person lessons only), mail a check, use your bank’s bill pay service, or pay online via PayPal. Tuition is always due on the first lesson day of each month. Please contact me directly for more information about lesson tuition: email@example.com or 574-304-9419.
8. Does a student need to own a piano in order to enroll in piano lessons?
Ideally, yes. In some cases, it may work for a student to practice on someone else’s piano, but they must have easy access to it, and be committed to going there regularly (five to six days per week).
9. Can a student practice on a keyboard?
Yes, but only on a temporary basis. In other words, if a student enrolls in piano lessons, it should be understood that in order for them to enjoy making music and progress in their learning, they will need to upgrade to an acoustic piano as soon as possible. There are many options available; a few options that will work include the Yamaha P-45, Roland FP-30, or Roland RP102.
10. Where can I buy a good acoustic piano?
Two good places to look in this area are Chupp’s Pianos in New Paris, or Shirk’s Piano Gallery in Mishawaka. I am always happy to assist any student or family in their search for a reasonably-priced acoustic piano in good condition.
11. How often do I need to tune my acoustic piano?
Acoustic pianos should be tuned twice each year. A good rule of thumb is to schedule a tuning about two to four weeks after turning on the heat for the winter months, and about two to four weeks after turning on the air conditioning for the summer months. However, this may vary depending on the specific environment of your own home. Be sure to ask the advice of your piano technician.
12. Besides regular tuning, what else can I do to take good care of my acoustic piano?
Keep your piano clean, try to maintain a consistent temperature and humidity in the room where your piano is placed, play your piano regularly, and keep all drinks and liquids away from the piano. These suggestions are taken from the Piano Technicians Guild website. For more information, please see their page on “Basic Rules of Piano Care.”