Guidelines to starting music lessons.

http://www.newmusic.co.za/?p=148

I get many enquiries regarding music lessons.

Most times I can accomodate the person. The problem is usually that the enquirer has unrealistic expectations eg:

Prospective student (PS): I want to learn the piano. When can I come and get a lesson?

Me: (Hearing the timbre of the question) How many lessons do you think you need to learn the piano?

PS: Just one – I’m a fast learner.

Here’s another:

PS: Why do I need my own instrument?

Me: Try learning to drive a car with a bicycle… (Okay, I’ve never said this…)

 

Learning music is like learning the most difficult language in the world. The average person takes up to 18 years to master their own language.

Why do I mention all this? I think a lot of people are ignorant of what it entails to study music. Here are a few guidelines for my studio:

1. Every student needs his/her own instrument. a student needs easy, regular access to the instrument.

2. Each student uses their own book. I will not photocopy mine. I will make a photocopy for additional enrichment/fun/technique.

3. The skill of reading and playing music well, takes time, dedication and effort. To play piano well will take more than 10 years. Even then one is just getting a grasp of the instrument. A single note instrument can take less time to master. One can mimic a song or add chords by listening, but to read music and play well becomes a life skill. I started lessons more than 50 years ago, I practice more now than ever before, and I feel like I am just starting.

4. A keyboard is not a piano. It is a different instrument. Keyboard pressure and response is different to a piano. I have yet to find an electric keyboard that adequately copies a piano. Maybe they are fine for a beginner but not for learning the nuances of Chopin, Beethoven etc. I teach the piano.

5. When learning a stringed instrument, a small student will need larger instruments as they grow and mature. This will cost money – please plan for it?

These are just some of the points that arise when I respond to lesson enquiries. Should you have further queries, you are welcome to contact me at verygoodpianist@gmail.com