How often should I practice?
The amount of practice varies by level and a general rule of thumb is to think that if you’re on grade 1, you should practice one hour per week (usually 15 minutes 4 days a week). The same rule goes to all grades after that, an hour a week for every grade level you take. Parental support throughout music lessons is absolutely vital.
How should I practice?
Focus is everything: Keep practice sessions limited to a duration that allows you to stay focused. This may be as short as 10-20 minutes, and as long as 45-60+ minutes.
Pick small sections of music: Don’t try to perform the entire piece through each time – pick a few bars of music and learn to sing/play them with correct notes and rhythm before moving on. Learning 4 bars of music correctly is much better than learning an entire piece with several mistakes.
Use a metronome: Count out loud and use a metronome to ensure you are learning the notes in the correct rhythm. Sing the melody out loud, clap the rhythm, play/sing the rhythm on one note.
Practice smarter, not necessarily longer. Make the most of your time. If you’re having trouble with two very tricky measures set your timer for a short period (5-10 minutes) and work on one problem in as many ways as you can — break it down into even smaller and more manageable bits, go super slow, try to play the passage backwards, change the rhythm, etc.
Don't always start at the beginning every time. Pick the sections that need the most work, don’t just play the piece from the beginning over and over again.
Why do I have to pay in advance?
Your arranged lesson time is reserved exclusively for you each week. If lessons are cancelled without adequate notice, I do not have the ability to make your spot available for another student. This means I lose the opportunity to make up the cost of your lesson by teaching someone else. I take the time to plan all lessons in advance in order to ensure that our shared time is enjoyable and well spent. If you do not attend your lesson, I have still done the work necessary to prepare. Therefore, I reserve the right to charge a lesson that is missed with insufficient notice. If sufficient notice is given, the lesson will be made up at a later date, not refunded. Any lessons missed by the teacher will be made up at a mutually convenient time. For more info: Make-up Music Lessons from an Economist’s Point of View
I’m sick, should I still come to my lesson?
No. If you have a cold or flu, please call six hours in advance to cancel your lesson. Being sick with a cold/flu often means having to postpone or cancel auditions, performances and teaching. Please respect my need to remain healthy by keeping your cold and flu at home. Thanks! (2 makeup lessons will be given per year.)