Frequently Asked Questions
Is my child old enough for private piano lessons?
Every child is different – students may be ready at the age of 5 while some may need to wait until 6 or 7. It is ideal for students to begin piano study at a young age.
In addition to a child’s instrument readiness, parents need to assess their readiness: Do you have time in your schedule to sit with a young beginner and coach him through daily practice sessions? Are you willing to insist that practicing occur? Do you have long-term goals and a commitment to your child learning the piano (learning the piano takes many years!)? If so, Ms. Kathleen can help you determine if your child is ready to begin lessons.
What kind of instrument do we need?
To ultimately advance in piano playing, the brain – and body – will be asked to do very complicated tasks. Students need all the help and support they can get, including having a professional teacher from the start and an appropriate instrument.
An acoustic piano is a requirement to have before starting lessons. Keyboards are not the same and will result in slower rates of progress and a deficiency in technical development.
Where do we find a piano? Do we have to buy one?
There are several local piano stores in the greater Houston area that sell and rent used and new pianos. See the “Resources” section of this website for more information.
How much will my child be expected to practice?
While students can learn to play sports and dance with a few practices or classes each week, learning to play the piano requires daily practicing. A main difference between learning the piano and learning a sport involves the muscles used: Sports involves the gross motor muscles (big muscles), which are easier and quicker to train, whereas playing the piano involves fine motor muscles (small muscles). For this reason, all students will be expected to practice a minimum of 30 – 45 minutes daily.
Will my child have to perform in competitions or take exams?
In addition to studio recitals, students may have the opportunity to perform for judges, to take written music theory exams, and perform in additional local recitals. However, performances and exams are not required.
What specific aspects of piano playing do you teach and what materials do you use?
The Piano Spot places a strong emphasis on a well-rounded music education. All students will study music theory through written assignments, ear training and sight-reading through activities during lessons, technical development through finger exercises including scales, a classical-focused approach to piano learning with the addition of other genres (jazz, hymn, movie arrangements, etc.), music performance through performance opportunities and performance assignments, the memorization of repertoire, music history and appreciation through video assignments and lesson instruction, and performance analysis.
Materials used include specific method books for young learners (these are chosen from a variety of method books according to each student’s needs and rates of progress), theory books, finger exercise books, flashcards and apps for at-home learning, supplemental repertoire books, additional music for recitals and festivals, and other materials used in the lesson.