The answers to these questions are on the site, but if you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, this is probably where you need to be!
How old do I have to be to start learning? I have taken students as young as 5 and as old as 60, but I could go higher or lower either way. If you have a child younger than 5, however, I would suggest trying out Music for Young Children.
How much do lessons cost? Currently, lessons are $20/half hour. Starting in September, it will change to $72/month ($70/month for Monday students because they miss one lesson).
How long are lessons? I start most beginners out with half an hour a week, fifteen minutes for younger students.
How much do I need to practise? Daily practise is essential for improvement (if you can’t do 5-7 days/week, you aren’t going to improve very quickly), and I recommend 15-20 minutes/day for beginners (first year) and anyone 8 and under. For 9 -12 year olds and anyone who has been taking piano for a year, I recommend 20-40 minutes/day. If you’re 13-18, aim for 40-60 minutes/day. And you can always practise more than that! Sometimes these numbers are daunting, so my recommendation is that you just get to the piano. If you only last 5 minutes, then at least you got there. Try again later or the next day!
Where are you located? I teach out of my house which is in West Lethbridge in Ridgewood at 45 Coachwood Road West. Click here for a map and directions!
When can I come? My weekly schedule is always available online and should be up to date.
Are the lessons private or in groups? I teach each student privately, but would like to have occasional group classes to reinforce concepts that we haven’t focused on enough, provide a small and low-stress performance environment, and encourage students to meet one another.
What can I learn to play? Whatever you would like. Since most of my students are quite young, I usually choose a book series that will suit them and we work through the beginning basics with that and supplement it with other pieces in which the student shows an interest. If you’d like to work towards the Royal Conservatory pieces, I have experience all the way to grade 10, so we can also take that route. If you would like to learn to accompany yourself on the piano while you sing, we can also do that!
Do I need a piano? Yes, but I understand there are limitations. If you are just starting out, it is acceptable to use a keyboard. Weighted keys are important (so they feel like a real piano), as are touch sensitive keys (so you can play different volume levels), but these can wait a year if you’d like to make sure your student is committed to piano lessons before you make a big purchase. Long and McQuade on 8th Street South in Lethbridge can help you purchase an appropriate keyboard for a beginner student, or an affordable electric piano.
What else do I need? A book bag is very handy to keep all of your books together, and I will let you know other materials before we start lessons.
What are your qualifications? I have been playing the piano ever since I can remember, but I started taking piano lessons at age 9 (I’m 26 now). I have a Bachelor of Education (majoring in music) and a Bachelor of Music (majoring in piano) from the University of Lethbridge. I completed my grade 9 RCM examination in 2003 (performance, theory and history!) and played grade 10 RCM pieces during my Bachelor of Music. I taught piano for five years in high school but had to quit when I moved to Lethbridge because I didn’t have a piano or a car! I started up again in 2010 and have been loving it ever since. I have also been working at Westwind School Division and Lethbridge School District 51 as a substitute teacher since 2010. I am now a member of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers Association and hold the position of Secretary!
If your questions weren’t answered here, please feel free to contact me and I will reply as soon as possible.