"Perfection may not be attainable,
but excellence is."

— Phyllis Chvostal

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General Information on Piano Lessons

When selecting a teacher, it is important to consider teaching experience, background in pedagogy, active professional membership, and continued education. Opportunities for students may include recitals, group lessons, festivals, and evaluation programs. The lessons should include reading a printed score, scales, and theory. A professional teacher will have a policy regarding lessons that deals with missed lessons, make-ups, and payment, etc.

As a beginning student, it is important to pace the lessons in accordance with age and ability. (Finger numbers or letter names before progressing to notes on a staff.) Lesson books that present one idea at a time will develop the various skills and result in a more melodic performance. Students should keep their eyes on the music, rather than looking at the keys, to develop the auditory and tactile senses necessary in advancing. Lessons should be given on a regular schedule.

Adults who have “always wanted to take lessons”, should consider the possibility. Look under Adult Student Info for more information on lessons.

There are several venues for lessons. Regardless of your choice, it is essential that the lesson be given in a private part of the home or building and has a secure waiting area for the students.

  • You may travel to the teacher’s home.
  • You may travel to a store in which the teacher has an agreement for a teaching space.
  • You may have a teacher come to your home

Instrument: (Make sure your prospective teacher is aware of the type of instrument you have.)

  • Keyboard (consists of 70 keys or less) Depends on the teacher. May be used for beginner lessons for a few months. The problem, aside from the touch and size, includes the ability to sit properly in front of the keyboard. Keyboards are “fun” instruments as they are portable, but should not be used regular practice. Benches are not included with purchase.
  • Digital Pianos are growing in popularity. A digital piano is one in which the instrument is plugged into an electrical outlet. The use may also depend on the teacher. The instrument should have a pedal. Recording features and a disk drive or USB port are extra features that will provide enjoyment. Digital pianos do not need tuning, but may develop electronic problems, such as replacing a key. A bench should be included with the piano. As with anything electronic, the technology is being updated on a regular basis.
  • Acoustic pianos are pianos in which the performer does everything, tone quality, pedaling, expression, etc. The acoustic piano is available as a spinet, console, upright, and grand. Acoustic pianos are sensitive to placement (heat, cold), and the sound is affected by the room (bare floors versus upholstered furniture and rugs.) and needs maintenance (regular tunings). Acoustic pianos tend to keep their value. A bench is provided with the purchase.

The goal of any student is to develop the ability to learn new music without the teacher when they are no longer taking lessons. Quality practice on a regular basis will provide a lifetime of musical enjoyment.

Phyllis Chvostal | Wexford, PA | ivycat@connecttime.net
©2009 Phyllis Chvostal
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