Frequently Asked Questions
Are you qualified and DBS checked?
Yes and yes! I hold a professional diploma from the Royal College of Music, a teaching qualification from Greenwich University, and I hold a fully enhanced DBS allowing me to work with children and vulnerable young people.
What's the best age to begin learning piano?
The youngest age is considered to be five. However, it really depends on the child's interest and attention span. Some are not ready to fully commit until they are older- when their motor skills are better developed and doing two or three things at once comes easier. At the same time, there have been examples where a year 1 pupil was able to read notes and play melodies and songs after 3-4 months of lessons the same as a year 3 pupil who had been learning the piano for almost 2 years.
What if I don’t have a piano or keyboard?
The most common question! The best advice I can give you is if you’re uncertain whether your child will take to the piano or the lessons, a good quality cheap keyboard will be fine to begin with (not a digital piano as these are the most expensive).Seek out ads, or the likes of ebay or gumtree are great for cheap keyboards.
Ideally it should have full size keys, 61 notes or more and you’ll probably need a stand -ironing board type (even a table will do to begin with) and a stool to go with it- (again even a chair can do)This will be your cheapest option. It's important to remember, that when seated the wrists should be roughly level with the keyboard-this should help in decision making in the early stages. If you want more advice or are intending to buy a digital piano or an acoustic piano, please see me for a chat and I will able to offer further advice.
How much should pupils practise?
The more a pupil practises with correct techniques and strategies the faster his/her progress will be. Regular practise is key to success. It is better to do a little regularly than a lot once in a while. Ideally, students practice at least five days a week starting with around 15 mins per day. Very young students (5-6 year olds) might start with just 5-10 mins a day, which should be increased to about 10-15 etc minutes a day as their attention span increases. It might help to break up practice time into two shorter sessions, if possible.
Can I help my child with practising if I do not play the piano myself?
Yes- Please do! First of all, you can provide an environment that makes it easy for your child to focus. Try to eliminate distractions as much as possible and remember that, while making music, one must listen intensely to the sounds produced. At this heightened state of awareness of sounds, it can be especially challenging to ignore other sounds in the environment (having the TV on etc). You can help setting up a practice routine and follow it as much as possible. Most children will need reminders!
What are the benefits of studying piano?
Piano lessons are very beneficial for both children and adults. For children, it benefits education skills used in reading, science, and maths. It helps develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, as well as brain and memory development. Adults who study music enjoy better emotional and physical health. They also have the benefits of personal satisfaction, increased confidence, coordination, enhanced memory and concentration.
I am an adult with no musical background? Can I learn to play piano?
Yes. I teach adults of all ages. I have a few beginners in their seventies. The recommended practise time is around 30 minutes every day (which can be split into two sessions) Repetition is the key to retention and development of a new skill.
I didn’t learn piano or music as a child. Is It going to be harder for me as an adult?
Children who learn as a child are naturally in a better position to continue piano lessons as adults. These music lessons carve neural pathways that make future learning easier. However, non-musically trained people are not as disadvantaged as one might think as the brain is always ready to learn new things and build new neural pathways at any age.
Why do children learn music faster than adults?
In all reality, this is a perception created by the amount of time dedicated to practise and the passion with which the student is pursuing music. Naturally, children have less busy lives than adults and can devote more time to the music. Plus, their parents often set daily practice schedules. Adults tend to excuse themselves from practising when their day gets too busy.
When do the lessons take place?
Currently they follow the school terms. After school for school children (between 4 and 8pm) and during the day for adults (can be evenings depending on availability at DPA, or there are daytime slots available for adults at my home address.
Do you enter pupils for graded examinations?
Yes if they wish to- and when they’re ready as well as when the teacher thinks they're ready! All of the exams are done through ABRSM.
Details can be found here:
Due to the Data Protection legislation (GDPR 2018), I am required to gain permission from you to allow me to store any personal data I hold which includes your email address.
I will use your email address to send you the regular invoices each half term and occasional information about new music needed, changes to lessons, exams or to let you know how your child is progressing.
I will not, of course, use it in any other way or disclose it to a third party for any reason and I will remove it from my records when your child is no longer receiving lessons or if you decide to withdraw your consent.
If you are unhappy with these arrangements, please send me an email and can seek alternative means.