Q: What is the best age for kids to begin private music lessons?
A: After at least one semester of full time kindergarten is complete. In my experience, this is the earliest most kids should start. Many kids make better progress if they wait until first or second grade to begin. I recognize, however, that each student is unique. I am happy to meet with anyone to conduct an evaluation or assessment of a child’s readiness for private music lessons.
Q: How long should a lesson last?
A: That depends on the age, level and experience of the student. For young beginners, a half hour lesson is usually sufficient for the first year or two. For most late-beginner to late-intermediate students, a 45 minute lesson is ideal for my methods, because lessons can be split into 15 minute segments covering three different topics, such as exercises, performance and theory. Late intermediate to advanced students are typically best served by 45 minute or one hour lessons.
Q: Do you offer any kind of discount on your fees?
A: Yes. In-home lessons that exceed seventy five minutes in length are billed at $40 per hour instead of the usual $45 per hour rate. Also, lessons taught from my soon-to-be-secured studio space will cost less than in-home lessons.
Q: We don’t currently own a piano or guitar. Can we still take lessons?
A: I can help you locate and acquire a wide variety of affordable, effective, new or used instruments. Once you have acquired one, lessons can begin.
Q: What do you really want, Jeff ?
(It’s still a frequently asked question, even if I’m the only one asking it.)
A: I want my students to be better than me. Well, maybe not better than me, but certainly better educated than I was at their age. Better prepared than I was at their age. I want my students to have fewer unanswered questions about music, theory, instruments and related gear and accessories – especially how they work – than I did at their stage of development. I want my students to know why I asked them to play that pentatonic minor scale again – this time in D, when they’ve clearly already mastered it in G. I also want to help students understand the huge difference between simply “getting through” a piece of music and then moving on to the next song in the book vs. mastering a piece of music – truly owning it – so that their performances can become alive, full of personality and a compelling experience for an audience. And I want to help my students outgrow me and move on to study with other talented, motivated and inspired musicians and instructors.
Mostly I want my students to understand why learning to play, perform and understand music is both challenging and fun. All at the same time.