Common Questions Asked About Lessons

Question: How are your music lessons set up?

Answer: Students have three options to choose from: First, students can have individual lessons every week for thirty minutes.  Second, students can have individual lessons for every other week for one hour.  Third, students can be placed in group lessons of 2 – 4 students in each class.  Lastly, we can customize the frequency and duration of lessons that best fit your needs.  For example, you can choose a forty-five minute lesson every week in addition to a thirty minute lesson every week.

Question: I appreciate the free evaluation lesson and feel my son is interested in lessons.  However, I am not certain I want to commit as lessons are an investment and time commitment.  Plus, I am not sure how much interest my son will maintain.  Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: Yes we do.  First, we understand that lessons can be a time commitment, sacrifice, and can be costly, considering the cost of regular lessons and purchase of an instrument.  It is a common concern to have since children nowadays tend to be active in many activities.  If you want to try this, but are not certain of a long-term commitment, we suggest trying out a package of 5 – 20 lessons.  Your son can try out 5 lessons before investing in any instrument.  If he is progressing and maintains an interest and enthusiasm, we can either look to extend the package to 5 – 15 lessons or purchase an instrument.  If your son’s interest is dwindling after the initial five lessons, you have the choice to stop taking lessons entirely.  The bottom-line is that we want to give you plenty of time to make the right decision taking lessons without feeling the pressure of buying an instrument or investing in a long-term commitment.

Question: I am not sure where to start when I’m ready to purchase my instrument.  Can you give me suggestions on brand names, store recommendations, and any other information?

Answer: Absolutely! We have established relationships with local music stores and vendors who can help you get a quality instrument at an affordable price.  We can also assist you while you research on your instrument.  For instance, you can e-mail information you find and we can provide you feedback on that instrument so you are well informed and have peace of mind on your purchase.

Question: What set up do you best recommend?

Answer: It depends on the type of student.  For instance, it is generally recommended for adults to take every other week lessons as their schedules are generally busier than younger students.  Plus, their sense of urgency of learning is generally not as high as a younger student.  It is recommended for younger students to take weekly lessons.  This will keep them focused on the material, and it will help maintain their momentum during the week.  Some students enjoy the element of competition, accountability, and team work.  They prefer learning with other people present.  In this case, it is recommended to do group lessons.  Some students want fast progression and have a goal and vision in a competition.  Lessons more than once a week would be recommended for this type of student.

Question: Does my son or daughter require any experience?

Answer: Absolutely not.  We give lessons to students of all ages and playing levels.  Beginner level students with no experience will start off with the fundamental concepts and rudiments prior to progressing to more advanced concepts.  We will start you with everything you need to know on your instrument before progressing.  Additionally, we have helpful resources that will help you get started where you are at.

Question: I have been playing the drums for three years and took lessons from another instructor.  How will you differentiate my lessons to make sure I feel challenged and learn new things?

Answer: At our evaluation lesson, you will play your instrument to the best of your ability.  After the instructor hears you play, we will use your best playing as a starting point.  From this point forward, the instructor will devise a comprehensive, long-term format to see where skills are currently at and where you want to be.  We will also incorporate material the student wants to learn.  Lastly, the student will be required to fill out a questionnaire.  This will help obtain basic information such as the best learning method for the student as well as their personality type.

Question: My daughter has attention deficit disorder and can get bored very easy.  Do you deal with students with special needs?

Answer: Yes.  We teach students of all abilities.  We work on individualizing and differentiating each lesson to best fit the needs of that student.  For example, if someone is a hands-on learner, instruction will be conducted through a hands-on approach.  Conversely, if a student is a visual learner, many musical concepts will be video taped and typed out so the student can see everything.  Students who have ADD or any other disability, we divide up our time by doing fun musical activities and taking small breaks during the instruction.  It can be difficult to engage someone with ADD for a long period of time, so we find it to be effective to divide up our time with activities and small breaks, as well as finding a learning approach that works best for them.

Question: Do I need to bring anything to the lessons?  How about purchasing anything?

Answer: A student may bring their instrument to the lessons.  For example, a guitarist can bring his/her guitar, and a drummer can bring a pair of drum sticks.  If a student has not purchased anything prior to the evaluation lesson, they will be informed about what to buy.  We also have a music shop in our school where the student can purchase the requirements they need (e.g., metronome, drum sticks, books, etc.).  Additionally, we furnish all students with a Breaking Grounds in Music folder, a writing utensil, and a lesson planner so they can stay organized for every lesson.  Finally, students are also welcome to bring a video camera or recording device to the lessons.  A lot of material goes into great detail.  Thus, a recording device will help the student retain the information that was taught.

Question: My son loves music.  He always listens to it and has aspirations to play in a band.  Will he learn songs?

Answer: Yes!  As students progress with the lesson material, they will also learn various songs.  The songs they learn will contain different styles of music selected by the teacher and songs that students would like to learn.  Also, students will learn how to play along with music in three different ways: 1. Students will play along with songs without sheet music to develop the basic skills of timing and a sense of rhythm.  2. Students will play along with songs listening to the song while reading the notes to enhance their reading skills.  3. Students will also be given an option to make up their own rhythm over a piece of music.  For example, drum students will be given a CD with guitar tracks.  The student will have to create his/her own beat that fits the tempo and style of the guitar track.  This will help their ability to improvise music. While learning a song is fun, it is also important, because it gives the student a chance to apply what they learned from the lesson and incorporate it into the song.

Question: My daughter just joined percussion in symphonic band.  She is expected to read music.  Do you teach how to read music?  If so, do you have material, or are we required to buy anything?

Answer: Yes, all students will learn how to read music, regardless of the instrument.  Reading music is an important skill to develop as a musician, and we are committed to teaching this.  It helps in areas academically, as well as enhances a student’s skill and playing ability.  Students will work with some excellent books we recommend.  They have the option to buy a book, or we can make a copy of the sheet music for them to take home.  We have also created music and will provide it during the lessons.  Students are also welcome to bring in a piece of music they are required to learn for an audition or for a school performance.  They can also bring in a song or solo they would like to learn.  Our reading focuses in three major areas: Learning fundamentals, songs, and versatility.  These are areas in music that are essential to one’s growth in music. 

Question: I am involved in soccer and baseball traveling teams.  I am required to attend every practice so I can play in the games.  Do you offer make-up lessons?

Answer: Yes, we offer make-up lessons.  The student is required to allow at least 24 hr. notification of a lesson cancellation.  Students are required to pay for a lesson they miss without notification.  A student must also pay for a lesson if they notify the teacher of a cancellation the day of their lesson.  We have some exceptions to this policy.  If a student cancels a lesson the day of because of sickness, they will not be charged for that lesson.  Students will also not be charged if there is inclement weather or a family emergency.  We will provide a lesson cancellation policy the day of the first lesson.

Question: How often should my son practice?

Answer: This is a very common question that is asked.  Practicing is necessary and expected from the student if he/she wants to progress.  Practicing is the fuel and motivation that helps shape and develop a student.  It is important to maintain a steady practice schedule.  It is not about how long a student practices for, but rather, what they do with the time they have.  It is far more important for a student to practice for fifteen minutes each day as opposed to practicing for two hours for one day and nothing for the next three days.  We provide students with a practice sheet for each lesson.  Although it is not necessary to fill out, it is highly recommended to complete.  It will keep the student on track with their material to practice, and help maintain a strong level of momentum to play.  It is also a great way to build self-discipline and hold yourself accountable each day to this commitment. 

Lastly, students should first spend time on the assignment the instructor gave for that lesson so they are prepared and ready to progress to the next lesson.  It is then recommended to spend time improvising so they can develop their own style of music.  This will make their practice experience fun and refreshing. 

Question: What if we prepaid for a lesson but have to make it up?  Can we reschedule that lesson?

Answer: You can reschedule a lesson if there is at least 24 hour notification given.  The instructor will offer the students time options to make up that lesson.  If the instructor needs to cancel a lesson and the lesson is paid for, the lesson will either be made up, or the payment will be rolled over.  We have a fair policy that accommodates the students needs.  Our main request is for students to give us advanced notification of a cancellation.

Question: I am a senior vice president at a firm in the downtown area.  I often put in 12 hour work days.  At this point in my career, I am just looking to do something fun and stress free.  Do your lessons offer this?

Answer: Learning how to play a musical instrument is a great way to broaden a person’s horizons.  Regardless of the student’s age, music lessons are for all ages.  Furthermore, an athlete can play a sport such as football, soccer, or basketball at a high intensity level up to a certain point in their life.  Conversely, a musician can play and enjoy his/her music instrument for many years.  In fact, some of the great jazz legend drummers such as Joe Morello and Louie Bellson played well into their 80s!  Whether you are looking to play an instrument to be in a band, reduce stress, or just have fun, our lesson program can be tailored to best fit your needs, regardless of your age, ability, or what stage of life you are at.

Question: Is there any other information you would like to share?

Answer: We expect our students to be committed to the lessons.  This will ensure progression for the student as well as longevity in the teacher/student relationship.  It is important for the student to have good attendance.  While other commitments conflict, we request for the student to give us advanced notification for cancellation of a lesson.

Our mission is to help students reach their musical and life goals through providing exceptional music education along with important life lessons.  The benefits of taking music lessons with us is that we tailor all our lessons to best fit the needs and demands of each student.  We also understand the importance of values, work ethic, integrity, and personal skills.  One of our goals is to be mentors in our students’ lives by integrating vital life lessons such as honesty, quality character, and leadership, to name a few.  We have many helpful resources available in these areas of life that students will be given.  We are all about music and life!  Contact us today to set up your FREE evaluation lesson!