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FAQ: But I don't WANT to play piano today, online edition 

I've transitioned entirely to online lessons this year, and overall it's worked out great - students are still learning and building skills, and we're using technology to stay connected.

Teaching online is a little different since I'm not hanging out in person. One aspect of lessons I miss the most is playing together when a student learns a new piece - we learn it one hand at a time, and then I play one hand while the student plays the other, so they can hear it in real-time before playing it hands…

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Music Lessons for Fall 2020 

Hello current and prospective students!

I was talking with my husband this week about how happy I am teaching - how genuinely excited I get each time students learn a new concept - and how thankful I am to be able to continue teaching in this new normal. I'm glad technology and the weather have cooperated this summer, and as summer winds down I've been thinking about how lessons will look going forward.


I've made the difficult decision to continue to offer all piano lessons online only for the time…

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COVID19 Studio Policy Updates 

Vermont is now under a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order due to COVID19. This minimizes all non-essential activities outside the home, and music lessons are not considered essential. Although I teach in my students' homes, for now it is my responsibility to stay home and transition all lessons to virtual/online lessons to help keep us all safe and healthy. 

What this means for current students

All current students wishing to continue with lessons during this time of transition are encouraged to do so! We can…

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FAQ: Can we come to your studio? 

I currently operate with a mobile teaching studio - this means I come to you and teach music lessons in your home. This also means I don't have a studio for you to come to at this time. Over the years I've taught in a variety of settings for various reasons, and there's sometimes a stigma attached to traveling teachers, so today's post is to shed some light on the different approaches to teaching location. 

Teaching in Commercial Studios/Music Schools

I've taught lessons in rented office/studio spaces and…

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FAQ: Are Private Music Lessons Right For Me/My Kids? 

I LOVE music, and I love sharing my love of music with others. I say nearly every day I have the best job in the world! Helping inspire others to learn and grow musically is amazing. Here are some factors to consider if you're deciding whether private music lessons are the next step in your musical journey:

Reason for Taking Lessons

Many people reach out to me because they also love music and want to understand it better. This is a great reason to learn music, and when the desire to understand is deep…

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FAQ: Can you teach this instrument?  

I love living in a small community - knowing someone else can check on our cats or let us borrow a ladder without a second thought is great! One of the downfalls of living in a small community can be limited resources.Usually we get creative and use what we have which is great! However, trying to "use what we have" when it comes to music lessons may not be the best choice. 

I've recently been asked if I could offer lessons on instruments as varied as violin/fiddle, bass, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, and even…

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FAQ: How Do I Help My Child Succeed With Lessons? 

We're all different - we like different music, we learn differently, we think differently. That's why - although I often use the same method for many students - I tailor my lessons to the student's needs and goals. However, I only see the student once a week - that's a tiny portion of their time each week! Learning music effectively takes consistent effort. While some early beginners are able to squeak by for a few months without practicing too much, they'll eventually have to start putting some work in…

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FAQ: How Do Online Lessons Work? 

I now offer online lessons for students in any location, as well as in-person students who may have weather- or illness-related cancellations. This allows us to keep progressing with music, even when the climate or immune systems don't want to cooperate! So what do you need for a successful online lesson?

Computer/Tablet Access

While we could technically do a lesson with an iPhone, it's much better to use a tablet or laptop computer with a camera/videoconferencing capabilities. A phone screen is very small…

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FAQ: How Young is Too Young for Music Lessons? 

My first guitar student was 8 years old and I still remember those early lessons with her, when progress seemed slow, and I wasn't sure whether she was actually having fun. I'm happy to report now she's in college and plays 3 additional instruments, and music has remained a huge part of her life! Those early, slow-moving lessons worked and helped laid a strong foundation for music - because she was the one who wanted to take lessons to begin with. 

How Young is Too Young?

Over the years I've had many…

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FAQ: But I Don't WANT to Play Piano Today! 

It's the statement parents and teachers often dread: "but I don't WANNA do it!" What happens when I've arrived for the lesson and that's the first thing we hear?

Consider the "Why"

As noted in my previous post people most often want someone to listen to them. Often my first question will be, "Why not?" Maybe the student had a terrible day, they had a disagreement with a friend, they're hungry, they're tired...or they didn't practice much and are embarrassed to play. Asking first, instead of demanding they…

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FAQ: What's the Best Way to Practice? 

Following up on my previous post about how much to practice, I want to follow up with a little note on, well, best practices for practicing! As I mentioned, I'm not the type of person who encourages every music student to play for a particular time. I encourage playing a piece a set number of times. 

Last weekend I attended a guitar workshop in Manhattan led by a group of renowned performers and educators and practicing was a hot topic. The general consensus of the educators was that quality, not quantity…

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FAQ: How Much Should I (or my child) Practice? 

This is a question I'm asked by both new and seasoned students alike. New students and parents want to know what they're signing up for while more advanced students want to ensure their practice routines continue to benefit their musical journeys.  

In an ideal world, my students would practice each piece (or section of a piece) about 5 times per day, every day. That's it. No half-hour of daily practice, no two-hour marathon practice sessions on the weekend.  

Here's why: the brain actually makes the…

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FAQ: When Should I Start Learning Music? 

Prospective students and parents often ask me "What's the right age to start music lessons?" My answer is an enthusiastic "Any age!" Learning music is beneficial to students of all ages. I've taught lessons to students as young as three all the way up into retirement and I've seen growth and development at every age.  

Before three years old, a private music lesson is probably not the best choice, but group music classes such as Mommy and Me music, music and movement classes, Kindermusic, and others are a…

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Are Online Music Lessons Right for Me? 

I've been teaching music for over a decade though, and I've been extremely fortunate that, during the course of that decade, technology has allowed me to continue teaching students, regardless of location! It's amazing to see some of my students grow up (I've now had students not only graduate high school, but graduate college, get married, and have kids of their own!!) and stay in touch with them. It's even more amazing to be able to play music together, even if it's been a few years since last time we saw…

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