Where do you teach?
Currently I offer in-house lessons in the Grampians and Pyrenees areas in rural Victoria. I cover the towns of Ballarat, Beaufort, Avoca, Maryborough and Ararat. From February 2017 I will also offer lessons in my studio in Bentleigh, VIC. Please contact me and consider joining the waiting list even if I am not able to offer you a slot immediately. I will contact you as soon as one becomes available.
Why should my child study piano?
Because it is fun and beneficial! Your child will gain confidence, enjoyment, and develop his or her brain all at the same time as having fun. You will be able to enjoy live music in your own home!
Will my child get discouraged or frustrated?
The idea of having a teacher is that the teacher will select materials that you can learn easily while still gaining new knowledge and advancing in your study! You will be amazed at how much a student can learn and play in just a few lessons. The first pieces a student learns at Grampianostudio are really interesting and fun - not the ordinary piano beginner's pieces that you may have heard in the past!
There may be times when a student doesn't "get" the concepts straight away, but I will help avoiding frustration or discouragement by pacing study and prioritising music making, not technical or theoretical hurdles!
Will you expect my child to be a genius musician?
Not at all! Most piano students are averagely talented. And guess what! Even most professional musicians were originally from that pool of average, normal music students! There is no need to be a genius in order to learn and enjoy playing.
What kind of a piano do I need? Can I practise on an electric keyboard?
You need an acoustic piano or an 88 weighted key digital piano. An electronic keyboard is usually not adequate for piano students (even for beginners)
If my child is not really good at this, does that mean he or she will not enjoy it?
Not at all! Every piano student can still enjoy it immensely, because everyone progresses at their own pace in private music study! Together we'll find ways to play YOUR child's favourite music.
My child is only averagely intelligent. Will piano be too hard for him?
No! All sorts of people can learn music - even those those who struggle with reading and academic study! (In fact, piano lessons will help your child in academic subjects!). Special needs kids gain a lot from music study - it's all individual!
What is the minimum age for learning piano?
Although there is no minimum age for learning the piano, at grampianostudio we prefer school-age students. Younger students can do really well at music study, but will need some more help from the parents at home.
You can schedule up to three trial lessons to gauge whether you think your child is mature enough for piano study and whether this teacher's style is right for you and your family. Younger children also benefit from group early childhood music classes (not currently offered at grampianostudio)
Am I too old to start?
Not at all! It is never too late to start the piano.
What sort of music do you teach? Do I have to like classical music?
You will learn a variety of music, and certainly not only classical music. It all depends on what you want to play. All students will do some set instructional pieces (which are fun by the way!), and some music of their own choice, including pop pieces, blues, and improvisation. In your first year of study nearly all the pieces you will learn are from the 20th or 21st century.
My own training is predominantly in classical music, and for those who enjoy their study, this extremely varied and enormous body of musical compositions for the piano is great for us to explore together.
How do I get good at it?
Practice! Beginning piano students should practise 15-20 minutes at least five days a week. You will learn to practice at the lessons. Parents are great assistants to music teachers in that they encourage home practice by listening and praising students' progress!
Will I have to perform in public if I don't want to?
You will get to play in a fun and non-threatening way. If you don't want to play in front of strangers, mini-performances for your family and friends are great! If you just want to play your favourite music for yourself, that's fine too! But remember we are really privileged as musicians because we also give joy to others - even if the performance is not "perfect"!
Will my child really enjoy this or will it be a chore?
Learning an instrument is really fun! If your child wants to learn, and puts in a few minutes every day, I think he or she will enjoy it a lot!
Getting young kids to the piano to practice can sometimes become a bit of a daily chore. The trick here is to show genuine interest in their music-making, commenting on how they're progressing and how beautiful it sounds. Nagging about practice is not the same as encouraging music-making! Set aside a few minutes of quality time for admiring your young one's new-found musical abilities, and you will both have a good time while practising - every day, for years!
I use a range of interactive technology, including a practice app. I encourage you to engage with this from the start of study, as it makes practicing more productive, fun, and much less a chore for both parents and students!
How long is each lesson, and how often?
Individual private lessons go for 45 minutes once a week. Group lessons (soon to be offered) go for 60 minutes once a week during school terms.
How many lessons must I commit to?
Currently, the first private lesson is free of charge, and I do not ask you to commit for the first four lessons. After that, I ask that you commit to blocks of one month of lessons. Both private lessons and group lessons are billed monthly in advance.
How do payments work?
Lessons are billed monthly in advance. You can pay by PayPal or direct transfer. You will be issued with receipts.
Do you offer family/sibling discounts?
Yes, I offer a 20% off basic lesson fee discount for siblings/family members. If lessons can be scheduled back-to-back,you also save on travel fees.
Do you charge for travelling, and what areas do you cover?
Travel fees are charged for genuine travel to students' homes. I travel to Ballarat, Ararat, Avoca, and Maryborough. Students in the Elmhurst area actually get a discount of 20%!
Are there any other discounts?
From time to time, grampianostudio may offer other discounts and promotional offers. Piano lessons are a significant cost for many families and it is wonderful that you show such commitment to the education of your children! Students in the Elmhurst area get a discount of 20%!
I notice you are a religious person. Will the piano lessons include talk about religion?
Piano lessons are for piano and music only! Although I am committed to a faith, I respect other beliefs (including the lack of one) and a multiplicity of individual lifestyles.
We will get together to make music, not to argue about potentially threatening or controversial topics! I do ask that students behave and are respectful towards me as their teacher. This is just common sense and will allow us to progress and enjoy music together.
My family doesn't celebrate Christmas. Will my child have to play Christmas songs?
On registration of a new student, I ask whether the parents have any objection to the child learning traditional Christmas carols. If you do not want them to learn this repertoire, please indicate so by ticking the relevant box on the form to be returned that confirms you have read the studio policy!