How much should my child be practicing daily?
- Students should practice every day. Establishing a routine and sticking to it is crucial to students’ success, especially as they attain music literacy and gain competence at the keyboard early in their studies. This is also perhaps the most important transferrable skill from piano lessons to any other academic or extracurricular pursuit.
- It is highly recommended that students practice immediately after a lesson in order to retain everything we have covered in that lesson.
- Guidelines for daily practice:
- Young beginners (ages 4-7): 20 minutes
- Beginners (age 8 and up): 30 minutes
- Intermediate (3rd-4th year of study): 45 minutes
- Intermediate/advanced: 1 hour
- Advanced/pre-collegiate: 90 minutes or more
How does the Suzuki method differ from “traditional” pedagogy? Is it true that Suzuki students don’t learn to read notes?
The Suzuki method has several defining characteristics, specifically the “mother tongue” approach, and emphasis on a “triangle” relationship between student, teacher, and parent.
As a child learns to understand and reproduce language (their “mother tongue”), the Suzuki method posits, so a child can learn to audiate (i.e., hear music in their head) and reproduce sounds. In order to achieve this, the Suzuki method values listening to high-quality performances of the repertoire students study and values the innate musicality of children.
More than a method of attaining proficiency or mastery on an instrument, the Suzuki method encourages a holistic appreciation of beauty in the world, an attitude toward one’s studies that is positive and filled with gratitude, and a loving and empathetic relationship among students and their families. The triangle refers to the relationship between student (at the top), and teacher and parent (in co-equal supportive roles), and requires significant parental involvement.
It is a misconception that Suzuki students do not acquire music literacy. When supplemented with study of music theory and literacy, students become just as fluent in these areas as their peers who have studied under non-Suzuki pedagogues.
For more about the Suzuki method, click here.
For a comparison of the Suzuki and Montessori approaches to education, click here.
Can I reschedule a lesson?
Out of consideration for teachers’ and other parents’ and students’ schedules, late cancellations (less than 24 hours notice) cannot be rescheduled or refunded for any reason. Please notify the studio of any upcoming conflicts as far in advance as possible, and if the absence is excused the teacher will make up the lesson at a mutually agreeable time. We will clarify excused vs. unexcused absences in our initial interview.
What events beyond the usual lessons, studio recitals, and occasional contests are available for students?
Teachers will keep parents informed of opportunities for students to participate in activities offered through the Fort Worth Music Teachers Association, Mid-Cities Music Teachers Association, and other organizations. Also, listening to high-quality performances of piano music (and other ensembles) can be an invaluable source of inspiration for students. Teachers will recommend live concerts in the area (many of which we are performing ourselves!) as well as suggested listening or viewing of recorded performances.
What’s the difference between an electric keyboard and an acoustic piano? Which do you recommend?
It is always preferable to practice on an acoustic piano. An electric piano (with 88 weighted keys) is acceptable for beginners through the first six months to one year of study, after which an acoustic piano should be obtained. It is usually important to upgrade from an upright to a baby grand piano once a student plays at a mid- to late- intermediate level.
For a helpful side-by-side comparison of acoustic vs. electric pianos, click here.