Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Do I need to have a piano to get started with lessons?

If you have a piano already, that is great! If you don't have a piano, a keyboard will work just as fine to get started with lessons.

Look for one with as many full-size keys as you can afford (minimum of 61) and preferably weighted keys rather than "touch sensitive" keys. You can always lease or purchase a piano later, once you decide if your student will stick with lessons.

Q:  Do you teach lessons from a piano curriculum?

Yes, I use the Alfred Basic Piano Library curriculum which consists of a Lesson, Theory, Technic, and Recital book. In addition to these core books, I use the Notespeller book to reinforce note-reading and the Ear Training book to focus on training and development of the musical ear.

Q:  I have a piano that needs tuning and maybe a little work to fix some sticky keys. Do you know any local piano tuners?

I heartily recommend Frisco Pianos. Norbert and Paula Lesjak have been in business for over twenty years tuning and repairing pianos. In Norbert's thirty year history as a conscientious and courteous technician, he has always treated fine pianos with care and respect. When you meet them you will also see their love and enjoyment of these fine instruments.

Q:  Do you have piano recitals?

Yes, I have a Christmas recital in December each year. Students start preparing in October selecting the piece that they want to perform, and working on mastering the piece technically. We also work on presentation. The fall term culminates with the Christmas recital where the students take what they have learned and apply it to a listening audience. The families that attend get to enjoy a night filled with Christmas music.

Q:  Do you offer 45-minute lessons?

I offer weekly 30-minute lessons only. I find that 30 minutes is long enough to review the previous week's assignment and cover the new concepts and material that I want to teach. Also, 30 minutes is the length of most attention spans considering that my students have already had 7+ hours of school by the time they arrive for lessons.

Q:  Can you come teach the lessons at my house?

My piano and supplies are located at my home studio, so students come to me for their lessons. When they come to my studio, they are removed from the normal every day distractions that exist at their home, making for a better learning environment.

Q:  How often should I tune my piano?

Pianos are not like some instruments that you can put on a shelf for an extended period of time without regular tuning. Pianos deteriorate quickly when neglected. Pianos that are played often should be tuned every 6 months, which is the traditional manufacturers recommendation. Most private piano owners have their piano tuned once per year to avoid the piano from going out of tune beyond normal range, causing additional problems down the road.

Q:  Why does my piano go out of tune?

Pianos are made primarily of wood. The wood parts within the piano will shrink and swell with the humidity changes. In the summertime when the humidity levels are higher, the piano keys may stick and the piano action will become sluggish. In the wintertime when the air is dryer, the piano keys seem to rattle when you play them.

Therefore, the swelling and the shrinking affects the piano's pinblock which keeps the piano tuning pins tight. When the piano pinblock absorbs moisture it swells, crushing the wood fibers against the tuning pins, thus, the tuning pins begin to tighten raising the pitch of the piano. In the dry seasons, the wood shrinks away from the tuning pins, loosening the tuning pins causing the strings to drop in pitch.

Q:  What do I do while my child is having their lesson?

Most parents enjoy some much needed quiet time in their cars reading a book, etc. Some drive to the bank or grocery store or you are welcome to sit inside in my living room.

Q:  Do you teach piano lessons through the summer?

Yes, I teach year-round even through the summer months. I have a summer reward program for those who participate.

Q:  How much practice-time do you require?

A minimum of 4 practice days per week is expected using the following guidelines:


Q:  What if I have to miss a lesson? Can I make it up?

Each student gets two make-up lessons per term that may be used as long as 24 hours' notice is given to the teacher. If the student is ill or there's a family emergency, the lesson may be made up at the teacher's discretion.

Q:  What days is Teach Me the Piano closed for holidays?

Teach me the Piano follows the Frisco ISD holiday schedule and has these days off each year:

  • †   New Year's week
  • †   Spring Break week
  • †   Memorial Day
  • †   Independence Day
  • †   Labor Day
  • †   Thanksgiving week
  • †   Christmas week

Q:  Do you offer group lessons? Could you teach both of my kids at the same time?

I do not offer group lessons. Each 30 minute lesson comes with my personal focused one-on-one attention to your student.

Q:  Do you give a discount for siblings?

I do not have a family plan. Each sibling gets the benefit of my full attention and focus during their personal scheduled 30 minute lesson time.

Q:  Do you teach children younger than 5 years old?

My policy is to teach children 5 years and older. At 5 years old, they have been exposed to the classroom environment, and they are better able to sit for 30 minutes and pay attention.

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