Can I learn music from the internet?
Seriously? The internet is a useful set of resources, but that is all.
The internet can’t watch your technique and make corrections before a bad habit becomes entrenched. The internet can’t tell you need to be working on now. The internet can’t give you the encouragement you need when you need it. There is so much more a teacher will give you that you will never learn from the internet.
How soon will I be able to play?
There are two variables that go into answering this question:
- How regularly you attend, and
- How regularly you practice
With regular attendance and practice we can get you playing simple songs within a few weeks to a few months (depending how regularly you practice)
We recommend our students practice at least 3 times per week for 10 minutes each time. The most important time to practice is the same night AFTER your lesson. That will consolidate what you have learned.
We are committed to helping our students establish consistent effective practice routines.
Obviously, the more you practice, the faster you will learn.
We strongly recommend that students study for, enrol in and complete theory and practical examinations.
- The student has very clear goals, which provide an strong incentive to practice consistently,
- It ensures the instrument is learned in a methodical way,
- Completed exams are recognised qualifications
We prepare students for examinations held by two independent bodies: ANZCA http://www.anzca.com.au/index and AMEB http://ameb.unimelb.edu.au/ . There is an examination fee which starts at around $80 for lower level exams. The higher the grade, the more the entrance fee. Examinations are graded from preparatory through to Grade 8.
Theory Exams are a written exam. Practical exams involve the students playing some pieces and scales in front of an examiner who grades the performances
What age students do you teach?
We can teach students of all ages. In Australia, we seem to get the best results with students starting from around 8 years of age. We can teach children from a much younger age but you will need to join in the lesson and provide plenty of practice support (and patience) if you have a younger learning child.
But you are never too old to learn. In fact learning a musical instrument is one of the best ways to stave off the onset of age related cognitive decline (including dementia and alzheimers). We have taught people in their 70’s.
Do I need an instrument?
We can start you without an instrument, but you will need to get one real soon. Without your own instrument, you will not be able to practice at home and that is where a lot of your development will take place.
What type of Piano or Keyboard should I buy?
An acoustic piano will go out of tune due to temperature and humidity changes and will need to be tuned by a professional piano tuner every year. This usually costs about $200 and is done in your home.
An electronic keyboard is fine for beginners. You should start provide the range you need until you reach more advanced grades.
There is a difference between an electronic keyboard and a digital piano. A digital piano will have weighted keys so it feels like an acoustic piano. If you plan to study piano rather than electronic keyboard, you should start with a digital piano.
As you become more advanced, you will need a very high quality digital piano or an acoustic piano as more advanced pieces require a much more responsive keyboard which cannot be found on cheaper digital pianos.
Do musical instruments require maintenance?
Pianos require tuning by a professional piano tuner at least once a year at a cost of around $200 and is done in your home.
Guitars and Bass Guitars require regular tuning and should have new strings fitted at least twice a year. (Yes we sell guitar strings). A new guitar should ideally be “set up” by a guitar technician. This will adjust the action of the guitar so it sounds better and is easier to play. Set ups are priced from around $80, which is money well spent.
Drums also require tuning, replacement of skins as they wear out , and tightening of hardware.
What other resources will I need?
You will need some accessories for your instrument. For example, drum sticks if you are a drummer, plectrums if you are a guitarist and a metronome for all instruments.
You will also need to buy instrumental tuition books and theory tuition (which usually contain enough material for 6-12 months.)
Professional guitarists will re-string their guitar for every performance. You should plan to re-string your guitar or bass at least every 6 months. It makes a huge difference to the sound and to your appetite for practice.