Q: Can I register my child if s/he has never taken piano lessons before?
A: Absolutely! Piano Storytellers was created for children who have never taken piano lessons before.
Q: Can I register for just one semester?
A: Yes - registration is on a semester-by-semester basis, so you only need to commit to one semester at a time. However, do keep in mind the program consists of 4 levels (A - D), and each level takes 1 semester to
complete. Each semester builds upon what was learned in previous semesters, and the curriculum was specifically designed to give children the opportunity to master beginner skills and be well-situated to begin private instruction.
Q: What ages do you teach?
A: Children can begin the program when in Kindergarten (spring start only), 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, and 3rd Grade (summer start only). Children who begin the program can continue taking classes until they complete the program. It is possible classes for other grades could be added in the future - join the Mailing List to be kept in the loop about class offerings.
Q: Are Zoom classes effective?
A: You'll be surprised just how effective they are. I was! There are actually many advantages my students have learning via Zoom compared to in-person classes. For example - students can follow along to my hand position, fingerings, notes, etc much more easily since they have a clear, close-up view of my hands and fingers on their screen. Also, there is less distraction from other students since I have the ability to mute and unmute students as needed. And a biggie - my classes are just as interactive as they were before, with individualized attention and feedback from myself, students answering questions and demonstrating skills for one another, joking, laughing, and applauding each other. Classes are welcoming, with a perfect balance of warmth, smiles, silliness, and seriousness, so students feel at-ease, determined, and supported. And of course, there are other benefits like unlimited make ups, the ability to take classes while sick or contagious, and no worries about inclement weather. Zoom classes are working out fantastically!
Q: But will my child learn and get enough attention in a group class?
A: Most certainly! Many students pay attention and follow directions better on Zoom because they are "spotlighted" during class. When a student is spotlighted, their video is enlarged on all classmates' and the teacher's screen so everyone can all watch and listen to them play solo. Also, during "spotlight" time, the teacher provides one-on-one support and constructive feedback.
Q: How many kids are in a class?
A: 3-4 for "core" classes, and 6+ for the "extra" classes. Summer Mini Sessions have 6+ students.
Q: Why should my child take group lessons instead of private lessons?
A: So many reasons! Group lessons are an excellent entry point for young children to build foundational skills prior to private instruction because they are: 1) simply more FUN than private lessons! Students learn through various games which are way more fun to play as a group as opposed to one-on-one with a teacher; 2) MOTIVATING. Group lessons motivate children to focus and do their best as they have to play together and for one another; 3) more AFFORDABLE than private lessons; 4) a SOCIAL and COMMUNITY-BUILDING experience. Yes - classes on Zoom provide a social experience! They are very interactive and students play games with another.
Q: Do you offer a trial class?
A: Yes. I hold several trial classes prior to the start of a new semester. The link to sign up can be found on the home page. If the link isn't there, it means a trial class is not currently scheduled...In which case - sign up for the mailing list to be notified of future ones and other info!
Q: Is there a discount for siblings?
A: No, I'm afraid there is not. But families who have a child currently enrolled in the program receive priority registration to enroll the sibling. This is a big benefit because the most popular time slots fill almost instantly.
Q: Does my child need to have a real piano or is a keyboard good enough?
A: If budget, space, (and neighbors!) allow, I will always advocate for a real piano that's in good shape. Nothing can truly replicate one - the feel and weight of the keys, the sounds you can produce, or the action of a pedal. That said, I understand this is simply not an option for most families in NYC, so please don't let that stop your child from taking lessons! If possible, try to avoid digital keyboards and opt for a digital piano that has 88 weighted keys instead. The Yamaha P-45 (with wooden stand) is a great digital piano and is what is used in the studio alongside the Steinway grand piano. Please note it is required for all students to have at a minimum a 61-note keyboard. Piano Storytellers students can receive a 10% discount toward the purchase of a piano/keyboard at Guitar Center - contact me after registering for more info.
Q: What is the make up policy?
A: During the fall and spring semesters, unlimited make up classes are available. Since new material and topics are presented every week, it is always best for students to attend their regularly scheduled class to ensure their learning is seamless and scaffolded. During the summer semester, make up classes are not available due to the condensed nature of the summer program.
Q: Will you still hold a class if only 1 student is enrolled in it?
A: No. The minimum enrollment for a class must be met for it to be held. If a class is canceled due to under-enrollment, you will be notified by the second class session, and a full refund will be given.
Q: The class I'd like to register my child for is full. Can I be added to a waitlist?
A: Yes indeed! You may be placed on the waitlist here.
Q: How much should my child practice?
A: To get the most out of the program, help your child develop a love of piano from the start, and build your child's confidence in playing, practice is absolutely, 100%, without a doubt essential! I actually think practice is almost more important than lessons! For ages 5-6, a minimum of 2-3 times a week, 5-10 minutes is expected, and for ages 6-8, a minimum of 2-4 times a week, 10-15 minutes. I know that being a parent = being busy...all the time! And kids are busy too - with school, homework, activities, family, and more. It's hard for kids to fit in time to practice, or for parents to have the energy and time to encourage and help them practice. I totally get it! This is why all students have online access to weekly practice videos which act as a "practice pal" - it's like the teacher is sitting with the student at the piano, guiding them through the entire practice session. Not only do these videos make it easier on students and parents, but students also learn how to practice so one day, they can become self-reliant.
Q: Do you teach private lessons?
A: I love teaching private lessons, but my focus is currently on further developing and teaching the Piano Storytellers program.
Q: Are classes held during the summer?
A: Yes! There is a special 6-Week Level A Summer Program for new students, as well as a 6-Week Mini Session for students going into Levels B, C, and D.
Q: Since you don't teach private lessons, where should my child take lessons after completing this program?
A: Based in Brooklyn? All enrolled students can request a list of neighborhood or Brooklyn-based private piano teachers. Not based in Brooklyn? Ask your friends or online local parenting boards - word-of-mouth recommendations are valuable.
Q: Where are the classes held?
A: Online via Zoom, live from Brooklyn, NY!
Q: My child is too young to enroll. What can I do?
A: Join the Mailing List to receive an email when registration opens for future semesters when your child is old enough! And in the meantime, have fun listening and dancing to a lot of music at home and/or join a general group music class.
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