Questions about cost and studio policy

How much does it cost to take lessons?

I offer both weekly and fortnightly lessons. Lessons are 60 minutes.

 I charge a fixed monthly fee regardless of the amount of lessons you have each month - over the course of 12 months I ensure you receive either 20 or 40 lessons as per the studio policy. For prices, go here

What is included in your lesson fees? Are there any hidden costs?

My prices are set at a level that me permit to:

  • limit the amount of students to a level where I can fully service ALL of them
  • take on committed students who value quality teaching practices
  • be competitive in the market place without undercutting

Remember that your lessons include not just the one on one time with the teacher. They also include:

  • Preparation time 
  • Business Administration 
  • Teacher training & experience
  • Professional organisations and memberships
  • Studio expenses such as studio software
  • Government taxes, licenses and insurance
  • Ongoing education 

I try to minimise out of pocket expense for students, but please be aware that certain things are never included in your lesson fees:

  • Your internet connection costs
  • Repertoire and method books
  • Tuning (if you have an acoustic piano)

Do I need to have a piano before starting lessons?

Yes, having a piano is a requirement prior to commencing lessons. You will need an instrument to practise on in between your lessons.

The piano can be an acoustic or a digital. I recommend you get a quality digital piano, with 88 keys, weighted keys with escapement mechanism. They need to emulate the feel of the keys of a real piano.

If you're unsure what type of piano to get, I have a 2-part blog on the subject that will help you make the decision. Read it here: PART 1 and PART 2

Can I take fortnightly lessons rather than weekly?

I have some LIMITED slots for fortnightly lessons in my schedule. Please get in touch to find out more.

What sort of lesson flexibility do you offer?

For students unable to make their lessons, I offer guided offline lessons to ensure they can continue to practise and progress even if they had to miss their live lesson.

A guided offline lesson works as an asynchronous form of learning whereby you receive your lesson materials in a package for your own study, presented in a step-by-step format with guidance via video, audio and other learning materials. I also set aside 2 make up weeks a year for the occasional teacher cancellation.

All this is explained in detail in our studio policy. In your meet & greet we will go through this in detail too.

Questions about taking lessons at Piano Ecademy

I'm busy with work/family/life. How much do I really have to practice?

How I wish I could tell you that all that was required was to come to a lesson a week and you'd turn into a master musician in no time. Sadly, that is not the case.

So here's the lowdown:

Consistent practice is a key element necessary for progress.

I generally recommend beginners try and practice 15-20 minutes for at least 3-4 days a week. Think of learning piano as bodybuilding. You need regular, consistent training to build muscle and to get strong. You cannot just do 1 long workout a week and expect to make significant gains!

The same principle applies to building fine muscle control, which is the type of training you will do as a pianist. You cannot cram piano practice into 2 hour blocks on a Saturday afternoon, because the time in between your practice sessions is crucial to the learning process. It is during the time in between your practice sessions that your brain is solidifying the new neural connections built during your practice. 

Here's an excellent video that explains this principle even better:

Are you the right teacher for me? Am I the right student for you?

Unsurprisingly, not every student is suitable for every teacher, and vice versa.

Teachers each have their own ‘teaching style’ and students have different learning styles, so selecting a teacher that matches who you are and what you want to learn is really important.

If you are wondering if I'm the right teacher for you, here's a short summary of my teaching practices:

  • I teach creativity in music making and general music knowledge as well as 'just' piano playing skills. 
  • I am classically trained however I do not focus solely on classical repertoire because I believe it is important you are open and exposed to a variety of styles . If you have a preference however I will definitely cater to that as much as possible.
  • I firmly believe we are all born musical and we can ALL learn to play piano very well. It really comes down to your discipline and determination much more than innate talent (which I don't believe in anyway)!
  • I expect my students to practice regularly,  but I understand that life can get in the way. It is why I designed the studio the way it is and offer the flexibility I offer.
  • I do not teach future concert pianists. If you are wanting to pursue a career as classical concert painist I highly recommend you find a teacher who specialises in classical performance repertoire and who can guide you through high-pressure performances. Typically, concert pianists are a good option though be aware that they cost quite a bit of money (think minimum twice of what I charge) and remember please that just because someone is a concert pianist that does NOT make them a good teacher!
  • I teach people that love music and want to fullfill a life-long dream of playing piano. I do not teach people who are overly ciritical of others and cannot except that failure and struggle is an important part of learning.

So really, if you love music, you want to learn how to play and you understand that it might take a few years to get to the advanced stuff, you are perfectly suited to be my student! :) You can read more about my teaching philosophies here.

I haven't practised this week because of work/family/life - I'll just cancel my lesson...

Not practising is NOT a good reason to cancel a lesson.

Why? Because even if you haven't practised, there is still SO much we can work on during our lesson! Sometimes I even like it when a student contacts me in advance and tells me they haven't practised, because it offers a wonderful opportunity to get really creative and think outside the box.

I always have 'back up plans' for those times when students tell me they haven't had much success practising - so don't worry if you haven't done that much in a given week. It happens, and it's not a big deal. Just come to your lesson (perhaps send me a message in advance so I can be better prepared) and we'll do something a little different that week!

I'd like to take exams, can you help? What exam boards do you work with?

Sure can! While I'm firmly opposed to using exam board books as a curriculum (some teachers only teach what's needed to pass exams), if you want to take an exam to benchmark yourself or to give yourself a goal to work towards, I can absolutely help!

I can help with AMEB, ABRSM and Trinity College exams, or any other exams boards that you wish to explore. Contact me for more info!

Questions about learning to play

How long will it take me to become good at playing the piano?

I'm not going to sugarcoat this, because you are an adult and you want REAL information.

It's going take a couple of years of lessons (and practice!) to get 'good', if by 'good' we mean play with fluency and confidence and solid technique.

You must remember that learning piano is learning a very complex skill

It is both a physical exercise and a mental one. To play the piano, we require fine motor control, which is something that can only be obtained by consistent practice over time. No one can build solid technique and a good ear at an advanced level (or even an intermediate level) in a few months if you are starting from scratch. 

But let me tell you a secret. Learning is fun! Seeing your progress over the years is going to blow your mind! If you love music, and you really do want to learn to play, I can assure you all the discipline and the commitment and the practice is going to pay off a thousand times in a skill that you will enjoy for the rest of your life. 

Can adult still learn to play the piano? I thought you'd have to start early in life to get any good?

While it has been proven that children prior to the age of 7 derive particular benefits from music education (increase in the corpus collosum to be specific, which enhances left and right brain coordination), it is has also been proven that music can be learned and enjoyed by people of ANY age! 

Please have a read of my blog post on some typical issues adult piano learners face to find out more details.