Sorry, there is no set answer to this question. With regular practice, a basic level of playing can be accomplished in as little as a few months. Of course, for a more advanced level, it will take longer. The vast majority of our students continue lessons long-term because they want to constantly improve and they find the lessons stimulating and enjoyable.
Ideally, having a piano at home is the way to go, but you can start on an electric keyboard or a budget digital piano (we can recommend some great options). Either way, we recommend a keyboard with full-sized weighted keys and a touch-sensitive response. (A touch sensitive response means the harder you hit the key, the louder the sound that is produced, and vice versa).
Since most parents began learning guitar on an acoustic guitar, they often think that it is necessary for their kids to start that way. In reality a child can learn how to play using either an acoustic or an electric guitar because the notes and the chords are the same. We always advise the parent to get the opinion of the child, if he/she has one, since for some children, imitating their favorite artist will motivate them to practice more.
The advantage of beginning on an electric guitar is that it has lighter string tension which means it will take less strength to get a good tone. The advantage of having an acoustic guitar is that you can practice anywhere because you don't need an amp! Parents don't have to worry about an electric guitar being too loud because most beginner amps have a headphone jack, so your child can practice without disturbing others!
No, a full set is not needed to begin drum lessons. Students can start by using a practice pad. This is a small, dinner plate sized pad that is used for practicing basic drum rhythms. There are child size drum sets for the young beginner that are very budget-friendly. Even a beginner set is a good motivator for most kids to practice more.
Yes, even though you are not able to play an instrument yourself, you may be able to help your child. Simply monitoring that a child has practiced his or her instrument is a great help. Parents are also allowed to sit in on the child’s lesson to get an idea of what a song or piece is supposed to sound like, or the proper position for playing the instrument. There is also a weekly lesson plan given to each student which outlines what they are learning each week. Parents are encouraged to ask the child if they have practiced each item on their lesson plan. If they have practiced it, they should be able to show the parent!
No matter what style of music a person is interested in, the fundamentals of music still apply. Learning the terminology (language) of music and developing a comprehensive knowledge of music theory does not impede one’s ability to “rock out”. It actually will allow a person to develop to a higher level of playing - no matter what style they prefer.
Yes! All of our teachers are experienced professionals and are chosen not only for their musical qualifications, but for their devotion to teaching and their ability to relate well with different ages and levels of students. Our faculty members have spent years developing their skills on their instruments. All of them have university degrees, as well as decades of touring, recording, teaching, and professional performing experience.
This is one of the advantages of taking lessons at a full-service music school instead of someone’s house or garage. For nearly all of our programs and instruments, we have more than one teacher available, so if a problem ever occurs - which is extremely rare - you can simply switch to one of the other teachers! If you think you may get more out of lessons from a teacher with a different teaching style, you have the flexibility to change to another instructor at any time.
We have over 30 professional music instructors on our faculty. Once you decide on a day and time, we can give you all the information on the teacher that is available. Or, if you are looking for a particular musical style or teaching method, we can tell you the teacher that we would suggest.
There is no doubt that learning to play the piano is a huge plus for any student, but for the greatest probability of success, let the student study the instrument that he/she is attracted to. For a student that is not big enough to start guitar, drums, etc. it would be wise to start on the keyboard or ukulele until he/she is big enough. Otherwise, the desire for learning the specific instrument is a powerful means to bring about musical success. Don’t kill it.
If this situation occurs, the parent should contact our office right away so we can give the teacher any feedback and discuss ways to resolve the problem. Sometimes, switching to another instrument is the best answer; other times, a change in approach or repertoire is all that is needed. If an instrument change is desired, it can be done at any time!
For group lessons, we allow the parent to sit in the first session if the child seems scared or anxious, but discourage more than that because it is important that the class focus on the teacher and not have distractions. For private lessons, parents always have the option of sitting in on the lessons, unless the teacher has trouble getting the student to focus. Then, the teacher may suggest that the parent wait in the lobby.
Yes. Two siblings studying the same instrument can have a semi-private lesson. The fee for the second student is one third the price. A parent and child can also do semi-private lessons. When and if the disparity between the levels of the students becomes too great, the teacher will suggest that it is time to move on to private study. Semi-private lessons are only offered to family members.
We do not recommend lessons every other week due to lack of consistency and the advantage of having progress monitored weekly. Also scheduling becomes a nightmare when every week looks different on the teacher’s schedule. Sometimes, a student will not be available every week, and when this happens, he can have a family member alternate in his slot if he wishes. Alternatively, we can offer bi-monthly lessons to students occupying either the teacher’s first or last slot of the day.
We have a music class for children as young as 18 months called Music Fun Time, which has had outstanding results preparing children for private instruction when they are ready. For private instruction, our studio will start piano, ukulele, or violin as early as 5 years of age. For other instruments, students usually have to wait until they are a bit older to start. Refer to our free report “Ways to Get the Most Out of Music Lessons” to see the age recommendations for your particular instrument. We do sometimes allow a student that is a little younger than the recommended age to begin instruction if:
Generally, yes. In one half hour the teacher can check the progress the student has made during the week and give the student a lesson plan designed to last for the upcoming week. The real time is put in at home keeping to a regular practice schedule. As the student progresses, at the advice of the teacher, he/she can go to a longer lesson time (45 minutes or 60 minutes).
Yes. Music theory can even be studied exclusively by a student that is preparing to attend college, audition for an examination panel (MTAC, MTNA, Royal), or someone with extreme curiosity on the subject. However, theory is also incorporated into the lessons as part of the overall picture. With children, overloading them with facts and memorization is a good way to kill their love for the instrument. Our teachers will explain all about scales and chords and the theory behind the music, but only as an enhancement to actually playing music, which is why the majority of students wanted to learn in the first place. This is another reason why private instruction is advantageous, as some students want to know everything about what they are playing and some get turned off if you try to get too deep.
We recommend setting aside time for music practice at least 4 to 5 days out of the week. For beginning students the teacher usually assigns repetitions instead of a time amount. For example, play and practice this scale 2 times a day, this song 5 times a day, etc. Younger students will not be expected to spend as much time practicing.
Typically, a beginning student practices 20 - 30 minutes a day and the practicing goes much better if the parent supervises. Like in regular school, the older you get, the more you are expected to handle. The beauty of private lessons is that you can ask the teacher to ease up or pour it on at your convenience, matching the time you have available to practice.
The Academy of Music and Arts partners with a variety of local organizations in Murrieta, Menifee, Temecula, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, and surrounding areas. This includes charter schools, local nonprofit organizations, and other community organizations spreading the love of music and the arts.