Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose a teacher? How do I know you are the right teacher for me or my child?
Qualifications and experience will help to ensure that you receive high quality lessons. Personality is important too. It is important that teacher and student “fit.” Therefore, you should have an interview in the setting of the music lessons before you begin.
At what age should my child start taking lessons?
This is determined on a case-by-case basis. We usually say that once a child is ready for school, he/she should be ready for music lessons. It is important that the child be ready for 45 minute lessons.
May I sit in on my child(ren)’s lessons?
We have an open door policy, and we certainly encourage parents to sit in on their child’s lessons. For young children, it is important that parents do so regularly. Children show faster progress and higher interest if parents play an active role in their child’s playing during the lesson and practice at home. It is irrelevant how much a parent knows about music.
How long are my lessons?
At the discretion and agreement between teacher and student/parent:
Novice: 45 minutes
RCM to Level 4: 1 hour
RCM Level 5-8: 1 hour (1.5 hours if with private theory)
How often are my lessons? Are they given at consistent intervals?
Once a week at the same day and time each week.
When do I pay my fees?
Tuition is payable in advance on a bi-monthly basis on the first lesson of the following months: September, November, January, March, May, and July.
Can I change my lesson day/time?
Yes, you can discuss with your teacher a mutually agreeable day/time.
What time should I expect my teacher to arrive for my lesson?
Because a teacher is travelling to your home, there are factors that are beyond his/her control, e.g. traffic and weather conditions. Please allow for a 15 minute window for lesson start time.
What if I have to cancel a lesson? Do I have to pay for cancelled lessons?
Please call the teacher as soon as possible to cancel a lesson. If 24 hours notice is given, a make-up lesson will be given (maximum of 2 per school year). It is your responsibility to schedule a make-up lesson. There will be a surcharge of $25 for a make-up lesson. A forgotten lesson is forfeit.
Will I get a make-up lesson if my teacher cancels a lesson?
Yes, your teacher will arrange a make-up lesson if necessary. There is a $25 surcharge for make-up lessons.
Do I get a lesson during holidays?
There will be no lessons Labour Day, Christmas Break, March Break, however lessons which fall on statutory holidays (Thanksgiving, Family Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Victoria Day) will be rescheduled.
Are lessons available during the summer months (July and August)?
Yes. Summer lessons are available and encouraged for continuity of learning. There will be no lessons for the week of Canada Day and the week before Labour Day.
How should I prepare my home for lessons?
The most important thing to have in the home is a good instrument - acoustic is preferred but high-end digital pianos (with touch-sensitivity, 88 weighted keys, standard key size and soft/damper pedals) are acceptable in the short term. Digital pianos will be accepted temporarily at the discretion of the teacher. Please ensure there is an armless chair. It is important that the lesson is undisturbed.
Please provide a large table and chairs for both teacher and student to sit side-by-side with a textbook, workbook and notes. Student will need sharp pencils, erasers, rulers and scissors. It is important that the lesson is undisturbed.
The most important thing to have in the home is a good instrument - a student model is acceptable. There must be a good supply of reeds (for clarinet and saxophone), a good cleaning kit and music stand. Please ensure there are 2 armless chairs and small table for the teacher. It is important that the lesson is undisturbed.
What is the best way to converse with my teacher if I have concerns?
You may send an email or phone. If it is an emergency cancellation (less than 24 hours notice) please call or text.
How often should I practise and for how long?
You should practise every day. You practise as long as it takes for the practise goals to be reached. If you have concerns, please talk to your teacher.
Will I take exams? When and how often?
The determination to take an exam is at the discretion of the teacher and student. A student does not need to take an exam at every level nor every year. However, exams give good objective feedback and provide incentive for practise.
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