Piano / Keyboard Tuition - Frequently Asked Questions

piano with music notation

How long are lessons?

Lessons are usually 30 minutes long.

Where are lessons held?

Lessons are held in my teaching studio in Waterview, Auckland. Parking is available on the street.

When are lessons held?

Lessons are usually weekly, at the same day and time. Children's lessons typically run with the school terms. Lessons during school holidays are available by arrangement.

Will I need my own keyboard?

You will need your own piano or keyboard to practice on at home. You will not need to bring a keyboard with you to lessons, as you will play my electronic piano.

I don't have a keyboard - what kind should I buy?

Together we can discuss what kind of keyboard would be suitable for your needs and budget, and where to obtain one.

Will I need to buy a book?

You will need to obtain a piano method book appropriate for your level. I will recommend a suitable book and advise where it can be obtained.

Is there a minimum age to start?

I generally start teaching children from around 7 years old (year 3 at school). However, don't be shy about inquiring if your child is younger and very keen to play.

Is there a maximum age to start?

There is no maximum age to begin learning piano or keyboard. Adults can learn to play - you do not need to start learning as a child.

How much practice do I need to do?

It is up to you how much you practise, but the more you practise, the more you will improve. Practising little and often is better than an occasional long practice session. At least 15 minutes per day is recommended.

What if I can't make it to my lesson?

If you are unable to attend a lesson, please contact me in advance to see if an alternative time can be arranged. Payment for a missed lesson is not carried forward - you are reserving your regular weekly lesson space, which cannot be refilled if you don't attend.

How do I pay for my lessons?

Lessons are paid for in advance through my online store.

What is included in a typical lesson?

For absolute beginners, initial lessons cover how to sit at the piano, position of hands and fingers, names of the notes and corresponding piano keys, and the basics of reading musical notation. We begin with just a few notes, for one hand at a time, before moving on to play with both hands together. Beyond beginner level, lessons usually begin with technical exercises, which may include scales, arpeggios, and other exercises designed for specific techniques. Students will always be working on one or more musical pieces, which may be from a method book, a graded exam book, or other repertoire of the student's choice. Performance of each piece is built up in stages, beginning with reading pitch and time value of notes for each hand, co-ordinating both hands together, and then adding performance details such as dynamics, articulation, and pedalling. Lesson often include aural (listening) exercises for pitch, rhythm, beat, intervals, cadences, and so on - appropriate to the level of the student. Theory worksheets are frequently included for homework, to reinforce concepts currently being worked on, such as note-reading, time signatures, key signatures, scales and chords. Students are asked to keep a practice log of the days and durations of their practices during the week between lessons.