I have a Bachelor’s in Piano Performance and I’ve been teaching for six years.
The first set of piano materials will average around $50. Expect to spend slightly less than that on core materials every time your child advances to the next level (usually 6-12 months). I will recommend additional books every 3-6 months to keep your child playing fun, interesting music and reinforcing new skills. This averages around $20-$40, depending on how much music you and your child want!* All together, the average annual investment for books or materials is about $200. *Does not include shipping costs.
I love watching things “click.” It makes my day when my students “get” a new concept and have that shy, happy look of discovery and wonder. It’s also rewarding to watch my students get more confident in themselves. One of my students constantly got frustrated whenever she made mistakes in a new piece, even when the goal was just sight reading.

(Sight reading: playing a song without having looked at it before. Usually, the goal is to play as accurately as possible without stopping to correct mistakes.)

Over the next several lessons, she was able to readjust her standards for sight reading and realize that not everything needed to be perfect – she just needed to get to the end of the song! Finally, she sight read a piece to the end and congratulated herself. Such a contrast to her earlier frustration at not achieving perfection right away! (Of course, when she practiced the song at home, she brought it back the next week well-prepared!)
Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Yes and no. Every student learns note reading, theory, ear training, technique, and musicality. However, the materials that I use to build that framework may differ from student to student based on their personality, learning style, and interests. One child may love pop music, so I’ll have them pick out the melody (ear training), add chords (theory), and improvise (musicality). Another child may be more interested in hymns or classical music, so I’ll have them analyze the structure of the piece (theory), sing the melody and harmonies (ear training), and create an introduction in the style of the piece (musicality). The same goals can be accomplished with different approaches.
My students are always working at three different levels: they have something easy, something of medium difficulty, and something that will take some struggle to accomplish. This keeps them both encouraged and motivated. I also encourage them to think, ask questions, and find “cool things” about their music. Finally, I work with their interests. You can learn note reading, theory, ear training, technique, and musicality from both Beethoven and Disney!
Ask your child about the music she likes! If you’re willing to be taught by your child, she might go on a roll and tell you about her favorite band or the latest theory concept she learned at her lessons. Talk about movie music and how it makes you feel. This will definitely get your child thinking about how music is involved in his favorite film! Make sure to expose your child to a variety of music and musical performances. Don’t take her only to symphony concerts – see if you can find a small jazz group busking on the street or watch the worship team rehearse at your church.
This WILL happen. Every musician goes through stages of not wanting to practice. First, assess. Has your child been practicing non-stop? Is he burned out? Tired? Bored? Frustrated or discouraged? If your child has been diligently practicing, is burned out, or tired, then allow – in fact, encourage – him to take a break. Suggest that he play something for fun. As soon as possible, talk with his teacher. If she’s frustrated or discouraged, be encouraging. Let her rant. Look at her practicing method – is she trying to practice too much at once? If it continues, talk with her teacher. But if your child just isn’t in the mood to practice, it’s time for a bit of tough love. Remind your child that he has committed to practicing (and that you’re paying for lessons, his teacher is providing instruction, so he needs to do his part and practice). Everyone needs a little bit of a push when they’re developing a strong work ethic, perseverance, and discipline!
I constantly ask questions to maintain a dialogue and keep the student’s mind working:

What was difficult about this piece?

What do you hear that’s different when I play it?

What do you think this piece is about?

We also work on several different activities and pieces per lesson. The corrections I make are fast-paced and require a lot of observation on the student’s part.
Not as different as you might think! The right set-up is essential: the student’s torso profile, hands, and keyboard must be clearly visible on camera. Then, I can analyze their posture, technique, and musicality. If the student has a piece to show me, I will need pictures of it in advance since I won’t be in the same room. One of the biggest effects you may notice (depending on your child’s personality and level of intra- or extraversion) is that lessons may not be as much of a mood boost. This is something that I noticed in myself: after in-person lessons, I was always recharged, full of energy, and in a great mood. After online lessons, I’m still in a great mood, but I lost the other effects. However, this may not be the case for your child.
Whereby and Google Hangouts.
Dose him up with chicken soup, blankets, and…oh wait. You were talking about piano lessons. Depending on your lesson package, you may reschedule a certain number of lessons. Chronic illnesses or long-lasting injuries will be assessed on a case-by-case basis – life happens!
Watch us interact! Sign up for a free first lesson. Just like with every other relationship, many teachers and students don’t “hit it off” right away, but you should be able to see if we’re compatible. Expect a “warming up to each other” period for at least a few weeks, and check in with your child after lessons.
  • If your child is not at all interested in music (forcing your child to play an instrument may cause him to hate it!)
  • If you are not willing to ensure your child practices
  • If you cannot commit to weekly lessons