Here are some frequently asked questions about our program and music lessons in general. As always, please feel free to contact us directly with any additional questions.
Why take music lessons?
“Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” -Plato
Not only that, studying music will help develop social skills and build confidence. In addition, exposure to music can help build focus, critical thinking, and even boost math scores!
What are the benefits of studying at Muse Academy?
Muse Academy of Music offers more than just music lessons. By studying music in a school environment, your child will gain access to our exceptional faculty, exposure to students of all levels and instruments, and opportunities to attend and perform in recitals, group classes, and ensembles. In addition, we can schedule multiple family members for lessons at the same time, to make music classes more efficient and convenient. The lessons will also be free of interruptions that might occur in the home: phone ringing, siblings, television, etc.
When should my child begin lessons?
Each child is individual in their unique personalities and needs. We recommend students begin lessons as early as age 5. At that age, they will have the fine motor coordination to learn piano or stringed instruments, such as violin viola or cello.
What method of instruction do you use to teach?
We realize that every child learns in different ways, so we will tailor our approach to each student’s individual needs. Our instructors are trained in most styles of music and in different methods of instruction, including traditional and Suzuki.
How do I choose an instrument for my child?
Generally, the best place to start, especially for young students, is either with the piano or a stringed instrument. We usually recommend that students begin piano lessons around age 5, though some may be ready earlier, and some may not yet be ready for private lessons. Children ages 5-7 may also choose to begin on a string instrument, such as the violin or cello, which can be modified for their size. Talk to your child to see if they have a strong preference about which instrument they would like to play. Or take them to hear some live music and see if anything sparks their interest! We can offer consultation, as well, in regards to which instruments would fit a student based on age and personality.
Also see our page on why piano lessons are beneficial for all music students.
If my child takes piano lessons, do we need to have a piano at home?
When studying a musical instrument, students progress not only through the instruction they receive in lessons, but also through repetition and practice at home. Therefore, it is best to have your own instrument to practice on, even the piano. We recommend buying or renting a piano or electronic keyboard. If you choose the keyboard, please make sure that it has a full set of 88 weighted keys and a damper pedal at minimum. We can provide resources for looking into this possibility.
What if my child must miss a lesson?
Regular attendance is expected, so it is important to schedule a day and time that will be available and convenient for you and your child. However, we do understand that sometimes situations arise that make it impossible to make it to a lesson. Out of respect for your teacher, we ask that you please contact the Academy or your instructor as soon as you know of the conflict to provide as much notice as possible (ideally at least 24 hours). Your instructor will give a “make-up lesson” to be scheduled at a mutually convenient time for a maximum of 2 lessons per year for which sufficient notice of absence was given. We cannot guarantee a make-up lesson if sufficient notice is not given.
Please note that if your teacher misses a lesson for any reason, you are always guaranteed a make-up lesson.
How can I help motivate my child to practice?
Parents are an integral part of the learning process. Since much of the progress your child will make comes from the practice they do at home, parents can be extremely helpful in guiding practice sessions and inspiring and motivating their children. Your instructor can provide specific tips on how to help: a certain exercise that your child should do a certain number of times per day, or a specific game that will help reinforce lessons learned.
How much practice is enough?
We always advise parents and students that practicing consistently, even for a shorter amount of time, is much more beneficial than practicing just a few times per week, even if for a longer time. This is because “cramming” simply does not work for musical instruction. Beginner students and those aged 5 to 7 should typically practice 15-20 minutes per day. Older students of intermediate level are expected to practice about 30 minutes to 45 minutes each day. Advanced students will be advised to practice at least one hour each day. If your child is having trouble practicing, please reach out to the Academy or your instructor, as we may be able to offer help and guidance to work through these issues.
What if my child is losing interest in lessons or needs a break?
The learning process can sometimes be frustrating for young children. Studying a musical instrument is just that: a process, and each child must progress at their own pace. At-home practice is an integral part of this process. Muse Academy of Music offers a motivating Badge Program, in which students can earn badges and increase their “Muse level” by completing fun and exciting new projects, such as composing their own pieces or attending live concerts. Our hope is that these activities will engage, inspire, and motivate students to go above and beyond in their learning.
Will my child learn only Classical music?
No! Although we are classically-trained musicians, we encourage students to appreciate, learn, and approach all types of music. We can focus on whatever type of music the student prefers-whether it’s Classical, Jazz, Folk, Rock, Broadway…anything!
Does my child have to participate in the recitals or group classes?
Students are not required to participate in our activities such as recitals and group classes; however, we believe that these activities are educational, social, and fun. Our school’s program is structured to include these activities for all students as we believe they are beneficial to a student’s musical development. We do realize that each student is unique, and some may not be comfortable performing in public or taking classes in larger groups, but we strongly encourage everyone to give it a try and become as involved in our community as they would like.