An Actually Useful

FAQ Section

I took real questions I get asked every day and answered them for you below.

Parents

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    Do you teach children younger than 8?

    Generally, I only accept children who are 8 years old and up, but I have made exceptions for younger children who show the level of maturity and responsibility necessary for lessons. Just because your child is playing around on the piano doesn’t mean they’re ready to be taught. They need to be able to sit still and focus for 60 minutes, listen to directions, read, and handle practicing each day at home,

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    What if my child doesn't like the way you teach?

    If your child does not like me or the way I teach for whatever reason, there is no obligation to stay in the studio. Just give the required 2-week notice of discontinuation and you’re free to go find a teacher better suited for your child. I will take no offense!

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    What if my child doesn't want to practice did I just waste all my money?

    Practicing is not always fun because practicing requires concentrating on the things you CAN’T do and practicing them over and over again until you can.

    It requires discipline and focus that kids sometimes don’t intrinsically have. In my unique program, kids learn their songs DURING their lesson fully before going home instead of being assigned to figure it out at home because the teacher didn’t have time to teach it all in the lesson like what usually happens in traditional, private lessons.

    This was one of the biggest reasons I changed the way I do things. Students go home knowing their songs already so all they have to do is play through it at home and review it so it’s smooth. This means less frustration and confusion at home for both you and your child!

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    Can lessons keep their attention when all they want to do is play on their phones and iPads all day?

    Here, students get to actually pick the songs they play.

    They’ll learn out of their lesson books to be taught fundamentals, but they get to choose songs they love on the side as well so they’ll always have something fun and engaging to want to practice at home.

    Piano lessons are customized to what your child wants to play instead of being forced into playing things only the teacher wants, which leads to boredom and wanting to quit. Children and teens want to feel like they have a say in what they’re learning in their classes and want to feel connected to it so I take that very seriously in my piano lessons.

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    If my child isn't getting something, can the teacher explain things in a different way?

     I’ve been teaching for such a long time that I’ve gained experience explaining things in a million different ways so that any student can understand what I’m saying, no matter their age or ability level.

    Some students are visual learners while others are aural and others may need to do something else. I’m extremely patient and understanding because I know exactly what my students are going through. I’ve been there!

    If your child isn’t getting something, I will try and try again in many other ways until they get it. If your child has any special needs or you know they learn in a specific way, please let me know at the intro lesson.

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    Am I sending my child someplace safe?

    My studio is completely see-through so parents and the public can always see what we’re doing inside. I take children’s safety very seriously.

    There are multiple students in each class as well if you click here you can see exactly what the studio looks like below to get an idea of where your child will be learning.

    I take great pride in providing a calm, creative, and safe space for children to come to. If you’d like to see a copy of my criminal background check, email me right now at sara@chatalbashlessons.com. I’d be happy to provide that to you so you feel good about who you’re leaving your child with. No questions asked.

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    Are you qualified to teach my child piano?
    Yes, unlike a lot of piano teachers, I didn’t teach myself and this isn’t a hobby or side job for me.

    I was trained for 16 years by many professional pianists who have degrees in music education on piano and/or piano performance and I graduated from The Crane School of Music, a renowned school that breeds some of the best music educators in the country.

    I’ve been teaching piano lessons for 14 years and have been playing for 26. I’ve performed professionally at numerous venues and even on studio records. If you want to read more about my qualifications I have a list on my about page called Just The Facts click here and I’ll take you straight to the list.

    Whether you choose me or someone else, they should be professionally trained, have taught a piano lesson before obviously, be able to play/teach beginner-advanced, and piano should be their main instrument.

Adults

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    Am I too old to learn the piano?
    Absolutely not!

    You can learn the piano and how to read music at any age unlike a lot of other activities even with no musical knowledge. There are plenty of advantages to learning later in life and it’s important for us adults and even seniors to have a creative outlet in life to express ourselves.

    Lessons for adults aren’t the same as they are for children since you learn differently so rest assured that you’ll have custom lessons tailored to you and your learning style. Beginner piano lessons are different from intermediate or advanced lessons so whether you’re an advanced pianist or you don’t have any musical knowledge at all, I’ve got your covered with personalized piano lessons.

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    I’m slower to pick up new concepts, can I learn piano at a slower pace?
    You can learn at whatever pace you need! There’s nobody to keep up with so the speed you make progress at makes no difference at all. You’ll see that I’m a very patient person.

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    Will I be the oldest one in the studio?
    I don’t know the answer to that question since I don’t know how old you are, but what I can tell you is that half of my studio is made up of adults so you won’t be alone in your journey. I’ve taught young children all the way through seniors!

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    Will I be embarrassed being surrounded by younger students who may better than me?
    Don’t feel embarrassed. Instead, look at it as inspiration! If they can do it, so can you! Everyone starts lessons at different times so you can’t compare yourself to someone else no matter how young they may be. Everyone learns their own way at their own pace and you don’t know how long those younger students have been taking lessons for to get that good! You’ll sound just as good in time!

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    Will I be able to handle the workload you give me?
    The assignments I give during the week are always catered to your life and schedule. If I know you only have 30 minutes to practice a day, you have a very strenuous job, or a child is involved in a bunch of other activities, I will assign things accordingly. No matter what your case is, you’ll only have to practice what you’ve already gone over and learned during your lesson so there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to handle that!

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    What if I can't get something quick enough?
    You’re not competing with anyone or keeping up with anyone so you don’t have to learn anything “quick enough” since you’re going at your own pace! If you need some extra time to master a skill, then take it! There’s no pressure to learn anything according to a schedule and I won’t ever make you feel bad for needing more time.

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    I don't have a lot of time to practice. Can I still get good?
    You don’t need a lot of time to make progress, you just need CONSISTENT time.

    If you only have 30 minutes a day, that’s completely fine, but make sure you do it every day to really cement your skills and ensure you fully comprehend them especially if you’re a beginner with no musical experience reading sheet music.

    I’d recommend no less than 30 minutes a day since you won’t be able to get through everything you need to go over in less time than that, but do mas much as you personally can if you don’t have 30 minutes in your day.

    You’ll just make slower progress, that’s all. Slower progress is better than zero progress. Think about your day or your week in advance and schedule your it for yourself. Maybe wake up a little earlier or do it right after you get home so you don’t forget. Make it a routine!

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    I take frequent vacations, will that be a problem?
    Missing lessons frequently will hinder your progress a lot. If you know that you’re going to miss a bunch of lessons due to vacations and other commitments, then maybe this isn’t the best time or activity for you to start. Consistency is key to progress so your schedule is an important factor to consider before starting!

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    Am I learning in a group?
    No, you are never learning in a group. There are other students in the same room as you, but you are learning on your own and being taught 1-1. You learn what YOU want to learn and the person next to you is learning what they want to learn. You go at your own pace and never have to play with or in front of anyone else in your class!

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    Do I have to perform in recitals?
    I have all my students participate in recitals so that you have a clear goal to work towards, you can share your accomplishments with friends and family, and you can step outside your comfort zone! Performing in front of others will help you in many other areas of life besides piano! My studio recitals are very low-key and most of my students actually look forward to them. Each summer there is a potluck recital in the backyard and I’ve even done a movie-themed recital in an actual movie theatre! You always get to choose what you play and if you’re an adult, don’t worry, you won’t be the only adult there; half of my studio is adults!