Why group piano classes instead of the traditional private lesson?
Piano lessons have traditionally been in a private setting mainly because of the instrument itself - teachers could rarely afford more than one piano and multiple acoustic instruments made for a loud and chaotic environment. Group piano classes are now possible with the invention of digital pianos, providing a modern and dynamic approach to learning music.
Students thrive in group learning in school, dance, sports, and band. So why not piano? The social element and exceptional support of a group environment produce a unique and deeply enjoyable personal experience. Students are inspired to try their best as they learn the importance of working together. Positive peer pressure also motivates students to practice since they regularly play in front of and with each other.
Group piano students also gain the skills required to collaborate with other musicians. In addition to learning how to play solo, students learn how to accompany or “comp” - a necessary skill for anyone interested in playing in a band or other ensemble. Learning music in a group setting also leads to increased confidence and counting skills.
What is the process for new students?
To get started, first fill out the Sign-Up form. This will immediately add you to the waiting list, and you will be contacted to complete your enrollment.
If you are interested in one of our group piano classes, you will be contacted to set up a 3-week trial.
The trial is meant to help establish new classes and make sure everything is a good fit before committing to ongoing lessons. Once the trial is complete, you will have the opportunity to continue regular lessons, or perhaps try a different class that may better suit your needs.
How much is tuition and what does it include?
The 3-week trial is $120 and includes three 45-minute classes and all necessary starting materials.
Once the trial is complete, regular tuition is $170/month from September - May (2019-2020) and includes a 45-minute class once a week during every available teaching week in the studio calendar. Summer tuition information will be released by March and may be adjusted to reflect accurate availability.
Tuition is the same regardless of the number of available teaching weeks in any given month.
Additional materials are billed separately and as needed.
All studio events are included in regular tuition.
Private lessons are also available as a supplement to group lessons for those students that wish to pursue a personal project or for students that would like to catch up if they missed their regular class. Private lessons are only offered in addition to your weekly group class, not as an alternative or a makeup option. Each 30 minute private lesson is $30. These spots are available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Is my child required to take piano classes during the summer?
Yes. We all know how crucial it is that students continue to read through the summer. We wouldn't even think of letting a student go 3 months without reading because we wouldn't want them to lose those skills. Piano is the same way. Without regular exposure, fingers get weak, concepts are forgotten, and momentum is lost.
Since we are a group class studio, it's important that each student stays current and doesn't fall behind. During the summer months, our weekly schedule will continue, but our focus will be on creative approaches to learning and solidifying skills that we may not have time for during the school year. Summer classes will give students a chance to relax from the stress of recital prep and re-energize with new music and focuses.
Summer details will be available as early as March.
Due to family vacations and travel, the make-up policy will be extremely flexible during the months of June, July, and August, allowing you to attend different classes within the same teaching week, as long as you receive approval ahead of time.
If you decide to take the summer off, you will be moved back to the waiting list. You may not be able to rejoin your group in September, so think carefully before you risk your spot.
Where is the studio located?
Our studio is located at Mulberry School in Los Gatos. We are inside the main Hub building near the stage. This is also the location for most of our recitals and events.
Do you need an instrument at home before starting lessons?
Absolutely! Student success hinges on their ability to practice between lessons. It’s very important to provide a good quality instrument and set up a dedicated practice space before your first lesson. There are many options out there spanning from digital to hybrid to acoustic. Check out these resources for more information:
Minimal requirements for your home instrument are:
88 keys (full keyboard)
Appropriate stand for the keyboard, including a bench that supports good posture