Frequently asked questions
About learning the piano as an adult:
1. Does it matter that I’ve never played before?
I specialise in teaching people to play right from the start. We use your strengths and learning style to find quicker and easier ways into the music. You’ll find that you already have skills in some areas, so I will use an approach that uses these skills and builds on them, within the context of the music you want to play.
2. I learnt to play as a child with the rap on the knuckles approach with a ruler! What is your approach?
Even though I own a range of rulers of all different sizes, I have never used one near a piano or a person! Purely for measurement and drawing music lines. I will support and encourage you in your learning. My enjoyment comes from witnessing you learn and discover more about music through the pieces you play.
3. Will I have to play scales?
That’s probably the question I get asked the most. The answer is firstly, no, and secondly, yes. I won’t ask you to practise scales as a technical drill (unless you want to). Scales are part of the makeup of all pieces of music, so when they appear in a piece you are playing, you’ll be able to play them then in a fun and purposeful way.
4. I don’t read music. Will that be a hindrance?
No, you will learn to read music as you play. The system of notes is based on the first seven letters of the alphabet, repeated across the entire range of the piano. There are some other general principles that are helpful to know. We will cover these as you learn the language of music as you play.
5. Will I be able to play the music I want to play?
Learning the piano as an adult means you can play any style of music you enjoy. It may be classical, blues, jazz, pop or rock, or a mixture. You may have some pieces in mind that you’d love to be able to play. If you’re familiar with the piece this will help you to learn it quickly. There is always a piece of music that is at the right level for you.
6. How long are the sessons?
Each lesson is 60 minutes. I find that the optimal time for adults to learn the piano. I am happy to discuss other lengths of time, according to your needs.
7. What are the fees?
My fees are $90 per hour lesson, payable at the time or by direct credit or cash.
8. When are the piano sessions?
I offer piano lessons mostly during the day, on Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays. An occasional evening lesson could be arranged.
9. Where are the piano lessons?
The lessons are at my home studio in Balmain East, NSW, or by Skype or FaceTime if that suits you better.
10. Is there public transport or parking close by?
Yes, there is ferry and bus transport almost to the door, coming from the city centre, North Sydney, Rozelle, Lilyfield, Leichhardt or from Canterbury direction. There is parking on the street for 2 hours, unmetered.
11. Will I need a music session each week?
No, the frequency is up to you. It all depends on what you want to achieve and how it fits into the rest of your life. There is no commitment required in advance, except to keep any appointment we make during our previous session, or to give adequate notice that you can’t make it.
I look forward to working together to add some more music to your life.