Below are answers to commonly asked questions. See our Student/Parent Handbook. Still have questions after reading our FAQs and Handbook? Contact us.

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General Questions

  • Yes!  Virtual lessons can be a great alternative to in-person lessons.  You can learn from the comfort of your home at a time that is convenient for you!  Many students in remote areas do not have many options when it comes to learning an instrument. Online classes allow you to improve your skills without having to travel long distances to a physical music school. 

    The Music Loft has an online academy for online learning. The Music Loft Academy.  The Music Loft Academy. TMLA is able to seamlessly marry technology with live teachers to create an individualized learning experience you cannot find anywhere else. Our wifi connectivity is so state-of-the-art that it feels like the teacher is in the same room as you. With all lessons, you gain access to Music First, which is a nationally accredited learning platform.  Comprehensive, Cutting Edge, and Accredited. That is the Music Loft Academy advantage. Schedule a free trial lesson online today!

Piano Questions

  • Young Learners
    Our Wunderkeys private piano lessons program develops music, language, and math skills for young students ages 4–5 through research-based, age-appropriate keyboard activities. This foundation allows students to soar once they begin traditional music lessons. Parental involvement and participation is required for Wunderkeys lessons.

    Young Artists
    We recommend that your child be a confident reader with an attention span of 30 minutes before beginning traditional private piano lessons. For online instruction, generally ages seven or older is best.

    A strong sense of commitment, passion, and integrity is characteristic of our students. Parental guidance for our pre-college students is a must.

  • It is essential to have an acoustic piano accessible for practicing on a daily basis. While an acoustic piano is best, this may not be a possibility for some. Digital keyboards with 88 weighted keys that imitate the touch of an acoustic piano are a reasonable alternative for beginners. There are many places where you can rent or buy either an acoustic piano or a weighted digital keyboard.

Voice Questions

  • The voice is an instrument. Vocal cords are delicate membranes that can damage easily. Allowing for the individual growth and development of the child’s vocal cords and larynx, most students may begin voice lessons about age 9. Children beginning their vocal journey start with note reading, pitch recognition and matching, breathing techniques, and the formation of the mouth, jaw, and other musculature.

    Students younger than age 9 benefit from beginning music lessons in either piano or violin. Both of these instruments develop necessary skills in note reading, ear training, and pitch recognition. Piano is an especially helpful bridge to studying voice and other instruments as it teaches the reading of both the treble and bass clefs. Acquainting children with many musical styles, along with the study of an instrument, provides an excellent foundation for future vocal studies.

  • Yes. The voice is a muscle in the body which requires exercise through daily warm-ups and techniques learned in your lessons.

  • Vocal study can be helpful in many different ways, building self-confidence not only in singing and performing, but also in public speaking and self-expression!

String Questions

  • We recommend that your child be a confident reader with an attention span of 30 minutes before beginning traditional string lessons.

    • Violin, viola, and cello come in a variety of sizes so that students as young as 7 can begin lessons.
    • Double basses also come in smaller sizes, however, the double bass is a heavy instrument with thick strings. Optimally, it is best to begin double bass studies when students are in middle school and have finger strength and physical height. We recommend a child to be at least in middle school to take double bass lessons.
  • All stringed instruments come in various sizes.

    • Violins are measured in fractions (1/16, ⅛, ¼, ½, ¾, and 4/4) and are sized specifically to the student’s arm length. In order to be measured properly, it is recommended to be sized by a professional music teacher or reputable music store.
    • Violas are measured in inches (12”, 13”, 14”, 15”, etc…) and eventually become larger than violins.
    • Cellos are also measured in fractions (¼. ½, ¾, 4/4) and are sized specifically to various aspects of the body. In order to be measured properly, it is recommended to be sized by a professional music teacher or reputable music store.
  • A student can improve his skill by studying privately. A person playing independently or in a small ensemble is responsible for his/her own part and cannot depend on other players.

Guitar Questions

  • Generally speaking, a student should be 9 years old to begin guitar lessons. For younger children who are interested in lessons, a great first option is the Ukulele. It is similar to the guitar, however the strings on a Ukulele are made of nylon and are easier on the student’s fingers. A guitar teacher can do a simple motor skills test to see which is best for your beginner.

  • There are two basic guitars to choose from:

    • A classical, nylon stringed guitar is for playing true classical music. It also utilizes mostly finger picking styles. The classical guitar has a very thick neck and all nylon strings which lends itself to classical and flamenco studies.
    • An acoustic guitar is the most popular of the two guitars as you can play anywhere and any style with it. The acoustic guitar has a combination of steel and nylon strings, and the neck is not as thick, allowing the flexibility to study and play a variety of musical genres. It should be sized to fit the student by a professional music teacher or reputable music store.
      Most students choose this instrument.

Woodwind Questions

  • Students should be at least 9 years old (or in the fourth grade) to start traditional woodwind lessons.

Brass Questions

  • Most students will do well at the age where they would be able to lift a heavier instrument. That’s usually around 11 or 12 years old, but not too much before. Students are welcome to begin at an earlier age, however, the progress could be slower until they develop their strength and breath support.

  • Many students between the ages of 10 and 14 get braces. While it’s not impossible to play a brass instrument, braces make it slightly more difficult. In our experience, a student’s embouchure or mouth position will make small adjustments to accommodate braces. This may include using dental wax on the inside of their mouths to keep traditional braces from digging into their gums, or having invisible braces that go on the inside of the teeth.

Percussion Questions

  • Traditionally, students who are 9 or 10 and have the ability to focus on a task for 30 minutes are ready to begin traditional percussion lessons. Students younger than 9 or 10 would be interviewed for musical study and accepted on a case by case basis.

Other Questions

  • Our lesson program provides many performance growth opportunities. Some competitions include; The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) certificate program, Fairfax County and Loudoun County Solo and Ensemble Festivals, and Fall Festival hosted Fairfax Loudoun Music Fellowship. Performance opportunities include; twice yearly studio recitals, recitals at the Kensington assisted Living community, adult recitals, Performances with Rising Phoenix Performers

  • The RCM Certificate Program incorporates repertoire, etudes/studies, sight-reading, ear training, technique and theory into a structured curriculum that is designed to assess the students progress and musical growth. At the completion of each level a Certificate of Achievement can be earned by successfully completing a Royal Conservatory practical examination.

    ​The Royal Conservatory Certificate Program is most appropriate for students who are dedicated to their instrument and are interested in receiving recognition in a program that is internationally renowned and sets the standard for music education and achievement.

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