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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What technology do I need?
Technology is paramount in creating an exceptional online learning experience for music studies. You will need a computer or mobile device with a microphone, camera, and stable Internet connection.
The following recommendations will allow for the most successful virtual lesson:
- Access to FaceTime or Zoom platform
- A stable Internet connection
- Connection directly with an Ethernet cable will provide the best connection possible.
- If connecting by Wi-Fi, your signal will be stronger is no one else is using Wi-Fi during your lesson.
- External Microphone such as Blue Snowball USB, Shure Motiv, or Blue Yeti USB (multi-pattern)
Additional options for online equipment include:
- Ring light
- Video Camera or phone/iPad (for different angles on the piano keys)
- Sony – Handycam CX405
How old does my child need to be to take piano lessons?
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.
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.
Is it necessary for me to have a piano in order to take piano lessons?
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.
How old does my child need to be to take voice lessons?
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.
Is it necessary to practice between lessons?
Yes. The voice is a muscle in the body which requires exercise through daily warm-ups and techniques learned in your lessons.
Why is the study of voice important?
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!
How old does my child need to be in order to take string lessons (violin, viola, cello and double bass)?
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.
What size instrument do I need?
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.
Why should someone who plays in an orchestra take private lessons?
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.
How old does my child need to be to take guitar lessons?
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.
What kind of guitar should I purchase?
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.
How old does my child need to be to take lessons on a woodwind instrument (flute, clarinet, saxophone)?
Students should be at least 9 years old (or in the fourth grade) to start traditional woodwind lessons.
How old does my child need to be to take lessons on a brass instrument (trumpet, french horn or trombone)?
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.
What about braces?
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.
How old does my child need to be to take percussion lessons?
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.
What is the National Federation of Music Clubs ('Festival' or 'Federation')?
The National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) provides opportunities for festivals, competitions and awards for all musicians. Every state has a division that is part of the NFMC. Since its founding in 1898, the NFMC has grown into one of the world’s largest music organizations with club and individual members of all ages. The NFMC is chartered by the Congress of the United States and is the only music organization member of the United Nations.
The NFMC Festival is an annual, competitive performance opportunity for students to play two pieces, one from a requisite list of American composers. Students receive comments and a rating, and may work towards earning awards.
What is the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)?
Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) is a nonprofit organization of 24,000 independent and collegiate music teachers committed to furthering the art of music through programs that encourage and support teaching, performance, composition and scholarly research. mtna.org
What competitions, festivals and/or performance opportunities do you offer?
Besides our TML Online special events, our program provides many performance growth opportunities. Some of these include the National Federation of Music Clubs (Festival), American College of Musicians (National Piano Guild), Music Teachers National Association (MTNA state, division and national competitions), and The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) certificate program.
What is the Royal Conservatory Certificate Program?
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.