My child just wants to try piano, do I have to sign up for the year? Learning the piano is a life-long journey! There will be many peaks and valleys along the way, and sometimes it just isn't fun to practice by yourself. Think of the piano as an investment in your child's artistry and creativity and a contribution to a better future for all. The payoff may not be immediate, but it is worthwhile! Please contact me with any specific hesitations you have about signing up, or to schedule a free trial lesson. I do offer lessons ad hoc, meaning you can schedule any number of lessons with no commitment to continue. Scheduling for ad hoc lessons may be available on a more limited basis; payment will be required at each lesson.
Where are lessons located? Currently, I travel to students' homes to teach, in the Waconia, St. Boni, Victoria, and Chaska areas. Because I travel between lessons, lesson start times may fluctuate slightly. Please check the schedule page to see what days I travel to specific towns, or contact me directly if you are located in other towns. I also offer lessons via video. How do you say your name? "jay-lee" My given name is Jennifer but I go by JLeigh.
What ages do you teach? I teach all ages and abilities! Generally, a child is ready to start traditional piano lessons when reading is a comfortable skill. Lessons for younger children involve more movement and away-from-the-piano activities, and need more parental involvement during the week. Adults can also start piano or become reacquainted with the piano! (Adult lessons are very flexible!)
Do you have any discounts or scholarships? I offer a monthly payment option for students who intend to study at a consistent time through the entire academic year. The monthly payment option guarantees 30 lessons September through May (with reasonable allowances for rescheduling and breaks). I do participate in the MusicLink program. Visit their website and apply if you are eligible.
Can we start at any time during the year and still use the monthly payment rate? I accept new students year-round as my schedule permits. The monthly payment option will be available.
What kind of piano do we need? An acoustic piano is the best! It will give your student the most satisfaction to play. If you are starting on a keyboard, look for one with 88 full size, weighted keys. You will also need a stand and a bench. Schmitt Music sells many keyboards and pianos and the sales representatives are very helpful. Craigslist can also be a way to find an instrument, but as with any craigslist sale, buyer beware.
What materials do you use in lessons? Beginners generally use the Alfred's Premier Piano Course or the Faber & Faber Piano Adventures series; we grow into more serious and sophisticated repertoire at the student's individual pace. I choose materials based on student personality and learning style. My ultimate goal is to have all students play Beethoven, Bach, and Brahms...but sometimes our musical journey needs to include others (my students have played U2, Miley Cyrus, Shawn Mendes, Katy Perry, The Beatles, Macklemore, movie songs, and more).
My student wants to learn a specific song. I'm happy to accommodate song requests throughout the year, but part of my job as a music educator is to expose students to new pieces/genres. In all areas of life, we have to try new things in order to grow. I do my best to choose pieces for each student that will fit their personality but will also help them grow as musicians.
Do you teach anything other than piano? I teach beginning voice, with an emphasis on musicianship and learning to use the piano as a singing aid. I also teach music theory, and can coach vocalists and instrumentalists on musicianship.
My student is very shy and does not want to perform ever. Recital and MMTA programs are strongly recommended, but not required. Performing is a skill and needs to be practiced to become familiar. Most of my students do perform in at least 1 recital and 1 program per year.
Do you accept venmo/apple pay/google wallet/paypal/square/credit cards? Yes. Bank account transfers in paypal are preferred, likewise square cash over credit card use.
My student didn't practice this week, can we cancel the lesson? No, please come to your lesson! It has been my experience that canceling due to lack of practice does not help for future weeks. Young students and beginners especially need the continuity of a weekly lesson to remember concepts and to reinforce good piano habits. Lesson time frequently includes theory, improv, musicianship activities, or specific hand/arm techniques that can only be reinforced in the lesson time.
Our family has experienced an unforeseen life altering event and we are not sure we can continue lessons. Please communicate with me! Life throws us some crazy curveballs.
Do you do anything other than piano? Yes! I recently completed my third triathlon and plan to keep training so I can be faster next summer. I enjoy travel, and you may find photos from Sydney, Australia and the Vatican on this website. :) I also enjoy live music (classical and otherwise) and spending time with my friends and family. Every few years I challenge myself to try a new activity. This helps me stay grounded and understand what it feels like to be new at something; it also helps me to continue to grow as a person. I'm also interested in sustainability and lessening my carbon footprint.