A Plus Piano Studio

I hope to create an enjoyable experience for you and your kids and to foster a lifelong love of Music.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long are the sessions?
A: 30-min., 45-min., or 60-min. sessions, once or twice a week.
Q: Can I get started on a keyboard?
A: Absolutely! Keyboards come in various sizes. I like to see a minimum of 61 keys--the more, the better. You can always upgrade to a larger keyboard or a piano once you determine piano lessons are something you or your child wants to continue.
Q: What if I don't have a keyboard yet--what do you recommend?
A: Check out the related links section of this website for recommended keyboards, prices and accessories.
Q: Do I have to buy books?
A: No, I will take care of it by myself. I buy the material that fits my teaching needs and parents reimburse what I spent. I do not make any profit of any kind off of these transactions.
Q: Do you allow parents to sit in on the sessions?
A: Absolutely! In fact, I encourage it. Some parents actually share a lesson with their child--they have great fun learning together!
Q: Do you work with adults?
A: Yes. I have many beginning adults along with adults who had lessons as a youngster or at some prior time in their adult lives, who want to begin or continue with lessons. I will customize your lessons based on your skill-level and goals.
Q: Is it possible for my children to share a class?
A: No, because in my professional experience, group piano lessons become a waste of my time and your money.
Q: What is the youngest age my child can start piano sessions?
A: Depending upon the maturity and attention span of your child, we can start piano prep at five, five and a-half years old. In rare cases, some kids can begin at the age of four and a half. I have lots of activities to keep it fun and interesting. Call me for a free consultation.
Q: Do you require your students to participate in the concerts and test-auditions?
A: I can obviously not force you to participate, but performing in the concert and test-auditions is not also an extremely beneficial experience to the student, but an honor as performance in the concert is only granted to the well-prepared pupils.
Q: Practice tips?
1. Plan to practice. Parents, you need to manage your child's time so that they have a short practice session scheduled into their daily routine (this applies to adults, too). Expecting your child to practice without help from you, is like expecting them to remember to brush their teeth without being reminded. You have to train them until it becomes part of their routine.

2. Practice slowly, with control. You've heard this in your lessons over and over, If you are playing too fast and making mistakes, then you are "practicing the mistake" and hindering your own progress.

3. Practice small phrases or passages until they become easy. Once you've mastered a segment, then you can practice linking it together with the next learned segment...until you have mastered the whole song! This may seem time-consuming, but it actually speeds your progress.

4. Follow a pre-specified practice plan. Either one prescribed by your music teacher or one you devise on your own. If you don't have a plan of attack, then you won't necessarily practice the things that will help you grow musically. All my students have a customized practice plan that they are encouraged to follow, in order to achieve the most progress.

5. Sight-read something new during every practice session. Make it part of your practice routine. Reading new material on a regular basis really exercises your "sight-reading" muscle and facilitates rapid improvement.

6. Practice the hard stuff! C'mon, you already know the easy stuff! If you spend most of your practice session "playing" the easy stuff you already know, you'll never move beyond it to more challenging material.

7. Have correct hand position while practicing. Whenever you play, always remember to have correct hand position. Curve your fingers, play on your fingertips, and constantly check how you place your thumb and pinky.

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Copyright © 2012 Dmitriy Smirnov