Q: What is the right age for my child to start taking lessons?
A: The answer to this is highly individualized. I have taught pre-kindergarten beginner students, although most students are wise to begin lessons after age 6. The student must be able to focus for at least 30 minutes, and each finger should be able to move independently. Each student is unique in their abilities, maturity, and interest. The correct age to begin is found at a delicate balance between the maturity of the student, the instruction of the teacher, and the dedication of the co-practicers. Please feel free to schedule a free introductory consultation to see if the time is right.
Q: Do I need to own a piano to have piano lessons?
A: Absolutely! To engage properly with piano lessons, a student needs a weighted 88-key instrument. What kind of piano you search for will differ for each student’s individual situation, and I am happy to help you in your search for the right instrument.
Q: What is your missed lesson policy?
A: In the event of a student’s absence for any reason, please notify me as far in advance as possible. I do not offer compensatory lessons for absences and/or missed lessons with less than a week’s notice. However, students have access to a studio-swap list and a FaceTime or Zoom option for at-home lessons in emergencies. For classes with more than one participant, there are no make-ups available. If the class occurred, the opportunity passed. This is in respect of all students and the agreed-upon schedule. This time is reserved. I cannot give the time away to someone else or fill it again.
Q: What is your musical background/teaching training?
A: I have been teaching for over 15 years, but my musical journey began long before that. I started lessons at a very early age. I was lucky to have a teacher who was also a performer, and I learned from a young age that there are many ways to share the joy of music. Even while working toward my degrees in music, competing, touring, and performing internationally, I have been lucky enough to be involved in teaching everywhere I go. I have taught at several community music schools, at the collegiate level, in preparatory programs, and at conservatory schools. I have a bachelor’s degree in piano performance with a certificate in pedagogy, as well as a master’s and a doctorate in piano performance and pedagogy. I believe that those who perform well have an obligation to teach well, and I love teaching all ages and levels, both privately and in groups.
For more information, please contact Dr. Schumann at schumann.sonya@gmail.com.