Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Deciding On Your Child's Piano Lessons

Like most parents, I'm sure you have gone through a list of local
music schools in your area trying to figure out which is best for your
child at that age. Most of the information I had were from people I
take the bus with, other parents at school, and of course searching
online via Google. We had to choose between group lessons lasting 2+
years or private lessons as expensive as $22 every 30 minutes. We were
able to narrow it down to the following local music schools:

- Carillion Music Academy (located on King George and 72nd Ave)
- Tom Lee & Music (located on 152nd Street and 100th Ave)
- Long & McQuade (located on 104th Ave and 138th Street)
- Music 'N' Motion (located on 148th Street and 60th Ave)

And here are the deciding factors in order of importance for us:
1) Non-conflicting schedules with existing children programs/activities;
2) Accessibility through public transit if held on weekends;
3) Non-stringent fee schedule that do not require commitment and
upfront registration fees;
4) Immediate performance-based lessons where piano is used each class
instead of working on 'ear' development through play.

We decided to go with Music 'N' Motion for now because it is within
walking distance. The lesson time also works well and didn't conflict
with our schedules. Finally, the cost was inexpensive at $17.50 for
two 15-minute private lessons, with one group lesson each month. The
cost includes CDs and books which is part of the Faber and Faber
method for teaching piano at a young age. You can expect that
15-minute lessons each week is not enough and will need more practice
time at home. We were asked to get a digital piano with at least 5
octaves, touch-key sensitive, sustain pedal, and weighted keys.

We found that there was a lot to choose from at Long & McQuade so we
picked up a Yamaha P-95 digital piano for $53/month rental. They do
have a rent-to-own program for the same unit at $36/month for 2 years
and we may head down that path if my kid continues to show interest.
We'll see.

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