Piano FAQ

Piano Matters

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best age to start piano?

To be on the safe side, I would say 6-7 years old, while some kids can start at 5. Children can be very different in their development at these ages.
For meaningful piano lessons, a child should be able to:
– know the alphabet and numbers.
– be able to sit for at least 15 min and follow the teacher’s directions.
Other fine motor skills and mental abilities are necessary too.
That’s why I always offer a free assessment before deciding if a child is ready for piano lessons.

Do you teach piano to adults?

Yes, I teach adult students, complete beginners or people who had some childhood experience and want to return to the piano. It is never too late to learn and pursue your call. 

Do you come to my house for piano lessons?

Yes, Music Smart offers IN-HOME piano lessons in Richmond Hill- Ontario and the vicinity.

Do online piano lessons work?

Online lessons definitely work. I have excellent results online with intermediate and advanced students. However, I don’t recommend the online format to beginners where frequent corrections of position/technique require student-teacher proximity.

Does Music Smart offer in-studio piano lessons?

For in-studio piano lessons, Music Smart teams up with ArtGate Studio.
Contact ArtGate Studio directly.

How long is a piano lesson?

Depending on the age, level, and learning goal, piano lessons can be 30, 45 and 60 min long. Visit Lesson Duration

What is the cost of piano lessons?

Visit Pricing.

Is there a special rate for siblings?

Yes, there is a reduced rate for members of the same household.

What if I cancel a lesson?

How long/often should I practice piano?

The general guidelines are:
– at least 10-15 minutes for young beginners (5-7 years old).
– 30 min to 1 hour above 7 years old.
– 1 hour or more for intermediate level and above; several hours are required for the competitional level and demanding repertoire.
However, it is better to practice a little than not at all if finding time is difficult. Thus, you can have several shorter sessions during the day. Another answer is “practice for as long as you can stay focused and engaged.”
How often? Ideally, every day. Make a habit of spending time at the piano. More importantly than “how long to practice” is “what and how to practice”. Of course, I will teach you smart practice strategies so you can optimize your work.

What piano do I need?

You need an instrument so you can practice. It could be an acoustic piano (the traditional wooden instrument with strings and hammers inside) or a digital keyboard. Acoustic pianos should be in good shape. The newer the better, as the old ones tend to have functional problems. Digital keyboards are very diverse in price and quality. Not all of them are suitable for meaningful piano work. Find a large selection of pianos at Cosmo Music Store.
Your digital instrument should have:
– 88 weighted keys
– dynamic response
– realistic sound and feel
– at least one pedal – Sustain
– reasonable speakers for proper volume and sound quality
– stand for the piano and music notes.

I have a keyboard, not a real piano. Is it good enough?

See the previous question.

What piano books do I need?

I recommend piano books according to the student’s level, curriculum, learning goal and repertoire preference. A book set might include songs, technical exercises, music theory topics and quizzes, note spellers, sight reading, etc.
Visit the Piano Books-Programs section. More material is available in the online Music Smart Library.

What is RCM?

RCM – Royal Conservatory of Music – is a prestigious Canadian music education institution which provides an excellent music curriculum and a standardized system of examinations. Visit RCM.

Do you offer RCM piano exam preparation?

Yes. Levels 1 to 10.

Should I do piano exams?

Not necessarily. I work with many students who choose not to do exams and they play very well. The reason for doing exams is to have an official recognition of your progress, to have structure and purpose in your piano work. Completion of level 8 RCM counts as high school credit. Higher levels 9, 10 and ARCT lay the ground for a possible music career.

Will I play piano songs that I like?

Absolutely. I firmly believe that you should feel connected to the music you play. That’s why I consider my students’ musical preferences and provide suitable arrangements for their favourite songs. Find some of them in the online Music Smart Library.

Do I need to learn notes/ music theory?

There are various levels of proficiency in music theory. You need a certain minimum to make sense of musical terms and signs. It is like knowing the rules of the road and traffic signs when you drive. Understanding notions like scales, intervals and chords makes music more recognizable, predictable and ultimately easier to play.

How long will it take me to learn piano?

It depends on how good you want to be, how much and how efficiently you practice. I would say you need at least 3-4 years to get to the intermediate level, which would allow you to play music that sounds meaningful and enjoyable. I’ve seen students who achieved this stage in 1 year.

What are your credentials?

Please visit Your Piano Teacher page.

Ask Away

Feel free to contact Music Smart for any other questions.