Q: Can I start lessons if I'm a beginner?
A: Yes. We offer lessons for beginners, intermediate and advanced students
Q: How do we differ from in-home or in-school lessons?
A: Attending lessons in a professional school environment means that the teacher and student are free from home distractions. At home, the distractions could be; TV's in the next room, door bells and after school friends, siblings, and pets. At school lessons the distractions could be; constant changing lesson locations, cleaning or maintenance crews and general after school noise. Also, lessons that occur at the student's school gives the students the feeling that the lessons are part of school and not a separate after school enrichment. Students tend to take their music study a little more seriously when they are coming to a professional school situation, bringing their books and materials to the lessons each week. Also, students gain excitement about the music making process when they are surrounded by other people of all ages engaged in music learning for many different instruments.
Q: Is the teacher qualified?
A: Yes. All of our teachers have graduated from some of the finest Music Schools and Universities. Our teachers are experienced professionals and are chosen not only for their qualifications, but for their love of teaching and their ability to relate to the students. Our faculty have spent years developing their skills on their instruments or vocal training and studied with many master teachers.
Q: Do I need an instrument at home to take lessons?
A: Yes. Without regular practice at home, achievement on the instrument is impossible.
Q: Do I need a piano at home to take piano lessons?
A: It is ideal if you do have a piano at home, but you can start lessons by using an electric keyboard to practice on. We recommend a keyboard that has regular sized keys and a touch sensitive response. A touch sensitive keyboard means if you press a key harder it will play louder and if you press a key softer it will play quieter.
Q: Do I need a full drum set to take drum lessons?
A: No, you do not need a full drum set to start drum lessons. Students can start lessons by using a Snare Drum or practice pad. This is a small dinner plate sized pad that is used for practicing basic drum rhythms.
Q: How long does it take to learn an instrument?
A: There is no set answer of how long it takes to learn an instrument. With regular practice a basic level of playing can be accomplished in a few months. Most of our students take lessons on a long term basis because they want to be constantly improving and because they find the lessons enjoyable.
Q: How much should I practice?
A: Establish practicing as part of a daily routine. Children generally do not consider doing homework as an option so I recommend adding practice time to the homework routine. Music is generally learned with repetition. This goes for learning technique, songs, reading, or terminology used to communicate musical ideas between teacher and student. A practice session is not intended as a musical performance and as a result may not be as aesthetically pleasing. Patience, tolerance, and understanding are necessary for anyone at home during practice time.
Q: I don't have any musical background or ability; can I still help my child practice?
A: Yes. Even if you don't have a musical background you can ask the teacher for advice on how to help your child practice. By simply monitoring that they are doing exercises a certain number of times per day the student will progress. Many parents occasionally sit in on their child's music lesson to get an idea of the proper way a song should sound or how the student should be positioning their hands.
Q: What if my child starts the lessons and does not like the instrument?
A: Usually students have "begged" to start music lessons on a particular instrument, so we suggest that the student sticks with their instrument choice for several months before switching to another instrument or voice lessons. If this situation occurs, the parent should contact our office right away so we can give the teacher any feedback and discuss ways to generate more interest. Students can switch to another instrument at any time during the year, another benefit of taking lessons in a professional school environment.
Q: Can I sit in on my child's private music lessons?
A: Yes - we have an open door policy. It is your choice when to sit in. Some students do find it distracting with Mom or Dad in the room. The teacher can give you some advice on this after they get to know your child.
Q: Can my two children have a music lesson together, or both myself and my child?
A: We generally have found that students progress better in separate lessons. There are situations where this works however and we would be happy to discuss this with you. If you are looking for convenience, you can ask about scheduling both lessons at the same time with different teachers or book them back to back.
Q: Can we take lessons every other week instead of every week?
A: At first this might seem like a good idea, but we have tried this in the past and we do not recommend it (if you miss a lesson, it would be an entire month before you saw your teacher again!). It is really important that the teacher checks your progress and corrects your form every week. Also, attending weekly lessons will continue the learning momentum and generate mastering a skill more quickly. That being said we do have some students who take lessons every other week. Please feel free to call the school to discuss this issue further.
Q: Can I just take one month of lessons?
A: Yes you can, however we think that one month does not give the student an accurate indication of lessons. We typically think that two months gives the student a better indication of what the lessons will be like on a long term basis. If after the two months, the student still has a lack of interest they are free to quit or try another instrument or teacher if requested.
Q: Can I schedule lessons at the same time for multiple members of the same family?
A: Yes. Since we have teachers that teach different instruments, it is possible to have lessons scheduled at the same time, whether they are for the same instrument or different instruments.
Q: What is your makeup policy?
A: Students are expected to attend their weekly lessons promptly with their lesson materials. There are no excused absences at Des Plaines School of Music. By registering for lessons you are in effect renting a time slot from the teacher, and you are responsible for filling that time slot. If you are unable to attend a lesson, please call Des Plaines School of Music and we will forward the message to the teacher. Teachers appreciate at least 24-hours notice. However, you are still responsible for the payment of the missed lesson. Payment will not be refunded for missed lessons. We do however offer a makeup class for any student who has missed a lesson. Makeup classes are scheduled monthly.