There's no better way to establish music literacy than taking piano lessons. Piano lessons provide more than the ability to play an instrument. They provide a pathway to understanding the structure of music. While it's important to respond to my students individual interests and tastes, music literacy remains the guiding principle behind all of my teaching.
prices include travel fees
$50 - 30 minutes
$62 - 45 minutes
$75 - 60 minutes
in Granada Hills
$35 - 30 minutes
$47 - 45 minutes
$60 - 60 minutes
How old should my child be to begin piano lessons?
The youngest age at which I've started a new student is 4 years old, although not all 4-year-olds are ready. I do believe that it's helpful if a child has begun to develop some foundational skills for reading and writing prior to beginning piano lessons. This would include familiarity with the alphabet, knowing right from left, effectively holding a pencil or crayon, and being able to recognize and draw letters and numbers.
What lesson length should I choose?
Lesson length is a personal choice, but as a general rule, 30-minute lessons (per subject) work well for elementary-aged students, while 45 and 60-minute lessons work better for older children and adults.
Which Los Angeles areas do you serve?
I live in Granada Hills, where I offer studio lessons in my own home, and travel to nearby areas in the San Fernando Valley to teach lessons in my students' homes. Some of my in-home lessons are in Northridge, Van Nuys, Valley Village, Toluca Lake and Sherman Oaks, but other areas are possible as long as I can fit the travel time into my schedule. If you're interested in in-home lessons, contact me with your general location (what are your nearest cross streets?) and general availability (what times of day are you able to schedule your lesson?). I would love to see if I can fit you into my schedule!
How much practice should I/my child do each week?
There's no magic number when it comes to practice time. Rather than focusing on time spent, I like to emphasize goal-oriented, habitual practice. As long as practice becomes part of your weekly routine and results in acheivement or progress, you'll be on the right track. You can read more about practice advice under:
We only have a keyboard at home. Is that good enough?
Keyboards vary greatly! I use a Roland 88 weighted-key digital piano in my home studio, which suits me perfectly. There are many reasons to prefer a keyboard over a traditional piano, but some keyboards are not good enough for piano study. A keyboard with 88 weighted keys is best, but you can definitely get started as long as you have at least 76 keys, a decent amount of sustain (the sound continues while the key is pushed down), and touch sensitivity (the keys respond to firmness of touch by playing soft or loud). Beyond that, your set-up is almost more important than the quality of your keyboard. Does your keyboard have a music holder? Is your keyboard on a sturdy stand that doesn't allow it to slip or bounce when played? Do you have a bench that allows you/your child to sit at the appropriate height to the keyboard? These things are essential.
Does Polyglot Music offer recitals?
Yes! Recital opportunities are an important part of piano study. They provide motivation to work on longer-term pieces that are outside of the lesson books, and reflect the students particular area of interest or taste. Playing in front of an audience also provides an essential confidence boost for children and adults.
Do you teach any other instruments?
Yes. I teach voice lessons, as advertised here, and I also offer beginner guitar lessons to my students who are interested in guitar.
What can I do to help my child be successful with their piano study?
Great question! This can be tricky. Nagging a child to practice is not helpful, but assuming your child will have the maturity to know how and when to practice is probably not realistic either. It's all about creating expectations. If your child is expecting to go play, and you say "Go practice your piano", this is not going to go over well, even for a child who loves music. What your child really needs is your support in making piano practice a habit, and an expected part of their routine. Practice should be a matter of course, not a matter of "Do I have time?", or "Do I feel like it?".
If you need a little extra help in establishing a routine, there are many ways to motivate your child to practice. If you monitor your child's screen time (time in front of computer, television, video game, phone screens), you can allow them to earn extra screen time with piano practice. If your child earns an allowance, you can add piano practice to their list of tasks. For younger children, if you can sit down with them while they practice, just the time and attention from you alone will be their motivation and reward. Often children will outgrow this kind of reward system, but the habit of practicing remains.
It's important to keep in mind that even for children that love the piano, there will come a time in the learning process when they will resist practicing. This usually happens when they reach a point of difficulty or challenge, and they fear experiencing frustration or failure. This can be especially powerful with children that love music the most, because not experiencing immediate success can make them question whether or not they're "talented". It's so crucial at this point to give children the opportunity to learn that true talent is developed through hard work and the courage to risk failure.
Lastly, I'd like to stress the importance of investing in a comfortable, functional set-up. If you use a keyboard at home, this means having a keyboard with at least 76 keys, a decent amount of sustain (the sound continues while the key is pushed down), and touch sensitivity (the keys respond to firmness of touch by playing soft or loud). A proper keyboard set-up also requires a music holder, a sturdy stand that doesn't wobble or bounce, and a bench at which you or your child can be seated at the appropriate height. For either a keyboard or a traditional piano set-up, good lighting is essential! Please remember that you or your child will be reading piano music. If the space your piano occupies doesn't have overhead lighting, you can buy an inexpensive piano light to illuminate your music. If you can create a comfortable, functional, and inviting space, then practice can become a natural part of your routine.