Q. We only have a keyboard. Do we need to get an acoustic piano?
A. Keyboards can work for beginners, as a temporary measure, as long as they are 88 Key and fully weighted action. It is our belief that by the time a student has reached a certain level of advancement, they will begin to have physical deficits with regards to fingering, and aural deficits with regards to sensitivity, unless an acoustic piano is acquired.
Q. Should I take lessons in a studio or in my home?
A. Taking lessons in a carefully controlled studio environment allows the instructors to teach at their best, to the great benefit of the students.
For example, studios will have many teaching aids, games, and important accessories to help the lessons run smoothly, motivate practicing, and demonstrate concepts in a clear and concise manner. Studio environments have excellent lighting, climate control, and seating for all ages and heights of players, both on guitar and piano as well as extensive libraries of sheet music. So we always recommend that students take lessons at a studio when and if possible. Studio lesson slots fill up fast, and there is almost always a waiting list. If you want to start right away, and/or wish to have the convenience of having a teacher come to your home, and don't mind the extra tuition associated with this convenience, then in-home lessons can work well. For In-Home options, please visit one of our associate organizations that specialize in in-home lessons.
Q: We bought our child a guitar for Christmas, can she begin learning on this instrument?
A: Not usually, it depends on the age of the student, and the program. Students in Suzuki or GFC (Guitar for Children) must have a sized and approved, solid-top, nylon string guitar.
Nylon-string guitars come in sizes from 38cm up to 66cm or larger. Beginner students are size-assessed and provided with the optimally scaled instrument for their height, arm length and hand size. Young students typically outgrow each size in anywhere from 6-18 months, so it is not recommended to own your own guitar. We offer a guitar stewardship program whereby you can always have a properly sized and approved instrument for the duration of study, by supplying us with a deposit equal to the value of the instrument.
Older students (14+) who are taking lessons on Steel String (acoustic) guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Electric Guitar, or Jazz studies may use their own instrument, however this is subject to a base level of quality expectation of the instrument being used in the lessons. Extremely cheap instruments are problematic for lessons because of tuning and action problems that can waste time and effort.
Q: How much should my child be practicing?
Students are expected to practice daily for a length of time about equal to the length of their lesson.
This rule of thumb doesn't apply to Suzuki Guitar or GFC, but is more of a general recommendation for older students and adults.
For children who start when they are between 4-7 years old, the recommendation is 5 minutes per day, plus 5 minutes for each year of lessons. So after 3 years, that would be 20 minutes per day, etc.
This time can also include the completion of worksheets, or other activities specified by the instructor.
GFC & Suzuki Guitar students enrolling for the first time in guitar will need the following equipment:
Note: this list is provided to give prospective guitar students an idea about the necessary investment for beginning guitar lessons.
We keep most of these items in stock and advise that you purchase from us, as some can be difficult to find.