Got questions? Here's a list of the questions we're asked most often. Also check out our pages on payment info and our policies regarding cancellations, vacations, makeups, etc.
- Do you offer private or group lessons?
All our music lessons are private, one-on-one sessions with the teacher. There are occasional group performance/practice opportunities, but we don't offer regular group lessons at this time.
- How often are lessons held, and are they all in one location?
Private music lessons are held once per week, in half hour or hour timeslots, at our school. We don't generally recommend lessons more often than that, as it's important to practice your instrument between lessons before moving on to new songs! To make solid progress, we ask that students devote at least an hour a week to practice. The more, the better!
- Should I take half hour or full hour lessons?
Most kids under 12 do best with half hour lessons, while adults and teens can make faster musical progress with hour lessons. Many adults with busy schedules prefer the full hour, since they have less practice time at home. If you're not sure, we can always start with one and change later.
- Can I buy music lessons as a gift?
Sure! We're happy to arrange payment ahead of time for your gift recipient. Before giving the gift, though, please be sure to verify that we have available space in our schedule!
- Do I need my own guitar/bass/violin, etc?
We can get you through the first couple lessons without having your own instrument, but you'll need your own pretty quickly, since practicing at home is crucial. Feel free to ask your teacher for advice on brands and styles, and also consider renting before buying! For renting guitars, basses, drums, amps, etc, we highly recommend Rock and Roll Rentals down at S. Lamar and Oltorf - and for violin rentals, give Strait Music a call.
- What kind of instruments do you use at the school?
With so many different musical instruments being taught in a small space, we prefer electronic versions, which can be turned down when needed, or used through headphones for a clearer sound. We use high-quality electronic drums and full-sized piano keyboards, and for string instruments, we have guitar and bass amps available.
- How young can children start music lessons?
Generally, the best age to start private music lessons is about seven years old, but we've had success with younger kids as well. However, with very young children, parents MUST be very involved in both lessons and practice at home!
- Do you host recitals?
Yes, at least twice per year, in local Cedar Park venues. (Past recitals have been held at It's a Grind Coffee, The Dig Pub, Hemingway Restaurant, and Life Church.) Parents are highly encouraged to bring friends and family to see their kids perform live!
- What teaching curriculum do you use?
We don't teach to a specific curriculum; rather, each teacher assigns songs and exercises based on the student's skill level and musical tastes, and we often ask students to suggest their own songs. That way, students have fun and learn at the right pace for them, as opposed to being confined to what's laid out in a book.
- Should I choose an acoustic or electric guitar? Recommended brands?
Ultimately, that depends on the kind of music you want to play. For strumming songs by the campfire, or accompanying a singer on pretty folk tunes, you may be an acoustic fan. If you like rock or blues, or your child's into Guitar Hero, you may want an electric. A couple notes to keep in mind when deciding:
- Electric guitar strings tend to be softer and easier on fingertips when learning.
- An electric-acoustic is an acoustic guitar with the ability to be plugged into an amplifier, offering the pretty acoustic guitar sound with the volume of an electric. Look for that if choosing an acoustic!
- Guitars come in many sizes. If your child is 8 or younger, you may want a 3/4 size guitar. Once a child is 9 or older, though, they can usually handle a standard guitar, but this decision is really up to you.
- While kid guitars like those found at Toys R Us may be cute and affordable, they're cheaply made and notoriously difficult to keep in tune. Practicing with an out-of-tune guitar is NOT a pleasant experience for the player OR the listener!
As for brands, Michael recommends the Squier Strat Pack for electric guitars, which comes with a guitar, an amp and a carrying case. For acoustic guitars, Alvarez is a good quality brand.