Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to start lessons?
You will need an acoustic piano, digital piano or keyboard. While an acoustic piano is preferable, if needed you can start lessons with a keyboard. If you choose to do that, keep in mind that it is best as a temporary solution (no more than 2 years). When choosing a piano look for one that has more than 61 keys (the more the better. 88 is best), has weighted keys and is touch sensitive. Plan on purchasing a pedal if it doesn’t already have one. I am happy to give you suggestions as well.
Will I need to purchase my music?
No. Tuition at Jessica Andrews Music Studio INCLUDES students' core music. This is a HUGE benefit to you! I will handle getting the appropriate music needed when you or your child is ready. One less thing for you to worry about.
Am I or my child ready for piano lessons?
If you or your child has the desire to take lessons, then it is worth setting up a free introductory lesson with me so I can assess if they are ready or not. I do have some lesson options that are more appropriate for really young beginners. There are many factors in determining if you or a child is ready. How is their attention span? Can they read letters A-G, numbers 1-5? Can they follow directions? Etc.
How can I support my child in lessons?
It takes TEAM effort to create a Musician! Success in learning to play the piano depends on three important elements:
If one part of the triangle is missing, chances for a successful music experience are greatly reduced. As a parent, you can do more than provide your child with lessons. Below are a few helpful tips in establishing a successful practice.
Establish a daily time and place where your child can practice without distraction. Daily practice (5 days minimum) will yield more results than lengthy, sporadic practice. Using practice games will help with a more focused practice session. Practicing should be checked off in your child’s binder each week.
Read through the assignment sheet so there is no confusion about what should be practiced. If you run across something you don’t understand, email, or call right away. Don’t wait until the next week. Too much time will be lost when it might have been something simple to explain.
Give encouragement often. Use friendly reminders to practice. Avoid negative comments. Please don’t ever use coming to lessons or practicing a form of punishment. Encourage home concerts for friends and relatives.
Provide a good instrument at home to practice on. Many students will quit lessons a lot sooner than they might have otherwise if they would have just had a good instrument to practice on at home.
As your child improves, he or she will begin to see and appreciate the value of practice and will enjoy it as success comes. You will be pleased to see the self-discipline and confidence your child will achieve once they see that practice works. Playing the piano can be challenging, but with it comes fun and rewards as well and can provide a lifetime worth of benefits.
How long does it take to learn the piano?
This question is a loaded one because it depends on so many factors such as goals and time spent practicing, The short answer? The more you practice, the better the results. Learning to play the piano or any musical instrument is a life long journey that should be enjoyed. How far you want to take the journey is up to you.
How much practice time is required?
I'm not as big on setting time limits as much as I am for wanting students to accomplish goals in their practicing. Attention spans are typically short so telling a child to practice 20 minutes is probably going to result in them watching that clock count down. Instead, I recommend a goal-based practice. I can give you some practice "games" and resources to help students stay on task and meet their practice goals. Examples of a goal would be to play a particular section in their piece 3 times without any mistakes or to play their piece up to tempo correctly. Practicing should happen at least 5 days a week for adequate progress.
What if we need to miss a lesson?
Bonus group lessons are scheduled during the year to account for the occasional times' students need to miss a lesson or, very rarely, the instructor. I also offer several other options if you need to miss a lesson. We can ask a friend or family member to use your lesson time if the student is not available during their normal lesson day/time. I can send theory worksheets and/or record a video lesson and send it to you to have the students watch at their convenience. You can try swapping your lesson time with another student. Tuition is based on enrollment, not attendance. Your tuition reserves your lesson day and time along with studio benefits. Makeup lessons are not an option as I can't teach another student during your scheduled time without replacing the student all together.
What are Group Lessons?
Piano tends to be a lonely instrument. In each group lesson, the focus is different but the end result is the same. From music activities and games, playing for each other, to learning something brand new, group lessons are held several times during the year and is something students really look forward to.
What is music camp?
Music camp is held once a year in the studio and it’s usually during the summer. Think of camp as a longer group lesson. We dive in deeper and have a ton of fun!
Do you have recitals or other performance events?
At Jessica Andrews Music Studio the performance opportunities are abundant. Students can choose as many or as few events as they would like to participate in. No matter what age or level students are, there is something for everyone.
Is there a studio registration fee?
A non-refundable $200.00 studio fee per student is required when you begin piano lessons. The Studio Fee enables the studio to provide students with loaner music, incentives, and rewards throughout the year and defrays substantial costs for the fall/winter/spring recital including awards. In addition, the studio fee covers theory games, lab materials, and upkeep, music library materials, as well as the initial cost of lesson materials when lessons first begin.
What is the free introductory lesson?
There is no charge for the introductory lesson. This is a time to meet each other, share your goals for piano lessons, enjoy a mini-lesson evaluation, and get answers to any additional questions you might have.
What days and times are you available?
Lessons are offered Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of each week from 7 am to 6:30 pm.
What ages do you teach?
Typically ages 2 years old through senior citizens.
What styles do you teach?
My background is strictly classical but I think it is important to learn many different styles. If there is a particular style you are hoping to learn, please let me know.
Where are you located?
J.A.M. Studios is located in Seattle, WA, and currently teaches students in Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Renton, Tukwila, Burien, West Seattle, Bellevue, Issaquah, Redmond, Greenwood, and South Lake Union.
What is included in my tuition?
Yearly tuition includes a reserved spot in the studio. It also includes, but is not limited to, core music as needed each semester, group lesson kickoffs, AND workshops (or) practice packets. Quarterly group lessons are a free bonus!
How can I pay for lessons?
There are several options for payments.
Automated Credit Card (Monthly payments September-June, via automated payments through My Music Staff/PayPal)
Full Year by Credit Card via PayPal (September-June)
Two postdated checks for each full semester (September-January in full and February-June in full)
Postdated Checks By the Year (September-June)
What if we need to discontinue lessons or take a break?
Because of all the benefits that are included in your tuition, commitment to lessons is semester-based. (September-January; February-June) If you do need to quit, I will need a one-month written and paid notice before the semester ends. (ie: Fall semester is September-January. You are committed to lessons through January. One month notice needs to be given by Dec. 1st)
If you are wanting to just take a break for whatever reason, I cannot hold your reserved day/time unless it is paid for. If it is paid for, it will be here waiting for you when you return. If it isn't, I will have to add you to my waiting list and you can follow up with me for an opening when you are ready to return.
What if we have to quit after the fall semester?
Please provide a 30 day written notice by January 1st. I will send the student a closure practice packet. This will include 4 video lessons and digital music that students can use at any time. Access to the videos will be available through the end of the spring semester. The music is theirs to keep.
If we need to quit after the spring semester, when would our last lesson be?
Please provide written notice by June 15th when summer registration is due. Your last lesson with the studio will be during the last week of June.
When is tuition due?
Tuition is due by the 1st of each month. There is a 7-day grace period to turn in your tuition without penalty. If you are more than 7 days late, a $25.00 late penalty will be added to your invoice.