How does it work?
You have a choice to come to us to take lessons and join our students of all ages at NoteStudio or take advantage of distance online learning from any point of the world!
You can take a single lesson or commit to a series of lessons, to a term, a semester or the full year. We teach all ages and all levels.
When is best to start?
Recommended age for starting to learn an instrument is between 4-8 and can be extremely individual. It is best to arrange a lesson to assess your child's readiness for regular lessons so Piroska can check the child's hands, skills, concentration, attitude and capability of following instructions.
Try it at first....
Before committing to long term lessons, come and meet us. Book a lesson and see how you like it. Teacher and student need to find each other and connect, to be able to work well together. It's all about 'chemistry', like in any other relationship where people get on well. Our personality or teaching method might not be suitable to you. Best to test it and see how we like each other. It's right there at the beginning or not. Remember, your favourite teacher and the subject she or he taught were always easier? It's very much like that.
Believe it, teachers prefer to work with students who like them and want to learn from them, too! Life is so much easier when you work with students like that. Because we work for ourselves, we will not take on students we don't like and who are not ready to learn yet. We are not our own enemies. So relax, you will hear an honest feedback from us.
Nowadays people don't like to commit to anything. However, when you want to learn something that involves skills, commitment and regularity are absolutely crucial. Without committing to learning you won't get anywhere. Skills based learning starts in your head. If you want to do it and make a decision to do it, it will happen. Otherwise,......not. So your first step is to decide. Do you really want to learn or not?
To get somewhere and see some good results and to play nice pieces will take time. In our experience, it takes around three years to get to a reasonable level to play the piano and start enjoying it. In our "instant gratification society" we are so used to not using our brains, out sourcing everything to computers, iPads and smartphones that we are becoming dumber and dumber. We are loosing our capacity to learn and think, not to mention our capacity to recall information and to remember things. No wonder that dementia and Alzheimer starts earlier and numbers are alarmingly increasing. Music is a great way to keep those grey cells alive and active!
How frequently should I come to lessons?
Learning music is a skills based subject. The more frequently you practice and learn, the faster you improve. In Hungary and in many other countries with well established music education programs students have weekly two lessons. However, in Australia due to long travelling times, busy traffic and busy lifestyle, we recommend one, longer lesson to save all the driving. Our students start with 30 minutes lessons then as they progress and improve they move to 45 then 60 mins lessons as their concentration improves and play more complex pieces.
How much should I practice?
During lessons we gradually introduce the idea of repeating and practicing a piece until it is played perfectly.
In the first year a parental supervision and guidance is necessary to remind children about practising. It is best to establish a regular, twice a week, short 10-15 minutes practice. We recommend that at the beginning the parent directs the practice. There are some very independent kids, who can do the practice on their own. In this case, we recommend for the parent to sit at the end of the practice and listen to the final product. If not satisfactory, do some work together to fix mistakes. If all is well, this method works for the student. It is absolutely crucial that at the end of the practice there is checking and a little 'performance'. Kids like to show up what they learnt and get some praise. Praise only, if there is progress. Trying is not enough. In music we do or don't but there is no such thing as trying! Trying means 50% success but 50% failure. The mind is not made up to succeed! So DO IT!
The practice session should start with playing something the student already knows and likes to play, then move to the new piece that was marked as homework. Play the piece with separate hands until perfect and fluent, then play it with both hands. Again, play it in a slow tempo until fluent and no mistakes, then increase tempo to the advised speed of the piece.
When memorising a piece, nominate how many times you think the piece should be played until you remember well enough to put aside printed music. Then attempt playing it by heart. Note where the mistakes were and memory lapses occured, practice those specific bars or lines, then play the piece as a whole from music, before putting music aside again to play it by memory. If you want to make sure that you really know the piece by heart, play the music until at least three times in a row you played it without any mistake.
You might not be able to play soccer or keep running at age 90 but sure, you will be able to play the piano! Especially, if you commit to learn to read music! Otherwise, you just keep repeating the same old there pieces you remember.
As your piano playing gets better, your lessons longer and your pieces more complex, your practice time and frequency should increase to accommodate and aid your progress. If you really want to improve and get somewhere, 4-5 times 60 minutes practice is normal for advanced pianists! Must add, people at that level practice because they love it and enjoy it, not because they "have to do it". Playing an instrument is a lovely lifestyle and pastime!
End of Year Concert
At NoteStudio we do not work towards exams. We believe that every student has his/her own learning capacity and tempo. This also gives the opportunity to use a variety of books and repertoire, accommodating personal interest, too. We found that this is a much less stressful learning style, allowing more self-motivation instead of exam pressure. We also found that students stay with their instrument learning longer and pick it up again at later age happily. Our end of year performance opportunity gives students a chance to test themselves in spot light while being well prepared. It teaches them how to cope with performance anxiety in a low pressure and friendly environment in front of their peers and loved ones in the audience. Seeing students of all ages including adults and with varied background is an excellent experience. It demonstrates that music is for everyone, it is not for exam, not for competition but for the love of it and for life!
Piroska has many years of experience in running Professional Development Courses to Music teachers and Professional Musicians, running Master Classes to Conductors, Workshops for Choirs and Consulting Schools and other Music Institutions in running and setting up Music Education Programs.
If you have any enquiry or want to book a lesson, please send us a message or call. You will find our details at the Contact.