Frequently Asked Questions


  1. How do I know if my child is old enough for piano lessons?
  2. Do I have to buy a piano or can my child use a keyboard?
  3. Should I help my child practice?
  4. How long should my child practice?
  5. How long are lessons?
  6. How soon will my child be able to play songs?
  7. Where are you located?


  1. How do I know if my child is old enough for piano lessons?

A child who shows interest in learning to play the piano may be ready for lessons, but for children who are 4 or 5 years and not yet in school, I require an evaluation to see if your child is ready. Ideally the child should be able to accomplish most of their assignment without much help from a parent or caregiver.

  1. Do I have to buy a piano or can my child use a keyboard?

Your child can use a keyboard with standard-sized keys for maybe a year, but after that you will need to upgrade to a real piano or even an electronic piano. There are some good electronic keyboards available, but none of them can duplicate the technical feel and sound of a real piano. To a child a keyboard will always be a toy, while a piano is truly an instrument.

  1. Should I help my child practice?

If your child thinks you have to be present for practice sessions, the child is more likely to use your lack of time to help as a reason for not practicing. If a child is able to accomplish practice with a minimum of help from you, any progress and learning that takes place becomes exclusively the child’s achievement. This does wonders for building self-esteem.

  1. How long should my child practice?

Practice is an individual thing. I don’t think young children need to practice 30 minutes at a time, but some are able to do that. I am much more interested in what the child has learned than in how much time he or she practiced. If your child has “practiced “ two hours and does not know what pieces they are playing, then the practice was probably not on the assignment! Some children can accomplish a lot in a relatively short amount of time, say 10-15 minutes a day, while others need to spend more time preparing. Of course this depends on the level of the student and the difficulty of the pieces as well. Just remember that it is nice to have someone nearby while the child is practicing. Practicing can be a lonely time if the child knows that no one is around to listen and appreciate, even if it is from the next room.

  1. How long are lessons?

Lessons are usually 30 minutes long, one lesson per week. Adjustments may be made for very young children, as 30 minutes is a long time for them to focus. Sometimes 20 minutes for the very young child is best, but that is something that we can determine later.

  1. How soon will my child be able to play songs?

Your child will begin to learn some simple tunes the first month of lessons. Most beginning books will have at least a few familiar melodies that your child will recognize. As for other songs your child wants to play, those will probably take a little longer. We must allow for the growth of the hand and fingers to be sure that we do not strain the muscles and tendons of the developing hand. I am very careful not to give a child practice that he or she physically cannot accomplish.

  1. Where are you located?

I teach piano lessons out of my home in Kingsport, Tennessee.