FAQ’S / FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Many people with an interest in learning to play piano share the same questions. We have posted some of the most frequent here on this page.

How long does it take to learn to play piano?

Learning to play piano is unlike other skills where there is a set benchmark or expectation that you are qualified to perform a function. With a musical instrument, there are varying levels of proficiency and experience that enable seasoned players to perform more difficult pieces. While your experience and training can last for a long time, there are some average benchmarks that can be provided as a general guide.

Generally speaking, it takes about 5 years to learn to play basic level piano, and about 10 years to be able to play late intermediate to early advanced piano pieces. This is assuming that you practice regularly and follow the guidance of your instructor. It is important to realize that each person is unique and will learn at different rates.

Must I own a piano to learn?

You are highly encouraged to own/ rent/ borrow your own piano and have it available at your home. The most efficient learning involves daily practice, and having the piano readily available to you makes practicing convenient, which means you are more likely to do it and make progress. It is much better to practice each day for a little while, then only once or twice a week for a long period of time.

What kind of piano do I have to buy?

You can use any piano that you wish. It does not have to be a brand new piano. The primary concern is that all of the keys function and the piano can be tuned.

Can I use an electronic keyboard to learn?

Yes, as long as it has full size keys, which are weighted and touch sensitive. Touch sensitive means that they keyboard will play at a variable volume depending on how hard you press the keys (i.e., press the keys softly and the sound is quieter, while pressing hard plays louder). The keyboard must have at least 61 keys. However, you should understand that you will soon outgrow a 61-key keyboard and we highly recommend a full 88-key keyboard.

There are some caveats to an electronic keyboard that you should be aware of. First, no matter how good the keyboard, it is not an acoustic piano. It will not have the dynamic playing range of a real piano and it is difficult for even the best of keyboards to fully replicate the sound of real strings in a piano. Also, most good quality keyboards can be far more expensive than a basic piano.

We highly recommend learning to play piano on an acoustic piano.

Am I too old to learn to play piano?

While there is some truth in the fact that you will most likely not be a concert pianist by starting later in life, the reality is that most people play piano for their own personal enjoyment. Even for people in advanced years, learning to play piano can improve motor skills and cognitive abilities while being enjoyable. You are never too old to learn to play piano and we have many adult students at varying ages.

I want to play Classical/ Jazz/ Pop Piano. Can you teach me?

Absolutely. We can teach you to play different styles of music, whatever your interest.

How often are lessons?

Your lessons will take place once per week for 1/2 hour. During that time, your teacher will work with you one-on-one at the piano. You will then study music theory in the computer lab for 30 minutes.

How much does it cost to take lessons?

During the school year, the cost is $60 monthly. You do not pay per lesson during the school year. During the summer break, you can elect to continue classes which will be billed individually or you may break until the next year begins. Your cost includes both the teacher guided lesson at the piano and the music theory computer lab. Your music book(s) are an additional expense, but are generally inexpensive and are yours to keep.

What are the rules or guidelines for taking lessons?

Experience has yielded a set of standardized guidelines for students taking lessons, to make sure each student is receiving the highest quality education and people are not disrupting other students learning. We have compiled a Policy Handbook that you may download in Adobe .PDF format and read at your leisure.

Click Here to Download the Policy Handbook

If you do not have Adobe Reader, it is completely free and available by clicking here.

Note: You will be going to the Adobe Corporations website which is not affiliated with Darlene Stammer’s Piano Studio.