Frequently Asked Questions

 When should my child start piano lessons?
If a student has an attention span long enough to  sit still and concentrate he is ready for lessons. The average age is  6 to 8 years old. However younger children may also be successful depending on the parental support and the interest of the child.


I’m a beginning adult, is it too late for me to start piano lessons?
Not at all. Many adults enjoy playing the piano as a hobby. The material that is studied is adjusted to keep it age appropriate and interesting. If one can invest sufficient practice time to learn the instrument, then you will be a great candidate.


What equipment is needed at home?

  • one well maintained piano that is tuned regularly, 
  • a bench or chair of appropriate height, Younger students may need an adjustable bench or cushion 
  • good lighting, 
  • a quiet room which is free from distractions. 
  • a metronome. 
  • adjustable piano pedal extender for young students.


Digital or acoustical piano keyboard, which is better?

Both the digital and acoustical piano keyboard are good in their own right but they are different instruments. While digital keyboards today perform very well, they can never replace an acoustic piano.  The digital keyboard offers the ability to play with various instrumental sounds, but it lacks the tone and touch of an acoustic piano, as well as the ability to convey subtle emotion and feeling. “Touch Sensitivity” and “Weighted Action” is not the same thing as the sophisticated inner mechanism or “action” of an acoustic piano. This could affect a students technical development.  Additionally, the pedal on the keyboard is not comparable to the acoustic piano.
Having stated these facts, it is necessary to recognize that there are times that an acoustic piano is not feasible.  If your situation necessitates that you use a keyboard as the primary instrument that you practice on, then it should be a digital keyboard with 88 keys.


How often should I tune my piano?
Your piano is an investment. Therefore it should be maintained with the upmost care. Pianos should be tuned at least one or more times per year.
Because the piano contains materials such as wood and felt, it is subject to change with climatic conditions.  You can reduce the severity of these effects by placing your piano near a wall away from windows or doors that are opened frequently.  Avoid heating or air conditioning vents or areas that receive direct sunlight.  Your piano will perform best under consistent conditions (temperature of 68 F and  approximately 50 percent relative humidity).  A humidifier in the winter and dehumidifier in the summer will help to keep your piano in tune for a longer period of time.


Why is it necessary to keep my piano in tune?
Pianos sound better when tuned at proper pitch.  It is important for a child’s developing ear to hear individual tones at their correct pitch when learning to play an instrument.


How long should one practice the piano?
For optimum progress, a student should practice a minimum of five days per week. Daily practice will speed up the process and build self-confidence.
There is no set length of time for practice as it is important that the student spends quality time at the piano rather than a quantity of time.  The length of practice time will change depending on the difficulty of the music however, here is an approximation of expectations:

  • Primer – 20 minutes per day
  • Level 1 & 2 — 30 minutes per day  
  • Level 3 – 40 minutes per day 
  • Level 4 – 45 minutes per day 
  • Level 5 or higher– 60 minutes or more per day

How can I encourage consistent practice from my child?
Consistent daily practice is hard!  But as we all know, great accomplishments do not come easy.  People go through stages.  Some weeks they love playing the piano and you will never have to ask them to practice.  Then there are other weeks when they are sick of it and feel it is just too hard.  Piano students will go back and forth.  Hopefully some of the tips below will help to avoid some of the parental nagging and give a sense of the enjoyment and accomplishment in piano practicing.


  1. Don't  wait to see if you have time each day,  Instead make a schedule of when to practice each day.  Tack it onto nightly homework or daily chores.
  2. Use rewards.  Bribery is a great motivator.
  3. Use consequences.  Set rules that one must practice before one engages in their favorite activities.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the happenings at your child’s lessons.
  5. Give praise and encourage opportunities for performance.
  6. Frequently point out the benefits of learning to play the piano.
  7. Remind them of how much fun they have playing their favorite pieces on the piano.

Misconceptions about piano lessons – http://www.pianoeducation.org/pnolsmis.html 

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debrodgersPIANO.com


Servicing Pennsylvania piano students from Exton, Downingtown, West Chester, Malvern, Lionville, Chadds Ford, Phoenixville, Great Valley, Coatesville, Kennett Square, & Unionville.  



debArodgers@hotmail.com

Piano Passageways Piano Studio of Deborah Rodgers

West Chester, PA 19380, US

(484) 678-4763

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