Frequently Asked Questions About Music Lessons
At Winnipeg’s River Heights School of Music we have had many similar questions come up about music lessons in Winnipeg. Hopefully the following FAQ will answer them for you.
Please feel free to call 204-487-3664 anytime to ask any question.
Does it matter if I or my child have never had any sort of music lesson experience?
No, we are great at teaching those brand new to music lessons
Do You Teach Beginners?
Yes we teach Beginners as well as experienced music Students
Do you teach Adults?
Yes we have a large number of adult students both beginner and more experienced. We have methods geared at older beginners.
What if my child or I am somewhat experienced, will you make me start at the beginning?
No. What we try to do with experienced musicians is pick up from where they are. In some cases it may be necessary to backtrack over bad habits that may have crept in over time or through informal learning.
Are adults harder to teach music than kids?
As most know, Kids are like sponges when it comes to new things but they need more monitoring around the issue of practicing and the fine motor skills aspect of playing a musical instrument. Things like hand and finger placement and arching, posture and issues around relaxing while playing. Adults usually have clearer musical goals, a good track record at sticking to things and are the ones actually paying for the music lessons. So their self expectations are high. They are adults and so the time to practice or the way they organize and prioritize their time can be an issue.
Do I need a musical instrument to take music lessons?
Yes. You’ll need one for the practicing that comes in between each lesson.
How long will it take before I can play something?
You will be playing ‘something’ the 1st lesson! Having said that, it takes time to be able to play music that sounds ‘complete’. New music students can be playing something familiar in as little as a few months. How long it takes to achieve your goals depends on how much time you put in, what instrument you have chosen and what your goals are.
Do you offer group lessons?
No. We have found in our many years of teaching, that group lessons are a terrible way to learn an instrument. We specialize in private lessons for this very reason. Group lessons are a great business model, with more students in a class with a single teacher, but a terrible music education model.
We do offer semi private guitar and ukulele lessons for parent/child siblings/friends types of situations.
Can we take music lessons every other week instead of every week?
At first this might seem like a good idea, but we have tried this in the past and we do not offer it. If you miss a lesson, it would be almost month before you saw your music teacher again. It is really important that the teacher checks your progress and corrects your form every week. We have found attending weekly music lessons will enhance the learning momentum and generate mastering a skill more quickly.
Can a parent ‘sit in’ on a music lesson, are they expected to stay away or always be there?
We have an open door policy. It is your choice whether to sit in, sit in the lobby or run some errands. Some music students find a parent in the room distracting and some work better with Mom or Dad in the room. The teacher will give you some advice on this after they get to know your child.
Do you have a recital?
Yes we have a FREE recital around the middle of June.
What if our schedule changes?
In most cases a new time and/or day for your music class is possible.
What instrument is right for me or my child?
For some there is the myth that the 1st instrument must be piano. This is patently false. If you choose piano for your child over their objections then it is your choice not theirs. If you let them choose then you will get a clear picture of their commitment level.
Can we start in the middle of the year?
Yes. We have year-round open enrollment. Because they are private lessons you can start at anytime
I don’t have any musical background or ability; can I still help my child practice?
Yes. Even if you don’t have a musical background you can ask the teacher for advice on how to help your child practice. By simply monitoring that they are practicing everyday, doing exercises a certain number of times, etc. the music student will progress. Many parents occasionally sit in on their child’s music lesson to get an idea of the proper way a song should sound or how the student should be positioning their hands. As well you will be able to tell if your child is playing music or just ‘doodling’ on their instrument.
My child or myself are left handed, should we get a left handed instrument or modify and existing instrument?
No. Most instruments do not come in left handed models. All method books are based on right handed learning. Sure it is possible to flip over a violin or buy a left handed guitar or set up a drums backwards. Truth is all, instruments are ambidextrous in nature. Left handed guitars are hard to find and more expensive. With Guitar Bass Violin etc. the real work is in the left hand. If you learn on a left handed guitar or a backwards drum set, you’ll never be able to play someone else’s instrument, jam or ‘sit in’.
We’ve already started off left handed, can you still teach us?
Yes but it helps to be aware of the disadvantages you might have to over come.
Do you have programs for kids under 5
No. Sometimes we have started someone at 4 but earlier than that we do not have music programs. Quite honestly, we have found that the programs for toddler, infants and babies do not give any kid a leg up on music. These programs, offer by other music lesson providers, seem to exist to make money and to funnel kids into their other programs. Many times they are more activities with other kids while music is playing or a ‘Mommy and Me’ style music program. We have also found that some kids have a hard time adjusting to private music lessons after the fun and games of ‘musical daycare’.
Winnipeg Music Lessons
River Heights School of Music
202-2025 Corydon Ave
2nd Floor of the Tuxedo Park Shopping Center (Safeway, Starbucks Mall)