F.A.Q.

What is unique about Whole Note Music Studio? 
Under my teaching, students experience firsthand that music is also a creative art as well as an interpretive art.  They learn not only learn how to express themselves through artistic performances of various styles of music, but they also learn how to make their own music through improvisation and composition.  In addition, students receive a comprehensive musical education through theory/aural training, music history lessons, and performing for peers during scheduled Studio Classes.  Not only are these skills are all important for developing well-rounded, knowledgable musicians, but the creative process also develops methods for critical thinking, problem solving and self-assessment, which can be applied to learning experiences outside of music.

 Where private lessons will take place at Whole Note Music Studio.

Where private lessons will take place at Whole Note Music Studio.

How much am I required to practice?
I believe that consistency and quality - not quantity - is most crucial when it comes to practicing.  I do not require certain amounts of minutes of practice from my students, nor do I generally require them to track how many minutes they are practicing.  Instead, I simply encourage students to practice daily in order to ensure progress and be prepared for every lesson.  Because of this approach, my students are often very self-motivated and do not feel as if practice is a chore or requirement.  During lessons, I notate weekly goals and practice suggestions in the student's assignment notebook.  We also spend time discussing ways to efficiently practice specific areas of their music.  In the event that a student is not adequately prepared for a few consecutive lessons, we will discuss what can be done about the issue and, upon being asked, I will suggest a required amount of minutes per day for practicing. 

Why do I need an acoustic piano?  And how often do I need to get it tuned?
Despite technological advancements in recent years, even the best of digital pianos fail to accurately replicate the wonderful feel and sound of the real thing!  The good news is that acoustic pianos hold their value better than digital pianos do, so they are usually a worthwhile investment even when buying used.  Acoustic pianos should be tuned twice a year by a piano technician (I recommend Orpheus Piano Co.).  Regular tuning is crucial to the development of the student's aural ear so that the student is hearing the proper pitches of each note on the piano.  Skipping tunings is a bit like skipping oil changes for your car - not good!  Over time, a well-maintained piano will begin to hold pitch better and better between tunings.  Getting regular tunings is worth it.  

Do I need to pay for books and materials?  
Books and materials are already included in the cost of tuition. 

What does my tuition cover?

  • Weekly lessons
  • Studio Sessions
  • Masterclass Series
  • Studio Recitals

What events and opportunities does the studio provide for students? 
The studio schedules a number of opportunities and events for private students and their parents each year!  All of these events are provided at no extra cost, with the exception of the optional theory examinations / performance evaluations.

Studio Sessions | Group classes called "Studio Sessions" are provided for private students in order to promote student camaraderie and to reinforce concepts taught during private lessons.  Most group classes include a theory segment, history segment, and a performance segment.  With young private students, music & movement activities are also frequently included.  With adult private students, there is a focus on piano literature history and repertoire performance in a relaxed environment (think wine and cheese!). 

Masterclass Series | Students will also have opportunities to play in a masterclass setting for different professionals within the studio's network. Ms. Doering graduated from the Juilliard School and has many successful colleagues who will be featured in the Masterclass Series. This is an opportunity for students to perform in front of their peers, receive instruction from a different perspective, and develop a supportive environment for learning and practice in performing. 

Studio Recitals | Performing in a formal recital setting is an exciting opportunity for students to showcase their hard work and improvement over the year in the presence of their family and friends.  As students will have opportunities throughout the semester to perform in studio sessions, there will be one main recital in the spring. This year's recital location and date is TBD. 

Examinations | Students are welcome to participate in theory examinations and/or performance evaluations through  "The Achievement Program" sponsored by the Royal Conservatory and Carnegie Hall.  These opportunities usually require entry fees.  Please contact Kristen for further information.   

Whole Note Music Series | This concert series allows students to hear their teacher play a variety of musical styles including collaboration with other artists who play  violin, cello and even vocalists throughout the year. It's a wonderful opportunity to hear live music and meet the incredible artists who have made careers in music around the city.

There are exciting opportunities shaping up for next summer, stay tuned for more announcements!