Do I need an instrument and metronome?

It should go without saying, but all students will need to have an instrument at home for daily practicing. This is non-negotiable as without regular practice, a student will become extremely frustrated. For piano, we recommend a tuned acoustic piano, however a digital piano with 88 weighted and “touch sensitive” keys plus proper foot pedals is acceptable for early levels. For more information about purchasing a piano or keyboard please check out this website for some valuable links and advice: For drums and guitar, please contact us for information on what would be a suitable instrument for you. All students will eventually need a metronome as it is an essential tool for learning any musical instrument. We can advise on an appropriate one, or there are many metronome apps available for smartphones and tablets.

How much should I practise?

One of the most important things that a student has to learn when undertaking music lessons is how to practice. Most children until the age of about 12 years old, are incapable of self-motivated practice and really need the support of a parent to help them through. This means music lessons for a child are not only a commitment for the student but also the parent! Students have to learn not only how to practise but also how to commit to practise. Forming new habits is not easy as anyone who has decided to take up running or start flossing their teeth will have discovered. We as the teacher and you as the parent need to help a brand new student to encourage forming the “Music Practice” habit. Here are a few suggestions to help you: Explaining the importance of regular daily practice: Regular practice = progress. Simple as that. Tell your child that without doing a little bit every day (or at least 5 or 6 days), it is virtually impossible to gain any real competence at a musical instrument. How long a student should practice is a difficult question to answer because it will depend on the student’s ability and level, but generally 20 minutes a day for a beginner, ranging to 60 minutes for an intermediate to advanced student or someone studying for an exam. Commitment: Find a time that will form part of a consistent daily routine that suits you and your child. Stick to it. Try and make practice occur at the same time each and every day, in an undisturbed, quiet space. Encouragement: Encourage your child to practise every day. Children will need to be reminded to practise, sometimes firmly. How to practise effectively will be discussed during lessons as well as written down in weekly assignments. Be there: Most 4 to 12 year olds will find sitting at their instrument all by themselves to practise quite difficult (there are exceptions of course). Be prepared to sit with you child, or be actively listening nearby for at least 5-10 mins for most of their practice sessions. Ask them questions – Which part did you find the hardest? Can you clap the rhythm of that section? In other words, be directly involved.

My child isn't sure if they want to continue

Don’t give up too easily: Stick with it, and encourage your child to stick with it. Learning a musical instrument is not easy, if it were, everyone would be doing it. But it is extremely rewarding and will give your child so much in the way of cognitive, emotional and creative development. No one ever reaches adulthood and says “I wish i’d never learnt to play” – it’s ALWAYS the exact opposite.

Studio Etiquette

We expect students to arrive on time with their books each week. Please remind your children to develop the habit of clipping nails and washing hands before lesson time. Students may wait outside the studio briefly before or after lessons, but this is not an appropriate waiting area for extended periods of time.

Studio Terms and Conditions - PLEASE READ!

Timetabling The student’s time slot in the schedule is reserved for the whole term upon enrolment for lessons. Please choose your time slot carefully as missed or cancelled lessons are not refunded. Invoicing and payment Lessons are invoiced in advance by the school term. Invoices are sent out at the start of term and must be paid by the due date indicated. A full term of lessons will be charged, even if the student is away on holidays or other reasons for part of the term. New students who start part way through the term will be invoiced for the remaining lessons in the term. Refunds For new students starting lessons, the first lesson is considered a trial lesson. If the student wishes not to continue, the remaining lessons will be refunded in full. For new students who elect to continue after the trial lesson, and for continuing students, payments received are regarded as a commitment to lessons for the term and refunds are not provided. Missed lessons and make-up lessons Students are expected to attend each scheduled week of the term. When you register for lessons with Tipitina Music, your time slot is reserved for the teaching year. Please keep in mind that our studio operates at full capacity. Therefore, missed lessons will not be refunded but may be rescheduled at the discretion of the teacher if there is available space in the schedule. In the event that your student needs to miss a lesson because of a conflict or illness, please contact us with as much advance notice as possible. Any lessons that are cancelled or missed by Tipitina Music for any reason will either be made-up, credited to the following term, or refunded in full. Termination of lessons There is no obligation to continue lessons beyond the term of lessons paid for in advance. If you choose to not continue lessons, please inform us by email at the end of the school term, otherwise we will assume they wish to continue. Lessons that are terminated during the school term cannot be refunded. Contacting us Feel free to contact us via email, or by phone between 9am and 8.30pm to discuss any issues or concerns (please leave a message if we are unable to take your call). We aim to respond to emails and return calls by the next business day. Students who are under 18 should not contact us directly without the permission of their parents. Likewise, any contact from us will be through parents or caregivers. Exams Students who take AMEB exams should be aware that it takes a huge amount of effort, determination and stamina. Because of the amount of preparation involved, a weekly half-hour lesson is often insufficient. It is recommended that students have a weekly one-hour lesson if they would like to work towards exams. In addition, parents must be prepared to pay for additional one-off lessons if needed. Students are entered for exams only when they are fully prepared. This is to avoid the situation where a student has to be pulled out of an exam due to lack of preparation which is not a pleasant experience for anyone involved. Student concerts Student concerts are regularly held at the end of Term 2 and Term 4. All students are strongly encouraged to perform, but it is not compulsory. Students who choose to perform should be aware that it is a commitment: pulling out, especially at the last minute, is unprofessional and strongly discouraged.

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