Do I need a guitar for my first lesson?

No. You are welcome to use one of our studio guitars for even your first couple of lessons if you wish. At some point you’ll need an instrument to practice on at home, and we are happy to provide you with a list of appropriate guitars you can purchase, along with contact information for local musical instrument retailers. Many of our beginning students actually take their first couple of lessons before purchasing their own guitar – and then they can rely on the expertise of our instructors to help to them make a wise purchase decision.

Do I need a piano at home to take piano lessons?

It is ideal if you do have a piano at home, but you can start lessons by using an electric keyboard to practice on. Most of our students rent or buy small electric keyboards to practice on at home. We recommend a keyboard that has regular sized keys and a touch sensitive response. A touch sensitive keyboard means if you press a key harder it will play louder and if you press a key softer it will play quieter.

How long does it take to learn an instrument?

There is no set amount of time that it takes to learn an instrument, the main reason being that most students learn at a different pace. The real key to learning an instrument is simple – regular practice, and a basic level of playing can be accomplished in only a few months. Most of our students take lessons on a long-term basis because they find that the lessons are enjoyable, and they wish to continue their growth and improvement on the instrument.

I don’t have any musical background or ability; can I still help my child practice?

Yes. Even if you don’t have any musical experience you can still rely on the instructor for advice on how to help the child practice. Parents who get involved in their child’s lessons often find it rewarding – and it’s also helpful to the student. Many parents will occasionally sit in on the child’s lesson to get an idea of how the song should go and how they should be holding the instrument.

What’s the right age to start an instrument?

Adults can start an instrument at any time. Their success is typically based on their commitment to practicing. We currently have beginner students in their 60’s.

For children, starting at the right age is a key element to the success of their lessons. When a child begins lessons too soon, it can create problems – they may feel overwhelmed and frustrated and want to stop lessons. Sometimes progress can be much faster if the child waits a year to start lessons. Children who are older than the suggested earliest starting age usually do very well. The following are guidelines we have found to be successful in determining how young a child can start taking music lessons.

(Please click on the instrument tabs on the main menu for more information about each specific instrument.)

Why are private lessons my best option when learning a specific instrument?

Group classes work well for preschool music programs and theory lessons. They can even be an effective introduction to a beginning adult student for several weeks. However, because of the hands on nature of playing an instrument – private lessons are far superior because each student is allowed to go at their own pace. Our teachers customize their lesson plans to incorporate each students preferred musical style and their favorite songs. The teacher does not have to teach a class at a middle-of-the-road level, and has the time and focus to work on the individual student’s strengths and weaknesses. For each private lesson, the individual student is the primary focus of the teacher.

Why take lessons in a professional teaching environment?

One of the most important requirements for students, when they’re learning how to play music, is an environment that is focused on music education. Right from the start distractions such as TV, Internet, video games, and sibling interruptions are a non-factor in a professional school environment. With only 1/2 to one hour of lesson time per week, a professional school environment can produce better results since the only focus at that time is learning music. Students in a school environment are also motivated by seeing and hearing peers who are at different levels and by being exposed to a variety of musical instruments. In a music school, the lessons are not just a hobby or sideline for the teacher but a responsibility, which is taken very seriously.

How do I make practicing easier and enjoyable?

As with anything, improving in music takes practice. One of the main problems with music lessons is the drudgery of practicing and the fight between parents and students to practice every day. Here are some ways to make practicing easier:

Set the same time every day to practice so it becomes part of a routine or habit. This works particularly well for children. Generally the earlier in the day the practicing can occur, the less reminding is required by parents to get the child to practice.

We use this method quite often when setting practice schedules for beginners. For a young child 20 or 30 minutes seems like an eternity. Instead of setting a time frame, we use repetition. For example, practice this piece 4 times every day, and this scale 5 times a day. The child then does not pay attention to the amount of time they are practicing their instrument, but knows if they are on repetition number 3 they are almost finished.

This works very well for both children and adult students. Some adults reward themselves with a cappuccino after a successful week of practicing. Parents can encourage children to practice by granting them occasional rewards for successful practicing. In our school we reward young children for a successful week of practicing with stars and stickers on their work. Praise tends to be the most coveted award – there just is no substitute for a pat on the back for a job well done. Sometimes we all have a week with little practicing, in that case there is always next week.

Do you offer Family discounts for multiple siblings?

Yes, please inquiry with the office for more details.

How do I resign from my classes I’m currently taking?

A 30-day notice is required to cancel your contract with the Music Factory. Please put your intentions to cancel in writing and deliver to the OC Music Conservatory office. You may also contact the Music Factory via e-mail with your written notice to cancel.

Please send that email to anna.pham@ocmusicconservatory.com

Please do not cancel through your instructor!

Please acknowledge that Students are still responsible for their tuition payments if cancellation notice has not been submitted accordingly.

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