Waltons New School of Music - Piano Tuition FAQs

Piano Tuition FAQs

Piano TuitionCONTENTS

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

Although 'real' (acoustic) pianos or digital pianos with weighted keys are always best, they are not necessary to start. Some of our students have started with electronic keyboards and moved on as they progressed to acoustic or digital pianos. The most important thing to know when purchasing a keyboard is that it must have full sized keys and should have at least 60+ keys, or four octaves, so that you don't outgrow it too quickly (a regular piano has 88 keys). A wide range of acoustic pianos, digital pianos and electronic keyboards are available from Waltons music shops, and some of these are also available on payment plans. Go to Digital & Acoustic Piano Discounts & Payment Plans for more information.

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At what age should my child begin piano lessons?

That depends on the child. Some children are ready for lessons as early as age five, and most are ready at the age of six. To start with, we offer both 30-minute private or partner lessons as well as a group course, Introducing Piano/Keyboard for Children. Children beginning piano lessons should be reading or in the process of learning to read, and be able to understand easy addition and subtraction. They should also be able to keep attention throughout a 30-minute lesson.

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How can I help my child to progress more quickly?

Supporting your child's musical development can seem daunting, especially if you haven’t played an instrument before yourself. But children have a natural desire to please, and the best way to help them progress quickly is simply to take an interest. Practice can be a lonely occupation, and children thrive on company. So sit with your child while he/she practices, and listen, comment and encourage. See also our Practice Tips page for more suggestions.

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Do you teach adult beginners?

Yes! We teach students of all ages, and have many adult beginners at the school. Adults can start either with 30-minute lessons or our group course, Introducing Piano/Keyboard for Adults.

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What method do you teach?

Our piano teachers use a variety of methods and method books, supplemented by outside repertoire, scales and exercises, sight reading and ear training. Every student is unique, and the course of study will not be the same for any two students, but rather tailored to individual needs and goals. Students preparing for grade exams are also encouraged to learn pieces outside those prescribed for the exams.

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What styles of music do you teach?

Piano students at the New School receive a well rounded education and are encouraged to explore different musical styles, although much of the best teaching methodology is classically-based. We also offered specialised private lessons in jazz piano and a Jazz Piano Basics group course.

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Can I learn about music theory?

Theory work is generally incorporated into piano lessons as required, but we do recommend additional theory study, if possible (see Music Fundamentals). The Associated Board requires that students pass a Grade 5 theory exam before they can proceed to the Grade 6 practical exam.

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Can you prepare me/my child for grade or practical examinations?

Lessons can certainly include preparation for grade examinations with a range of exam boards. Our teachers can also prepare you for Junior Cert. Music and Leaving Cert. Music practical exams.

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Do you prepare advanced students for performance or teaching diploma exams?

Yes. We have prepared students for associate and licentiate diplomas from several different examining boards. See Performance & Teaching Diploma Preparation for more information.

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Do I need to cut my fingernails for playing the piano?
How do I know if they are too long?

Piano students do need to keep fingernails short to allow for the correct hand position. The proper playing technique is for the fingertips to attack the keys at all times firmly, with fingers curved. If the nails are too long, they will get in the way. The nail is too long for playing the piano if you can see them when looking at your hand with the palm facing you.

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  • 69 South Great George's Street Dublin 2 Ireland 
  • Phone: +353 1 478 1884
  • Fax: +353 1 475 1346
  • Email: info@newschool.ie
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