What is the best age to start piano or voice lessons?

Don't judge your child by age. Instead look for these identifiers:

  • Can your child count from 1-10 and recognize the written numbers?
  • Can your child recite the alphabet and recognize the written letters A-G?
  • Is your child beginning to differentiate right from left?
  • Is your child able to focus on one activity and/or sit still for 10 minutes at a time?
  • Is your child expressing musicality (humming, singing, dancing, tapping rhythms, etc)?
  • And most importantly, is your child showing interest in music or asking about lessons?

If you can answer yes to three or more of these questions, your child is probably ready.

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How old is "too old" to take lessons?

You are NEVER too old! You can answer "yes" to more than three of the identifiers in the question above, right? Start a new hobby today! We have books and materials that are specifically geared toward adult, teen, older elementary, younger elementary, and even preschool students.

There is an art AND science to learning at ANY age. You never become unable to learn. We accept all ages and abilities. We believe there are many different types of accomplished musicians, and you can be one of them.

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How much does it cost to take lessons?

The short answer is $115/month and the current tuition rate should be $27 per half-hour lesson, tuition range $108-$135/mo

A set of method books and materials to begin will be approximately $40-$45 and will last for about a year of study. Students may also supplement their regular repertoire with seasonal music, performance pieces, or maybe just a collection in their favorite style or artist. We have a vast selection of music in varying levels of difficulty right here at the studio. You will never have to go on a wild goose chase for books or materials. Currently, students at Allegro Studios have spent on average, $58 per year in books and materials.

There is also a recital fee of $35/student if you choose to participate.

Please view our Studio Policy for more information.

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Do you offer a family discount?

No. BUT here's what you WILL get:

  • Degreed professionals whose goal is to make every student as successful as possible!
  • The possibility of having multiple lessons happen on the same half-hour and in one trip.
  • Lessons that your child can practice independently - you are busy enough!
  • All books and materials are readily available - no wild goose chase for you.
  • A flexible reschedule policy.
  • No lengthy contracts or performance commitments.
  • An optional, yearly recital celebrating student progress.
  • Multiple learning and teaching techniques that result in observable and continual progress and skill development while identifying motivational strategies for each individual student. (Read: Our Director makes sure you are getting your money's worth, and that your child is having fun while we sneak in the teaching when they're not watching.)

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How long will it take to play/sing the songs I want?

Not long. In fact, you may begin using music of your choice! We encourage all students to request their favorite tunes. We have a vast selection of music in varying levels of difficulty right here at the studio. So it is very likely that we will have your favorites in a version that you can begin right away. We believe that using familiar tunes helps students to develop the ability to self-correct and develops independent musicianship.

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How long will it take to become "really good"?

10 YEARS!! Just kidding. Keep reading.

That answer truly depends on what you want to do "really good"?er...um..."really well."

We help each student to define what their personal goals are as a musician. Do you want to sing in the church choir, play the blues, read a lead sheet, snag a role in the 5th-grade musical, become a better sight-reader? How do you define "really good?" We'll help you get there.

We also teach every student how to practice and how often to practice. We are doing our jobs as instructors if a student has progressed approximately one level each year. We help students to identify their progress and skill development so they continually see the results of their work.

OK that was the long answer. How about this as a guesstimate? Assuming that a student attends lessons regularly, practices "mean old Mrs. Quint's way" at least 5 days per week, and life in general is mostly stable:

  • 1-3 years of lesson = Elementary Level
  • 3-5 years of lessons = Intermediate Level
  • 5-7 years of lessons = Late Intermediate Level
  • 7-9 years of lessons = Early Advanced Level
  • 9+ years = Advanced Level

You may be surprised to discover that you can be "really good" way before you ever reach "Advanced." We'll help you get there!

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What kind of performance opportunities do you offer?

Allegro Studios does one yearly recital. Beautiful hall, grand piano, oodles of cookies - the works! Usually on the first weekend in June, there are multiple recital times to choose from. We limit recitals to no more than 35 students each because we just can't wait that long for cookies. It is not mandatory, but most students participate. It is how we celebrate student progress. All students prepare a special piece to performance-readiness whether they are participating or not. Participants receive invitations to send to friends and family, and we have an all-you-can-eat cookies and punch reception afterwards! It is great fun!

We encourage students to pursue performance opportunities outside of the recital if performance is part of their goals as a musician. Performance opportunities do not have to be adjudicated or competition-based events. Donating performance time at local nursing homes, contributing special music at local worship services, playing at the school talent show, etc. are all great performance opportunities for beginning musicians.

For those who are performance oriented, we have students participating in the Columbus Symphony Young Musicians Competition, auditioning for the top choirs within Columbus Children's Choir and for roles in the Columbus Children's Theatre -- even some who are pursuing future recording contracts. We can help you find the right performance opportunity and to perform successfully.

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Do I need a piano at home?

Would you send a student to clarinet lessons with a kazoo? Students taking piano lessons must have a fully-functional acoustic piano or a full-size, weighted, 88-key digital piano in the home within 6 months of beginning lessons. A keyboard is NOT an acceptable instrument for any student to continue making progress in lessons successfully or enjoyably, NOR is great-grandma's "antique" upright with beautiful woodwork, but 13 keys that do not function and has gone without a tuning for the 23 years it was stored in the un-heated and un-cooled front parlor. Yes, we will suspend lessons after six months if there is not an appropriate instrument at home.

Students taking voice lessons do not need a piano at home. Their materials will include some accompaniment CD's for at-home practice, so they will need either a CD player or a computer with speakers and CD-playback capabilities.

A digital piano - not a piano

A digital piano has 88 weighted keys and pedals

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Geesh! Why are you so mean about what the type of instrument we have at home?

We are strict about instrument requirements because it directly correlates to the student's actual success, their perception of success, and rate of successful progress. We cannot ethically "waste" our clients' money, nor can we ethically allow our students to struggle unhappily. Each student is a musical human being. As soon as a student begins to learn how to create music, they become aware on some level of whether their instrument is allowing them to express that aspect of musicality. An instrument must be responsive to the student's musical capabilities, otherwise the student can mistakenly perceive that they are the unmusical one, rather than the instrument. They become unmotivated to practice because the instrument cannot respond to musical effort they are putting forth. And students with quality acoustic or digital pianos progress more quickly (savings in tuition money), and stay motivated more consistently (no grumbling about practice at home).

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But, but, but...what's the difference between a keyboard and a digital piano, what if I can't afford a piano, don't have room for a piano, don't know if we'll continue lessons, etc.

Please come visit us. We do not sell (or buy) pianos, but we have both quality acoustic pianos and a digital piano at the studio. We will be happy to show you examples of appropriate, and reasonably priced, instruments. Also please visit our Helpful Links section.

A keyboard is a toy. It has less than 88 keys (which may not be actual size) and no pedals. It may have a large sound bank, rhythms, and other "bells and whistles," but the sound quality is poor, there is one (maybe two) volume levels when a key is pressed, and there is no "weight" or depth to the key action. A digital piano on the other hand will have 88 full-size weighted keys, at least one pedal, and excellent sound quality. When you press the keys, it should feel almost exactly like an acoustic piano. You can spend a great deal of money on "bells and whistles" here too, but it is not necessary. A digital piano is about 4 ft. long and 3 ft. high. If you are really in a tight space, this is a good option. You can also purchase additional headphones, if practices need to happen when volume will be a concern.

Did you know that you can rent a piano for as little as $20/month? Rent applies toward purchase (if you choose) at the end of one year of payments. We highly recommend Columbus Piano Leasing for more information and very helpful service! Renting a gently used acoustic piano is one of the best and most affordable ways to go. While you would not be "tied down" to an instrument, you would be amazed at what can be accomplished in a year of quality lessons on a quality instrument!

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