Choosing the Right Teacher

1. What are you trying to achieve?

Nothing will be more frustrating for your search than not having a goal in mind – it’s not really fair for a teacher to guess at what you want to learn from them or you might find yourself with a teacher who doesn’t teach what you want to learn.

  • How much time are you able to commit to practicing?
  • Are you in need of more lesson time to keep you accountable? every week vs. 2-3 lessons a week?
  • What style music and level of performance are you trying to achieve.

If you know the answers to these questions then your teacher will be able to provide better instruction.

2. Ask around

There are several piano studios that C.J.’s Pianos works with and we’re happy to refer you to them based on location and lesson style you’re looking for. In addition to us, your friends, colleges and schools are often able to provide knowledgeable suggestions on local teachers. Many performance venues and religious institutions also have great leads on quality teachers.

3. Meet some teachers

Interviewing potential teachers is essential in deciding if they’ll be a good fit for you or your child. You’ll want to interview prospects in person, and ideally in the location at which the lessons will take place. When interviewing, focus on questions both general, like their overall teaching philosophy, as well as specific questions about their qualifications, expectations and methods.

Ask them about themselves:

  • What experience do you have in teaching?
  • Do you teach multiple instruments? (In our experience, it usually works out best to find instructors who specialize in an instrument.)
  • What are your credentials and educational background?
  • Do you teach full time? Are you a student yourself?
  • What ages do you teach?
  • Do you hold recitals during the year?
  • Which instructional materials do you use? How and why did you choose them?
  • How do you evaluate a student’s progress?
  • How much practice time do you suggest or require of your students?
  • What kind of music do you assign to your students? How do you choose what music gets assigned?
  • Do you have additional opportunities for students who would like to perform often or become more involved in music?
  • Have any of your students achieved a high level of musical success?
  • How much do you charge for lessons and how does your billing process work?
  • How long is each lesson, and when and where will they be held?
  • What do you expect of parents?

4. Don’t be afraid to keep looking

If you don’t find the right piano teacher immediately, continue your search. Just because things aren’t an immediate success doesn’t mean you have a bad teacher or you’re a bad student; different teachers need a good fitting student type as much as you need a teacher that’s a good fit. A professional instructor will understand and respect your decision to do what’s best for you or your child’s music education. The right teacher will foster a love of music, aid in continued, measurable progress, and motivate their students to want to become the best musicians they can be.

Adult Recital Hosted by C.J.’s Pianos

Are you interested in performing at or attending the Adult Recital? Fill in the form for more details and to receive updates on the event.

Practicing to Perform?

If you are preparing to perform then you need to practice on the best playing instrument so that you can perform at your best!

  • We have 2 options for you:
    • Make your piano play better
    • Buy one of our great pianos

Either can booked by clicking the button below – the service options we recommend for performance preparation are the half and full day concert service options so that your piano is easier and more enjoyable to play.

C.J.’s Pianos to expand operations for West Chester, PA and surrounding communities.

Bad Pianos bankrupt a musician’s enjoyment and now, after more than a decade of helping musicians in and around Valley Forge, C.J.’s Pianos is bringing their dedication to excellence to West Chester and surrounding areas beginning this Autumn. C.J.’s Pianos recognizes that quality piano service is getting more difficult to find and when it’s difficult to acquire good service pianos get neglected.

“There’s really only 3 things a person needs to enjoy playing piano,” says owner and Registered Piano Technician, Chris LaBarre. “You need ambition, the right teacher, and a good piano – most people get the first 2 and then bankrupt their efforts by struggling on a bad piano.” He also mentions that many pianists struggle to schedule easily and therefore neglect adequate service. “All piano manufacturers recommend piano tuning 2-3 times annually, often our technicians are performing extra work to make neglected instruments sing again.” He said it’s not uncommon to work on pianos which haven’t been tuned in more than five years, “the problem has become more obvious since lessons have moved online and teachers are seeing their students’ pianos for the first time.

There’s only 3 things a person needs to enjoy piano…ambition, the right teacher, and a good piano

C.J.’s Pianos has the solution to this problem and makes it as simple as possible to start enjoying piano again.

  1. Schedule an appointment.
  2. Our technicians provide custom service
  3. You find more enjoyment and success playing piano!

“The greatest pleasure we get from this business is when we see musicians thoroughly enjoying their time at the piano. Sometimes it’s a 5-year-old playing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and other times it’s a client’s new album release.” The company’s primary goal is to help more people enjoy the piano.

When bad pianos bankrupt a musician’s enjoyment it’s more likely that musicians will blame themselves for a lack of success rather than recognizing that their piano is not letting them succeed. Welcome C.J.’s Pianos to your neighborhood by going to www.cjspianos.com and scheduling your appointment today.
         

C.J.’s Pianos to expand operations for Easton, PA and surrounding communities.

Bad Pianos bankrupt a musician’s enjoyment and now, after more than a decade of helping musicians in and around Valley Forge, C.J.’s Pianos is bringing their dedication to excellence to Easton and surrounding areas beginning this Autumn. C.J.’s Pianos recognizes that quality piano service is getting more difficult to find and when it’s difficult to acquire good service pianos get neglected.

“There’s really only 3 things a person needs to enjoy playing piano,” says owner and Registered Piano Technician, Chris LaBarre. “You need ambition, the right teacher, and a good piano – most people get the first 2 and then bankrupt their efforts by struggling on a bad piano.” He also mentions that many pianists struggle to schedule easily and therefore neglect adequate service. “All piano manufacturers recommend piano tuning 2-3 times annually, often our technicians are performing extra work to make neglected instruments sing again.” He said it’s not uncommon to work on pianos which haven’t been tuned in more than five years, “the problem has become more obvious since lessons have moved online and teachers are seeing their students’ pianos for the first time.

There’s only 3 things a person needs to enjoy piano…ambition, the right teacher, and a good piano

C.J.’s Pianos has the solution to this problem and makes it as simple as possible to start enjoying piano again.

  1. Schedule an appointment.
  2. Our technicians provide custom service
  3. You find more enjoyment and success playing piano!

“The greatest pleasure we get from this business is when we see musicians thoroughly enjoying their time at the piano. Sometimes it’s a 5-year-old playing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and other times it’s a client’s new album release.” The company’s primary goal is to help more people enjoy the piano.

When bad pianos bankrupt a musician’s enjoyment it’s more likely that musicians will blame themselves for a lack of success rather than recognizing that their piano is not letting them succeed. Welcome C.J.’s Pianos to your neighborhood by going to www.cjspianos.com and scheduling your appointment today.
         

3 Things You Need to Succeed at Piano

Originally published on Medium

The benefits of learning piano are numerous, studied, and well documented. Anyone can start and benefit at every skill level and amount of commitment, so why don’t most people play? The answer is that we have over-complicated getting started.

There are only 3 things you need to succeed at piano:

  1. Ambition
  2. The Right Teacher
  3. A Good Piano
Gorgeous Piano to realize your music dreams

Most people who start learning piano began with a bit of ambition — maybe it was a parent’s ambition for their child to learn, nonetheless it was ambition. The ambition one starts with is either going to grow or diminish based on the other two things you need to succeed at piano.

The right teacher for you may not be the right teacher for someone else but, for the most part, you will recognize your needs as a student. Personally, I learn well through failure and trying to figure out how I can fix my own mistakes, another person likes the encouragement and direction from a cheerleader type of environment, while others require a coach to really push them to achieve more. Hopefully, your teacher will also recognize a good fit and best teaching style for you!

Having a good piano is often the linchpin. Of the 3 things you need to succeed at piano, this is the one that everything could fall apart and leave someone feeling like a failure or just plain frustrated. A good piano will allow you to make music more easily because the keys are easier to control. Each key should play the same as the next and allow you to produce dynamic contrasts, provide a palette of varying articulations, and ultimately not creating barriers to musical expression.

A bad piano will bankrupt ambition. Imagine practicing for hours and not making any progress — you push the keys but it doesn’t sound like music. What happens after a few weeks of trying hard and making no progress? Less effort is invested because there is less ambition seeing such a paltry return on the time invested. After a couple weeks, maybe a month or so, even the right teacher will become frustrated with the lack of practice and progress.

Starting off with all three ingredients is important. There will be times when ambition wanes but having a good piano will call you back like a Siren’s song. The right teacher will help steer you towards challenges that keep you engaged and ambitious. The right piano rewards your ambition and the teacher for all the time invested and challenges overcome.

How to Learn Piano

Learning new skills and developing your talent can be rather daunting, especially playing piano music if you don’t know how to learn piano. Most people don’t realize the things they need and get started without all three of the essential pieces in place. In truth, there are only 3 things you need:

  1. Ambition
  2. The Right Teacher
  3. A Good Piano

Most people who start learning have the ambition it takes to learn how to play piano. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step – Ambition is just before taking the step. Finding the right teacher is a logical next step – they provide the map for your journey. But if you don’t have the right equipment to complete the journey you will not make it very far. That is why you need a good piano in order to learn how to play piano.

Without a good piano to practice on, musicians will invest countless hours of effort without rewarding results. This is a surefire way to bankrupt their ambition which leads to less practicing. One thing leads to another, less practicing for the right teacher is a frustrating experience for the teacher and student. Anyone who wants to learn how to play piano needs all three parts to succeed.

Fuel your ambition with an inspiring piano

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