Music Lessons 101

Music Lessons 101

Do you want to be a music parent? You need to know these 5 things!


How do you know what to expect from music lessons if you never had music lessons yourself? Maybe you did take lessons, but you’ve never considered lessons from a parent’s perspective. I’m going to show you how to tell if your child is ready for lessons, how lessons work, how to practice, how to help your student be successful, and what your music teacher really wants you to know! I’ve been a piano teacher for over 15 years and this is based on questions I get asked frequently. Please READ THIS if you’re considering lessons for your child because you need to know these things!Learn more

Holiday Specials

Give the long-lasting gift of music!

It’s always a challenge to choose the perfect gift: especially for the little ones who lose interest in new things quickly. Why not choose a gift that will bring enjoyment for a lifetime? Our music lessons are the perfect gift for any music lover – young or old. We currently offer lessons primarily in pianovoiceguitarukulele; cello and violin are available on request. 

This offer is for new clients only. You may purchase as many months of lessons as you would like and gift certificates never expire. Please call or email for more details. 

Preschool Music Classes

There are so many benefits to early childhood music education and the Holidays are the perfect time to invest in your child or grandchild’s future! Kiddy Keys preschool classes are a fun adventure in learning about the keyboard, basic rhythms, note names and expression marks. These small group classes make learning about the piano fun and provide a stepping stone to private lessons for the youngest beginnners. The recommended age range is 3-5. These gift certificates never expire and this deal may not come back, so if your child is too young currently, stock up for when they are older! 

Call or email us for more information, we’re happy to help make your holiday gift stand out! 

Adult Music Lessons – Tips for being successful!

Adult Music Lessons can be intimidating!

My student, Ann Kohler, was kind enough to sit down with me and do an interview about being an adult piano student (video below). Lots of adults tell me that they took music lessons when they were kids but dropped out for various reasons. They often want to begin again but it seems intimidating to start.

Ann has progressed from learning simple tunes to playing jazz/pop/classical standards and having a wonderful time doing music she loves! She recently played in an adult only recital and said this…


What is different from childhood music lessons?

Of course it will feel very different making space for this new hobby in your life. What I love about Ann is her great attitude! She understands that it isn’t always going to come easily, but she carves out time from her busy schedule. Just don’t let her video persona of being retired and laidback fool you, she stays very active in the community and has a full schedule with grandkids as well. The difference is that this time around it is 100% your choice and you are making the commitment on your own.

Check out the video below to hear what Ann has to say about why she started lessons again and to get her tips for being a successful adult student. One thing that stands out to me is that as an adult you have a chance to develop a sort of friendship and camaraderie with your instructor in a different way from a child.

What if I’m starting for the first time ever?

I think it’s also important to address adults that want to start an instrument for the first time ever. That is a different experience from Ann, who had lessons as a child. Honestly I think you have it easier if you’re a blank slate! You don’t have any pre-conceived notions about how fast you should be moving, or what lessons should look like. Just know that it does take time and practice will need to become a habit in your day for you to truly feel successful.

If this is something you really want, just get started and try not to overthink it! I can guarantee you, once you start, you’ll be having so much fun that you’ll wonder why it took you so long to begin. Personally, I love helping someone check an item off their bucket list (ok ok, I just love lists and checking things off lists, period!).

Life beings outside of your comfort zone.

Let’s Go!

Ann’s Interview about being a returning adult student

How do I know if my child is ready for music lessons?

Ready or not?

Ready or not? As parents we always want the best for our kids! We’re eager for them to do activities that are educational, beneficial to their IQ, and deliver lifelong enjoyment–such as music lessons. I get asked all the time, “is my child ready for music lessons?” Because most parents really can’t wait to get their child into music lessons.

Good news, folks! There is no more guessing about if your child is ready or not. YOU can find out if your child is ready for music lessons with some simple tips and techniques.

Then all you need to do is find a great teacher, but I’ve got you covered there too! ?

What does an ideal lesson look like for a young beginner?

First of all, do NOT let anyone tell you that your child should be able to sit still for 30 minutes. This is just not true! A general rule of thumb is that kids can stay at one activity for 1 minute plus their age, for example, a 7 year old should be able to focus on an activity for 7-8 minutes. There are so many different activities to work on in a lesson; a good teacher will be switching activities every few minutes!

Here’s an example of how I would structure a 30 minute lesson for a 4-7 year old child:

2 minutes playing a finger warmup
1 minute reviewing last week’s concept
2 minutes playing an improv or a piece they are already very good at (review and make them feel successful and confident!)
5 minutes learning a new piece + concept
5 minutes get up and move around (rhythm work) or play a game
5 minutes learn another new piece (working on the same concept)
5 minutes doing a music game app or fun worksheet to reinforce the new concept
5 minutes learn another new piece OR depending on the student, wrap up and talk about practice.

Notice we just do something for about 5 minutes max? Notice the time for play and exploration and the things we do to make them feel successful? You don’t need to worry about your child being able to sit perfectly still for 30 minutes or the mean old piano teacher raps their knuckles. That is a thing of the past, thank goodness!

Your child may be ready if…

Here is what they SHOULD be able to do:

  • Know their alphabet very well, bonus points if they can say it backward!
  • Be able to recognize simple patterns (can they do an “I spy” puzzle and find things on the page?)
  • Enjoy playing around with music instruments
  • Be able to focus on one thing for 5-7 minutes
  • Be able to follow directions from an adult
  • Have favorite songs – what a great sign they love music!
  • Be able to sing somewhat on pitch
  • Be able to clap simple rhythms back to you (try a copycat game!)
  • Be able to hold a pen or pencil for tracing letters (a good sign that they have the motor skills necessary for musical training)

They may not be doing everything to a high level yet, but those basics should be in place in order to make the transition to the routine and structure of a private lesson.

Oconee Music lessons

Thank you for reading and I hope this information helps you make a choice about your child being ready for lessons. It’s a big commitment financially and a big commitment for your schedule so you don’t want to jump in without realistic expectations. All of Oconee Music’s teachers are excellent with young beginners and we are always ready to meet you and help with this assessment!

If you read this and you don’t think your child is quite ready, consider one of our group classes for preschoolers. Kiddy Keys keeps the learning light and fun while still covering some of the basics that we learn at the beginning of private lessons. It also really develops their ear as they head into music study.

Enroll my child today!

Lastly, enjoy a visual summary!

7 ways to tell if my child is ready for music lessons.