Vera's Piano And Voice Studio
Welcome to Vera's Piano/Voice Studio! I offer weekly private piano and voice lessons to young children ages 5 and up, and women at any age! Students are taught and allowed to learn and explore at their own pace, in a professional manner and a pozitive, encouraging environment. Students can learn in different stages and just have fun and enjoy themselves! Students take lessons for a full academic year: September through May. There are no lessons on major holidays! During summer break, continuing students may take bi-weekly or once a month lessons! Students participate in recitals twice a year (December -May), performing for the family, friends and fellow students.
I especially enjoy working with students who don't have any formal music training/background and watching them make progress by learning new skills/technique and improve in their piano playing/singing! That gives me the greatest satisfaction! I hold a BA in Music from the Arizona State University and studied with professor Robert Hamilton, an American concert pianist. I trained for piano competitions and won 3rd place in the inter-collegiate MCCD Piano Performance Competition. Feel free to visit my Instagram business page @piano_voice_studio.vera
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
After the initial contact, I prefer to have a free consultation with the parents of the prospective students (if they are minors), or with adult students. During the meeting, I will briefly discuss with parents/adult students studio policies, method books/materials, scheduling, any other activities I need to be aware of that students are involved in. Also, I will need to know beforehand if the student/adult student has any ongoing health issues that I would need to be aware of and if special accommodations are needed. I might ask the student/adult student about his preferences: classical, popular, video game music or other.
Once the days and times are established, the student/adult student will be ready for his/her first piano/voice lesson! Lessons will start the following week. Meanwhile, parents/adult students will have music registration and media release forms to complete, and must also buy the method books recommended by the teacher.
All beginning piano students start their first new lesson with basic piano fundamentals: learning to sit at the piano with a good posture and the right distance, exploring the keyboard, creating soft/loud, short/long sounds, learning finger numbers, learning the basic technique like rounded hanshape, firm fingertips and a relaxed wrist. The age of the student, the length of the lesson and the degree of the ability to grasp concepts will be taken into consideration. Demonstration is the key in piano playing, and the student will learn by watching first, and then trying it out themselves.
All beginning voice students will start with singing fundamentals: learning how to prepare their bodies for singing, by introducing them to a few stretching and breathing excersises, proper singing posture, finding low and high voice, teaching the solfege scale and singing excersises. Again, student's age, lesson length and degree of the ability to grasp concepts will be taken into consideration. Demonstration is the key in singing too: the student will learn by watching first, and then trying out themselves.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I hold a BA in Music from Arizona State University, and studied piano with professor Robert Hamilton, an American concert pianist. While working on my music degree, I studied voice as well and was a member of the ASU Women's Choir.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
I charge $25.00 /half an hour lessons for all beginning students. I prefer to keep instruction time to no more than 30 minutes with all beginning students. This is because the new students are at times overwhelmed by the new material and skills they are learning. Also, very young beginning students have a shorter attention span than older ones, making it more difficult to sit down(piano students) for longer periods of time. However, parents should be aware that students who have completed at least 1-2 years of instruction should switch to 45 minute lessons. I charge $30 for a 45 minute lesson. As continuing students get older, get familiar/comfortable with what they are doing, sitting at the piano or standing (voice students) for longer periods will no longer be an issue. Naturally, the need for longer instruction time increases, as they make progress by mastering technique and learning more difficult material.
How did you get started teaching?
After finishing my music degree, I decided to start my own piano/voice studio business. I always loved teaching in a private, one to one setting.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have worked with a special needs child in the past, currently teaching three of the students who were diagnosed with ADHD. Generally, I teach young children, preteens and adults.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Look for a teacher that has a passion for teaching. A teacher who is always encouraging, challenges/stretches the student musically, and gives positive feedback first, before correcting mistakes.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
Parents of the prospective students or adult students should think about the fact that music lessons, be it piano, voice or other instruments, will require investing time, energy and money! Buying an instrument is crucial in learning the skills/technique in order to make progress. Parents should make a commitment to ensure that their child will be practicing at least 5 days a week. An ongoing commitment and being consistent with coming to weekly piano/voice lessons and participating in events like recitals, are required to ensure progress and becoming a well rounded, successful musician/performer!