Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
Music stores and music schools with lots of rooms to fill are commercial by nature. They have to be; they have a large overhead and employees to keep busy. Because of this, they accept every student, no matter what their goals, and try to offer “something for everyone”. WPS is not a commercial venture, we are a professional studio. We offer top-tier classical training for students of many descriptions who want to learn to play masterfully. We take students who play piano and develop them into skilled musicians, something that becomes a part of them for life.
This is a great question because our school is well known for our amazing students, and we often hear prospective students felt intimidated before meeting us. So yes, we do attract many talented students who are already advanced players. However, we also accept beginners and intermediate students who are unpolished, or otherwise not playing as they could be. Our director, Ms. Wendelken, is very skilled at detecting talent and musicality in an unpolished performance and bringing out the musician hiding in the student. It is our experience that when a student is taught to play really well that they will come to honor their music and take pride in their abilities .Polishing a “diamond in the rough” is one of our specialties!
Yes, absolutely! Training in classical music is a very thorough way to learn. You will not be left on your own to figure out how to create different kinds of sound, how to finger a passage, how to use your hands and body to create amazing sound. We will show you every little thing, so your habits are only good ones. And yes, you will learn Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic repertoire, what is commonly called “classical music”. But beyond that, you will have a say in the other styles you favor: Ragtime, Jazz, Blues, New Age, Rock, Broadway, anime music-you name it. Our belief is that if you choose music you love, you will love to practice, you will love to play. We want you to love your music!
Most likely, yes! We have helped countless students, who come from careless training, learn to manage time, practice smart, and make every minute count when they practice. We give clear goals and set weekly goals so that their music flourishes and progress is quick. Parents frequently remark at how fast their child’s progress is with us, even after just a few weeks.
On the early side, when deciding when to begin a child’s piano or voice lessons, we cannot guess until we meet the child and work a little bit with them. Sometimes a five-year-old will be ready, sometimes a six-year-old will not be. We offer a free interview which includes a mini-lesson. During this time, we notice how the child is receiving the lesson and determine if it is time to begin. Once it has been decided that the student is ready to begin, you will gradually see your child develop a seriousness about their studies. With the very young students, we ask that a parent be involved at lessons for a time. Parents are always pleasantly surprised to see their child learn to be organized, purposeful, mature about their music. From ages 7 through adult, all interested students should do well with beginning piano or vocal lessons.
There are so many things that motivate us, and age can influence what motivates us. For our younger students, we have treats for the end of a good lesson. For students of all ages, we have our “reward boards”. Students get their photo taken holding a painted blackboard that celebrates their achievement: Student of the Week, Student of the Month, Perfect Practice Week, and so on. We post the photo on our studio Facebook Page, as well as send it to mom and dad. Other motivators that inspire are: learning a concerto to play with their teacher, learning a duo, trio, quartet with friends. For our adult students, we often find that setting a goal, such as participating in a future music event, is motivating, and many of our adult students enjoy doing RCM exams. We always seem to find something that keeps each student motivated and progressing.
In a word, no. Group piano lessons are not well regarded by the classical music community. Group lessons, used to replace private lessons, leave each student alone to figure out the basics. The teacher may give you 5 minutes of their attention in a single class, while in a private lesson you would receive attention for every minute of the lesson. Bad habits are made, sloppy playing results, progress is slow and quality is poor. Group classes are a fad because business people have learned they are very profitable. WPS is a professional studio, not a commercial venture. Those of us who uphold the art of classical music will not cheat our students with group lessons unworthy of your time and money.