Music Lessons FAQ

What are some tips to help my child practice at home:

Practicing:

  • Decide exactly what you are working on each day. Don’t start at the beginning of the piece each time, start at a new place everyday. Repeat a small section until it is perfect and then play it at least three times perfectly in a row.
  • Check your fingering and use the same fingering every time. If you keep changing the fingering, your mind becomes confused and you’ll never get a difficult passage to sound easy and beautiful.
  • Always establish the beat before you start to play and keep feeling the beat all the time. Counting out loud can help you keep this feeling. The goal of the practicing is to make the whole piece flow along with no little stumbles – feel the music.
  • Listen, listen, listen, to the sound you are making. You are communicating a certain mood or character with each piece that you play. When someone listens to you play you want to touch their heart with the beautiful sounds you are making.  Remember, you are telling a story and it must be so interesting and exciting that everyone loves to listen.

How long should you practice?

  • For children, two or three 5 or 10 minute sessions are better than one long session.
  • Practicing should become a part of your day just like brushing your teeth. You need to get into the habit so that your day doesn’t feel complete unless you have practiced your instrument.
  • Choose your practice time carefully and stick with the same time each day as much as possible.

Beginners: 10 to 20 minutes – 5 days a week

Grades 1-3: 20 to 30 minutes – 5 days a week

Grades 4-6: 30 to 40 minutes – 5 days a week

Grades 7-8: 45 minutes – 5 days a week

Grade 9 and up: 1 hour  – 6 days a week

Should I purchase an instrument for my child to practice on:

Yes.

  1. For piano, an entry level instrument can be found at Costco – the Yamaha EZ-220 model approx $320; portable keyboards can be rented at Long & McQuade for as low as $20 per month (the Yamaha PSRE 453 model); or purchased from Best Buy – the Casio (CTK1100BB) model approx $200 with stool and stand.
  2. For guitar, please email Stanley (stanleygallant@gmail.com) for directions to purchase or rent a properly sized guitar for your child. Make the subject: Obtain guitar for Progressive Academy Student; In your email, please include the age and height of your child.
  3. For drums, you can pick up an electronic kit at Best Buy (carlsbro CSD130XXX for $330); or rent an acoustic or electronic kit from Long & McQuade for as low as $30 per month (the Mapex Tornado Rock Kit).

Will there be a year-end recital:

Yes, the year-end recital will be in early June. Junior Kindergarten showcases are held at the end of their lesson package usually in early May.

Will there be other performance opportunities:

Yes, students have the opportunity to play at the school assemblies held during the first Thursday every month. Students will have the opportunity to play at a continuing care facility as a dress rehearsal for their school recital. Parents will be informed and invited to each of these performances.

How Often Should I expect to receive communication from my child’s instructor:

You should expect to hear from your child’s instructor twice during the school year. If your child is practicing at home, their instructor will write practice plans directly in their lesson book or agenda book. Otherwise, the instructors will be sending out two progress reports: one mid-way through the year, and one at the end of the year. If you have lesson specific questions that are not answered on this page, you may email your child’s instructor directly.

What are the payment plans:

  1. Plan A is the total payment upfront.
  2. Plan B is half the payment upfront and the second half in January.
  3. Plan C is the first and last month’s lessons upfront, and the remaining split into monthly payments taken at the end of each month.

What is the Make-Up Lesson Policy:

  1. If a student misses a lesson for any reason (sick, on holiday, at school field-trip, writing exam in class, etc), up to two make up lessons will be offered for the year.
  2. When you sign up for Private Music Lessons, you are securing a specific time slot in an instructor’s schedule. The make-up lessons are also secured in the instructors schedule. If the student misses both their original lesson, as well as the make-up lesson day, then their lesson is considered forfeited.
  3. The make-up lesson days are scheduled at the contractor’s discretion
  4. There are only exceptions made if the child has missed more than 3 consecutive lessons due to medical emergency backed up by a doctor note.

What happens if the instructor misses a day of lessons:

  1. There are 3 weeks in June that are not booked for regular lessons. If an instructor misses a day of regular lessons, he/she will push lessons into that time frame.
  2. In the unlikely event that an instructor misses more than 3 weeks of regular lessons, the remaining lessons will be refunded.
  3. If an instructor misses one of the ‘make-up lesson days’, he/she will shift the day to another day in the next month, or into June.

What is the Cancellation Policy:

  1. Progressive Academy reserves the right to cancel any student’s lesson on recommendation of their instructor with a seven-day notice. The student’s remaining lessons will not be charged to the account. The last month’s paid lessons will be refunded against lessons owed in current month.
  2. Parents may cancel lessons for their child. They must give a 30-day notice to stop the payments starting the day Reinette is informed via an email to reinette@progressiveacademy.ca. Students may continue lessons during this 30-day notice, or they may forfeit the lessons at the choice of the parent. This is in addition to the $75 cancellation fee.
  3. Exceptions may be made to the above policies due to unforeseen circumstances, this decision is made at Progressive Academy’s discretion.

What is the Refund Policy:

  1. Under no circumstances are there refunds offered for lessons that have already been taught.
  2. There are no refunds offered for lessons missed due to sickness or holidays, extra make up lessons for these reasons are up to the instructor’s discretion.
  3. There are only refunds offered if the child has missed more than 3 consecutive lessons due to medical emergency backed up by a doctor note.