I'm heading to the High School!  Where do I go? 

Please meet your teacher or a CAA staff member at the main high school entrance gate at 650 D Ave, Coronado, CA.  They will walk you into the school and up to the lesson area.  We teach in the CoSA Music Room facilities.

Why should I enroll my child in music lessons? 

Please visit the Why Music? page of our site to watch a short video on the importance of music education. Preview: it makes kids smarter, improves attention span and emotional control, enhances memory, develops coordination and fine motor skills, fosters self-expression, and increases test scores. 

What is the best age for my child to start private piano lessons? 

From birth to age 5, our brains develop more than at any other time period of our lives. Musical experiences in early childhood ignite all areas of development: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. Exposure to music in the early years is critical;so, when should you start exposing your child to music lessons or programs? Right now!

0-3 years old: Find a Kindermusik program or other group music class that involves parent participation. See what programs Coronado Recreation offers! Listening to and creating music together is a wonderful bonding experience for you and your little one. 

3-5 years old:Let’s go! At this age, we usually start with 15-minute lessons. We will learn basic musical concepts such as high/low, fast/slow, short/smooth, loud/soft using songs, singing, movement, and instruments using a method called Wunderkeys

6+: Schedule your free trial lesson to determine if your child has an interest in music lessons and how long those lessons should be. We can’t wait to meet you! 

What does the cost of a lesson cover? 

  • Reserves your day and lesson time +
    o   studio costs/travel time and travel costs /online lesson costs (overhead cameras, zoom premium, mics, etc.)
  • Lesson preparation 
  • Your teacher’s training and experience
  • Piano Pizza Parties are free for students and their siblings. It’s a no-parents-piano-pizza-party, so drop off the kids and go grab a happy hour!
  • Continuing education and memberships: in order for us to be the best teachers possible, we make it a priority to stay current with the latest educational trends, methodologies, and developments. This may include seminars, podcasts, and fees for associations such as the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC), the California Music Educators Association (CMEA), and the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME). 
  • Other expenses associated with teaching include photocopies, stickers, prizes, zoom memberships, online lesson office equipment, paid apps used during the lesson, etc.
  • Taxes and business insurance

What sort of instrument do I need, and where can I get one? 

Having a quality instrument is important, and here’s why:

  • Technique: proper technique simply cannot be experienced on a substandard instrument, and if your child learns on such an instrument, it will do permanent damage to the way he/she plays. And ,as you know, habits are hard to break.
  • For keyboards, an instrument having between 61 and 88 keys is ideal.  For guitars and bass, a quality instrument may make or break the students experience.  Cheaper guitars are harder to play and can cause pain in the fingers and wrists of students - regardless of the age.
  • Tone and quality of sound: for piano we recommend your instrument have weighted keys, so that your student can associate levels of volume with levels of touch (not buttons).

For more on the most current developments in musical instruments please contact David at Greene Music (in Miramar) at 858-586-7000. The best thing to do is to go into a piano showroom with your student and let them experience different instruments! Noel has a background in music education and is an expert at matching families with instruments. We am part of the Greene Music “teacher network,” so if you tell them that the Coronado Arts Academy and/or Ms. Mariah sent you, you will receive a discount. 

What do I need to have for in-home piano lessons? 

  • A quality instrument 
  • A designated space for your instrument and for music book
  • A chair for the teacher
  • A small area that the teacher can use for teaching supplies, such as a small table or a shelf next to the teacher chair. 

What do I need to bring to the music studio for my piano lesson?

  • Play Book (where we write down notes on what to practice for the week)
  • Music Books 
  • Theory Book

What do I need for online piano lessons?

  • A quality instrument 
  • A pencil 
  • A laptop or ipad with a strong internet connection

How often and for how long should a student practice? What are some practice tips? 

  • Our Mission Statement: to instill a love and appreciation of music in every student through comprehensive music education
  • A love and appreciation of music will inspire intrinsic motivation, meaning a student will practice because he/she wants to practice, not because of nagging or threatening. Instead:
    • Ask your child to play a song for you, and give him/her your full attention. 
    • Use the word “play” instead of “practice.”
    • Try not to use timers or set time goals. See your child’s Play Book for specific musical goals and work towards those, not “practice for 20 minutes.” Instead, “Your book says to play with your right hand on page 1 and your left hand on page 2. Can you do this well?” It may take 2 minutes; it may take 20.
    • Give plenty of positive reinforcement.
  • Try to have your child play each day, even if it’s just playing one song one time.
  • When we focus for long periods of time, our brains gradually begin to switch off, resulting in a decline in performance and memory. What I refer to as “brain breaks” replenish attention and motivation and encourage productivity and creativity. As such…
  • Practice in smaller chunks rather than one big session. If it’s not too intrusive to your routine, allow your child to sit down at the piano and play when he/she is inspired to do so. It’s ok to practice a song/scales/theory/etc. for 10 minutes, and take a 1 minute “brain break” to stretch, get a glass of water, snack, etc., before continuing to play.
  • Every student is different and every week will vary. Some weeks might be so jam packed with baseball, dance class, and family visits that your student hasn’t had much time to play. That’s ok! We will catch up in our weekly lesson and re-adjust our goals.
  • Consider finding a time each day to play, and use it in relation to another activity, such as “after dinner” or “before you watch your favorite show.” Older students may want to set a specific time in their schedules to set aside for playing.  
  • Achieve musical goals, not time goals.

What does “comprehensive music education” mean? 

All of our lessons are music lessons. We learn to play songs on our instruments, of course, but we also learn music theory, music history, ear training, sight reading, and when appropriate, the instruments of the orchestra. Most of what we learn, in fact, is transferrable to other instruments, so your student will be ahead of the game should he/she choose to join a band or orchestra down the road.

Are there opportunities to perform? 

Yes! See the events page for more details. 

I used to take lesson when I was much younger, but it's been a long time and I'd like to learn again. Do you teach adults? 

Yes! It’s never too late to learn, and if you’ve taken lessons before (even decades ago), you may surprise yourself at what you remember. Muscle memory is a powerful thing!


- contributed by Mariah Gillespie