Taking music lessons is valuable in the growth of a child’s life and an amazing way for adults to gain confidence, fulfill life long dreams, and keep the brain working in tip top shape. At Silbermann Studios, private instruction is at the core of who we are.
There are very few rules or requirements for taking private music lessons – a desire to learn is all that is needed! From 4 years old to 104, everyone can benefit from private music lessons, always specially tailored to the individual.
Although each student is different, lessons are typically taught weekly in increments of 30, 45, or 60 minutes, depending on age, level, and desired time commitment. Students are guided through weekly assignments, listening exercises, concert attendance and critique, self motivated practice, and fun in-lesson activities. All lessons are one-on-one.
Frequently Asked Questions
-What do we do in a music lesson? Each lesson is different! But you can expect a check-in session, warm-ups, repertoire work, ear training, exploration of music and philosophy related to it, practice techniques, and goal setting for the week. Lessons are all about exploration!
-Can I have a trial lesson? Silbermann Studios does not offer free trial lessons, due to our busy schedules. However, your first lesson is charged at the monthly rate and payment is not due ahead of time. If you choose to continue after your first lesson, an invoice will be sent for the remainder of
the month, including the trial lesson.
-How is payment handled? Students, or their parents, are invoiced for the upcoming month and payment is due by the 1st. All lessons are paid for in advance and absence credits are given based on our policies. Payments can be made by cash, check, credit card, Paypal, Venmo, or Apple Pay. Late
payments incur a $25 charge. Silbermann Studios does not accept weekly lesson payments, as your monthly payment reserves your time slot.
-What are my options for lesson location? The following options are available and fees can be found on our website: (1) In our home studio in Santa Clara, (2) In your home, (3) virtually, through zoom or skype.
(Currently, due to the Covid-19 Shelter In Place, Silbermann Studios is only teaching online lessons via Zoom and Skype and will continue through, at least, August 1st, 2020.)
-What is expected of me, as a student? Student’s take music lessons for many different reasons and have many different goals. The basic expectations of a students are: be on-time for your lesson, bring all required materials, practice during the week, and be willing to try new things.
-What is expected of me, as a parent of a student? Being a parent of a piano or voice student does require some time with your child, especially in the beginning stages of lessons. Most parents typically sit with their beginner students, timing practice and assisting as needed. Parents are also asked to: be on time to lessons, make sure your child has their materials, provide payment on time, be open to teacher suggestions and musical advice, and participate in recitals and other performance opportunities with your child. A lot of parents actually choose to take lessons concurrently with their children, so that they can learn as well and set an example of success.
-How much do I have to practice? “The most important thing I can teach you in lessons is how to practice.” (Derek Silbermann) You grow based on practice, not lessons. You will not be “fired” for a lack of practice, but lessons are much more fun if you spend time on your own, during the week, on your music. Typical guidelines for practice are: 5-6 days/week, 10-60 minutes, based on age and level.
-Can I have more than one lesson a week? YES! Students who take multiple lessons a week improve multiple times over the typical once-a-week student. In other words, the sky really is the limit and your musical growth is based on your drive to succeed.
-What materials do I need to provide? When you sign up for lessons with Silbermann Studios, you pay a $50 yearly registration fee and receive all books through us for the year. You will likely need to provide: a metronome (apps are okay) for practice and sometimes other practice apps. And, of course, A PENCIL! Because each student is different, materials do vary.
-Do I get to pick my own songs? Yes. And no. Beginning students are not allowed to pick their own songs, as a solid foundation is required. As a student progresses and begins to discover, songs naturally pop up. Intermediate and advanced students are encouraged to bring their own ideas and songs to their lessons, along with the teachers repertoire. A typical lesson is a 1:1 ratio, the student choice and the teachers choice song.
-Are there performance opportunities? There are twice a year recitals for all students to perform for their peers and friends and family. All students are highly encouraged to participate.
-What if I need to cancel my lesson? There are many, many scenarios that would require cancellations. Our cancellation policy is fairly flexible within the following guidelines: (1) If you know you are going to be gone for a vacation or travel or other commitments, advanced notice is requested. You will not be charge for those weeks. (2) If you are sick or have an emergency, a 24 hour cancellation is required. Makeup lessons are at the discretion of the teacher and if a lesson can’t be rescheduled, a credit is granted for the following month.
-What if I want a single lesson? Not a problem. Based on teachers availability, you can request to schedule single lessons at a higher rate. Single lessons are good for preparing for auditions, college students, semi-professionals looking to brush up, or other short term goals. Single lessons are not for beginner or intermediate students or anyone looking to improve over time. Single lessons are at the discretion of the teacher.
I’ve read your policies and frequently asked questions and now I am ready to take lessons. What’s the next step…
Contact Silbermann Studios by phone or text at 408-320-8831 to set up your first lesson!
No matter what type of lessons you take, you can count on always paying the same hourly rate at Silbermann Studios. There are no hidden costs.
Re-occurring Monthly Lesson Rates, weekly charge:
$20 Travel Fee (in-home lessons)
$50 Yearly Materials Fee
$25 Late Payment Charge
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