We know that you have questions and that you want some honest advice to help you make the best decision. We thought we’d help by answering some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) we receive about music lessons. Of course, you can always, call or email us if you have questions of your own.
Please contact us to discuss your specific interests and music goals. We’d be glad to answer any of your questions so that you can make an informed, intelligent choice.
FAQ - Got Questions? We've got you covered.
Do I need to have my own instrument to take lessons?
Yes, all students are required to have an instrument to practice on at home. We would be happy to assist you in finding the right size/quality/brand/price range for the instrument of your choice whether you choose to buy or rent. We’ll recommend a reputable store and can give you tips and leads so you’ll have a productive shopping experience.
What's better to learn on, the electric or acoustic guitar?
It’s really a matter of personal choice and ultimately the deciding factor will be which kind of guitar you enjoy playing the most. Usually the teacher will be using the same books and teaching approach with beginning students. There are a few things to take into consideration when choosing to play an acoustic or electric guitar:
The electric guitar is a little easier to play because the action requires less effort, but the cost is a little higher since you need to buy both a guitar, and amplifier, cables and picks.
For many people, the clarity, purity and vibration of a natural wood guitar is unmatched. However, the acoustic guitar presents more physical challenges initially. The strings are heavier and higher and creates more pressure when playing. This causes a bit of physical strain on the hands and fingers as well as callouses to form on the finger tips. If you learn on the acoustic guitar first, it’s much easier to transition to electric guitar, rather than the other way around.
Can I take a trial music lesson?
Absolutely! You may take a trial lesson on any instrument that we teach. It will give you or your child the opportunity to meet with the instructor one-on-one, get comfortable with our studio, and discuss what you would like accomplish.
Our school is furnished with all the equipment you’ll need to start lessons. We have grand pianos, amps, CD recorder, music stands and everything you’ll need to have a comfortable and productive lesson. After that, you may decide to enroll in lessons, and continue lessons on a monthly basis. You can discontinue lessons at any time with 4 weeks notice.
What will I learn in my music lessons?
Our music lessons are perfect for the adult beginner, hobbyist or young child. You can book a lesson time that suits your work or school schedule, and during your private lesson, you’ll always have your teacher’s undivided attention. You can learn a variety of styles from classical to pop to jazz. We’ll always customize your lessons just for you, and with your teacher’s support you’ll be inspired to keep learning.
What styles of music do you teach?
Students can learn and play any musical style from classical, rock, pop, opera, jazz, country, R & B, Latin and blues. You and stick to just one style, or explore a new style whenever you want to.
Do you only offer lessons for children?
We welcome students from ages five and up, and at all levels, from the very beginner to the advanced student. We’ve taught thousands of children, teens and adults over the year, so we’re seasoned pros!
What are your teachers' qualifications?
Unlike some music schools our focus is on the quality of our music lessons. We don’t just hire any teacher that comes our way. Our instructors are handpicked by the Director and many are referrals from other experienced teachers. We draw our staff from the best and brightest top music school from across Canada.
Whether you want a teacher with a reputation for elite performances, or a teacher with a warm, relaxed approach, we’ll help you choose the right teacher for you or your child.
When can I start lessons?
Lessons at Wandering Minstrel can be started at any time of year including the summer months. In fact, we encourage students to start or continue their lessons during the summer months when they have a less hectic schedule. It’s a great time to excel their learning and leap ahead.
Do I have to sign a contract?
Our music school runs on a month-to-month basis, so there’s no contract to sign. We kindly ask that you take the time to ask or read about our policies on make-up lessons, cancellations, and termination of lessons so you understand your obligations and avoid any penalties.
Do you only teach beginners?
We teach beginner, but we also love advanced students who are ready to take on challenging repertoire. If you’re a serious about your music, we’d be glad to help you expand your repertoire, and develop your artistic maturity.
I’m interested in piano lessons. Do I need a piano or can I use a keyboard?
A traditional acoustic piano is the most popular and the best choice in the long-term. Not only is it a good investment, it plays better, sounds better, looks better, and it’s a family heirloom that can be passed down from generation to generation.
If you’re uncertain about making the commitment to a piano, you can certainly start with a digital piano or a keyboard. Digital pianos have the weighted action of a piano, plus lots of bells and whistles to make playing more interactive and fun.
Keyboards are the least expensive, and a good short-term choice. However, the keyboard’s action is very light and it becomes very difficult for students to develop the finger strength and control that is required for proper piano technique.
What's the best age to start music lessons?
You’re never too old to start music lessons but some children might be a little young for private lessons. The age that a child can start at really depends on the instrument that they’ll be learning, but typically private music lessons begin start between the ages of 5 and 9 years old and up.
For piano and violin, children can begin lessons as early as age 5. Violin offer the convenience of small scale instrument for younger beginners. If you’re unsure if your child is ready, you can start with a trial lesson and the teacher will determine if your child is ready to begin. It’s best that learning happen in a positive, encouraging atmosphere, so if your child has trouble focusing or reading, you can delay a year.
For vocal/singing students we encourage students to begin at age 9 or 10 depending on their size, their lung capacity and their enthusiasm.
For guitar we recommend beginning at the age of 9 to 10 when their fine motor skills and attention span are better developed.
For saxophone, flute and clarinet, students need to be able to reach the pads, have a decent lung capacity, and be able to bear the weight of their instrument.